Prices that aren't a bomb, especially considering location
Naan, though enjoyable, has its limitations.
Yeah, it’s not a typo. That’s Curry Gardenn, with the extra ‘n’. An unexpectedly effective attempt at making a name that’ll stick in your head? We’ll never know, but if you haven’t yet heard of this restaurant, it is well worth remembering.
Curry Gardenn is a traditional Indian restaurant in Singapore, nestled within Dine At Stevens, a dining destination housed within the stunning Novotel and Mercure hotels.
The restaurant boasts an exquisite menu that promises to be light on the waistline, free of less than healthy ingredients like coconut milk. Curry without coconut milk? One might cower to think (depending on your exposure to the cuisine). Here’s how it turned out.
I am None without Naan
Naan’s a definite staple at any mid to high range Indian establishment. There’s nobody who doesn’t love a fluffy, slightly charred piece of this Indian bread. Especially when slathered in golden butter, garnished with bits of garlic. With that said, there’s not much that can be replaced to make it healthier. Using wheat flour instead would modify the item too much, and the bread is already cooked in a clay oven–not deep fried.
Curry Gardenn tried their hand at a healthier version, replacing baking soda with yoghurt as a leaving agent. Typically, leaving agents like yeast and baking powder are what help dough rise and cook to the soft, fluff that we all love it for. The owner, Under Udaya, says it reduces the amount of gas in your stomach after eating it. It’s not a problem that I’ve experienced (even that one time that I ate about 10 naans at a go), so I’m not too sure how necessary of a replacement it is.
The result was normal. All naan is good naan, and this one fulfilled all of its basic flavour requirements, not tasting much different. However, the texture was slightly dense, and it was clear that it worked only because the naan was served thin. It holds its form as long as it is warm, turning underwhelmingly rubbery as it turns cold. Don’t fret, the thin texture means you’ll devour it instantly, while it is still piping hot.
With that said, this might be the solution to your post-Indian-food belches.
This Curry Can’t Really Disappoint
Curry Gardenn has also spun its take on a hot favourite dish, fish head curry. The Fish Head Curry at Curry Gardenn is a 800g full snapper fish head, cooked and served in a claypot, how fish curry is traditionally cooked in the Indian culture. The curry is made with neither coconut milk nor coconut, both of which are typically regarded as ingredients integral to the taste of fish curry.
The result is thick, rich and aromatic. In fact, the lack of coconut somewhat bolsters and brings forth the flavours of spice and fish in the curry more so than usual. It’s so addictive that you will slurp up every last drop, and if you’re not there for a formal tasting session, you might even want to lick your bowl. A pot at $30 is set to serve 3-4 people amply, and the thick gravy will last to accompany through your dishes.
Apart from the usual crowd-pleasers like tandoori or butter chicken, Curry Gardenn serves up a range of dishes that are worth highlighting. Try the Drums of Heaven. succulent chicken drums marinated to perfection. The drums taste of garlic and are cooked to a very tender consistency, making for perfect pairing opportunities–especially if you’re looking for dry meat to pair your naan with.
The restaurant serves a Mangalore Mutton dish that features tender pieces that almost melt in your mouth despite them not being fatty. The coating around the meat is delectable and packs a subtle, spicy punch. It doesn’t feel or taste of the typical mutton curries you’re used to.
The thick coating around the meat doesn’t leave you searching for a meaty flavour in it (as a gravy typically would), leaving less room for disappointment and more room to appreciate the combination of spices with the pieces of mutton.
For seafood fiends, the Prawns Sukka is one of the restaurant’s feature dishes. Sukka is typically a dry Mangalorean dish that relies on its use of coconut. The Prawns Sukka at Curry Garden boasts a flavourful coating around the prawns, though the prawns don’t necessarily taste fresh, preventing the marinade from truly amalgamating with the prawn meat.
Enjoyed best with rice, the dish lacks the strong prawny flavour that typically makes a bold presence in fresh prawn dishes. Perhaps an even more dry version of this dish that separates the prawn meat and its coating less, would do it more justice.
A Satisfying Clean Dining Experience
Head to the Curry Gardenn if you’re looking for a healthier Indian dining experience at standard mid-range restaurant prices. Nestled between two hotels, the restaurant is much more affordable than you’d expect, also featuring an alcohol menu that’s relatively cheap.
If you’re looking for one drink that’ll do the trick, try the ‘Fuck Off’, which is a combination of all house liquors priced at $20. Udaya guarantees you’ll leave with a happy stumble.
If not, try one of the Bira beers, which appear to be exclusive to Curry Gardenn as a dine-in option for now. Bira 91 is a craft beer company from the shores of India, with a wide selection of beers, and other brews. Don’t miss out on the IPA!