FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Singapore’s first coastal Indian fine dining restaurant definitely has much to boast about. From its sleek and stylish interior to its full team of expatriate Indian chefs, it is evident that no detail has been overlooked in providing guests with the perfect dining experience.
The indulgence begins upon arrival at the ground floor of the building, where guests are escorted by a friendly hostess up to the restaurant located on the second floor. Diners can then relax in the well-furnished waiting area, which is equipped with a wide range of magazines.
In terms of aesthetics, the establishment clearly sets out to impress. The spacious and cosy atmosphere, coupled with the open-concept kitchen and modern contemporary décor, makes it an ideal venue for either business meeting or a romantic date. The restaurant’s stylish private function room, able to seat up to 11 people, is also a good choice for those who prefer some extra privacy.
The restaurant also features a roomy chill-out nook, situated directly beside the main dining area, called Shisha Lounge Bar. Here, one can unwind to the sounds of relaxing lounge music, while sampling delicious Indian tapas and kebabs, with some signature cocktails. Able to accommodate up to 130 people, the lounge is often booked months in advance.
The restaurant’s location is an added bonus. It is located in Clarke Quay, which, to date, is one of Singapore’s most popular nightlife and entertainment precincts. The Ministry of Sound and The Clinic are two other well-patronised night spots here.
THE FOOD: Vegetarians and meat/seafood lovers will find a wealth of choices. If planning to visit on a weekend, it’s always best practice to book ahead (lunch is from 1200 to 1430 daily; dinner 1800 to 2330).
Signature dishes for non-meat eaters include Dingri Hara Pyaaz (button mushroom and spring onions, cooked in chettinad masala); Parat Wale Baingan (cheese stuffed layered eggplant lasagne served on Indian boat garnished with bell pepper) and Khaas Subz Chuparustam (American corn, broccoli, red and yellow bell pepper with tomato-based gravy).
A non-veg eater, I went for the Tandoori Ajwaini Lobster, Chicken Chettinad and Mutton Pepper Fry and was totally won over by their freshness and succulence. Although some of the dishes like the Crispy Chilli Chicken 65 were too spicy for my liking, a soothing mango lassi helped soothe any residual fieryness.
DRINKS: An extensive list of international champagnes and wines, featuring wines from Australia, Italy, New Zealand and France. Meanwhile, the list of champagnes includes premium choices like Dom Pérignon 1998 from US$242 per bottle and Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial from US$90 per bottle.
SERVICE: Warm and personable service from a team of well-trained and knowledgeable staff.
PRICE: Excellent value for money – appetisers start from US$10 and mains from US$10 to US$31.
VERDICT: Definitely one of the gems in the food paradise of Singapore.
CONTACT: 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay #02-04, Singapore 179020, tel 65 6333 4664, www.ivorykitchen.com