SINGAPORE - (TABLA!) With its location at the Singapore Flyer, it's expected that Bayview Tandoor would not only have a great view, but that it must provide a quality dining experience for hungry tourists.
The restaurant did not disappoint in either category: I was equally delighted by its view of the Gardens by the Bay as I was convinced of its speciality in North Indian cuisine.
I'm someone whose experience of Indian food is limited to what I've tried at coffee shops and a trip to Ladakh, so I was guided through this culinary experience by two Indian colleagues and as we sampled the lunch options I could tell I was not the only one who was impressed.
Bayview Tandoor offers a flexible dining experience.
Customers can enjoy a casual lunch or go all out with a romantic dinner.
This feel of flexibility extends to its food, with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options for its buffet (weekday lunch $19, weekend lunch $24, dinner $24).
The buffet changes on a daily basis with different offerings for lunch and dinner, but with a standard starter, two types of rice, three vegetarian dishes, dal, two non-vegetarian dishes and dessert.
If you're not feeling up for a buffet, then the a la carte menu is always available, ready to be served up by polite and efficient service staff.
Beginning our meal was the creamy Murg Malai Chicken and the chicken tikka (both $14 a la carte).
While full of spices, they were balanced with a cooling mint sauce which provided the perfect contrast during a hot Friday afternoon.
However, the highlight of my appetiser was the excellent Dahi Papdi Chaat (a la carte $6.50) which was a salad-like mixture of onions, chickpeas and chaat with sweet yogurt and tamarind chutney sauce.
Although I was already stuffed from the starters, I had to try the impressive main course. We were served biryani rice and naan with four different dishes: Butter chicken, Mushroom Mutter (a vegetarian curry with mushrooms and spicy gravy), dal and aloo beans.
Of the four, the butter chicken was an instant favourite among my colleagues and I (a la carte $13.90).
It was phenomenal how grilled chicken morsels could taste so good, very tender and full of flavour with a thick creamy tomato sauce.
To top off the great meal, we ended with the small but sweet gulab jamun dessert, putting a much-needed sweetness on my palate to compensate for all that spice.
While we were not in the mood to drink any alcohol during lunch, it should be noted that Bayview Tandoor offers a variety of alcoholic beverages such as wines and cocktails. The latter ranges in price from $15 to $18 while mocktails are served at a set $10.
I asked my colleague Mrs Surendar Kaur, who is an experienced diner of North Indian food in both India and Singapore, for her opinion of the food.
She said the Murg Malai Chicken was juicy, tender and bursting with flavours with a perfection that only a good chef can pull off.
The naan was great too, she said, as it was not too oily and had just enough oil to keep it tasty.
She also said the butter chicken was the best she has eaten in a long time.
Overall, I could not have asked for a better debut with North Indian cuisine.
I can only imagine the splendid view during the night when the Gardens are all lit up, a dinner treat that I will introduce my friends to in the future.
30 Raffles Avenue
#02-01, The Singapore Flyer
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