Ask any local foodie for recommendations on fine-dining Indian cuisine in this town (and perhaps even the region), and you’re bound to find Rang Mahal high on the eat list. Its classy interiors aside, this 47-year-old establishment at Pan Pacific Singapore wows with its flawless Indian fare, matched by a strong wine list and polished service.
Milind Sovani, who was its chef in the early noughties, has come full circle and returned to helm the kitchen. He has revamped about 80 per cent of the menu, and the dishes certainly don’t disappoint.
The tasting sampler, a trio of appetisers comprising delectably tender tandoori lamb chop, tandoori prawn, and kasoori chicken kebab, hits the spot.
Equally good is the murg lababdar – succulent tandoor-roasted boneless chicken simmered in a rich cashew and tomato cardamom gravy that’s best mopped up with freshly baked naan. The bhindi do pyaza, tender baby okra tossed in ginger onion tomato masala, provides a good counterpoint to the meats, and goes beautifully with the zafrani pulao – fluffy, aromatic Indian basmati perfumed with saffron.
The well-balanced and flavourful dishes are best enjoyed with stellar drops from its strong wine list.
For dessert, cast aside all preconceived notions of overly cloying sweets, and try the kesari jalebi, sweetened crispy gram flour rings served with reduced milk, or the rasmalai, cardamom-flavoured cottage cheese dumplings in sweetened milk topped with roasted pistachio and almonds. Rang Mahal’s interpretations are lighter than the traditional versions and are in another league. A word of caution, though: the kesari jalebi is addictive; it’s hard to stop at just one. New on the menu is the lychee kulfi frozen dessert.
With its triumvirate of great food, smart yet personable service, and an elegant ambience that few of its peers can boast, it’s no wonder this grande dame remains a go-to establishment for heads of state, dignitaries and celebrities. We’re fans too.