Today we had lunch at Anjappar Authentic Chettinaad Restaurant which is one of the many Indian restaurants located along Race Course Road. One of our lunch kakis suggested that we try the dum briyani here which he thinks is the best biryani in Singapore.
The best place in Singapore for Indian food has to be the Little India area. If you are not sure about which particular type of Indian cuisine or which restaurant to pick, we suggest you take a stroll up the 200 metre stretch of Race Course Road starting from the junction of Kerbau Road near the Little India MRT station. Here you can browse and check out the restaurants, some of which are arguably the best Indian restaurants in Singapore. As the competition is stiff, you will also find that the prices here are usually quite reasonable.
Anjappar restaurant serves authentic Chettinaad cuisine. This is cuisine from the Chettinaad area of the Tamil Nadu state in Southern India. We are told that the food from this region is known for its sophisticated use of spices and refinement. One notable aspect of their curries is that coconut milk is not used. We noticed in the course of our lunch that, consequently, the curry had a ‘purer’ taste and were not so heavy.
The restaurant is nicely laid out with a modern decor. The large floor to ceiling glass walls let in a lot of light into the place with the wooden paneling providing a warm feel to the dining area. We were welcomed by a pile of large, freshly made papadams. We left the ordering to our biriyani expert who ended up ordering a big spread of dishes. The fish tikka was our first dish. The fish was fresh firm and coated with a fragrant seasoning.
The highlight was of course the chicken and mutton dum biryani . The “dum”, we are told, means that the respective meats were cooked within the rice (as compared to being inserted into the rice after cooking). We were pleasantly surprised by how aromatic the biriyani was when it arrived. The taste was also different from the usual nasi biryani that we are used to. The chicken was still tender and moist after the cooking. The mutton pieces were small but we were glad that they were not gamey at all.
As the biryani would be a bit dry when eaten by themselves, we ordered a selection of chicken, lamb and vegetable curries. A vegetarian set meal was also ordered for one of the ordinary patrons who was not meat-eating on that day. It looked so interesting with so many small sauces and condiments that we thought we would come try it one day.
In the end, we over-ate (as usual). The last thing we ordered was some ginger tea and masala tea. They were served in twin cup sets with which you are expected to make your own teh tarik. That brought the meal to a sweet and delightful (and slightly messy) ending. We highly recommend the Anjappar Restaurant for its Chettinaad style of Indian food. We suggest you come in a group so that more dishes can be sampled. Another tip – do not wear an expensive shirt if you are going to try making teh tarik for the first time. The damage to the wallet for all that was about $20 per person. Best biryani in Singapore? To be honest we have not tried enough of biryani to make the call, but we think it would certainly be one of the contenders for the title.
Food : 4
Value : 3
Atmosphere : 3
Overall Rating : 3 TOPs
76 Race Course Road
Tel: 6296 5545
#Street Fact – Race Course Road once served the old racecourse at Farrer Park, or the Serangoon Road Race Course, which was built in 1842 by the Singapore Sporting Club (now known as Singapore Turf Club).