A ‘Nukkad’ in Hindi is a street corner where people generally hang out and talk about their daily life. In the modern times, it also loosely and conveniently translates into a grab-on-the-go concept that is ideal for takeaways. At a stone’s throw from Mustafa, is the newly opened Nukkad, a flagship restaurant of the Panchtantra group, serving Indian drinks and desserts on Syed Alwi Road. Those of us who have grown up in India will identify with the fact that we typically have a craving for a late night dessert binge in the form of chuskis (golas), milkshakes and lassis. Now imagine finding all of them at a convenient location after the exhausting exercise of weekly grocery shopping at Mustafa! A quick glance at their menu will show that all the favourite flavours that go in these items are present to bring a wave of nostalgia. They have also launched a new breakfast menu in the main Panchtantra restaurant which will also be covered in the latter part of this blog post.
Nukkad – The Orders
As the days get hotter, it’s best to pamper yourself with a refreshing drink. With the season of mangoes around, we decided to try the milkshake made with the king of fruits – ‘Mango Magic’. Without an iota of doubt, I can say that Alphonso mangoes are superior in their sweetness, richness and flavour. They are best suited to be used as an ingredient in a milkshake that also acts as a filling dessert. This drink was filled with the creamy and slightly heavy texture of delicious mangoes. Interspersed in the shake were a small quantity of chocolate chips which act as a nice twist. Do not miss this if you are a fan of Indian mangoes.
Another drink absolutely worth trying is the ‘Badam Tutti Frutti Milkshake’. This delicious summer cooler is loaded with the goodness of almonds and pistachios. It acts as the perfect refreshment since it’s extremely light in texture which makes it as easy to drink as buttermilk. A single sip of this well-made drink and you don’t feel like keeping the glass down – highly recommended.
Chuski is an ice lolly made up of crushed ice and flavored with various syrups like rose, khus, orange, strawberry or the famous kala khatta. It is also known as gola and is a vivid memory of my childhood in India. Nukkad gives you the option to mix upto four flavours of these syrups and customize your chuski. We tried the recommended combination of ‘Rose and Khus’ which was topped off with a slight sprinkle of chaat masala and it was an enjoyable experience. Khus is a fragrant, cooling herb with a woody aroma but is not overpowering like sandalwood. It goes well in sherbets and ice lollies and quite interesting to try as an unique option.
Mango Magic and Badam Tutti Fruity
Two in one chuski at $4.5
Panchtantra Breakfast – The Orders
With an endeavor to make your mornings special, Panchtantra have launched their breakfast menu which will be available from 7.30-10.30 am everyday. These items will act as useful vegetarian options for Indian tourists who mostly stay in the area or seek to pack something and take while they are visiting attractions in Singapore. They have poha, upma, kachori, samosa and kulche as the main items in their breakfast menu.
We tried their ‘Chole Kulche’ which is a loved street food in North India. The chickpeas are made with an authentic Punjabi taste and traditional spices – and they are delicious! The kulche are made in a traditional oven, topped off with a generous amount of butter and best when eaten hot. You can opt for no butter, if you want. This item is extremely filling since two kulchas are served in one plate.
Kachoris are crusty, flaky deep-fried snacks that are popular as street food. We ordered the Aloo Kachori and this version had a spicy and tangy potato masala inside that will remind you of the aloo sabzi that you eat with pooris. The presentation of the dish was top-notch – spiralized onions, a sprig of coriander and the outer lining with dots of tamarind and dates chutney. Eat a little of everything in one bite to fully enjoy the dish.
For their new concept of a Indian drinks and desserts bar, for their chuskis and their convenient location, drop by this Nukkad and catch up on stories with your family and friends.
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: Indian
|Nearest MRT: Farrer Park
|Address: 83 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207662
|Timings: Mon-Sun: 7.30am – 11.30pm
Bringing Indian folklore to the forefront right from their name, Panchtantra is a newly opened fully vegetarian restaurant located at Syed Alwi Road at a stone’s throw from Mustafa. The Panchtantra is a collection of Indian fables that has made its way globally through their interesting story narration. So it is only befitting that a story unfolds here on the culinary journey that I embarked at in this North Indian gem. Added to a predominantly Punjabi food menu are mouthwatering chaats and kebabs. With a chaat counter neatly placed on the roadside, it also helps when you want a quick chaat bite as you finish your grocery shopping in the area.
Most popular among the Indian chaats is the trusted Pani Puri. Keeping up with changing times, Panchtantra have given this popular item a twist by serving them as ‘Pani Puri Shots’. The fried puri with the ragda filling was firmly placed on a shot glass containing cold and spicy paani. The flavored paani served in the shot glasses are of two types: the spicy and sweet varieties , or as we say theeka and meetha paani. When it came to taste, this non-alcoholic concoction turned out to be quite good and is worth a shot.
Another sure-shot item to try in a Indian chaat place is the chaat variations with yogurt. On the owner’s recommendation, we ordered the ‘Dahi Papri Chaat’ which is basically a dish that consists of puris at the bottom layered with onions, tomatoes,sev, tangy chutneys and finally topped off with curd. But what clinched this dish for me was the addition of crunchy cucumbers – such a win! It also helped that the yogurt was not sour. For vegans, you can order the dish without yogurt and most of the chaat items can be modified accordingly. Highly recommended.
