Saturday, October 31, 2015

Balaji Bhawan, Syed Alwi Road

We came to Balaji Bhawan (103 Syed Alwi Road, tel : +65 63417797) because there was something that I had been reading about that they have on the menu. Namely the dal batti churma thali which was what I was interested in trying. So I’ll just be talking mostly on that and omitting other points of interest. Like the restaurant being a little dim and dingy and also that service was slow and reluctant. Air conditioning needs upgrade as well.

Back to the dal batti churma thali - well, it’s apparently a food item representative of Rajasthan in India. A thali (platter of dishes often with rice or bread) that contains dal batti churma. Which comprises of the dal, batti and churma. The dal which is the commonly known lentil stew, the batti which is a hard wheat roll/ball eaten with the dal and the churma which is also made of wheat and cooked with ghee and sugar (or jaggery as well) to make up the dessert. This thali here was also served with curried potatoes, vegetable korma, dah/dhalraita, some spiced basmati rice, a couple of poori, a papadum and also gulab jamun.

The two doughy lumps were the batti and the one on the right was the churma. The former was a dense, dry and chewy bread which could be eaten with any of the dips or curries while the latter had the texture of a lump of wet ball of crumbly sand that tasted buttery and sweet. All in all, I had thought that the entire thali was quite enjoyable. Until the sweets. Both the churma and the gulab jamun were a sugar overload for me.

Their pudina parotha was also quite nice. Could taste the mint in the bread.

While waiting for the main orders, we passed the time with a raj kachori as dinner was only served from 7pm and there was chaat available. This was like a giant puri done up like the yoghurt version with peas and potatoes stuffed in the crispy shell. But this chaat looked sloppily made with insufficient lashings of chutney. Looked nothing like the regular chaat of any sort which would generally appear more messy and with more toppings. This looked quite sad.

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