INDIAN food tends to be bland on the eye. Earthy tones tend to dominate the cuisine, even if its heavenly to the taste.
But in the IG era, chefs with an artistic bent are able to elevate their offering to match the rich, spicy flavours their traditional dishes have to offer.
The coming together of North and South Indian cuisines at the Tiffin Room is a good example of how pretty and tasty food can get you in the mood for a feast anytime.
The Tiffin Room, which has been around since 1892, has a long history for serving up North Indian fare. Thevar’s relatively short history has been spent serving the gentrified Keong Saik neighbourhood and winning admirers for its innovative Indian dishes influenced by Mano’s stints in Guy Savoy Singapore, Waku Ghin, Meatsmith Little India and his own heritage in his Penang home.
The set menu for the Tiffin Room x Thevar experience features six dishes, four from Chef Mano’s innovative repertoire.
His starter featuring unexpected ingredients — cured hamachi and caviar — pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the meal. The caviar set atop the hamachi like a little island rising out of the chilled coconut sothi added unexpected flavours to the dish.
The Mysore tandoori rack of lamb was outstanding for its texture and flavour, with a hint of coriander chutney. The succulent piece of meat was gone in a flash.
Find out what other dishes were served after this.
Unlike Indian restaurants that like to pile on the food, the European sense of small plates is in play here. That smacks of refinement, but if it seems like you may be hungry at the end of the meal, worry not. Given the measured service, it gives your stomach enough time to get the signals from the brain that there’s food on the way.
Chef Mano’s curiosity with spices comes through in the Grilled Alaskan King crab with the madras curry rice. The crab is sweetness just by boiling, but it’s the pepper, cinnamon and ginger flower in the curry rice that offer an intriguing counterpoint to the smooth meat.
The plating is also a strong element of the dining experience, and the starter and dessert — the Saffron Kheer Brûlée with cardamom ice-cream — are ideally set up for those who must announce their meals through photos.
Completing the menu are Chef Kuldeep’s Corn-Fed chicken leg kebab, done to a fine turn, retaining its juicy flavours, and pairing well with the cheddar cheese garlic naan, and the Grilled Paneer Roll, a mild mix of cottage cheese and a tomato cashew nut chutney.
The lunch and dinner set menus are priced at $118++ per head, and all the usual restrictions that COVID-19 has wrought are strictly enforced.
For reservations, call +65 6412 1816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org