We could have quite easily relabelled our 10 best restaurants in little India as ‘the 10 best places to eat curry in Singapore’ considering how many of our entries specialise in this feel-good and downright delicious Indian speciality.
With Serangoon Road and the adjacent Racecourse Road packed full of curry houses, choosing where to eat in Little India can be a daunting task. However, after searching the neighbourhood’s vibrant streets long and hard, we've found the best: from S$3 set vegetarian meals to grand S$100 Tandoori legs of lamb - with a couple of international restaurants thrown in too.
This small enclave of Singapore must be experienced if you want to see all sides of this cosmopolitan city state - and there’s no better way to do it than by eating your way through! So read on to discover the 10 best restaurants in Little India.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
As one of the more well-know restaurants in Little India, at The Banana Leaf Apolo you can expect a more tourist-based clientele, upmarket surroundings and some higher prices to match. However, the quality of the Indian delights served up here speak for themselves, with house specialities such as their fish head curry and Masala chicken all particularly impressing us. The inspiration for the name, Banana Leaf Apolo, will become clear once you receive your food, as many of their dishes are served on banana leaves instead of plates – a famous dining practise in this neighbourhood and across India.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 - 22:30 Daily
- Address: 48 Serangoon Road
- Tel: +65 9225 3535 (delivery: +65 6241 4141)
A visit to the Tekka Centre, an eating and shopping institution in Little India, pretty much sums up the incredible culinary diversity of Singapore. From delicious curry-canteens to mom and pop-style Chinese vendors, and traditional Malay snack-stalls to cheap Singapore noodle stands, the Tekka Centre is a melting pot of cuisines, cultures and ethnicities. As well as being one of the cheapest places to eat in the city (a large plate of rice and two sides costs around S$3-4), the Tekka Centre is also a wet market and shopping mall, selling fresh meat and produce alongside some rather snazzy Indian attire. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 06:30 - 21:00 Daily
- Address: 665 Buffalo Road
Ananda Bhavan Restaurant
A large part of Indian cuisine, particularly in the Hindu-dominated south of the county, is vegetarian based. One of the best places to sample these specialities is Ananda Bhavan Restaurant, the longest running vegetarian restaurant in Singapore which is able to leave even the biggest of meat-lovers leaving full and satisfied. Special set menus are available from a very reasonable S$7 (upwards) and delivery, like many of the restaurants in Little India, is available until late. There are several branches of Ananda Bhavan around the Little India area (and one at the airport!) Find the addresses below.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – late (varies between branches)
- Address: 221 Selegie Road / 58 Serangoon Road
- Tel: +65 6297 9522
Khansama Tandoori Restaurant
Centrally positioned on Serangoon Road with an easy-to-find corner location and an almost gothic like red and grey colour scheme, Khansama Tandoori Restaurant makes our list for its utterly delicious Tandoor oven-cooked delights. Buffet lunches, which are mostly meat based, start from around S$12, whilst a whole leg of marinated lamb cooked for two hours can be enjoyed if you come with friends (S$99). The smoky infusion that Khansama Tandoori Restaurant produces is second to none, certainly a unique flavour that can only be properly produced by using the huge brick oven, reaching temperatures of over 500F.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 – 22:30
- Address: 166 Serangoon Road
- Tel: +65 6299 0300
The most popular type of curry in Little India is Briyani, and perhaps the best place to try it is at Allaudin’s Briyani. For those with a limited knowledge of this (originally) Persian dish, Briyani is basically a plate of herb infused basmati rice, served with a separate rich curry sauce, chunks of mutton or chicken, accompanied by some crème fresh and sometimes a boiled egg. Mix it all together and you have yourself a plate of curry heaven. Allaudin’s Briyani is not actually a proper restaurant, but more of a food stall, located on the second floor of the popular Tekka Centre. For full authenticity and extra messiness, do as the locals do and ditch your spoon and folk, using just your right hand or some Peshwari bread to scoop up your food!
- Opening Hours: 10:00 - 20:00
- Address: #01-232 Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road
Putien Restaurant (Kitchener Road)
Those wanting a break from Little India’s often inescapable curry-based cuisine should look no further than Putien Restaurant, one of the few non-Indian eateries that have made our 10 best list. This Chinese restaurant, whilst not on the same level with some of its competition in Chinatown, does serve up excellent crab soup and crispy pork ribs, and they also have a flexible two, four, or six person set lunch menu running throughout the day. Find the swanky Little India branch of Putien Restaurant on Kitchener Road, a short walk south from Farrer Park MRT station.
- Opening Hours: 11:30 - 15:00, 17:30 - 23:00 Daily
- Address: 127 Kitchener Road
- Tel: +65 6295 6358
Taste of India
As it has made our list of the top 10 restaurants in Little India, this fancy two-storey venue clearly lives up to its ambitious name. Taste of India delivers exactly that; authentic Indian flavours from across the length and breadth of the country, including Tandoor chicken, Chettinaadu specialities and of course, the neighbourhood’s most famous dish: fish head curry. This is also one of Little India’s more sophisticated affairs, with an abundance of marble pillars, swish chandeliers, bold artwork and statues scattered about the place, making the environment feel more like a gallery then a restaurant.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
- Address: 36 Belilios Lane
- Tel: +65 6341 5158
It’s not difficult to find a good curry in Little India, but it is tricky to find one as cheap as at Komala Vilas. Serving a purely vegetarian menu, this famous restaurant lays on generous set lunches from as little as S$3 – about the same as what you’d pay for a glass of water in downtown Singapore. Whilst the ground floor at Komala Vilas is all about pre-cooked fast food, if you venture upstairs you’ll find a slightly more formal environment where you can pick and choose from a menu. You may well end up paying double up here – still not exactly be breaking the bank though!
- Opening Hours: 11:30 - 22:30
- Address: 76-78 Serangoon Road
- Tel: +65 6293 6980
The French Stall
Set amongst the gauntlet of curry houses on Serangoon Road is The French Stall, a cute little diner offering traditional and inexpensive French cuisine. The prominent corner location and blue and white colour theme means that The French Stall is one of Little India’s more easily recognisable restaurants. Inside, you won’t be too blown away by the shabby decor or cramped tables, but more the mouth-watering French faire. The impressive menu includes pan fried foie gras, duck breast and orange sauce, lamb shank with seasonal vegetables, as well as a great selection of European desserts.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 - 18:00 (desserts only), 18:00 - 22:00
- Address: 544 Serangoon Road
- Tel: +65 6299 3544
Whilst the house special of fish head curry may look like something out of a horror movie, it’s taste that really counts – and that’s something which is in no short supply at this long running Indian restaurant. Samy’s Curry, located in the ever-popular Demsey Road just of Serangoon, consistently delivers tasty curries, vegetarian dishes and a range of exotic sides in a very welcoming atmosphere. Unlike some of the more hectic curry joints in the centre of down, you’ll find the tempo here a lot more civilised and a pleasant environment surrounded by lush trees and quaint colonial buildings.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 22:00 (closed Tuesdays)
- Address: 25 Dempsey Road
- Tel: +65 6472 2080