When great grub packed with bold flavours and heat levels that register on the Scoville scale are required, there’s only one solution: Indian cuisine. Lucky for us Singapore has a plethora of Indian restaurants serving up superb subcontinental eats. From fancy restaurants offering contemporary takes on classic Indian dishes to laid-back spots where you can grab traditional vegetarian and non-veg eats, here are some of our favourite Indian spots to indulge in downright delicious curries, kormas, tikkas, tandoori dishes, naans, and more. Pass the poppadoms!
Fusion dishes are the focus at Meatsmith Little India, a cool spot that combines American BBQ with Indian spices and sauces. We’re obsessed with the butter chicken hot pockets stuffed with paneer cheese, deep fried, roasted in the tandoori oven, and served with a dreamy butter chicken dipping sauce. Be sure to check out the spiffy bar upstairs called Rogue Trader where you can grab Indian whiskies and beers along with dishes from the restaurant.
Meatsmith Little India, 21 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209894. p. +65 9625 9056. Open Wed – Fri 5pm – 11:30pm, Sat – Sun 11:30am – 11:30pm
Punjab Grill constantly rakes in the awards for its elegant interiors and excellent royal-inspired Punjabi cuisine by chef Jiggs Kalra. The kebabs are out of this world with options like the khaam khatai galouti, tandoori duck, and roasted chicken cured in a herbal marinade. If you really want the royal treatment, go for the five-course or ten-course menu so you can try a wide variety of tantalising culinary creations.
Punjab Grill, 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands #B1-01A, Singapore 018972. p. +65 6688 7395. Open daily 11:30am – 3pm, 6:30pm – 11pm
Everything about Rang Mahal oozes class from the sleek dining room to the polished service and the beautifully presented plates. The menu features a great range of traditional dishes alongside modern creations. Start with the tandoori fondue with grilled chicken kebabs and garlic naan cubes with a cheese tomato makhni dipping sauce, then move on to mains like the black lentil dal slow cooked for 48 hours and the tender lamb rogan josh.
Rang Mahal, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Pan Pacific Singapore Level 3, Singapore 039595. p. +65 6333 1788. Open daily 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Tandoor has been around for ages and consistently draws in the crowds for its delish traditional dishes from across India. Must-tries include the unique mango curry from the Mangalore region, the crab masala cooked in coconut milk, and the Kerala style spiced fish wrapped in a banana leaf and chargrilled. The dinner sets with wine pairings are great value and allow you to try a range of tasty dishes.
Tandoor, 11 Cavenagh Road, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, Singapore 229616. p. +65 6733 8333. Open daily 12pm – 2:30pm, 7pm – 10:30pm
The Song of India
Housed in a beautiful black and white heritage bungalow, The Song of India is a swish Michelin-starred spot to indulge in modern Indian creations. There are plenty of places to settle including the stylish main dining room, outdoor patio, and two private rooms. Both vegetarians and meat eaters are catered to with an ever-changing menu that showcases fresh seasonal ingredients amped up with Indian spices.
The Song of India, 33 Scotts Road, Singapore 228226. p. +65 6836 0055. Open daily 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm
Yantra by Hemant Oberoi
Not so long ago Yantra underwent a total transformation with the introduction of celebrity chef Hemant Oberoi to helm the kitchen. Now this chic space is a temple of modern Indian cuisine with inventive dishes that you’re not likely to find elsewhere. Take for example the paneer lal mirch, an intriguing red chilli flavoured grilled cottage cheese, or the asparagus lobsters tellicherry with garlic peppercorn and coconut milk.
Yantra by Hemant Oberoi, 163 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Mall #01-28/33, Singapore 247933. p. +65 6836 3088. Open daily 12pm – 3pm, Mon – Fri 6:30pm – 10pm, Sat – Sun 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Many locals will tell you that Bismillah serves the best mutton dum biryani in the city, and after tasting it you’ll probably agree. Michelin certainly thought it was good enough to earn the eatery a Bib Gourmand. Owner Arif Salahuddin uses only the highest quality basmati rice and cooks the meat in the same pot as the rice so that all of the juices and spices are absorbed into the grains. Be sure to get in early before they run out.
Bismillah, 50 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209379. p. +65 9382 7937. Open Wed – Mon 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9pm
Craving a curry in Rob Quay? Dabbawalla is your spot. The focus here is on Mumbai street food snacks and classic Indian dishes with contemporary twists. Whet your appetite with a few small plates like the onion bhajis and Punjabi samosas, then dive right into the curries with options like the fiery chicken tikka masala and the cardamom-spiced keema matar curry with minced lamb and peas.
Dabbawalla, 60 Robertson Quay Unit 10/11, Singapore 229457. p. +65 6235 6134. Open Mon – Fri 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat – Sun 11:45am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
You gotta love places that do things a bit differently. Flying Monkey puts a modern spin on the traditional Indian restaurant with a cool and casual space that offers up tapas style plates and craft cocktails. We’re currently crushing on the Goa Mama Lassi with vodka, dark rum, passion fruit, mango, yoghurt and milk. The masala fries and chilli poppers are also a treat.
Flying Monkey, 67/68 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480. p. +65 6291 0695. Open Tues – Sun 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11pm
Part of a chain of restaurants that spreads from Mumbai to Canada and beyond, Kailash Parbat is a solid spot to chow down on snacks like chaats and samosas, plus popular North and South Indian mains. Take some time to peruse the menu because it has a staggering array of eats including paratha, biryani, chole batura, and paneer tikka to name just a few. They even have a few Western and Chinese dishes thrown in for good measure.
Kailash Parbat, 3 Belilios Road, Hilton Garden Inn #01-03, Singapore 219924. p. +65 6836 5545. Open daily 11am – 10:30pm
Originally hailing from Bangalore, the Singapore branch of MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room) doesn’t have a huge menu, but the few dishes on offer are pure perfection. The dosas are to die for with liberal dousings of ghee that make them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Try the masala dosa made with rice flour and black lentils and stuffed with spiced potatoes. Yum!
MTR, 438 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218133. p. +65 6296 5800. Open Tues – Sun 8:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Little India is chock-a-block with eateries offering South Indian cuisine, but Mustard steps outside the box with vibrant Bengali and Punjabi dishes. The curries are particularly epic with options like the chingri maacher malai curry with plump prawns in a creamy gravy served in a green coconut. Pair it with the kulchas flat bread stuffed with onions, spices and either paneer or chicken, and you’ve got a meal fit for a maharaja.
Mustard, 32 Race Course Road, Singapore 218552. p. +65 6297 8422. Open Sun – Fri 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10:45pm, Sat 11:30am – 4pm, 6pm – 10:45pm
Opened in 1950, Samy’s is a stalwart of the Singapore Indian dining scene. This no-frills, family-run spot serves up ginormous portions of rice, veggies, and curries on banana leaves. The signature dish to try is the fish head curry with a whole snapper head in a rich, spicy gravy. The biryani sets are also super pocket-friendly and include two vegetables, gravy, and bottomless pappadums.
Samy’s Curry, 25A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249670. p. +65 6472 2080. Open daily Wed – Mon 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Saravanaa Bhavan made our list of best places to take an out-of-towner because the dosas here are so damn good and make for the perfect authentic Indian breakfast experience. There are tons of options to choose from including onion and chilli, paneer, curry, and the ghee roast masala. Wash it down with a mango lassi, almond milkshake, or a cup of masala tea.
Saravanaa Bhavan, 84 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207633. p. +65 6297 0770. Open Mon – Fri 9am – 9pm, Sat – Sun 9am – 10:30pm