Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Diwali! Little India, Singapore


In the spirit of multi-culturalism and today's festivities this post is going to be another compilation (rather large one) post. I love Little India, in fact I find Little India a lot more fun than Chinatown and it also helps that I'm a big fan of Indian foods.

The Deepavali Festival Village is pretty much a bazaar of food and decorational items for the occasion. Nestled between Tekka Mall and Tekka Market, this place has quite a lot of interesting things to offer.

Indian snacks are predominantly savory and fried. Some of them are baked as well. They have a unique spicy flavor and you can taste the use of spices instead of just plain straight forward salt. Great to munch with beer; especially the spicy fried noodle.

The great thing about having two festive occasions together is that you create combo-celebrations like this so-called "Deepa-Raya" event. This is a store selling traditional Malay snacks and cakes.

As most of the snacks are flour and spice based they're ideal for the vegetarian. But since most of them are also deep-fried you don't have to worry about losing those precious calories haha.

It actually got really warm walking through the bazaar so I retreated to the side-alley where I took this photograph. I call it "The Peer from the Rear" haha ("peer" is used as an intransitive verb here to imply looking narrowly, just thought to clarify things in case someone thinks I sell Indian snacks too).

The Indian goldsmiths enjoy an uptrend in sales during these occasions as well.

This is my favorite eating house in Little India. In fact if I would choose Sri Kamala Vilas Restaurant at Blk 662 Buffalo Rd #01-16 over Samy's anytime if the parking situation here was better. This place doesn't look fancy but they serve the most kickass South Indian cuisines.

Hey is that a beret? No, we have not gone French but these are pooris; it's basically a fried bread and although it looks huge, it's really only filled with air. Slightly crisp externally, chewy and soft within, this is a refreshing change from the typical prata.

Let me present my massive one and a half foot...

Plain paper thosai. This is the thinnest, crunchiest (and longest) thosai I've ever eaten. Please request for the "paper" variety because the conventional ones are pretty thick and won't have this crisp finish.

Which South Indian meal is complete without the quintessential chapati? These are made from chickpea flour and although the ingredients are very simple, making it fluffy and chewy at the same time like these ones require quite a bit of skill.

Masala chicken, tender and spicy, this chook goes extremely well with breads.

For those with inclinations towards a less spicy palate, the deep fried chicken is quite tasty too.

This is the mutton curry. The thing I like about the curries here is that each one has their own unique flavor. They didn't just use one base-curry and put in different types of meats, the special combination of spices for each curry is noticebly evident.

Curried squid, this has a slight assam flavor making it stand out from the rest of the meatier curries.

I like the fried fish cakes here more than the ones at Samy's because it's minced much coarser and chunkier. You can actually taste the fish in these cakes.

The great thing about eating nice Indian food is that not only does each particular dish tastes good by itself but they also complement each other really well. It's as though they create this collective wholesome-ness which is far greater than just a sum of its parts.

Sri Kamala Vilas also serves masala tea. This is not very common at most Indian drink stalls and it's basically tea with spices in it. It's a nice change from the usual teh halia (ginger tea) which I get.

A closer look reveals a layer of spices settling at the bottom of the cup.

Most of the patrons here eat in the traditional non-cutlery manner but as I was taking photographs, I had to keep my hand clean. They do have forks and spoons available so don't feel bad for asking.

What better way is there to end off an Indian feast than with Indian sweets? This place has a huge selection but I normally go for the milk based ones because I find the rest far too sweet.

This was my humble selection, most of them are milk based.

Being a food blogger gives you the excuse to "play" with your food. I present, "The Indian Sweet Pagoda" haha.

A quick stroll through Tekka Food Centre further reinforced the fact that this is indeed a lunch or dinner joint. It was a lot more bustling than when I came for breakfast the other day.

Deciding to bypass the bazaar on the way back, we walked through "Little India Alley" and chanced upon this store.

What a selection, this little joint kicks so much ass.

To my utter joy, they have a huge selection of barfis as well! These brought back the memories of the days when I used to make my own barfi.

They also have this dessert that I love but can never seem to recall its name. I just call it the "Floating Milk Island" which is really a misnomer because it's technically an island floating in milk and not an island made of milk per se. Of course, I had to buy some home for a second round of sweets haha.

This is some cake that we bought after we were given abit to sample at the store. It tasted pretty good and had dried fruit (dates?) in it. The slivers of almond also lent it a nice crunch. In some way this actually reminded me of a soft pecan pie.

Pistachio barfi, this fudge made from the nut (usually almond or cashew) meal and condensed milk has always been quite irresistable to me.

Floating Milk Island chilled from the fridge. This wasn't as sweet as the first two and tasted extremely clean and refreshing.

So that wraps up a rather massive compilation post.
I'm not sure if the readers prefer a compilation post because I feel that in this way I can relate to a common theme.
However, if you girls and guys prefer smaller posts, please let me know.
No biggie on my part.

Lastly, have an excellent Diwali! Go visit your Indian and or Chindian friends! If you're not in the mood to go out, go rent or buy (because you'll watch this more than once) a copy of "Karan and Arjun" the ultimate, and I reiterate "THE ULTIMATE" Bollywood movie.

I would watch this everytime SBS repeats it hahaha.

D

12 comments:

C said...

Its on SBS?!?! Hmmm must watch out for it the next time. Seems like a nice altenative to the silly Jap weather gal one.

Angie said...

D, it's always fun to read your posts, you have a good sense of humour :)

zhengning said...

i agree with angie :D

cindy said...

What a long post with my pictures. I'm gonna have to read it again when I'm not so full, have just returned from a wedding!

About the comment..lol, well yes, I did think it was a bit presumptious. While I've never actually had to explain a non-food post, if you've watched the movie, you'll understand the message behind the quote. I think it's kinda sad..having to move.

cindy said...

wedding was at Four Seasons! I should have eaten less :P

cindy said...

haha you wouldn't have recognised me and don't think I would recognise you either :P.

Have a good trip!

D said...

c: Hey.. isn't the Weather gal show like for adults only? Hahaha.

angie: Thanks, good humor and good food go hand-in-hand I reckon.

zhengning: Thanks for agreeing haha.

cindy said...

I was just reading about Sri Kamala Vilas somewhere as I have a craving for dosais/ thosays, then I realised it was mentioned in your long post! Thanks for the address. Where's the best place to park?

The last dosai I had was at a small shop near Mustafa. And you're right, I am healthier, been a bit lazy to post and upload pictures though.

Gracio said...

D, haha! eh, u shld come dubai! lots of indian foods here! Very original from india too! :)

King Kong said...

The best Indian food is still from India. Wahahahaha

D said...

cindy: Street side is free on Sundays and after 5pm on weekdays I think. But a safe bet is to just do per entry parking at Tekka Mall and do a little hike.

gracio: There's a conference in Dubai next year for my profession. I am tempted to make the trip heh.

Kingkong: the best Japanese food is in Japan ok? hahaha

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