Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > China & Southeast Asia >
Nov 10, 2007 08:42 PM

Best Indian in Singapore

Hey all--

I'm planning a 2 day trip to Singapore next week, and although I get great food in Jakarta, I really miss the selection of Indian. I'd like to get some suggestions about the best Indian places you can think of--either Northern Islamic style or South Indian Thali. I love both!



  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My personal favorite is Tandoor at the basement of Holiday Inn Parkview.

    1. I am sure there is more authentic Indian in Little India but if you're looking for a slightly more upscale experiece, Raj at Clarke Quay was great and the place wit the antique door aat boat Quay was also delicious.

      1. I'm looking for the real deal, and decidedly not upscale. I've been to Singapore before, and ate very well in Little India. I was jus hoping for some suggestions on places not to be missed. Thanks all!

        1. Anandabhavans on Serangoon is my favorite place for quick South Indian. They have amazing dosas and vadas. Komalas also does very good South Indian and you can take home dried snacks like masala peanuts and chevras.

          Apollo Banana Leaf is known for its fish head curry. I don't eat fish, but everyone in my family eats there. They also have very good biriyanis which is what I usually order (chicken, but mutton is also available). It's spicy, so if you can't handle spice, don't order. Mughals Hyderbadi Biriyani on Race Course Road is also very good. Jaggi's on Race Course Road has good North Indian food.

          8 Replies
          1. re: boogiebaby

            boogiebaby, thanks for the tips. I'm planning on checking out a few of those on my food crawl next week! I'll post a report afterwards about how it all went.

            Any more suggestions would be great...

            1. re: gaharu

              I'm Singaporean, a huge fan of Indian food, and I spend 3 mths each year in India. When I'm home for a quick Indian fix it has to be Little India.

              The following places are all found in Little India, addresses and contact at the end:

              Saravana Bhavan, a famous vegetarian chain from Chennai, has a branch in Singapore. It is decidedly better than many other homegrown South Indian chains.

              Sakunthala's Restaurant. My favourite all-around veg AND non-veg Indian restaurant. Good briyanis, good thalis, good South Indian dishes. Be sure to try the "chicken kothu" as well.

              Here's one place you'd only go to if a local took you: the oddly named 786 (Azmi) stall. It is found inside "Thye Chong Restaurant", at the junction of Serangoon Rd and Norris Rd. Best mutton keema and chapati since 1944, so fresh that they still get their ingredients from the flour mill a few storefronts away. Very, very good -- and also 'atmospheric' (as authentic a Singapore 'coffee shop' experience as you can get).

              There are a couple more places: check out this page here for more details. For disclosure's sake, I authored the following section.


              Outside of Little India, my favourite place is Mango Tree in East Coast Parkway. It specializes in coastal cuisine from Kerala, and I can vouch that it's as good as it gets. For that reason, do stick with the Keralan/Goan/other coastal cuisines. Crabs, prawns, fish, are all stunning. The meat items and northern indian items don't quite cut it. Pricier than all the above options: it is a 'proper' restaurant. Quite beautiful.

              1. re: skinnylatte

                skinnylatte--this is brilliant. To bad my trip is so short this time!

                1. re: skinnylatte

                  Hi skinnylatte: thanks for your recommendation. I went to Sakunthala's website and they claim to be Indian-Chinese fusion. Where is the Chinese influence as the menu is full of Indian names? I think I will try this place and maybe Mango Tree as well and will let you know what I think.

                  1. re: FourSeasons

                    This isn't the same Sakunthala's -- that's a different one :)

                    1. re: FourSeasons

                      FYI Indian-Chinese 'cuisine' (very popular in every part of India) is not really Chinese at all. Kind of like Chinese food in America; chopsuey, 'hakka noodles', etc (I'm Chinese and I've never heard of most of the items, and don't really like them :P). There are a few places in Singapore that are tryign the whole Indian Chinese thing right now. Not sure it works. But the Sakunthala's I mentioned is Sakunthala's Restaurant, not "food palace", and it is an authentic South Indian place on Dunlop Street.

                    2. re: skinnylatte

                      i, too, am headin' out to s'pore next week for ten days of gourmet pleasure (dining) . . . hope to find some authentic methi-chicken (super-hot) as well . . . i took note of your suggx, skinnylatte . . . thanks.

                  2. re: boogiebaby

                    Just had dahi puri at Ananda Bhavans on Serangoon. Delicious. Nearly on par with those in Mumbai. Will definitely be back frequently to sample the rest of their menu....

                  3. If money's no object, and you want to have the best Indian food experience in Singapore, try either Song of India (by Milind Sovani) or else Rang Mahal (by Manish Law) at the Pan Pacific Hotel. They are probably the 2 best Northern Indian chefs in Singapore.

