The Sunday Times
MUSTARDA new eatery in
NOT having been invited into a Bengali home before, I have not had the opportunity to taste the cuisine of the north-eastern Indian state of
Opening hours: , to . Closed on Mondays unless it is a public holiday
Food: Service: Ambience: Price: Budget slightly more than $30 per head
|Mustard: A mosaic of Punjab and Bengali masterpieces |
Reviewed by : Kareena Ally..
Mustard's take on a niche market is indeed praiseworthy. Given the quality and quantity of the food servings, the prices are indeed very affordable. This is alongside meticulous service. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it could give its famous neighbours, a run for their money. On a more cautious side, being in the niche market may also have its downside - the use of mustard, while not uncommon, may not gel with all as many of the dishes require time to ‘taste' and getting use to. Then again, one could always revert to the “usual” Indian fare, which Mustard also serves. For those who are always on the lookout for new tastes and flavours, this little gem is indeed a rare find. On a final note, go there with an open mind and be prepared to try ‘new' dishes!
Sparklette.netMustard – The Many Flavors of Bengal and Punjab
Another bengali dish recommended bythe restaurant is the ,consisting of snapper fish wrapped in banana leaf. I was surprised by thegenerous serving of the fish: a large and thick slab of boneless fish marinatedwith mustard paste, mustard oil and various spices.Despitethe deep shade of yellow, the mustard taste is rather mild, with a slight tingeof bitterness. I don’t particularly like this one, although it’s one of therestaurant’s few signature dishes.For something from the state ofpunjab, there’s the chicken curry. In stark contrast to the fish, the portiongiven was extremely stingy with just four small chunks of chicken (and bone). Ialso found the curry gravy to be more salty than anythingelse.Whenthe waiter came over to ask us about the food, I commented about the taste ofthe chicken gravy. On hearing this, he immediately brought it back to thekitchen and had it recooked. When he returned, the dish redeemed itself. Thethick gravy was nicely spiced in a way that was delicious but not overpowering.Of course, every trip to an Indianeatery should end with a cup of (spiced tea). It is served unsweetened, which makes mewonder how people can drink it just like that. Sugar in is a must for me. It makes the drink drinkable and at thesame time, brings out the rich flavor of the spices.At the end of the meal, we were given (fennel seed) to chew as a mouth freshener. Having had theunpleasant experience of accidentally chewing on whole spice seeds in Indiangravy, I declined politely. I prefer spice to be all ground up as part of myfood rather than a standalone. The box that it came in was very beautifulthough, with ornate designs stamped on the metal body.Onething that I must highlight is that the restaurant is an unexpectedly perfectplace for an intimate dinner date! The place is small and cosy, withcandlelights on the tables and dim lighting from oil lamps hanging overhead.Nice, soothing music plays in the background, creating a calm and homelyambience.Youknow how bad service can really spoil the entire dining experience? At mustard,the waiters are always attentive, though never intrusive, rendering dedicatedservice to the diners. Great service is something I always appreciate.Housed in a row of shophouses alongrace course road with numerous other Indian restaurants, mustard faces stiffcompetition from bigwigs like andother smaller players like itself. (Aside: did you know that race course roadwas named after Singapore’s first racecourse in 1842?)Butif I were you, I would really give it a go :)
Exquisite Dining (December 2006--January 2007)
Flavours of India--Experience Bengali and Punjabi Cuisine
By Beatrice Tan
In one corner of Little India, there is a restaurant that uses mustard to add an exotic taste to its cuisine. The gratifying ambiance makes dining a pleasure.
FOR PEOPLE who enjoy Indian food, Race Course Road should be a familiar haunt. Tucked away in Race Course Road is a gem of an Indian restaurant. While finding an Indian restaurant in this area is not something spectacular, what is worth mentioning about Mustard is that it is the first restaurant in Singapore to serve Bengali food, in combination with more familiar Punjabi fare, like tandoor-grilled meat and baked breads commonly found in most North Indian restaurants.
While Bengali dishes differ from Punjabi cooking by its use of seafood and rice, the common thread between these two cuisines is the extensive use of mustard in their preparation, be it the flavourful seeds, aromatic oil, or full-bodied greens. This is also the reason for Radhika Abbi, who trained in Switzerland as a western chef, to name her restaurant, Mustard.
