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 favourable impression of this restaurant from Calcutta. This visit felt different. I recalled it being a little upmarket then and it 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 like their sweet lassi. It was way too sweet and much too viscous. The sugar bothered me more though and there are much better ones around. 

dahi gol gappa

Back in that first visit, was also my first experience with dahi golgappa and I thought they rocked. We order a portion of those dahi filled puri shells to start off and it was as I remembered them. There was 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. Was really glad that there were none of the leaves 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 flavour of the spices in basmati rice was...... hmmm, rather engaging. In short, I liked it and it paired up excellently with their jeera (cumin) scented raita on the side. The paneer came in little cubes in the rice.

baingan korma

This was 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. Many Indian restaurants that use cheese outside of paneer usually use mozzarella cheese. Raj uses Cheddar. Which ups the flavour game for everyone in my opinion since the distinctively sharper aroma and salt works with their fermented rice flour pancakes. The exterior of their dosai were enjoyably crisp. What caught me by surprise though, a pleasant surprise albeit, was that there were toasted peppercorns in them. Much to my relieve as well, I couldn't taste the coriander that were embedded in the flour.

Those peppercorns were remarkable bits of flavour in the dosai. Good stuff.

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