Monday, June 4, 2012

Singapura: Asian Fusion Without The Attitude!

By: Anne M. Raso

I was lucky enough to get to check out Curry Hill's latest eatery Singapura last week. Located at 106 Lexington Avenue, it's dead in the center of all the wonderful and budget-friendly eateries in New York's second most famous Indian neighborhood (the first one being Little India which lines Sixth Street from First to Second Avenues). The bargains, quality and respectable size portions are all hear at Singapura--but the atmosphere is hipper and younger. Did I fail to mention that Singapura is not just Indian cuisine--it's a melting pot of the best of Thai, Chinese, Malaysian and Indian! I bet that Singapura is the only eatery in Manhattan offering this delectable mix! They mention on their menu that their food is more like how a Singapore housewife or food stall owner would cook than a five star chef--they like to keep it real in the kitchen and patrons appreciate that fact.
Potato Curry Puff
I will say that everything I sampled tasted fresh, was perfectly seasoned with just a little Asian kick just how I requested it and the food came out in record speed. Everything came out of the kitchen in five minutes or less. I started out with two appetizers that my friend and I shared: Potato Curry Puff and Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings. The Potato Curry Puff featured a classic almost empanada-like crispy thick pastry shell and soft, warm roasted potato on the inside--the curry seasoning was kept very subtle.
Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings
The green Pan Fried Vegetarian Dumplings were served with an unexpected vinegar based cucumber and Bermuda onion sauce, and the predominant veggie in the filling was fresh peas. They were unique and unforgettable--possibly the best veggie dumpling in town (yes, you can get them steamed if you prefer).
Red Chicken
Our two entrees to share were the Red Chicken and Pad Thai With Chicken (both $8). The Red Chicken was not red at all. Think of succulent white chicken meat in a lovely Indian yogurt sauce with plenty of curry, ginger, onions and other vegetables like red peppers, scallions and a couple of chili peppers thrown in. The large bunch of fresh basil on top was a lovely touch; the Red Chicken was a total exotic delight.
Pad Thai
The Pad Thai featured a lovely mixture of freshly ground peanuts and a red sauce that tasted of coconut milk, curry and just a bit of peanut oil. In general, Pad Thai tends to be short on sauce, but not in this case--and I was happy that there was no egg in it and plenty of plump chicken pieces instead. For dessert we had the Mango Sticky Rice ($5), which was a large enough portion for to. The sweet rice is served in a clump shaped like a deck of cards and placed next to half of a sliced fresh mango. It was an unusual and not-so-caloric after dinner treat and I left wondering what it would be like if they also threw in a nice pile of coconut rice--so popular in Thai restaurants. Coconut Rice is available here but it is served mixed with chicken curry, boiled eggs and veggies and called Nasi Lemak. (Maybe I will have to put "sweet coconut rice" idea for dessert past chef Kari Ayam.) There are not many dessert options at this restaurant--the only other choices are the much-heralded Fried Banana and homemade Ice Cream (both also $5).
Mango Sticky Rice
Pardon the corny pun, but Singapura will have you singing for your supper and after it--and you'll leave with a not-so-light wallet. It's easy to keep dinner at $20 before taxes and tip for two apps, two entrees and one dessert to share. All soft drinks are $3. The numerous lovely stained glass "blossom" lamps hanging from the ceiling offer a whimsical touch to a small but cozy dining experience.

106 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 684-6842
Singapura on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...