Delightful variety

SINGAPORE - When I arrived at Copper Chimney restaurant, none of the staff knew that I was there to do a review of their cuisine. I was impressed as, despite how packed the restaurant in Little India was, I had a friendly waiter rush to seat me... I think he could hear my stomach growl or see the hunger in my eyes.

Copper Chimney is famous for north Indian cuisine, with Butter Chicken among its most popular dishes. But then again, it is a favourite at most restaurants today.

My friends Kashmira and Nikhil Joshi, who had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary, joined me. So, we thought we should mix things up a bit.

For starters we had a juicy Chicken Tandoori ($13) and Momos. The momos were simply prepared dumplings filled with a combination of steamed cabbage, carrot and spring onion. A nice vegetarian treat to get the taste buds going at an affordable $7.50. The Chicken Tandoori, well, it was as always, scrumptious!

With such variety, including fish and prawns, it took us some time to decide what to eat. We settled on the Paneer Kadai ($10.50), Chicken Vindaloo ($11), Vegetarian Kofta Curry ($9) and Mutton Roganjosh ($12).

The Paneer Kadai was spicy while the Kofta was creamy, so it was a good blend of tastes. The Chicken Vindaloo was prepared with black pepper, baby potatoes and had a spicy, yet sweet and sour taste. We opted for bread and chose the Rumali Roti, Garlic Naan and what I consider the best choice, the Masala Kulcha ($4.50). This bread was filled with potato, pecan nuts, green peas and dried fruit and each of these was enough to cure any hunger pangs.

After a bit of catch-up conversation, we ordered dessert and since I have a sweet tooth, I made sure I enjoyed at least four different types. If you want a blend of ice cream and milk, I will certainly recommend the Pista Kulfi ($7), Lychee Kulfi ($7) and Rabri ($6). But, I was more impressed with the Gajar Ka Halwa ($6). Coming from South Africa, it was the first time I tasted this popular treat, prepared with carrots and milk. It was not too heavy, not too sweet - just right! And as the waiter said, it is a "healthy dessert".

To wash all these down, we chose the Watermelon Lime and Mint Calamansi ($4, above left), which is not only a thirst quencher, but leaves a fresh, cooling taste to end a lovely three-course meal.

My friends were impressed with the food and said: "It was just as good as the food served at fine dining places in terms of quality and tasteā€¦ It stands out for us and we will be back many times more before our second anniversary."

Before I left, I made sure I got the head chef Ajim Khan to recommend some of his dishes. This was his selection: For non-veg starter, Malai Kebab Chicken; main course, Butter Chicken or Fish Tikka Masala. For veg starter: Harabhara Kebab - a combination of 10 different vegetable mixes; main course, Veg Jaipuri; and dessert, Gajar Ka Halwa.

Copper Chimney
100 Syed Alwi Road (Opposite Mustafa)
Tel: 6294-8891

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