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Singapore: Zaffron Kitchen

13 Mar

The Katong/Joo Chiat precinct in Singapore has always been known for it’s variety of eating options, and is one of my favourite areas to dine in because of its chill, low key vibe and gorgeously restored Peranakan-style shophouses. One of the recent additions to its dining scene, Zaffron Kitchen along East Coast Road – Indian food in a modern style bistro – was a concept too great that I couldn’t ignore. I brought my parents along since they like Indian food.

The place is so pretty, I was floored. I love the wishbone chairs, the exposed brick look and those orange Peranakan-style tiles! Most Indian places in Singapore don’t look like that. Cue: Banana Apollo, Samy’s Curry, Muthu’s Curry, etc. And no curry smell on my clothes for the rest of the day because of good/better ventilation? I’m sold.

Close up of the tiles

Lovely lamps, high stools and a communal table

There was even a play area in the corner for the kids, and a popcorn machine (not pictured). How thoughtful of them.

The menu was huge, and covers North Indian, South Indian, local Indian options and even breakfast and high tea. But since we were there for lunch, there was also a weekday lunch set (inclusive of a drink) at $13.90++ which actually had what we wanted to order, so there was little impetus to order out of it. What a steal.

Old school iced teh (lipton tea) that arrived shaken and frothy

Ice limau (lime juice)

All the lunch sets come with both briyani rice and naan, so it’s almost impossible to not feel stuffed after this. This was my butter chicken set, also served with curry, yoghurt dip and papadum. I’m definitely no expert on Indian food but I liked it. The butter chicken was as good as the ones I’ve had elsewhere, but what stood out was that the naan was crispy, and the briyani rice was much lighter and less oily than the ones I’ve had at other Indian places. Less authentic or not (perhaps to cater to more localised taste buds and healthy eaters), it’s a thumbs up in my book. My dad’s mutton rogan josh set looks exactly like mine, so I’m not posting a picture. I had a bite and the mutton was quite tender.

This was my mum’s tandoor chicken set. She upgraded her naan to garlic naan for an additional 50 cents, and it was the best 50 cents spent over because it was SO GOOD. I will go back just for the garlic naan alone. While the chicken looked promising, unfortunately I found it a little dry although the flavour was good. [Aside: Is it possible to have non-dry tandoor chicken, does anyone know?]

Close up

I’ll definitely be back to try out more options on its huge a la carte menu. It’s high time that there’s a casual, stylish option to spice up the the Indian food scene in Singapore.

Price: $-$$ (weekday set lunch $13.90++)
Location: 135/137 East Coast Road, Singapore 428820
Tel: +65 6440 6786