Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Binge - Deepavali Dining

Every year, my neighbour, Mr Kumar, a most successful businessman and intensely generous soul, invites the entire neighbourhood to his place for a Deepavali bash. As it is every year, his parties are drop-dead superb affairs with a lavish spread that stretches his entire garden, with full lamb on a spit, revolving shwarma with chef to slice slivers of meat into your wrap, ice kachang made on the spot, a full, bottomless and generous bar, laksa served a la minute, popiah rolled as your order, and lots more. No wonder the neighbours all turn up without fail, and that’s where we have our yearly get together full of goodness and community spirit. Last year, he even had a roving photographer take pictures of guests and had it beamed directly on a huge TV screen. That family certainly knows how to throw a party! It’s a pity that this year, I will miss it, as I’m pottering off to Shanghai for the weekend.

But Deepavali is such a lovely festival to celebrate, with tiny flickering oil lamps prettying up the night and symbolizing good conquering evil. What’s lovely too is the rich, complex Indian food that we simply must indulge in to get into the mood, us being multiracial Singaporeans. Happily, the restaurants and hotels are getting into the groove lately, doling out Diwali goodies for the season. So where to head to for our spicy fix next weekend?
Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre’s evergreen Tandoor restaurant, known for being one of the best Indian restaurants in town, is serving up Diwali Food Mela. Leave the diet at the door, and wolf down all-time faves like Chaat, Handi Biryanis, Dosai, Kebabs, etc, from 6-7 November. ($42.00 for adults and $19.50 for kids). From now till 10 Nov, sugar up with Indian sweets or gift them in the form of the restaurant’s festive gift sets packed with Almond and Pista triangles, Pista and Cashew rolls, Apricot and Saffron Burfi, Khaja Dry Fruit and Nut Fudge and Moti Chur Ladoo. Blasting the underarm hang can wait.

Tel: 6730 0153
Want gifts of absolute gorgeousness and sweet saturation? Grab the mithai gift boxes from Rang Mahal, another bastion of swoon-worthy Indian cuisine, located at the Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore. The Premium Mitthai Jewel Box (30 pcs+ 1 bag of signature spiced nuts; pix at top of post) is $80 and features an intricate rhinestone and mirror piece; while the more modest Ladoo collection (above) is absolutely cute and chirpy at $55. No need to say more, just look at the pretty pictures.
Tel: 6333 1788
Over at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, stylish Asian restaurant Straits Kitchen doles out the goods from 2-12 November with traditional yums like Tandoori Chicken, Roti Prata, Lamb Kofta, Dhum Briyani, Barawan Capati and saturated sweet treats, including my favourite Gulab Jamun, Kesari and Barfi. Prices range from $41-$52 per adult, and $19.50 - $26 per child, depending on time and dates. Extra goodies are tossed in on 4-6 November.
Tel: 67381234
For Bollywood tunes, ghazals, live music and a real Diwali treat, head to Shahi Maharani at Raffles City on Diwali day itself (5 Nov) and dive into a pan-India spread - chaats from Mumbai, succulent Kebabs from Lucknow, curries from Kashmir, Hyderabad, Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Sindh, and desserts from Bengal. Listen hard enough – aren’t the Dum Biryanis and Jalebis calling your name? $59 per person.
Raffles City Shopping Centre #03-21B
Tel: 6235 8840


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