Gandhi Restaurant is a long-standing restaurant nestled in Little India that still practices serving up food on banana leaves since the good old days. Absent of any pretentiousness, this humble eatery is truly as authentic as it gets when it comes to real-deal South Indian cooking.
For the uninitiated, start off with a Thali rice set for starters, and in addition to your rice and complementary vegetable-based sides, feel free to pick and choose from a mouth-watering array of curries and fried delights. Their meat dishes are excellent, with the mutton masala and fried chicken being two of our notable favourites.
This is a place where you can eat till your sides split, and you can bet that it will not cost you more than S$10 to do so!
Although situated in a shabby looking shop, Gandhi Restaurant is hugely popular with prominent Singaporean-Indian businessmen, including lawyers, so it really is not surprising to see people dressed in suits and ties dining there.
There are no menus available here, or at least we did not manage to come across any during our visit. Instead, you will see servers walking about with huge trays stacked with amazing food which is a testament to how old-school the system of service is here.
A basic set meal starts with a generous helping of rice, followed by three different kinds of vegetable dishes and a crispy poppadom, served fresh and hot. Lastly, you get to choose between fish curry or daal (lentil-based) curry. The process in which the thali rice set is set up in front of you is almost immediate. Just tell the servers what you want and how much of it and you are good to go!
Prior to the arrival of the mains, you may choose to begin by mixing and integrating the different sauces together with the rice to savour each of the flavours and to set your taste buds ablaze.
The fried chicken was tender and flavourful thanks to all the spices rubbed deep into its flesh, but what made so delicious was the generous amount of sweet caramelised onion that is served along with it. We liked that it arrived hot, an indication that it was cooked fresh and not pre-cooked and left out in the open like most places tend to do.
We also shared a bowl of mutton masala, which was tender and had been cooked in complex spices. It is truly a treat; rich, tender and spicy just the way any good mutton curry should be.
If you did not start off with either the fish or daal curry, the sauce from this mutton masala works great atop your rice too. Ask the servers for a dollop of yoghurt–the subtle tartness goes perfectly well with the rich and robust flavours of the mutton masala.
Once you have rounded off that spicy meal and eaten to your heart’s content, treat your palate to a sweet lassi or some traditional Indian desserts. Before you leave, do not forget to fold the banana leaf inwards and towards you. It is only good manners to do so!
Overall, the standard of the food at Gandhi is well-above average if you consider most Indian eateries in Little India. For this glorious feast for two, we only had to pay $18! The long lines for takeaway food and the packed air-conditioned area at both lunchtime and dinnertime are clear indicators of how truly amazing the food is.
31 Chander Road
Tel: +65 6299 5343
Mon to Fri: 11am – 4pm, 6pm – 11pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Little India