The best Indian restaurants in Singapore are in fact some of the best Indian restaurants in the world. Indian is the third-biggest ethnicity in Singapore after Chinese and Malay, and so, after many years as a cultural and culinary melting pot, exceptional Indian restaurants have naturally blossomed all over the island. These days, you’d do well to find a Singaporean who doesn’t adore Indian food, meaning the best Indian restaurants in Singapore have to be next level.
In no particular order, here are 10 of our favourites right now:
1. Coriander Leaf
Often it’s the case that the best places to eat Indian food in Singapore aren’t exclusively Indian in what they serve. Coriander Leaf is a prime example. This is the flagship restaurant at Chijmes with enough space for 50 diners. The Pan-Asian menu aims to take you on a culinary journey through Asia with the help of dishes that are both traditional and interpreted. Dishes are broken down into five categories – fresh, familiar, spicy, umami and sweet.
What to eat: Samia’s signature frontier chicken with chilli & yoghurt cream
Atmosphere: A very stylish restaurant, but it’s casual and fit for the family
Address: #02-01 CHIJMES 30 Victoria Street S187996
Price: The frontier chicken is S$20
From the legendary team behind The Curry Culture, Dabbawalla is an Indian phenomenon. Something of a raj renaissance, you could say, and an Indian restaurant where you can indulge in a big bowl of curry all for yourself or in smaller plates of Indian tapas that are ideal for sharing. Then, once you’re done eating, Dabbawalla has plenty of space to kick back and enjoy a premium-quality cocktail. The Dabbawalla sign out front does say Curry & Cocktails, after all.
What to eat: Snack on a Punjabi samosa before assam fish curry with saffron rice
Atmosphere: Chilled but still lively
Address: 60 Robertson Quay, #01-10/1, Singapore 238252
Price: The above recommendations will come to around S$40
As you’re probably already aware, Singapore loves a buffet, particularly ones like Colony that aim to inspire a rich, multi-sensory journey through Singapore’s culinary history, from Indian right through to local and Western delicacies. Colony has seven open kitchens that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for our interest in Indian food specifically, you’ll want to look out for the The Tandoor kitchen. The tandoori meat is almost too good!
What to eat: It’s buffet, so try everything, but we love the Kashmiri lamb shank
Atmosphere: Beautiful and bustling
Address: The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue, 039799 Singapore
Price: S$80 per adult, S$40 per child
4. Khansama Tandoori Restaurant
Speaking of tandoori, one of the best Indian restaurants in Singapore for this particular style of cooking is Khansama Tandoori Restaurant. In the heart of Little India – basically a guarantee of quality and authenticity – Khansama specialises in North Indian cuisine and is extremely well priced. You won’t find frills or fancy lights, but you will find plastic chairs outside and honest cooking that has people flocking to Serangoon Road.
What to eat: Start with the tandoori chicken before a mutton curry
Atmosphere: No-frills and very casual, but utterly charming
Address: 166 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218050
Price: A starter and a main will be less than S$20
5. Melt Cafe
Melt Cafe is another buffet restaurant, this time within Mandarin Oriental Singapore. The Indian spread here is one of the best we know of and ranges from royal tandoori options to a selection of classic curries and particularly notable Indian kebabs. The main dining space is filled with light thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, and the centrepiece of the whole restaurant is an award-winning pastry theatre. A common complaint about Indian restaurants in Singapore is that they lack good desserts, but this definitely isn’t the case at Melt Cafe!
What to eat: Curries change daily, but they’re guaranteed to be good
Atmosphere: Bright and social
Address: 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Price: Well-priced, but it depends what’s on the menu
6. Sakunthala’s Food Palace
Another no-frills spot in Little India, Sakunthala’s Food Palace is all halal and one of Singapore’s finest Indian-Chinese fusion restaurants. The food is award-winning (which explains why there are now five Sakunthala’s restaurants across the island) and extremely cheap, which fulfills the promise that Sakunthala made when it launched in 1997: serve the best possible food at the best possible price. You won’t find any artificial colour, flavour or preservative anywhere in this kitchen, but the the food still leaves you wanting more and more.
What to eat: Start with fried chicken lollipops, then fish head curry or homemade paneer
Atmosphere: Modern, fresh and casual
Address: 66 Race Course Road, Singapore 218570
Price: You can eat a lot for S$20
7. RAS The Essence of India
Not where you might expect, RAS The Essence of India brings exceptional Indian food to the riverfront in Clarke Quay. Rather than focussing on just one region of India, the menu here carries a flag for pretty much every region of India and includes intriguing dishes that you won’t find at too many other Indian restaurants in Singapore. To have your fill, take the train to Clarke Quay metro and wander over the Read Bridge toward the shopping centre.
What to eat: The tandoori lobster is an absolute must!
Atmosphere: Dark and mysterious inside with riverfront views and a breezy outside
Address: Block 3D River Valley Road, #01-05A, Singapore 179023
Price: Being on the river, prices are a little higher than Little India
Carousel is the final buffet we’ll mention and one that absolutely deserves all the awards it continues to win. As with the other buffet restaurants, Carousel isn’t exclusively Indian – in fact, you’ll find an absolute merry-go-round of international delights on offer – but the Indian section is a treat. On rotation you can expect tandoori kebabs, daals, curries and paneers. The list goes on and it’s all served in sophisticated surrounds.
What to eat: If available, the mushroom chettinad with aloo gobi is good to start
Atmosphere: Infectious buffet bustle around the clock
Address: 25 Scotts Road, Singapore 228220
Price: Dinner at the weekend is S$88++ per adult
9. The Song of India
If a Michelin-quality Indian meal is what you want, The Song of India is the restaurant to book for it. Within a historic bungalow on Scotts Road, dishes here are some of the most luxurious you’ll find in Singapore with each one being presented like a small work of art. Master chef Manjunath Mural oversees a modern menu and the restaurant itself even has VIP rooms for when the occasion requires an extra cherry on top of the cake. The Song of India takes your breath away.
What to eat: Try the lucknavi lamb shank or the venison laal maas
Atmosphere: Chandeliers, leather chairs, white tablecloths (you get it)
Address: 33 Scotts Road, Singapore 228226
Price: Sometimes paying a premium is worth it
10. Zaffron Kitchen
There are two Zaffron Kitchens in Singapore and both of them are chilled out places to indulge. North Indian cuisine is the focus (meaning you can expect the best butter chicken on the island) and one of our favourite things about both Zaffron Kitchen restaurants is the varied seating. There’s everything from bar stools suitable for a nibble and a drink, through to huge banquet tables if you’re celebrating something special. Zaffron Kitchen is reliable Indian dining and Singapore can’t get enough.
What to eat: The butter chicken
Atmosphere: Casual and social
East Coast Address: 135/137 East Coast Road, Singapore 428820
Westgate address: 3 Gateway Drive #01-20, Singapore 608532
Price: A main won’t be more than S$20