Craving exotic flavours and lots of heat? Then sit down to a meal at some of Singapore’s best Indian restaurants to get your fill of dosas, curries, kebabs, paneer and naans
Looking for an Indian restaurant in Singapore to satisfy that craving for Indian food? Traditional Indian cuisine is based on the principles of Ayurveda, where its dishes revolve around six fundamental flavours: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. These flavours are brought to life with lots of spices, chilli, garlic and onions. However, Indian cuisine is also diverse, as each region, state, ethnic group and district in India has its own unique spin and flavour palette. Much of India’s regional cuisine can be found in Singapore, and you can opt to have your Indian meal delivered to your doorstep, or make a reservation at one of these Indian restaurants instead.
Psst! Also check out our kid-friendly cheat sheet when ordering Indian food for the kiddos!
North Indian food is king at Shahi Maharani, which draws inspiration from the time of India’s mightiest Maharajas. Elegant, cultural decor and lush interiors are combined with quintessential dishes from India’s plains, mountains and palaces of old – a combination that has won the restaurant multiple awards and accolades over the years. To dine here is to take a journey through India’s cultural heritage. The best way to enjoy a meal here is to splurge on Shahi Maharani’s weekday a la carte buffet ($62++ per person), where you’ll find indulgent dishes such as Murgh Malai Tikka, Tandoori Lamb Chops, Rogan Josh and other seafood, poultry, meat and vegetable varieties.
Shahi Maharani Restaurant, 252 North Bridge Road, Raffles City Shopping Centre, #03-21B, Singapore 179103, www.shahimaharani.com
Anjappar is known for its Chettinad cuisine offerings. This type of cuisine stems from the Southern Indian Chettinad region, which is known for its use of sun-dried meats and salted vegetables. The dishes on the menu here are made using a variety of spices and freshly ground masala powders. Must-tries here include the Chettinad Chicken Masala and the Chettinad Platter.
Anjappar Indian Restaurant, 76 Race Course Road, Singapore 218575, Tel: (+65) 6296 5545, www.anjappar.com.sg
This Indian restaurant is simple, but the service is friendly. Choose from the large, made-to-order menu or pick your dishes from the display showcase, and the waiters will bring it to your table. While it primarily specialises in South Indian plates, you can also opt for tandoori dishes, North Indian must-haves and Schezwan cuisine – check out other Schezwan dining options below.
Arunachala Bhavan, 40 Race Course Road, Singapore 218556, Tel: (+65) 6291 6544, www.arunachalabhavan.com
Schezwan cuisine (yes, that is the correct spelling!) is the highlight here! It’s also known as Chindian or Indian-Chinese cuisine, and is a unique Indian approach to Sichuan cuisine. However, the flavours do not resemble traditional Sichuan food. By default, most dishes are served with generous amounts of gravy, although you can order them “dry” (without gravy). This Indian restaurant offers delivery, dine-in, takeaways and catering options. Wondering what to order at Copper Chimney? Read our full review here!
Copper Chimney, Multiple locations, www.copperchimney.com.sg
Flying Monkey sets itself apart by its hip location on Bussorah Street. On weekends, the atmosphere is lively and fun, and when combined with their super interesting cocktail menu, this restaurant truly sets itself apart from the usual players. We can’t get enough of the Galouti Kebabs here but also try the Truffle Naan, Kurkuri Bhindi (okra), the Mustard Ghobi (cauliflower) and the Jalebi for dessert!
Flying Monkey, 67/68 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199480, Tel: (+65) 6291 0695, www.flyingmonkey.sg
Chindian food dominates the menu at this unique Indian restaurant along East Coast Road. Common terms you’ll find on its Schezwan menu include Chilli, which are batter-fried foods cooked with chilli peppers; Manchurian, which comes with a sweet, salty brown sauce; and Schezwan, a spicy, red sauce that is made from Indian red chillies and garlic. Some of the names of the menu items might make you laugh, but favourites include Sweet Corn Chicken soup, Chilli Chicken (or chilli paneer!), Vegetable Manchurian and American Chop Suey noodles. Call in advance to book a table.
Indian Wok, 695B East Coast Road, Singapore 459059, Tel: (+65) 6448 2003, www.indianwok.com.sg
Come for the grilled chicken and naans, stay for everything else at this affordable, casual restaurant. Dishes are premade on display the counter – just choose what you want and pay. Pair your naans and rotis with an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes (think Khadai Paneer, Rajma Masala, Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala), before washing it all down with a cold glass of sweet or salted Lassi (yogurt) or opt for a steaming cup of milk tea or chai.
Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine, Multiple locations, www.jaggis.com.sg
There’s plenty to tuck into at this casual Indian restaurant, but the show-stealer is Kailash Parbat’s variety of chaats – a type of fried, puffed dough or crispy shells stuffed with assorted ingredients. It’s one of India’s most popular street snacks, but this Indian restaurant classes it up plenty with elegant platings and lots of colour. There are at least 17 types of chaats on the menu and each serving is meant to be shared. If you can’t decide which ones to try, go for the Chaat Platter and pair that with an excellent cup of Bombay Cutting Chai.
Kailash Parbat, Multiple locations, www.kailashparbat.com.sg
Vegetarian food is a major aspect of South Indian cuisine, which is generally based around rice, lentils and various stews. One of Singapore’s oldest vegetarian Indian restaurants, Komala Vilas is one of Little India’s top spot for cheap and scrumptious classics. The menu is filled with dosa varieties, idli (fluffy rice cakes) and idiyappam (string hoppers) sets, vegetable briyani, as well as starters like vadai and samosas. There’s also a selection of Andhra meals (another variation of South Indian cuisine) and chappati.
Komala Vilas, Multiple locations, www.komalavilas.com.sg
There are two ways to eat at this 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand winner: Sit (with your shoes on) at the wooden dining tables downstairs or take off your shoes and head upstairs, where you’ll dine cross-legged on the floor. What makes dining here unique is that you control just how spicy you want your food to be. There are several heat levels to choose from; simply ask your waiter for recommendations if your spice threshold isn’t too high. Brave spice lovers can try the Chilli Challenge: Finish the Level 6 curry to garner an invite to Lagnaa’s monthly Full Moon Party Chilli Challenge. Alternatively, go all out and finish a full portion of Level 10 curry. We’ve tried it and we warn you, no amount of milk will help ease the pain, but if you finish it, you’ll walk away with $10,000.
Lagnaa Barefoot Dining, 6 Upper Dickson Road, Singapore 207466, Tel: (+65) 6296 1215, www.lagnaa.com
Indian coastal cuisine is one delicious South Indian highlight to explore. It is typically made with lots of coconut and coconut oil. And while you might think it’s a showcase of seafood, Indian coastal cuisine includes plenty in terms of vegetarian and meat options, too. At The Mango Tree, you must try the Appams (similar to Sri Lankan hoppers), along with the Koliwada Prawns, Allepey Fish Curry and the Kerala Mutton. While it’s a great stop for dinner, they also have a daily lunch buffet.
The Mango Tree, 91 East Coast Road, Singapore 428791, Tel: (+65) 6440 1285 or (+65) 64401286, www.themangotree.com.sg
MTR is a famous Bangalore-based restaurant chain offering a scrumptious variety of South Indian dishes such as idli (your kids can try the mini ones!), dosas and Medu Vadai. You can also find a number of unique specialities here such as Pongal, Bisibele Bhath, and the famous Filter Coffee. This super-casual eatery does not take reservations and gets very busy on weekends; waiting times can be long and the queuing system is haphazard to say the least, but know that your patience will be well rewarded.
MTR, 438 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218133, Tel: (+65) 6296 5800, www.mtrsingapore.com
This budget South Indian restaurant is an old timer on Little India‘s dining scene and offers some of the yummiest ghee dosa, idli, uttapam and vadais in town. The coconut chutney, groundnut and tomato chutneys that accompany these dishes are finger-licking good. This Indian restaurant doesn’t take reservations and can have long wait times on the weekend.
Murugan Idli Shop, 76 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207655. Tel: (+65) 6298 0858, www.muruganidlishop.com
North Indian food reigns supreme at this cosy eatery. Wallet-friendly Mustard offers Bengali and Punjabi food with unique dishes such as Luchi (a delicious fried bread the kids will love!), ‘wow-factor’ prawn curry served in a coconut, and a number of delicious Bengali mutton and fish dishes you won’t find anywhere else in Singapore. The restaurant is small and slightly cramped, but they take reservations. Islandwide delivery is also an option if you’re looking to enjoy their dishes at home.
Mustard, 32 Race Course Road, Singapore 218552, Tel: (+65) 6297 8422, www.mustardsingapore.com
A longstanding favourite in Singapore’s Indian restaurant scene – and a 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winner, Muthu’s Curry is known and loved for its signature fish curry. The recipe is one that has been passed down through the generations of the owners’ family, and the chefs here use a secret spice mix that gives the dish its unique flavour and a fiery kick. Modern interiors aside, there’s an open kitchen within so you can watch the action, too.
