Saturday, November 16, 2013

Raj Restaurant, Syed Alwi Road

We were first introduced to Raj (76 Syed Alwi Rd, tel : + 65 6297 1716) some years ago by a couple of friends which left me a distinctive favourable impression of this restaurant from Calcutta. This visit felt different. I recalled it being a little upmarket then and it certainly didn't quite feel that way today. Maybe the place just feels different at night compared to the day.

By the way, I didn't quite like their sweet lassi. It was way too sweet and much too viscous. The sugar bothered me more though and I'm pretty sure there are much better ones around. 

dahi gol gappa

Back in that first visit, it was also my first experience with dahi golgappa and I thought it rocked in terms of flavors. We order a portion of those dahi filled puri shells to start off and it was as I remembered them. There's a creamy sour from the yoghurt, tart sweetness from the tamarind chutney, heat from something I couldn't quite identify, spice from the potatoes and loads of texture from the creamy curd and puri shells, nuts, potato bits and sev. Party in the mouth as some people would call it. I didn't even mind the coriander juice thing that they added. I'm really glad that there's none of that chopped herb in there.

paneer briyani

Never had a paneer briyani before, so this was a first. It did turn up like how I imagined it. The flavors of the spices in basmati rice was...... hmmm, rather engaging. In short, I liked it and it certainly pairs up excellently with their jeera (cumin) scented raita on the side. The paneer itself, came in little cubes within the rice.

baingan korma

This is a korma-ed eggplant. I'm not sure what went into the making of the korma, but it was rich, creamy and nutty with measures of sweetness, heat and spice. Served piping hot. Nice.

rava dosai with onion and cheese

Rava dosai is dosai made with semolina flour. Most Indian food joints that use cheese apart from paneer usually use mozzarella cheese. Raj uses Cheddar. Which ups the flavor game for everyone else in my opinion since the distinctively sharper aroma and salt works with their fermented rice flour pancakes. The exterior of their dosai are enjoyably crisp. What caught me by surprise though, a pleasant surprise that is, was the fact that there was actually toasted peppercorns in there and secondly, I couldn't taste the coriander that looked embedded in the flour.

And the peppercorns were remarkable bits of flavor where there were in the dosai. Good stuff.

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