I LOVE public holidays. Especially in Singapore, which is often called one of the cultural melting pots in the world, it's also a time where love for food transcend any cultural or religious barrier. During dinner, all that matters is that you love butter naan as much as another person do.
Diwali, the Celebration of Light, is celebrated by Hindus around the world. Diwali is also a time where family and friends come together to have reunion and share a meal. Which is why every Diwali, I often self invite myself (lol #noshame) to my friends's Diwali dinner. Since they grew up with the authentic indian food, dinner is such an amazing process "Jalebi or Kulfi? Galaouti Kebab or Malai Tikka?" why not have it all?
Me at the end of dinner, #food coma
This year we decided to visit Shahi Maharani, a North Indian restaurant located at Raffles City. It has recently been mentioned in the Michelin Guide. So when I reached I was like "YES, MY BODY IS READY." We were seated right in the middle of the restaurant which was filled up with groups of families in the next few hours.
I left it to my friends to choose the dishes, because let's be honest, they grew up with these stuff and they are real pros. Since there were a bunch of us, we ordered a variety of starters. Two of which were chaats or snacks which usually served as street side stalls. I really missed these since trying the originals at my friend's wedding in Delhi.
Come to Mama
I tried the Papdi Chaat ($14 - sharing plate), and it burst into a vibrant flavours of spicy, sweet, and tangy upon the first bite. Honestly that's the thing that continuously amazes me about Indian food, how can something so simple be so Goddamn good??
Next up is the Panipuri ($14 - sharing plate), I have to admit that the first time I tried this I popped like 6 of these in one go, cus honestly they were hella good. Shahi Maharani, however, serves up two different types of filling. One sweet and one spicy. I tried the sweet one since I've never tried it before and it's pretty safe to say that I'll stick to the spicy version next time. One thing I've gotta say though, these panipuri are damn atas and served on something like a shot glass. So 10/10 for presentation.
One thing that I was really excited for was the Galouti Kebab ($32 - shared platter) Made out of very tender lamb meat, they're fresh and spicy upon first bite and nicely complemented by the mini parathas that it came with. Definitely a very good starter dish.
Next up is my favourite dish and I can say this with 100% confidence because I truly waited until the end of the dinner to make the decision. This dish is called Murgh Malai Tikka, boneless chicken steeped in creamy cheese marinade. Now this may not look like much but honestly it smelled and tasted HEAVENLY.
Me when I tasted the Malai Tikka
The chicken pieces was so tender and the cream was soaked up by the chicken the even the center of it carried a consistent taste. One thing that amazed me though, was the onions. I mean how good can onions be right? Well let me tell you, they did something to these damn onions because it honestly tasted so goddamn amazing.
I think we found the real champ of this Diwali dinner guys
Now to the main dishes! We ordered five different flavours of the curries. Most of them, as you can tell, involved butter because let's be honest they're the best. Two of them are vegetarian options, which brings me to the point that if I'm ever vegetarian I will honestly just eat Indian food all day. I decided to go for the butter naan (because you can never overdo butter)
The combination of the two were perfect, the Chicken Makhanwala, or butter chicken, being my favourite. I think it's pretty safe to say that Shahi Maharani does the best chicken dishes so make sure to order those when you ever come and visit.
My favourite part of dinner was surprise, surprise the DESSERT. One of the reasons why wanted to try Shahi Maharani out was because apparently the Jalebis are amazing there. Now, I have no idea what this snack is but when my friends told me that it was super sweet and deep fried, I was totally game.
After first bite, it's pretty clear that my friends were of course 100% right. Whoever invented this snack is a genius ("And probably dead" quipped one my friends lol). Imagine just rings of sugar, wrapped in a deep fried version of itself and topped with sprinkles of pistachio. Take a bite and it's molten core will ooze out.
I also stole a bite of the MalaiKulfi, which is a popular frozen dairy dessert, sprinkled with pistacchio. Eating it together with the Jalebis is akin to eating a way better version of churros with ice cream. I have to warn you though, they're both extremely sweet and sinful, please share it with your friends.
Bonus: My friends also ordered two other very popular desserts, Rasmalai (cottage cheese dumpling steeped in reduced flavoured milk) and Gulab Jamun (deep fried spheres for thicken milk dipped in rose flavoured syrup). Now I didn't personally tried these but they both look forking amazing.
Overall, our dinner at Shahi Maharani was amazing and a must try. Though I have to say that I'm probably biased because I just enjoyed hanging out and having dinner with all of my friends no matter the place or food.