SINGAPORE - (TABLA!) Tucked between Kreta Ayer and Neil roads is Keong Saik Road, which has some of the hippest bars and cafes. As a fan of Indian cuisine, I was excited to learn that a casual yet modern Indian eatery Indline - The Indian Cookery had been added to its dining line-up.
I dropped by for lunch and my first impressions of the eatery were that it had a colourful interior and a relaxed dining area compared to other Indian restaurants I've dined in.
But what's unique about Indline is its "Subway inspired style". Diners queue at the counter and customise their meals with the Indbox ($14.50) which comes with a choice of rice, a main, daal, salad and naan.
The box caters to the busy lunch crowd and patrons who want a quick bite, giving them the option of customising their meal from an array of curries, tikkas, kebabs, dhals, salads, naans and rice, all in one box.
Since it was Indline's signature item, I decided to try it too. I chose the Saffron Basmati Rice ($6), Lamb Vindaloo ($11), Dhal Tadka ($7), Kachumbar, a tangy chopped spicy salad with freshly- squeezed lemon ($2), and Cheese Naan ($4).
I found the steamed rice with saffron, sprinkled with fried onions, very fragrant. I paired this with the flavourful Lamb Vindaloo.
Of the five dishes in the box, the lamb was a winner for me - the cubes were slightly spicy, tender and succulent but I felt the serving wasn't enough for someone like me who enjoys eating lamb.
What also caught my eye was the Kadhai Prawns ($12) - a dish that is not commonly found in many Indian restaurants. I ate this with the Cheese Naan and found it a good mix. The prawns, tossed in vegetables, had a nice mix of spices and were very fresh.
It was my first time trying cheese naan. I found it very soft and fluffy, with a generous portion of cheese.
I also tried the all-time classic Chicken Tikka ($11). At Indline, the tikka, boneless chicken marinated with spices and yogurt, is baked in a tandoor oven and served on a hotplate. Unlike other chicken tikkas I've tried, this one was moist, tender and well-marinated. It was quite possibly the best chicken tikka I'd ever tasted.
I washed it all down with a Rose Lassi ($4). Don't confuse this with the Bandung drink though. It tastes nothing like it. The rose taste was very distinct and the lassi was rich and thick. If you have a sweet tooth like me, you will enjoy this unique lassi.
No meal is complete without desserts. I had the Malai Kulfi ($4), a homemade frozen milk dessert with ground pistachios and almonds. I liked that it didn't melt too easily and the saffron added to the ice-cream made it fragrant.
It was a great dining experience. If you're in the Chinatown area and craving Indian food, you might want to head to Indline.