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Dining Out 2 minutes 18 October 2017

Food Guide: Where to Go for Indian Food

From chicken tikka masala to palak paneer, briyani to garlic naan, here are 8 restaurants that serve excellent Indian food.

Deepavali Indian festival

Every year, the city comes alive in a kaleidoscope of colours, lights, sights and smells when thousands of revellers celebrate The Festival of Lights – known to the South Indians as Deepavali and Diwali to the north – which commemorates the triumph of the good over evil and light over darkness.

And even if you're not a practicing Hindu, there's no harm in joining in the fun and festivities the best way many of us know how: eat and be merry. Here's a list of Michelin-recommended restaurants that serves up excellent Indian food.

Spread of dishes, from tikka chicken marsala and butter chicken to briyani rice and naan
Spread of dishes, from tikka chicken marsala and butter chicken to briyani rice and naan
The Song of India
33 Scotts Road
Awarded: One Michelin Star

What our inspectors say:
You’ll soon forget the less-than-convenient location as you climb the few steps of this period bungalow and get your first glimpse of the restaurant. The stylish interior and Indian artwork add to its appealing feel. The menu features delicacies from across India and the kitchen uses traditional methods of preparation alongside more modern cooking styles. The ‘Song’s Art Palette’ allows you to try a number of dishes on a single platter.

Shish Mahal
Village Hotel Albert Court, #01-20, 180 Albert Street
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

What our inspectors say: Don’t be put off by the disconcertingly long menu at this modestly decorated Indian restaurant near the impressive Lasalle College of the Arts building, because the food is carefully prepared and full of flavour. Try the North Indian dishes like Mahal Ka butter chicken and the biryanis, or explore the Nepalese specialities such as momo. Vegetarians will also find they have much to savour, with dishes like reshmi saag paneer and gobi matar.

The beauty of Indian cuisine is in its tantalising combination of spices and aromas
The beauty of Indian cuisine is in its tantalising combination of spices and aromas
Zaffron Kitchen (East Coast)
135-137 East Coast Road
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

What our inspectors say: Housed in a modern building on a busy road, this bright, modern Indian bistro comes with metal framed chairs, exposed brick walls, old tiles and an open kitchen. While the look and the technology used are very 21st century – menus are presented on an iPad– the cooking is much more traditional, with dishes from the tandoor being particularly tasty. The restaurant is also family-friendly and comes with a small play area for children.

Lagnaa
6 Upper Dickson Road
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

What our inspectors say: It’s up the stairs and off with the shoes to eat at low-set tables in this popular Indian restaurant in the middle of Little India – although there are some regular tables on the ground floor if you prefer. The chef-owner serves dishes from all parts of the country, but you do get to decide yourself on the level of spiciness. Those who like their food particularly fiery can join the Chilli Challenge on full moon nights.

Skewers of marinated meats cooked in the tandoor
Skewers of marinated meats cooked in the tandoor
Rang Mahal
Pan Pacific Hotel, Level 3, 7 Raffles Boulevard

What our inspectors say: If you want plush without the fuss, consider this Indian restaurant on Level 3 of the Pan Pacific hotel – the double-height dining room is tastefully furnished, comfortable and contemporary. At lunch go with the flow by joining the dozens of business people here for the impressively bounteous buffet; dinner is the time to investigate the à la carte menu. The kitchen displays a respectful knowledge of the vast repertoire of Pan-Indian cuisine.

Anglo Indian
1 Shenton Way #01-08

What our inspectors say: If there’s one dish that customers should expect to find in a restaurant called Anglo Indian it’s chicken tikka masala – and sure enough it’s a firm favourite of many here at this simply decorated spot in the heart of the CBD. The dining room may seat only 20 but there’s a large outdoor terrace where everyone congregates for the well-priced cooking. Other popular choices include butter chicken and lamb dum biryani.

The beauty of Indian cuisine is in its embodiment of communal dining
The beauty of Indian cuisine is in its embodiment of communal dining
Shahi Maharani
Raffles City Shopping Centre, #03-21B, 252 North Bridge Road

What our inspectors say: Panels, paintings, sculptures and assorted ornaments help lend an appealingly authentic feel to this Indian restaurant in Raffles City. The menu covers all parts of India and includes dishes inspired by traditional street snacks as well as more sophisticated choices influenced by the kitchens of the maharajas. The best dishes are specialities from the more northerly parts of the country and these include dishes cooked in the tandoor.

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