Comforting, halal Chindian cuisine in Little India
This humble restaurant along Syed Alwi road is a mainstay, supplying the food-laden street right opposite Mustafa Centre with halal-friendly Indian fare. While there is an abundance of eateries in Singapore serving quality Indian cuisine, what sets Copper Chimney apart is the focus on authentic North Indian dishes as well as Indian-Chinese cuisine.
The hype: This humble restaurant along Syed Alwi road is a mainstay, supplying the food-laden street right opposite Mustafa Centre with halal-friendly Indian fare. While there is an abundance of eateries in Singapore serving quality Indian cuisine, what sets Copper Chimney apart is the focus on authentic North Indian dishes as well as Indian-Chinese cuisine.
The vibe: Past its modest doorway, the dining hall stretches across a sizable space that’s comfortable enough to accommodate big groups of family and friends. Warm lighting fill the space while mirrors line the walls, and at the end of the room, a glass panel offers patrons a look into the spotless kitchen, where their orders are being prepared by masterful chefs. As a signature touch, copper furnishings are added to the decor, including lamps and cups. The venue is a two-storey shophouse, with the second floor reserved for private events.
The food: For starters, order a plate of Kurkure Bhindi ($5), crispy, deep-fried lady’s fingers, for the table to share. The golden-brown vegetable snack makes for a great appetite whetter, and goes well with your dhal and rice too. If plain rice isn’t your carb of choice, pick from the restaurant’s extensive bread and biryani selection.
The Chili Cheese Naan ($6.50) is fluffy and loaded with green chillies and a full-flavoured layer of paneer. Or, if dairy isn’t your thing, plain naans ($4.50) will accommodate to your flatbread cravings. A communal must-try is the Masala Roomali ($8); an impossibly brittle and thin flatbread in the shape of a giant bowl, holding a generous spicy garnish of onions and tomatoes for your group to break off and devour.
Make sure not to skimp on your selection of curries—the slightly tangy Chicken Lababdar ($15) is a solid pick for spice-seeking diners; Lucknow Murg Korma ($18) for a comforting creamy consistency of silky butter chicken topped with a touch of saffron; or the popular Madras Prawn Curry ($17), featuring a deep red, fragrant gravy with a hint of sweetness from the prawns.
Prepared in a searing Tandoor oven of over 400 degrees, the Salmon Fish Tikka ($18) serves up gorgeous salmon pieces that has soaked up masala marinate into its tender flesh. Coat the fish in the accompanying dips—a mint and yogurt combination or purely mint puree—to accentuate its lively flavours.
Unknown to many, the Triple Szechwan Rice ($15) is a recognisable Mumbai-based street delight in which fried rice, hakka noodles and a spicy gravy make up a triple threat dish you'll likely savour for a long time.
The drinks: Lime juices are the unspoken beverage pairings for Indian cuisine and Copper Chimney whips up a mean Fresh Lime Soda ($5) that helps refresh and cleanse the palate. The menu also offers lime soda either sweet or salty, but we highly recommend asking for a mix. Another crowd-pleaser is a towering glass of Mint Calamansi ($6); the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant's fiery fare.
Why you will be back: Genuine North Indian tastes meld with Chinese cooking (also endearingly known as “Chindian” cuisine) at Copper Chimney, but rather than a careless, all-bases-covered fusion menu, respect is paid to each tradition and dishes retain their cultural foundations. Prices don’t put a strain on your wallet either, so you can enjoy affordable restaurant-grade Indian food.