Mustard offers a comprehensive range of dishes on its menu, including a selection that caters to vegetarians. The menu highlights the different Punjabi and Bengali dishes.
For starters, we had Macher Cutlet with Kashundi ($6.90), Bengali fried bread-crumb coated fish-fillet with mustard sauce, as well as a Punjabi dish Reshmi Seekh Kabab ($9.90), minced chicken and mutton mixed with spices and skewered and barbecued in a clay oven.
Although they looked ordinary, the generous pieces of fish fillet were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside without a hint of oil, and their flavour was enhanced by the freshly-prepared mustard sauce, which was much less pungent than the usual powder-blended variety.
The kebab would please most meat-lovers. It was cooked to a just-right consistency, without drying out the meat. The spices complemented the two meats well without overpowering their taste.
The highlights of the meal were the Sarson da saag te Makki di Roti ($11.90), a legendary Punjabi dish of pureed mustard greens served with maize bread, jaggery, fresh onion, and green chili; and the Chingri Maacher Malai Curry ($17.90), Bengal's curried prawns served in a green coconut.
I thoroughly enjoyed the maize bread topped with Sarson da saag and jaggery, although the taste and texture of pureed mustard greens might initially take some getting used to.
The prawns were cooked to the right consistency and tasted fabulous with the coconut flesh, which you have to scrape off the shell. I could not get enough of the curry, gently fragranced with hints of cinnamon, cloves, and cardamoms, which went very well with the selection of naan and roti.
The other main course was the Macher Paturi ($13.90), de-boned fish marinated with mustard paste, mustard oil and herbs, steamed in banana leaf, which looked like Peranakan "Otah". This dish paled in comparison to the prawns. However, on its own, this dish was cooked to perfection, with just the right mixture of aromas that did not overwhelm the natural flavour of the fish.
Mustard's selection of Punjabi's quintessential naan and roti also did not disappoint. Their chefs were not beyond experimenting with new flavours, and along with the usual choices, like Roomali Roti and Butter Naan, we also tried a lovely Pizza Naan that was flavoured with capsicum, onions, and cheese.
As someone who do not take well to spicy and oily food, I was thoroughly surprised that I enjoyed my meal, which was not really spicy and oily.
Mustard's servings were very generous and most of the dishes we ordered were cooked to perfection, with a balanced blend of flavours that complemented but did not overwhelm the main ingredient. I was delighted to find out from Radhika that her chefs do not use artificial flavourings and preservatives in their cooking.
It is the sort of place where you can bring your business associates and friends, who appreciate cooking that is well executed. Mustard is conveniently located near the Farrer Park MRT station. There are ample parking lots along Race Course Road.
If you happen to stroll around Singapore and bump to a place like Little India, why not feast yourself for some traditional Indian cuisine then head straight for 32 Race Course Road, Singapore. Located on the eastern part of Serangoon Road enclave, the stretches of houses offers numerous eateries from big restaurants. The road which was named after a racecourse was part of Singapore’s early history in the 1840’s.
Located at the end of Race Course Road, yellow painted with its namesake, Mustard is a great place to dine for Indian cuisine. With ties of the Eastern State of Bengal and the Northern State of Punjab, the secret ingredient – Mustard is found commonly in many of its recipes. Bringing together the rich cuisines of two of India’s advanced culinary states; Mustard brings together the masterpiece where food is the essence of great food.
Owned and managed personally by Ms Abbi, a professional chef, experience a wide range of authentic dishes both from Bengal and Piunjab. The restaurant has been synonymous of becoming a favorite rendezvous with many of Singapore’s patron guests, tourists and clientele who seeks to enjoy quality food and wine in a cozy relaxed atmosphere.
Mustard is available for private hire for corporate events that includes events, wedding receptions, luncheon meetings, and also for parties.
Here at Mustard, catering is all about creating the right distinct taste suited to many of its patron. It does not only questions to the feeding of people but rather take it as a balance of healthy and tasty diet committed to serve in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.
Mustard is well established for having a great reputation of fine dining, great food, service, and customer satisfaction in both public and private affairs from society. Mustard caters an impressive client portfolio catering to solutions specifically crafted to meet the varied needs of customers.
With diverse solutions and quality of food being served, Mustard is based on the same values and principles which are matched in terms of food, environment and its employees. For those who are always on a look out for quality food with new tastes and flavors, this little restaurant is rare find.