12 best restaurants to feast at in Little India

·6-min read
little india dining guide
little india dining guide

Little India is one of the few neighbourhoods in Singapore that runs on its own energy. If you’re planning to visit the heritage-rich enclave, go hungry because some of Singapore’s best restaurants are right in Little India.

Unlike the city’s ever-changing landscape, the vibrant area refuses to give way, retaining its historic shophouses, iconic landmarks like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, and wondrous mix of traditional cuisines from South Asia.

little india dining guide
(Image credit: @oneinamelonx via Instagram)

There are plenty of eateries in the area serving a diverse range of Indian dishes, from Kerala food specialists, Bengali establishments, to vegetarian options. A number of local dining chains also got their start in the area, and in recent years, new restaurants have appeared offering contemporary and upscale versions of the cuisine. Read on for more.

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12 best restaurants to eat at in Little India

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Sakunthala's Restaurant

Founded in 1997, Sakunthala’s is a homegrown restaurant chain that brings the royal treatment to Singapore’s brand of Indian food. Named after the owner’s mother and a title for a princess or a queen, they serve northern and southern Indian dishes including naan, thosai, pakora, biryanis, mutton mysore, and curry fish head. Chinese dishes like fried rice are also on the menu.

(Image credit: @chinoychews / Instagram)

Address

66 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218570 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6293 6649

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Spice Junction

Spice Junction turns its attention to India’s long southwestern coastline that makes up the state of Kerala. Seafood features heavily on their menu, including fish curry, masala fried pomfret, and prawn mango curry, as well as staples like fried mutton with coconut, porotta, steamed rice with coconut shavings called puttu, and appam. During lunch, they offer thali sets with either fish curry, fried chicken, or vegetables.

Address

126 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218585 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6341 7980

Book here

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Kailash Parbat

Kailash Parbat was started in the 1940s when the Mulchandani brothers sold pani puri in Karachi before opening a restaurant in Mumbai in 1952. Now with locations in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong, they focus on Indian street food from chaat to puri in various guises, Bombay specialities, and house creations such as Masala Pav (onion tomato gravy stuffed in a butter bun) and Tuk Tuk (crispy potato and taro topped with Sindhi masala).

(Image credit: @eatingmywaythroughsg / Instagram)

Address

3 Belilios Rd, #01-03 Hilton Garden Inn, Singapore 219924 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6836 5545

4 /12

Machan's Kitchen

Machan’s offers a taste of Tamil food in a contemporary setting. Seafood dishes are some of the highlights here, including fish head curry, Nandu Vengaya Masala (crab and shallot cooked with spices), and mango fish curry. Round them off with some Tamil street food including Kalakki, or scrambled eggs with masala, ghee roasted chicken called Nei Kozhi Varuval, and Machan’s Mutton Biryani.

Address

74 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218574 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6291 2526

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Greenleaf Cafe

Greenleaf Cafe is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant that is popular for their lunch Thali, which comprises of rice or flatbread surrounded by different kinds of side dishes and chutneys. Other items include poori, chappathi, koozh or porridge, and specials like paneer pulao.

(Image credit: @nars.sl / Instagram)

Address

43 Cuff Rd, Singapore 209753 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

9783 7476

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Mustard

Opened in 2005, Mustard is one of the rare Indian restaurants in Singapore that focuses on Bengali and Punjabi cuisines. Led by chef Radhika Abbi, signature dishes include Chingri Maacher Malai Curry, or prawns cooked in a coconut shell with mildly spicy coconut cream, Dhaniya and Pudina mutton chops marinated with coriander, green chilli, and mint, and Kolkata Lamb Biryani, which is cooked in a claypot. If they are full, the nearby Kolkata Beckons is a similar and worthy alternative.

(Image credit: @kakoveryvernis / Instagram)

Address

32 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218552 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6297 8422

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Bismillah Biryani

If there’s one biryani stall we recommend anyone to head to, it’d definitely be Bismillah Biryani. The aromatic, fluffy basmati rice, fall-off-the bone mutton and a much-needed bowl of tart raita on the side to beat the spicy peppers — we’re drooling just at the thought of it. Not convinced enough? We’ve dedicated an entire article to it here.

Address

50 Dunlop St, Singapore 209379 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6935 1326

8 /12

Kotuwa

Chef Naleendra pays homage to his Sri Lankan heritage with the opening of Kotuwa, a modern, casual restaurant located along the fringe of Little India. Here, expect a neat selection of Sri Lankan staples like kottu rotti and dallo baduma, all best had with a handcrafted cocktail or two.

Address

2 Dickson Rd, Level 1 Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore 209494 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6970 7838

Book here

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Meatsmith Little India

It’s easy to miss Meatsmith Little India if you don’t know where to look. Tucked away in a corner shophouse along Campbell Lane, the cosy diner is replete with big barbecue meats that they do so very well. Here, you’ll find its dishes elevated with Indian spices that differentiate the locale from its Telok Ayer branch, such as the Crab & Tobiko Biryani and the Spiced Madras Pork Cheeks. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, we recommend a serving of the Smoked Cauliflower — it’s served with a beautiful Tomato Cashew Relish that adds a ton of flavour to the vegetable.

Address

21 Campbell Ln, Singapore 209894 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

9625 9056

Book here

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The Banana Leaf Apolo

Banana Leaf Apolo is one of the most popular diners in the area. The simply decorated locale serves up a whole menu of dishes, including popular plates like the tender Chicken Masala and Garlic Naan, all at incredibly affordable prices. If you’re wondering where it got its name, yes, you get to feast on food straight off freshly cut banana leaves too.

(Image credit: @oneinamelonx via Instagram)

Address

54 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218564 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6293 8682

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Komala Vilas Restaurant

Not many establishments can withstand the test of time, but Komala Vilas Restaurant surely proves us wrong. The family-run diner has been in operation since 1947, is are best known by regulars for their simple, hearty meals. The Ghee Masala Dosai is a great way to fend off the hunger pangs, but if you’re still feeling peckish, the Chappathi Meal, complete with three flatbreads served an array of vegetables curry and sides, will definitely hit the spot.

(Image credit: @nomnomlog via Instagram)

Address

76-78 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 217981 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6293 6980

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Lagnaa Barefoot Dining

Explore the six ayurvedic flavours of Indian cuisine (that’s sweet, spicy, bitter, salty, sour, astringent and chilli, if you didn’t already know) at Lagnaa Barefoot Dining. Guests can choose to dine with chairs on the restaurant’s ground floor, but we’d rather spend time barefoot, sitting on the wooden floor on the second level. As for recommendations, the mouthwatering threadfin fish curry and creamy palak paneer remain some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

(Image credit: @lagnaabarefootdining via Instagram)

Address

6 Upper Dickson Rd, Singapore 207466 google map

Website

Website here

Phone

6296 1215

Book here

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