Muthu’s Curry, Multiple locations, www.muthuscurry.com
Punjab Grill relives the splendour of India’s Maharajas of old with its stunning modern design and appetising North Indian menu. Take your tastebuds on a trip through the Punjab region with dishes from India’s popular gourmet cities such as Rawalpindi, Amritsar, Patiala and Lahore. There are several menus to choose from, each filled with dishes like Tandoori Prawns, Palak Paneer, Butter Chicken and desserts like Kulfi and Gulab Jamun. There’s a private dining area in this fine-dining Indian restaurant, too, if you’re looking to throw an intimate dinner party.
Punjab Grill, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-01A, Singapore 018972, Tel: (+65) 6688 7395, www.punjabgrill.com.sg
This fine-dining elegant Indian restaurant serves up the best of North Indian cuisine. Rang Mahal has won plenty of awards over the years, and offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian picks. Sink your teeth into meaty creations like the Dhuwandaar Lamb Chops or Nawabi Chicken or opt for lighter bites like the Chowpatty Sliders, Maharashtrian Thecha Bhindi and Rang Mahal’s Signature Dhal Makni.
Rang Mahal, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Level 3, Singapore 039595, Tel: (+65) 6333 1788, www.rangmahal.com.sg
Tucked away in a black-and-white heritage bungalow, The Song of India is Singapore’s only Indian restaurant with a Michelin star. The menu here is extensive, and you can look forward to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. In addition to Northern Indian dishes, The Song of India also celebrates Southern Indian cuisine and signature Indian breads such Roomali Roti (a handkerchief-thin flatbread), naans, appams, kulchas and more.
**Do note that The Song of India is temporarily closed for renovations.
The Song of India, 33 Scotts Road, Singapore 228226, www.thesongofindia.com
Andhra cuisine – native to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – is one of the spiciest types of South Indian food, and the dishes at Sri Kumbhakarna do not disappoint. Tuck into Andhra flavours such as the Nattu Kodi Pulusu (country chicken curry). Vegetarians will find plenty to satisfy here, too, with popular options like the Vegetarian Thali meal set and the Gutthi Vankaya Masala (brinjal curry).
Sri Kumbhakarna, Multiple locations, www.srikumbhakarna.com
Progressive cooking techniques and whimsical revamps are what define Modern Indian cuisine. While traditional Indian flavours are still the main highlight, you’ll find it blended with influences from other cultures, prepared with other cooking techniques and even plated differently or served tapas-style. Thevar is one such on-trend restaurant serving up modern Indian flavours “by way of the Malay Peninsula,” according to Penang-born chef Manogren Thevar. What that means, in essence, is that the dishes on offer also include plenty of Malaysian flavours. The small plates at this modern Indian restaurant and grill change often, with creative concoctions such as the Fermented Mango Lassi and Chili with Irish Oyster, Chettinad Chicken Roti and Wing-stuffed Foie Gras Briyani. There are plenty of Indian-inspired cocktails, too – ask the friendly waiters what’s on the menu the day before ordering.
Thevar, 9 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089117, Tel: (+65) 6904 0838, www.thevar.sg
A luxe, fine-dining space at the Raffles Hotel, Tiffin Room offers authentic North Indian specialities that are served in a tiffin box. Each dish is made with freshly ground spices, and Chef Kuldeep Negi can also cater for those who require vegan or Jain dishes. Favourites here include, but aren’t limited to, the Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh, Lucknow Murgh Briyani, Tandoori Roti and desserts such as the Gazar Halwa and Kesar Rasmalai.
Tiffin Room, Grand Lobby, Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673, Tel: (+65) 6412 1816, www.raffles.com/singapore/dining/tiffin-room
Yantra, with chef Hemant Oberoi at the helm, is a very popular North Indian dining restaurant here in Singapore. They have a great lunch buffet option and a fine dining dinner menu. There are some really interesting dishes to try here such as Dhansak, Salli Boti (both Parsi dishes), Tandoori Avocado and some delicious biryanis, but be prepared for a food coma afterwards!
Yantra, 163 Tanglin Road, #01-28 Tanglin Mall, Singapore 247933, Tel: (+65) 6836 3088, www.yantra.com.sg
If you’re still on the hunt for Indian restaurants for date night, family dinners or a day out with your friends, then consult this list for more options:
Anandha Bhavan Vegetarian Restaurant
Anglo Indian Cafe & Bar
The Banana Leaf Apolo
The Curry Culture
Haldhi Restaurant & Bar
Karu’s Banana Leaf Restaurant
Khansama Tandoori Restaurant
Madras New Woodlands Restaurant
Ras The Essence of India