PEr FYI

October 8, 2017

Gordhan Thal, Ahmedabad…. U.N.L.I.M.I.T.E.D. .T.H.A.L.I

Gujarati thali, a vegetarian assortment native to the western state of Gujarat, is a round tray covered with dishes. The dishes’ names thrillingly alien to me and half the time I’ve no idea what they are. Jainism in Gujarat means that the state is mostly vegetarian. If you are a meat lover don’t let the evil veg word scare you as the dishes are incredibly flavourful.

The flavours were compelling and unfamiliar. Some of them, on first bite, seemed a bit blah: and your taste buds need to acclimatize.

I got the very real sense that I am enjoying the hospitality of talented Gujarati home cooks, without needing to be invited into actual Gujarati homes. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 26, 2017

Muthu’s Curry, Singapore…tikka chance on this restaurant

Some like it hot, some are born to be mild, but everyone loves a decent curry.

I wouldn’t say that their menu is any better than any other top end Indian restaurant. And the likelihood is that there are fancier, more haute cuisine Indian restaurants in town. If you like the traditional dishes you can find them all here.

The biryani rice – fragrant basmati rice cooked with cashew nuts – was tasty and the squid sambal – prepared in a based of chilli and tomatoes, delicious. Just thinking of the wildly luxurious butter chicken – bbq chicken pieces in rich gravy topped with a dash of cream and home churned butter gets me salivating. The serious good dish is the simple but glorious calamari rings. You end up with a well-spiced, rich-tasting plateful of breaded calamari rings fried and served with a dash of paprika. Do not miss it.

I am addicted to the butter chicken, even though I suspect it is clogging my arteries as we speak. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 25, 2017

Meat the porkers, Kuala Lumpur…Curry-philes can’t stay away

Sometimes you just get a craving for pig, and a measly couple of pork chops won’t cut it. For those hoping for a more unusual take on pork, Meat the Porkers is a tasting of several different kinds of pork, Indian style.

The luscious butter pork will rock your world. With the sauce, a wildly luxurious, deep, caramelized flavor, the dish is opulent. The pork tenderloin biryani was disappointingly dry and ordinary, although I have been told, after-that dinner, that the siew yoke biryani is the absolute must-try. Looks like I gotta make another trip there again.

This is the pork of the town! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 4, 2017

Samy’s Curry, Singapore…curry fish head is not going to blow your mind, but you won’t be disappointed

While Singapore’s Indian food scene is typically associated with a hub of Indian restaurants in Little India area, there are other spots that can hold their own.

What this no-frills eatery in Dempsey lacks in atmosphere it makes up for with cooking. Quite old school in its touches, Samy’s Curry is deservedly popular.

There are the traditional items – chicken masala, etc – but for something different, try the butter chicken and biryanis.  Worth mentioning is the curry fish head with its delightfully delicate meat that only Singapore gourmets and American cats know much about. It’s not going to blow your mind, but you won’t be disappointed while the still-warm freshness of the popadoms and naan breads provides the icing on the cake. Wash it down with an Indian-style thick lassi to balance out the heat.

Some like it hot, some are born to be mild, but everyone loves a decent curry. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

samy's sin

November 19, 2016

Bombay Dreams, Hong Kong…I devour everything, and all but lick the plate clean

Reviewing Indian food is particularly tricky: not only are there countless regional variations, but their styles also range widely from dishevelled curry houses to high-end Michelin-starred spots.

Housed on the 4th floor in a building on Wyndham Street, Hong Kong Michelin Gourmand 2017 Bombay Dreams makes an immediate impression. The food has no problem living up to it either; high quality ingredients and intricate spicing lead to elegantly presented dishes that boast pleasantly contrasting flavours and textures.

Among the best choices: sweet potato cheese roll, samosa, chicken with yogurt and cream. The tender melt-in-your-mouth galouti lamb is the greatest hit, so that I devour everything, and all but lick the plate clean.

Be prepared for large prices and less large portions, though. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 24, 2016

Dishoom, London…mouth-enhancing bacon naan roll

Normally I wouldn’t rock up at an Indian restaurant when I am in London where tandoori is now the national dish, but as the cliche goes: there’s always a first time.

Dishoom in Covent Garden lies in close proximity to Palace Theatre where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently being staged. It is a casual restaurant with elegant painted brickwork, brightly coloured tiles, artefacts of persia and India on the walls, marble-topped tables, wall mirrors, trendy, discreet lighting and tinny music playing somewhere.

The menu is reassuringly short. The breakfast thrill is the bacon naan roll – a crispy smoked streaky bacon from The Ginger Pig which has been dry-cured for five days is wrapped in a freshly baked naan smothered in chili tomato jam and fresh herbs. For good measure, I added on an egg and then greddily devoured it. Messing with a classic is a bold move but there are few things in the world more genius than this dish. It is a little lighter and fresher than the sometimes heavy traditional British bacon roll and I would take it over the British equivalent of bacon butty anyday. I also particuarly like the bottomless glass of house chai (Indian-style tea). It is a great way to start your day in London.

Fun. Tasty. Go. Enjoy. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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