With long-established restaurants offering some of the most sumptuous treats in Singapore, you can never go wrong if you stop by Little India for your meal.
Little India has always been the one neighbourhood in Singapore that functions as its own world. It’s a beautiful part of the city-state that has charmed locals and foreigners alike with its distinct character and refusal to bend to the whims of a constantly changing cityscape. It’s no wonder that eating at Little India is very popular, retaining rich culinary traditions. If you don’t manage to find time to sample these 10 best restaurants in Little India, then you’ve committed a foodie’s crime of the highest order.
A classic restaurant found outside the celebrated Tekka Centre, this place is popular with Singaporean Indians and keen shoppers for a bite of their heavenly thosai. Thosai is a huge, pancake-like dish folded and eaten with various condiments. Sometimes you can ask for a variation, such as the delicious masala thosai. If the older generation in Singapore swears by this, you know it’s the good stuff.
One of the oldest restaurants in Little India, this venue’s fame has spread all the way back to its native India for serving some of the most authentic Southern Indian cuisines around – specifically from the Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. They maintain absolute authenticity by serving on banana leaves, which is how meals are served back in the founder’s native state in India. Komala Vilas Restaurant painstakingly maintains its traditions – and its fame has continued unfettered – by not compromising on their sublime vegetarian cuisine.
Banana Leaf Apolo is a household name among Singaporeans, going as far as inspiring a number of clones seen elsewhere bearing similar store names. Their claim to fame lies in their curries, with a whole bevvy worth of different meat and vegetable options. Their popular dish is the renowned fish head curry, a savoury stew that is literally bursting with flavours in the most artful way. Be warned though – the place is usually packed so you might have to wait to get a seat.
A popular spot for people who like having huge meals, Madras New Woodlands is an inconspicuous restaurant that’s a go-to spot for hearty vegetarian dishes. The venue offers a bunch of different choices for you to pick from and it tends to change daily, meaning repeat visitors will get to discover a sheer variety of Indian cuisine. If you really want to get your fill, try their buffet where you will be spoiled for choice and quite possibly enough food in your belly to last you until the next day.
Bringing the very best of both South and North Indian cuisine, Lagnaa Barefoot Dining is a snug restaurant that invites you to kick off your shoes, sit back and relax while munching on some delicious food. However, if you’re attached to your footwear, the ground floor offers standard table and seating. The food is prepared in a very traditional manner using the thali, where different dishes are placed together in one big plate to enjoy.
This fabled restaurant boasts mesmerising interiors with carved reliefs of Hindu Gods adorning the walls and intricately designed tables and chairs that will leave you dumbstruck. Despite this, you can also choose to sit outside right on the kerb while munching on some ornately prepared dishes. Offering both vegetarian and meat dishes, Khansama Tandoori Restaurant has a reputation for how they serve their meals and it’s a delight to witness.
Another established restaurant with a long history in Little India, Muthu’s Curry has maintained the vision set forth in its early days while expanding its menu to a variety of other Indian dishes. Primarily influenced by Chettinadu cooking, a region in Tamil Nadu, Muthu’s Curry is believed by some to be the place where the fish head curry prepared in a South Indian style was created. This has sealed their reputation as one of the best places to go to sample a classic dish made in the same manner as it was generations ago.
North Indian food that'll tantalise your taste buds
Though essentially a Punjabi restaurant, Jaggi’s also has North Indian and other neighbouring cuisines on offer, giving you the chance to try a diverse range of flavours. The chefs here are equally highly skilled and knowledgeable about the wide range of items they prepare. The restaurant has maintained a distinctive reputation for serving high-quality and authentic fare, offering one of the friendliest services you can find in Little India.
Mustard is one of the few restaurants in Little India, or anywhere in Singapore, where you get the chance to try Bengali food (from the Indian state of Bengal). Curiously, you’ll also find pretty amazing Punjabi food here too. The owner clearly has a love affair for these two distinctive and contrary tastes, and it shows when your meal is served and as you take your first bite.
Located on the rooftop of the famous Mustafa Centre mall, make this the place to drop when you can no longer shop. Some brilliant chefs work here, offering some of the most diverse of South and Central Asian cuisine in Singapore. The food is packed with flavour and you can never go amiss with whatever you order. For a dynamic bird’s eye view of Little India, try to get a seat in the outdoor section.