Pani Puri shots at $6
Elevate your lunch to a royal experience by ordering the ‘Panchtantra Special Thali’ – a plate that brings the authentic taste of Punjab right to your table. Please note that as of now thalis are available only at lunch time. For dinner, items can be ordered a la carte. The plate comes with a starter, three curries, one dal, rice, a dessert and garlic naans. For the starter, there was Achari Paneer which was tasty. The Chole/ Chana Masala was top-notch with homemade Punjabi spices perfuming and flavouring the dish beautifully. The quality of paneer (which was soft) made all the smooth curries taste heavenly on the palette. The Dal Makhani which is lentils simmered in an aromatic buttery tomato sauce transported me back to the dhaba taste in the fields of Punjab. The Garlic Naans made in the form of a small potli (pouch) gave a visual twist to the plate. The Gulab Jamun was delicious too.The food is quite rich, make sure you keep space in your stomach if you order the Thali. Definitely worth ordering.
Dahi papdi chaat at $4.90
We also ordered the ‘Patiala Shahi Thali’ which is a slightly smaller version of the Special Thali. By that I mean, this plate has one curry lesser than the main version. The Thalis are served in traditional copper plates and are quite heavy to hold but it definitely adds to the authenticity of presentation.
Panchtantra special thali at $14.50
To add the refreshing touch, both the Thalis are served along with ‘Punjabi Lassi’. It serves as a welcome relief to the humidity of Singapore.
Patiala Shahi thali at $13.90
Due to its ample offerings, there are many more items like Kebabs and Jalebis that can be tried. Also, they have launched a 1-for-1 lunch deal for the whole month of July – Order any gravy from the Main Course selection and receive a complimentary Bread Basket to go with it. Drop by at Panchtantra between 12 – 4 pm for an unforgettable lunch experience starting at just $7.90.
Its so refreshing to see a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine getting added to the culinary scene in Singapore. For its use of traditional homemade ingredients, for its convenient location, for the variety in menu, for delicious food, Panchtantra restaurant is definitely worth visiting.
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: North Indian
|Nearest MRT: Farrer Park, Little India
|Address: 83 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207762
|Timings: Mon-Thu: 10am – 11.30pm ; Fri-Sun: 10am – 1am
With Batman vs Superman not hitting the mark, a lot of expectations are pinned on Captain America: Civil War for the superhero crowd storming the theaters. Nevertheless, we always look forward to this genre for the larger-than-life characters to infuse entertainment into our daily routine. Hence, I finally decided to visit Hungry Heroes, a superhero themed cafe situated at Tessensohn Road in Little India. Located in an unassuming alley, the cafe lights shone bright through the dark night. They have a cool logo that looked quite interesting. There are fewer options for vegetarians on the menu but my fascination to explore a different dining ambiance led me to this place.
This two floor cafe has the decor nailed to the T. Large figurines adorn the walls – most of the superheroes are from the owner’s personal collection. There is a huge chandelier made with tiny superheroes stuck together. The place is a delight for fans of superhero memorabilia – there’s a lot to look at and admire. Needless to say, this cafe is quite a hit with children and a good option if you want to throw a birthday party for large groups. The placemats were newspaper style and quite hilarious to read. They helped in bringing the superhero world to the forefront on the table.
Hungry Heroes decor
As a refreshing summer salad, we ordered the ‘Super Corn-y’ salad which was fresh corn shucked from the cob and served along with a tangy twist. The charred effect on the cob was definitely a hit and the tomatoes and onions lent balance to the salad.
As a complete no-brainer, I had to try their (only) vegetarian burger offering called ‘Mario’s Lifeline’. Neatly stacked with layers of vegetables on the breaded and fried portobello mushroom, this burger was damn good! I was glad the the mushroom patty had a crisp bread covering which gave the necessary bite to the burger. Having said that, I really wish F&B outlets think of using ingredients like beetroot, chickpeas, zucchini etc. instead of the traditional mushroom offering everywhere. (Just a thought!) The fries and the side salad were well made.
Super Corny at $5
As a fun accompaniment to the burger, we ordered the ‘Colossal Coke Float’ which was a refreshingly bubbly ice cream float. Imagine a mammoth 1 liter mug on the table – that quantity is obviously to be shared 🙂 The vanilla ice cream was delicious and as it melted and blended with the coke, the drink became more tasty!
Mario’sl Lifeline at $21
Along with the food menu, they have an extensive drink selection in the form of beers, ciders and wines. Happy hours ends at 8pm, so if you are in the weekend mood, place an early beverage order.
Colossal Coke Float at $10
Advance reservations are recommended for this place. A special mention to service staff who clearly knew that I had vegetarian food requirements (as I had mentioned during reservation) and they were helpful, provided guidance and followed up when I actually visited the restaurant. For their superhero memorabilia, for their unique implementation of the themed cafe concept right from decor to the menu, for their service and good food, Hungry Heroes is worth a visit!
Red wine glass at $10
| In a Nutshell
|| Deelightful Rating
|Cuisine Type: American
|Nearest MRT: Little India/ Farrer Park
|Address: 33 Tessensohn Road, Singapore 217656
|Timings: Tue-Fri: 4pm – 11pm ; Sat-Sun: 12pm – 11pm