Little India is one of the few neighbourhoods in Singapore that seems to run on its own energy.
Unlike the city’s ever-changing skyscrapers and landscape, the vibrant area refuses to give way, retaining its own culture, a wondrous mix of traditional cuisine from South Asia, and of course, iconic landmarks like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
Sure, there are tons of establishments that play host to the diverse range of Indian cuisine around the area, but others have set up shop in the ethnic enclave to add to its diversity. Read on for the ultimate dining guide to Little India.
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If there’s one biryani stall we recommend anyone to head to, it’d definitely be Bismillah Biryani. The aromatic, fluffy basmati rice, fall-off-the bone mutton and a much-needed bowl of tart raita on the side to beat the spicy peppers — we’re drooling just at the thought of it. Not convinced enough? We’ve dedicated an entire article to it here.
Chef Naleendra pays homage to his Sri Lankan heritage with the opening of Kotuwa, a modern, casual restaurant located along the fringe of Little India. Here, expect a neat selection of Sri Lankan staples like kottu rotti and dallo baduma, all best had with a handcrafted cocktail or two.
It’s easy to miss Meatsmith Little India if you don’t know where to look. Tucked away in a corner shophouse along Campbell Lane, the cosy diner is replete with big barbeque meats that they do so very well. Here, you’ll find its dishes elevated with Indian spices that differentiate the locale from its Telok Ayer branch, such as the Crab & Tobiko Biryani and the Spiced Madras Pork Cheeks. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, we recommend a serving of the Smoked Cauliflower — it’s served with a beautiful Tomato Cashew Relish that adds a ton of flavour to the vegetable.
Banana Leaf Apolo is one of the most popular diners in the area. The simply decorated locale serves up a whole menu of dishes, including popular plates like the tender Chicken Masala and Garlic Naan, all at incredibly affordable prices. If you’re wondering where it got its name, yes, you get to feast on food straight off freshly cut banana leaves too.
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Not many establishments can withstand the test of time, but Komala Vilas Restaurant surely proves us wrong. The family-run diner has been in operation since 1947, is are best known by regulars for their simple, hearty meals. The Ghee Masala Dosai is a great way to fend off the hunger pangs, but if you’re still feeling peckish, the Chappathi Meal, complete with three flatbreads served an array of vegetables curry and sides, will definitely hit the spot.
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Explore the six ayurvedic flavours of Indian cuisine (that’s sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, sour, astringent and chilli, if you didn’t already know) at Lagnaa Barefoot Dining. Guests can choose to dine with chairs on the restaurant’s ground floor, but we’d rather spend time barefoot, sitting on the wooden floor on the second level. As for recommendations, the mouthwatering threadfin fish curry and creamy palak paneer remain some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.
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