                    For Southern Indian thalis, go to Little India. There are so many choices, but I like Saravana Bhavan and Madras New Woodlands.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: klyeoh

                      I have tried both Song of India and Rang Mahal. I was not as impressed as you were. I prefer Tandoor at Holiday Inn Parkview.

                      1. re: FourSeasons

                        Never really got the high end Indian dining thing -- just seems a bit much for what you get. Not just because it's Indian, but... I have my reservations on how good the food at Song of India or Rang Mahal really is.

                        There's also a place called Vansh. Mid-range classy Indian place. Not too pricey at all. Have not tried the food but apparently more than decent.

                        1. re: skinnylatte

                          well vansh is good, but The song of india food is the best. this is one restaurant which has done research on its food and has taken efforts to make it healthy and yet maintain its flavours.the presentation is beautiful and pleasing to the eyes. Their lucknavi food is outstanding. chef milind is immensely talented and i have met him several times, he is a man with passion and vision.

                          1. re: prabhat mitra

                            I totally have to disagree with you Prabhat Mitra. My job basically consists of me travelling alot, and thus trying new foods aswell as strong gastromic establishments. Vansh is really good for the price, and the atmosphere of it is one of the most ingenious i've ever seen (for an indian restaurant) it almost seems as though you are eating at Austin Powers bachelor pad from the 60s!

                            Now, interms of the "fine" dining establishments, I whole-heartedly disagree that Song of India is better. I've been to both Rang Mahal and Song of India, and was unimpressed in Song of India for the ambiance (which seems almost tired and drawn down) as well as for thier lack of originality in the food (yes even presentation wise). If you have not gone to Rang Mahal since the revamp, your eyes will simply feast (no pun intended). Not only has the whole restaurant got a revamp, but they also have southern indian food delicies that are as authentic as found in Little India (minus the grease, but with a heavy price tag too :))

                            Those are my two cents, Rang Mahal in my mind will always be the Indian Gastronomic Temple.

                            1. re: nicole77

                              I just had dinner at Vansh last weekend, and must say that I've finally found my favorite Indian restaurant in Singapore!
                              Vansh's tandoori turkey was the best thing I've tasted in a long, long while!! And their kulzza (a fusion of kulcha & pizza) was absolutely DELICIOUS! I simply must go back there again just to try it.
                              Vansh's tadka dhal was also delicious and much tastier than those I've tried in other high-end Indian places in Singapore.
                              Lastly, must commend their waiters - they are the friendliest & best-trained wait-staff in any top Indian restaurant I've been to here.

                              I agree that Rang Mahal is still THE most breathtakingly beautiful Indian restaurant in town, with really good food to match. But its prices are much higher than Vansh's. I guess you just have to pay more for classier ambience.

                              I'm still okay with Song of India. It's got the classical "French Michelin-star" restaurant look, which is unique amongst all Indian establishments in Singapore. The waiters can be inexplicably snooty in the beginning, but they soon warm up to you if you take the first step to be friendly & interactive to them. When I dined there 2 weeks ago, our waiter was from Dhaka & he was very genial, especially when I told him of the many wonderful Bengali restaurants I've tried in Dhaka. But I must say that prices at Song of India is astronomical. Most items n the menu are "per head", so you need to be careful when ordering - you need to tell the waiter you want a single portion. When I dined there the other night, they doubled all our orders since there were 2 of us, and we ended up paying nearly S$200 for a dinner which consisted of samosas, naans, half a tandoori chicken, yellow dhal, palak paneer, murgh makhani, plus 2 dessert items.

                              1. re: klyeoh

                                Rang Mahal and Song of India are acknowledged the two best for upscale indian.

                                Komala Villas and Saravana Bhavana are two south indian chains that serve superb southy food dirt cheap.

                                for Indian Chinese i like Fifth Heaven and Chopsticks on Race Course Road.

                                There's also an excellent South Indian vegetarian place .... about a block past Mustafa shopping center walking away from Serangoon Road. It's called Raj. It has a white sign with green letters. Great Chaat as well there.

                                1. re: Hot Chocolate

                                  Thanks for reminding me about Raj. When I first dined there with two German friends who're vegetarians, we ordered the Raj Kachori - a huge, colourful & very delicious chaat which I haven't found anywhere else in Little India. It was awesome!

                                2. re: klyeoh

                                  Was very unimpressed with Rang Mahal. Waiters were crude...unknowledgeble. Had a change of plates & cutlery so often that it seemed regimental. Looks like a Switch & Bait Policy. Ambience do not give a restaurant a right to charge exorbitant prices. FOOD is the core and everything compliments it. had to sign on chow hound to express opinion...Very disappointed ..Do not recommend this restaurant..Please.

                                  1. re: Pusing

                                    thanks for enrolling just to post opinion . . . same way i started with also.