After some sleuthing, we deduced that Singapore’s Copper Chimney at Little India has no connections to the famous chain Copper Chimney from Bombay, north India. Although they both sell north Indian food, the north Indian Copper Chimney did not list Singapore as its franchisee and their logos are different.
Established in 2012, Copper Chimney, besides having their flagship at Little India, has express outlets at MBFC Tower 3 and Asia Square. The menu has a wide range but isn’t confusing. Items are highlighted in the menu to show their signatures. And these are their signatures:
The butter chicken ($16) comes with thick pieces of succulent chicken, at once smokey and rich and creamy. The sweetened tomato sauce tastes like bursts of sunbeams. This is the Platonic standard of all butter chicken.
Salmon tikka masala ($18) is a modern spin on their chicken brethren. There are some generous chunks of salmon blanketed under that nutty sauce. Defying my expectation that the salmon would be dry, they are cooked just right, beautifully flakey.
The stewed mutton Roganjosh ($16), which originated from Kashmir, is spicier than other dishes in this review. The flavours are also deeper and more earthy. The tender mutton has the right amount of gamey-ness, just gamey enough for the eater to recognise the distinctive mutton flavour, not overpowered by the gravy, but not excessively gamey to be repulsive.
A huge population of India are vegetarians so there are many vegetarian dishes in this restaurant. The next two dishes in this review are vegetarian. Palak paneer ($15) is essentially cottage cheese (paneer) in blended spinach (palak). Spinach may be horrible to some but blended spinach is awesome to most. Some restaurants use a sharper or more aged paneer, but here, they use a young, clean cheese that has a lighter flavour, in a gravy so vividly green you can taste the colour (in a good way).
The dramatic-looking veg Jaipuri ($13), which is Copper Chimney’s signature among signatures, is a medley of vegetables (green beans, peas, cauliflower, carrot, and green bell pepper). The difficulty of cooking this dish is to ensure that each vegetable retains its crunchiness without losing their individual characteristics. They are also coated in a saffron-sauce. Although most people at my table liked it, I couldn’t quite take to it perhaps because of the weird-tasting sauce. I put it down to trying a new flavour to which I am unaccustomed. Maybe if I try it more times, I’d like it.
While the food is exceptional–every dish is delectable–the service was inattentive and we had trouble getting the attention of servers even though there were only 3 tables of customers that night.
Water is not free here and is served by the bottle ($1 each). Including the rather expensive naan ($4.50 for 2 pieces) which we ordered several rounds to mop up all that gravy, we paid about $116 for four persons. Quite a good price for such delicious food. We will surely return for more.
Little India, 100 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207676
Tel: +65 94455663
11.30am – 10.30 pm daily
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Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.
Categories: $20-$40, Families, Indian, Large Group, Little India, Vegetarian
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