A bad meal makes me grouchy.
It spoils my mood.
Whenever I have an unsatisfying meal, I usually feel the need to purge the memory of it with food that is at least decent.
On the way home after a disappointing meal earlier in the day, I decide to stop by a North Indian stall in a neighbourhood coffee shop-style bar that I have eaten at occasionally over the past few years. It is called Sher and is located at Bar Bar Black Sheep, a three-stall coffee shop with a bar along Bukit Timah Road, just before Old Holland Road.
Food from Sher has always been fuss-free, affordable and, more importantly, dependable.
SHER - AN AUTHENTIC NORTH INDIAN EXPERIENCE
Where: Sher, a stall at Bar Bar Black Sheep, 879 Bukit Timah Road
Open: 1 to 10pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday
Rating: 4 stars
I stop by and order chicken tikka masala ($11), mutton Mysore ($12), moong dhal ($6); my favourite fluffy fragrant garlic naan ($3 each, plain naan costs $2 each), lemon rice ($4) and Cashmiri rice ($6).
This is enough for three filling one-person meals.
The chunks of meat in the chicken tikka masala - grilled boneless marinated chicken in a masala tomato gravy - are always tender and I especially love the charred corners.
The chicken chunks are served in a sensual and rich, mildly spicy gravy with a hint of char from the chicken. It is best eaten with rice.
Even though the dish is available in most restaurants, many Indians will argue that chicken tikka masala is not an Indian dish at all.
To many, it is an abomination - albeit a tasty one - but it is a discussion best left for another time.
Next, the mutton Mysore. The cubes of mutton are fork-tender and come in a deliciously robust, spicy masala sauce with onions and capsicum.
The slow burn from the spice that hits the back of the tongue is above my usual threshold, but I would definitely order it again.
The moong dhal, which is made with yellow lentils and spices such as cumin, is sprightly and full of flavour.
Now, the rice. For something a little sweet, opt for the Cashmiri rice. It is tossed with nuts, pineapple and dried fruit such as sultanas and red and green glace cherries.
The lemon rice is subtly flavoured with lemon, curry leaves and mustard seeds - good with curries. There is also rice with cumin and various types of briyani.
A good meal can do wonders to liven up one's mood.
Mine is lifted, thanks to Sher's dhal and curry.
- Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan