Haldhi Indian Restaurant

Nestled on the banks of the historical Singapore River, Haldhi Restaurant stands out like a gem with its intricate, carved wooden paneling and antique wooden doors. The row of shophouses along Boat Quay was originally built to provide warehousing facilities. Juxtaposed against skyscrapers in the business district of Singapore, it creates a stunning skyline while at the same time, a picturesque and romantic setting to indulge in a sumptuous meal.

 

  • The Vibe
    Taking its cue from the yellow hue of the turmeric, or haldi as it is called in Hindi, this brightly painted three-storey shophouse boasts of two sitting arrangements. Having come under a new management recently, Haldhi has plans to recreate the second floor of the restaurant into a “havali”, or palace with a romantic setting. An indoor table will transport you back in time to the Moghul era with colourful arcs, mirrors etched with Moghul dancers and even ancient battle artifacts. Not to be outdone, the outdoor seats offer an enviable expanse of the Singapore River. If you prefer personalized service, Haldi provides a romantic setting for two. Ornate with beautiful carvings, the “palace by the river” is a canopy-like structure that segregates you from the main dining area, hence creating the illusion of being in your own love boat.
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  • The Food
    Start off your gastronomical pleasure with the Delhi ka samosa ($5), a tasteful appetizer in servings of two. This generously sized, deep-fried pyramid shaped pancake is stuffed to the brim with spiced potatoes, cashew nuts and raisins. Team the appetizer with a Mango lassi, a delicious concoction of yogurt drink with a mango flavour.

    The house specialty, Shann-e-raan, or leg of lamb, is purported to be the only one in Singapore. Served in portions of either half for two ($25) or full for four ($45), the leg of the lamb combines an assortment of spices, pot roasted and then cooked in a tandoor. The end product is a delicacy that does not exude the muttonish smell and yet, is succulent enough to be savoured bit by bit. This dish goes well with the lahsuni (garlic) naan ($3) or saffron rice ($5).

    If you are someone who needs gravy to tee off, then the dhal makani ($8) comes highly recommended. Coated in a shimmering sheen of butter, the lentil is boiled for over 6 hours, over a slow fire, to achieve its soft texture. The result: a spicy yet lip-smacking concoction that glides down smoothly. Alternatively, murgh kadai with black pepper ($15) is a personal favourite. Sporting a peppery aftertaste, the flavoursome dish brings the out the pleasure in savouring succulent mutton with a spicy tinge.

    The tandoori pomfret ($20) is not only a rare find but also one that will bring a smile to seafood lovers like me. Cooked to a mouth-watering shade of orange, the pomfret is as delectable as it is a delight to the eyes. Freshness of the pomfret is apparent with its springy texture and firm, moist flesh coated with tandoori gravy. Its only drawback lies with the laborious de-boning.

    Spoilt for choice? The assorted kabab platter will save you much trouble. Recommended for a group of four ($60), this platter consists of the various types of kababs ranging from seafood to chicken to meat and varies from spicy to non-spicy varieties. Tangri Kabab or Murgh Malai Kabab, fresh chicken with a buttery aftertaste, is perfect for those with a low tolerance for spiciness. For spicy addicts, the Chicken Tikka or boneless chicken is the ideal choice. If you love seafood, have the tandoori jhinge or grilled prawn dipped in ajwain to savour the fresh prawns. Then, bite into the Seekh kabab or Barrah-e-haldhi, two types of the mutton kababs, which are baked and cooked over low fire. Indeed, there is something for everybody!

    No meal is complete without some dessert and at Haldhi; the Kesar Pista Kulfi ($6) is simply one of the best around. Made with fresh milk, the Indian ice-cream ends the meal on a pleasant note with its creamy texture and not-too sweet taste.

  • The Service
    The dishes at Haldhi are served relatively quickly as we were the only patrons at the early lunch hour. Dishes are cleared in a timely manner and drinks are refilled thoughtfully at intervals. The restaurant managers are on hand to make food and wine recommendation as well as to inquire if food is served to the diner’s satisfaction.

The SD Food Advisor’s take on Haldhi Restaurant
Visiting Haldhi Restaurant is definitely a win-win situation in terms of price, service and ambience. Under the helm of its new management, Haldhi is keen to make a come back with food that is not only visually appetizing but one that will delight the senses and palates. The restaurant aims to make changes gradually but effectively. On Friday and Saturday nights, ladies are in for a treat. Haldhi will bring in a mendhi (henna) artist to apply mendhi art at no extra charge. The Haldhi Music Lounge will be making its debut soon, so patrons will be treated to not only a gastronomical wonder but an after dinner entertainment as well.

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