Annalakshmi, Excelsior Shopping Centre
Wow - this place (5 Coleman Street #02-10, 6339-9993) totally exceeded my expectations. Annalakshmi is of course the place with no set prices - you just pay what you want. And while I knew that this location was an actual restaurant (rather than just the little food court stall), I didn't think it would be this good (nor well decorated - this place almost reminded me of Shahi Maharani at Raffles City Mall).
The menu was decently extensive, so I opted for a few things that I had never tried before. The first was chilli gobi, or as the menu put it, "a mouth watering starter, where cauliflower is dipped in a fine paste of ginger, garlic, and flour, with a dash of spices and deep fried." While I didn't necessarily taste that many spices (although it sure made it look like little red chunks of tandoori chicken), I was very impressed with what a good job they did in frying this thing: it was perfectly crispy. Gotta love deep-fried vegetables!
Next was the malai kofta, or "potato mashed into balls, deep fried served in a creamy cashewnut-based gravy." This was richly tantalizing too - and it packed a surprising amount of heat. (The potato ball looked deceptively like a meatball but my mouth still agreed with it.) And to go with this all I grabbed the jeera pilau, or cumin rice. This again surprised me: it was light and fluffy yet very savory with a couple surprise bursts of onion from time to time. Nice. To wash this all down, I got the Annalakshmi special, which is basically and orange and honey based lassi.
Everything went down very well indeed, and, as usual, they asked "how much" [are you going to pay us?] at the end. I loved this meal so much that I probably gave way more than I needed to, but it was worth it (and hey - it was for a good cause!). I'm definitely coming back here. I've just gotta remember that they are closed on Sundays.