Indian cuisine in itself is a vast and sweeping term that embraces in its fold varied sub-cuisines worthy of a unique identity each. From North Indian and Mughlai to South Indian and North-Eastern, the cuisines all have distinct characteristics, bound together as one in India. Singapore has a vast range of Indian restaurants, most of them with ample vegetarian options. But while on the one hand, Indian food can be the go-to cusine for vegetarians (and for the gluten free), it is often trickier to find Indian vegan options because of the rampant use of ghee in preparing the food. So, while we work on finding the best vegan Indian food in Singapore, here is some of our favourite, top-notch North Indian Vegetarian Food in Singapore.
Head to these 8 Top Restaurants for Mid-Range North-Indian Vegetarian Food in Singapore, and dig into lip smacking Indian delicacies without burning too big a hole in your pocket. The list of North Indian restaurants in Singapore is quite daunting, so here we stick to the ones we have tried ourselves.
One of the popular hangouts in Holland Village, Kinara is a cosy Indian restaurant that offers good and authentic North-Indian food, with accents and interiors that we love. They have hordes of options for vegetarians, and their list of Naans is never-ending. If you’re wondering whether to order the Tandoori Gobi (aka cauliflower) or the Reshmi Paneer Tikka to start, save yourself the trouble of deciding and go for the Tandoori Khazana, which is a platter of tandoori starters that is quite good. For mains, recommended dishes include Dal Makhani, Palak Paneer and Kadhai Paneer. If you’ve never tried Missi Roti (roti with gram flour), give it a try here. And if you fancy something that isn’t on the menu, inquire, because they even offer to cook non-menu items for you. There are other branches, but we’ve only dined at Kinara @ Holland V.
Kinara: They have 4 locations, one each at Holland Village, The East, Boat Quay and Changi Business Park. Get details here.
Mustard is Singapore’s first and only restaurant that serves Bengali and Punjabi cuisine – so you can try a melange of East Indian and North Indian flavours here. Mustard celebrates the spice that ties both the Indian cuisines together, mustard. We always wonder why Mustard doesn’t feature in “top-Indian” lists as we find the food here to be quite good, authentic and easy on the pocket.
With aplenty enjoyable vegetarian options on the menu, popular snacks include the Bengali Hinger Kochuri ar Cholar Dal (Puffed bread with a delicate filling of black gram & asafoetida, served with split-pea lentils), Koraishutir Kochuri ar aloo torkari (flaky, melt in the mouth bread with a spicy green pea filling, served with potato curry), Kalibadi Chop (Bengali potato chop with a spicy pea filling) and Haryali Tawa Paneer. If you’re craving some authentic Punjabi food, it doens’t get more Punjabi than Mustard’s Sarson da Saag te Makki di Roti – also, one of our favourite dishes here. For something offbeat, try the Punjabi Baingan da Bharta (Spiced eggplant roasted in a clay oven, then sautéed with onions and tomatoes) or the Bengali Doi Dharos (lady’s finger cooked in a yoghurt base with raisins and Bengali spices). Mustard also has a wide selection of desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
Mustard: 32 Race Course Road, Singapore 218552. P. 6297 8422
3. Zaffron Kitchen
Zaffron Kitchen has two outlets serving local delicacies along with Indian – we frequent the Westgate outlet, a lot. But we hear that the East Coast outlet has a play area for kids, so we might be changing loyalties soon. Zaffron Kitchen at Westgate is always brimming at lunch time, thanks to the value-for-money Set Lunch (S$15). Personal favourites include the Pao Baji (be warned that they massively overcharge for extra pao) and the Chef’s Sampler for 2 (S$13.5) which comes with a medley of signature chaats including Papdi Chaat, Bhel Puri, Mixed Pakoda – we love all 3. Also quite good is the Masala Kulcha (S$5) – on occasion, I’ve enjoyed this with the Masala Chai (overpriced but amongst the best in town) for a light lunch. If you’re going for a-la-carte, our favourites here include the creamy Dal Makhani (S$12.5), Jaipuri Vegetable and Methi Malai Matter (Green peas cooked with fenugreek in cashew nuts gravy). Kids love the Cheese Naan. Wrap up the meal on a sweet note with Moong Dal Halwa (A warm, rich and buttery dessert of lentils, milk, butter and sugar, served with a touch of Mövenpick’s vanilla ice cream and roasted pistachios, S$8).
Zaffron Kitchen: 135/137 East Coast Road, Singapore 428820. P: +65 6440 6786
Zaffron Kitchen: Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, #01-20, Singapore 608532. P: +65 6465 9880
4. Riverwalk Tandoor
Around since 1998, Riverwalk Tandoor serves good North Indian food. Although we wouldn’t rate it as the best, the food is authentic, decent enough and pocket-friendly. We’ve dined at both outlets but the Farrer Park outlet is quite drab, so didn’t particularly enjoy our visit. Our buffet brunch at Circular Road fared much better. At S$17.90, Riverwalk Tandoor’s Daily Lunch Buffet is value for money, and quite good actually. The buffet menu changes daily but there are always enouch vegetarian options on offer. The one hitch we had during our lunch was that we ordered the Tandoori Paneer for kids and requested it to be non-spicy but it was still spicy. If you are planning to cater Indian food, Riverwalk Tandoor is one of the most reasonably priced.
Riverwalk Tandoor: Farrer Park: Blk 677 Rangoon Road, #01-06, S(210677). P: 6291 0272.
Riverwalk Tandoor: The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Road, #B1-38, S(058416). P: 6536 0875.
Ok, we haven’t actually dined here but Khansama is a favourite when it comes to ordering in. Recommended here are the Daal Tadka and Alu Gobhi (S$7.50 each). They offer quite a few types of Chaats and starters as well, apart from soups, salads, main course and desserts and have an extensive vegetarian menu – think 8 kinds of paneer gravies on the veg menu. Khansama is open till 12:30 in the night, so hit this place to tackle your midnight North-Indian vegetarian cravings.
Khansama: 166 Serangoon Road Singapore 218050. P: 62990300
6. Kailash Parbat
Kailash Parbat has 2 branches, 1 serves all vegetarian scrumptious meals, while the other is mixed (i.e. both veg and non-veg). The strategic location bang opposite Mustafa Center ensures that they enjoy a good patronage. The restaurants aren’t fancy but the food is good, especially the chaats. If you haven’t had it before, one thing to must-have here is the Pani Puri (S$ 6.50, hollow crispy flour balls served with potato, boondi and sour sauce) – much better than most of the other places we have tried it at. While, we actually don’t find the dals and gravies here to be exceptional, the Chole Bhatura (S$ 11.00, puffed fried breads with spicy chick peas cooked in gravy) and Ragda Pattice (S$8, spicy mash of potato patties, topped with a chick pea sauce, chutneys, onions and coriander) definitely are.
They serve Indo-Chinese too but if the Manchow Soup is anything to go by, it might be better to stick to the chaats. They also make Indian sweets, and the kids love love love their Kaju Burfi. Kailash Parbat is a good option for Indian vegetarian catering as well.
Kailash Parbat: 3 Belilios Road #01-03, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Singapore – 219924.
Kailash Parbat: 93, Syed Alwi Road, Opposite Mustafa Centre, Kallang, Singapore
7. Chutney Mary
Offering an array of chaats from different parts of India (not just the North), Chutney Mary is a no-frills restaurant for street style food and Indian fast food. Bhel Puri (S$7.50) and Samosa Chaat (S$9) vie for your attention here, while the Dahi Batata Puri and Pav Bhaji (S$7.50) almost make you drool. If you love traditional Punjabi food, the Sarson ka Saag and Makki ki Roti (S$14, mustard leaves cooked and spiced, served with maize flour flatbread) will have you smacking your lips. They do serve the typical North Indian dals, curries and Naans too but we haven’t tried them here yet. For desserts, the Mango Kulfi (S$6.50) and the Rabri taste good but are way too sweet, so next time I’ll be ending my meal with a Paan instead.
Chutney Mary: 719 East Coast Road, 459069. P: 6242 4468
A much-loved chain in India, the Singapore outlet of Bikanervala at the airport is just as good. Bikanervala is a vegetarian-only restaurant that offers popular delectable Indian favourites including chaats, North-Indian, South-Indian and even Indo-Chinese. Ditch the Bhatura here and go for the Punjabi Channa Kulcha instead – the kulchas at Bikanervala are to die for. Also highly recommended is the Raj Kachori (S$8.50). If you’re in the mood for a big meal, go for one of the 3 Thalis on offer (i.e. platters ranging from S$12.50 to 18.50). Accompany your meal with the creamy Lassi and end with one of the many sweets on offer.
Bikanervala: Change Airport Terminal 3, 819663 Singapore. P: +65 6584 2590