Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Annalakshmi, Excelsior Shopping Centre

Clockwise from left: Jeera Pilau, Chilli Gobi, and Malai Kofta

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.


j said...

The pic made me really miss Asia.. lucky you!

Great blog. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity. What's the "good cause" our monies go to?

bma said...

Click through on the food stall link - you'll see the explanation in there.

mita said...

I like the way you describe your adventures with Indian cuisine.

Not sure if you've eaten Indian home cooking yet, but its really much better than the fare you get in restaurants.

Looking forward to more of your posts.

Kathy said...

We fell in love at Annalakshmi in more ways than one, and having tasted (north) Indian home cooking at many a friend's place, this comes very close to what a friend's mom may make.

The various rice dishes are a good giveaway to how good they really are, the Kashmiri rice is quite close to what my friend's mom makes and she is a born and bred Kashmir. The raita, palak paneer are very good too.

I wonder if the food at the new location is as good?