There’s plenty to see, do and of course eat within Little India.
In this bustling ethnic enclave, you’ll find everything from French food to tapas (Spanish-style appetisers), right next to traditional Indian restaurants and stores. Tantalise your taste buds, with this list of restaurants and eateries to visit.
Flavours of India
Explore the diverse regional cuisines of India, within Little India in Singapore.
Start with Mustard, which specialises in Bengali and Punjabi cuisines from the eastern and northern states in India. Punjabi food tends to be distinctively rich and buttery while Bengali flavours are fiery yet subtle. Must-tries include chingri maacher malai curry (coconut milk-based prawn curry) and amritsari machhi (deep-fried fish covered with chickpea batter).
Next, sample more North Indian dishes such as naan and chapati at Jaggi’s Northern Indian Cuisine. Pair these flatbreads with butter chicken and other delicious gravy dips. Tip: If you can, dine in a large group to sample a bit of everything on the menu.
Can’t decide between North or South Indian cuisines? Visit Banana Leaf Apolo, a popular restaurant that serves dishes from both regions of India. True to its name, patrons savour food off banana leaves at this restaurant. Must-try items include the restaurant’s famed fish head curry, chicken masala (spicy yoghurt-based gravy) and tandoori chicken.
South Indian eatery and catering chain Komala Vilas is another hot favourite. Its Serangoon Road outlet has been visited by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. Popular dishes include dosai (fermented rice and lentil crepe) and vadai (fried fritters). While you’re there, be sure to visit its sweets store nearby at 82 Serangoon Road, and sample its traditional desserts.
Head over to Khansama Tandoori Restaurant, to dine al fresco on a balmy evening. Our top picks include tandoori chicken (chicken roasted with yoghurt and spices) and naan (flatbreads). This two-storey North Indian restaurant has an air-conditioned section, too, which offers cooling respite from the heat and from your fiery curries.
If you’re on the hunt for vegetarian dishes, head to Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant, which serves an eclectic mix of Singaporean, Thai as well as North and South Indian cuisines. Find nearly a hundred options, including starters like samosa (fried pastries) and palak paneer (cottage cheese cubes in a spinach gravy).
An international foodie tour
Beyond Little India's authentic Indian-style restaurants, there are international options, too.
Try Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine at Sakunthala Food Palace, for unusual dishes you might not find anywhere else in Singapore. Our favourites include the ever-popular fish head curry, as well as unexpected finds like seafood naan (flatbread stuffed with seafood).
A peculiar sight along Serangoon Road is Breton, which serves French cuisine in this Indian enclave. Here, French chef Xavier Le Henaff treats his patrons to classic French dishes like grilled ongilet (hanger steak), œuf dur mayonnaise (hard boiled eggs in mayonnaise) and Facon Michel Peignaud (roasted pigeon). Finish your meal with their satisfying desserts like their giant profiterole (cream puffs of ice cream covered in hot chocolate sauce) and their meringue, Breton-style, served with caramelized apple, yoghurt and vanilla ice cream.
Championing the mod-Sin (“modern Singaporean” cuisine) movement in this district, CreatureS purveys quirky creations like miso cod and ulam onigiri, which turns the traditional Malay salad into a Japanese rice ball, paired with oven-roasted miso-flavoured cod. Local favourite hokkien prawn mee (stir-fried prawn noodles) gets a decadent modern twist with a whole crayfish and Japanese fish roe being added, enveloping you into a fresh medley of seafood flavours. For a taste of something more traditional, this Peranakan*-influenced establishment also serves classics like babi pongteh (braised pork and fermented soy bean stew) and ayam buah keluak (chicken flavoured with a black nut indigenous to Southeast Asia).
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
For late-night snacks, our recommendation is Tipsy Bar on Dunlop Street. This popular bar offers a free portion of tapas (Spanish-style appetisers) to go with each drink that you order. Unwind with a tipple on its cosy rooftop after a day of exploring the sights and sounds of Little India with your fellow travellers.