When we say Indian food, do you think of just roti prata, naan, and butter chicken? If so, you should know that India stretches over 28 states, with markedly different cuisine across each region, so yes, there’s a lot more than you think. Here are eight Indian restaurants in Singapore that encompasses the best of North Indian and South Indian food, from curries and tandoori to vegetarian options galore.
With its classy interior, extensive wine menu, and long list of accolades, dining at Rang Mahal is a solid affair – whether it’s date night or a rambunctious family gathering. And for what you’re paying, the food is unparalleled. This is where classic Indian cuisine meet contemporary flair, as intricate dishes like the aromatic Tomato Saar, Multi Herb Form ($20) and Tandoori Fondue – Kebabs & More ($58), an assortment of tandoor grilled kebabs eaten with garlic naan and a cheese makhni dipping sauce, come to the table. You might also be interested in their more affordable Gourmet Lunch Buffet ($58), which sees regional Indian favourites, live stations, pass-arounds, and a full dessert line (Indian desserts are fabulous!). For something more casual, check out Table by Rang Mahal at the nearby Naumi Hotel. Read our review here.
Rang Mahal is located at L3, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd, Singapore 039595, p. +65 6333 1788. Open daily 12pm – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm.
Did you know that Shahi Maharani is the only North Indian restaurant in Singapore with live traditional Indian music? Add in traditional glass lamps and rich gold decor and you get a regal restaurant that’s like no other. There’s even a private dining room for your next lively get-together. Shunning trendy fusion fare in favour of authentic Indian flavours, this is where specialities such as Galouti Kebab (melt-in-your-mouth lamb kebabs served with mini paranthas) and Murgh Malai Kebab (tandoor-grilled chicken chunks marinated with cream and cheese) shine the most.
For the most value, we say go for the Weekday Lunch Buffet ($56++, 1-for-1 promotion) or Sunday Chaat & Tandoori Buffet ($36++/person). Because where else can you feast like kings and queens?
Shahi Maharani located at L3, Fairmont Singapore (#03-21B Raffles City Shopping Centre), 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179103, p. +65 6235 8840. Open daily 12pm – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm.
Mustard is Singapore’s first and only restaurant that specialises in Bengali and Punjabi fare – two cuisines that are said to be particularly sophisticated. As you might have guessed, mustard (their oil and seeds) is a crucial ingredient in this modest establishment, whether you’re having the Maacher Fish Cutlet with housemade fermented mustard sauce or Paneer Butter Masala. You will find a wide choice of biryanis (the Kolkata Special Chicken Biryani is a huge hit) as well as breads. The Bengal-style Radhabollobhi puffed bread with lentil stuffing is delicious, even better with a pint of chilled Indian lager. Read our review here.
Mustard is located at 32 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218552, Open Sun-Fri 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.45pm, Sat 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.45pm.
You might have heard of Muthu’s Curry, but for those who haven’t, it’s about time. Opened since 1969, these guys are best known for their exquisite red snapper Fish Head Curry (from $22), served with juicy okra and pineapple chunks in classic South Indian style. It’s the very dish that led the restaurant to win the Makansutra Award several times over, along with other crowd-favourites such as the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani ($16, available on weekends only) and heavenly Samosas ($6). Since then, the brand has evolved to three outlets in prime locations around town.
Located alongside the Singapore River, Maharajah preserves the traditional flavours of Northern Indian cuisine, serving up dishes by chefs who boast over 20 years of experience. Think dishes that you know and love, including the rich and creamy Butter Chicken and the succulent Raan-e-Maharajah (leg of lamb). Typically paired with crispy naan or fluffy basmati rice, these curries tantalize the palate with intense flavours and fragrant aromas. For a quick, hassle-free alternative to dining out, you could even Dial-A-Curry for a North Indian mouthful, delivered right to your doorstep! Did we mention that, having operated for more than 30 years, they are one of the oldest family-run establishments?
Don’t eat meat? Raj Restaurant is one of the best spots in town for Indian vegetarian fare, priding itself on authentic South and North Indian delicacies of the most wholesome standards – that means only healthy oils and zero MSG. The menu sees a homely assortment of Indian breads, curries, chaats, dosas, traditional desserts, and even rare Indian Chinese dishes like the Paneer Manchurian ($9.90) and Vegetable Momos ($7.90). Don’t forget to try their Thali ($11), a hearty combo vegetable meal that includes three types of vegetables, two chappatis, sambar gravy, and a special chutney.
Raj @ Farrer Park is located at 172 Race Course Road, #01-01 Soho@Farrer, Singapore 218605, p. +65 6297 1716. Open Sun-Thu 11am – 10.30pm. Raj @ Biopolis is located at 20 Biopolis Way, #01-03 Centros Block, Singapore 138668, p. +65 6478 9495. Open daily 11am – 10pm.
“Eat what you want, give what you feel.” is the mantra at Annalakshmi. This South Indian vegetarian buffet restaurant on Havelock Road has been operating for more than 30 years, and serves as the culinary arts branch of the Temple of Fine Arts. While run by volunteers, don’t think that the food served is of substandard quality. Rather, what you get are Brahmin-style dishes cooked from the heart and with the best of intentions, from Dhals and Paneer to Chutneys and Sambar. Pay as you wish (unless you’re doing take out), but remember to be fair for those who can’t afford it.
Annalakshmi is located at 20 Havelock Rd, #01-04, Central Square, Singapore 059765, p. +65 6339 9993. Open Tue-Sun 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9.30pm, Mon 11am – 3pm.
With eight outlets across India, and one each in the US and UK, there’s no doubt that Kailash Parbat, which began as a pani puri cart in Pakistan during the 1940s, has made it. The Singapore outlet at Hilton Garden Inn can get a bit chaotic during dinnertime, but that’s part of the charm, really. The menu is very large, so if you have to order just a few dishes, make it the Chole Bhatura ($11) – fluffy puri served with signature chickpea curry and Cheese Pav Bhaji ($12), a Mumbai potato curry topped with grated cheese.
Kailash Parbat is located at #01-03 Hilton Garden Inn, 3 Belilios Rd, Singapore 219924. Open daily 11am – 10.30pm.
Gokul is a Little India stalwart, favoured by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike for its top-notch North and South Indian vegetarian cuisine at reasonable prices. Plus, the mock meat here tastes just like the real thing. Despite it’s massive menu (there’s even a Nyonya section), most of the food is freshly prepared and customisable to your tastes. Dishes to try include the spicy ‘Sardine’ Curry Puff, creamy ‘Chicken’ Kurma, and the Soup Kambing with 20 different spices and soya mutton chunks.
Gokul is located at 19 Upper Dickson Rd, Singapore 207478, p. +65 6396 7769. Open daily 10.30am – 10pm.