Table by Rang Mahal is the less expensive branch of Rang Mahal, like Miu Miu from the more costly Prada. The $15 set lunch menu calls the food “bento sets,” implying 2 things. Firstly, side dishes are fixed: dal, red-and-brown rice, gobi matter (cauliflower) and a choice of 5-grain tandoori or naan. The choice comes from the main ingredient: pick one from chicken tikka, OR Malmali Seekh kebab, OR tandoori mushroom (vegetarian), OR tandoori paneer tikka (vegetarian).
The chicken tikka looked dry but was tender and smoky, very delicious. The kebab was OK, nothing amiss. Both meats came sparse.
The second and less obvious thing about calling Indian food “bento” is that the food is targeted towards an international crowd. This means the food uses less spices and is compromised. When I eat Indian food, I want to experience the complexity of spices, I want full-throttle, no-holds-barred spice, nice and everything in between. I didn’t get this satisfaction from Table.
You may order from the a la carte menu, which is all carbs, carbs, carbs. We added 2 desserts instead: rasmalai ($9), which is what I’d imagine Chinese white cakes 白饼 soaked in reduced cardomon-flavored milk with a goat-cheese aftertaste taste like; and table pop ($11), a mild sugarfree coconut popsicle with raspberry bits and chia seeds. Pretty and pretty fragrant but pricing it at $11 for frozen coconut juice is ridiculous.
The decor is gorgeous, with those silver little things above the bar, shimmering like a school of fish in an ocean. The service was exceptional, efficient and friendly. But I need passion in my Indian food and I got no loving here. I haven’t eaten at the posh Rang Mahal yet, but after this, I’m having doubts. We paid $60 for two.
41 Seah Street, Naumi Hotel lobby, Singapore 188396
T: 6403 6005
Rating: 3.313/5 (One of those freak aggregate where ambience and service pulled up the average. The food scored a 5.25/10.)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.