The Sunday Times

A new eatery in Race Course Road serves up pretty good Bengali food. By Wong Ah Yoke - 22 January 2006 

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 Bengal. That changed last week when I discovered Mustard, one of the latest restaurants to open in Race Course Road. A modest establishment tucked in the midst of a row of Indian restaurants, it claims to be the first here to serve Bengali dishes. The rest of its menu features Punjabi fare, which is more familiar to non-Indians as the cuisine found in many north Indian restaurants here. This comprises mainly poultry and flour-based dishes such as tandoori chicken and naan. Cooking from Bengal, on the other hand, is characterised by a lot of seafood and rice-based dishes. What ties the two together, says first-time restaurateur Radhika Abbi, is that mustard seeds and mustard oil are used widely in the cooking. That is why she named her restaurant, which opened last month, Mustard. The menu does not highlight the Bengali dishes, but ask the waiter when he comes over to take your order and he readily points them out. And if you happen to order one on your own, he says enthusiastically: 'That's a Bengali speciality.' Encouraged by his prompting, I pick out some which turn out wonderful. There is the prawn in green coconut ($17.90), which is a fragrant curry served inside a fresh coconut. The shelled prawns are a trifle small, but the gravy is delicious. 'Scrape off the meat from the coconut to eat with the gravy,' the waiter urges. It is an excellent idea, as the smooth and soft slices of coconut make the flavour even more fragrant. I am equally happy with my starter of fried fish ($6.90), which are golden squares of fish fillet that are coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried. In the hands of a less skilled chef, they could easily have turned out dry and stringy instead of being smooth on the inside and crispy on the outside, as these are. The Punjabi dishes are equally good. The chicken kabab ($10.90) is grilled perfectly, with the tender meat coated in an intriguing spicy marinade. A vegetarian appetiser called hinger kochuri ($4.90) is worth dreaming about. It is simple fried white flour bread made in the shape of a pocket, but it is so light it melts in the mouth. Stuff one with a spoonful of accompanying lentils and pop it in your mouth. The mix of textures and flavours easily puts a smile on your face. What does not impress much is the cottage cheese simmered in spinach puree ($9.90). It is not bad, just ordinary. I have had better. Still, the overall impression is good. The restaurant deserves to be a hit and I won't be surprised if it blazes a trail for other Bengali restaurants here.


32 Race Course Road, Tel: 6297-8422

Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6.30 to 10.30pm. Closed on Mondays unless it is a public holiday

Food:    Service:   Ambience:   Price: Budget slightly more than $30 per head


MustardA mosaic of Punjab and Bengali masterpieces 
Reviewed by : Kareena Ally..
If you happen to take a walk down Little India and would like to sample Indian cuisine, then head straight for Race Course Road. Located on the eastern echelon of the Serangoon Road enclave, this stretch houses numerous eateries from big names to little known gems. The road is named after the racecourse, which was part of Singapore's history as early as 1840s.Mustard is located almost at the end of Race Course Road, painted yellow just like its namesake. Upon entrance, one is greeted with sunny smiles while ushered to a table. Noticeably, while the walls are simply dressed with tie-dye divine paintings, the oil lamps that hang overhead cast a warm afterglow in the cozy rustic setting.
  • The Vibe 
    Barely a year old, Mustard is one of a handful of restaurants in Singapore that breaks free from the umbrella of “North Indian” cuisine. Mustard prides itself in serving Bengali and Punjabi food, two of the most culinary advanced states in India. Notably, from the name of the restaurant, mustard (
     Sarson in Punjabi and Shorshey in Bengali) is liberally used in the cooking of Bengali and Punjabi food. The type of mustard used varies from the tiny, flavoured seed to the aromatic oil to the leaves of the plant.
  • The Food 
    While the décor may be minimalist, the food speaks volumes. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the redolence of the dishes. For appetizer, why not start off with the Kathi Kabab Rolls ($6.90), pieces of chicken rolled in flaky Indian bread. Generously proportioned, it must be savoured hot and is a great opening to any meal. Be forewarned that if you are not too hungry, this appetizer in itself would suffice as a main course!
Then, treat yourself to a Bengali specialty – the Chingri Maacher Malai Curry or Prawn in Green coconut ($17.90). Recommended for the adventurous, this dish comprise of prawns simmered in coconut cream with a dash of cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. The end product is a house special which is not only intriguing in term of presentation but one that will pique one's imagination. Try this gravy by itself with a scoop of the coconut meat to your stir your senses and tickle your palate. This gravy also goes well with the assorted naans or Kolkata Mutton Biryani ($12.90). The Biryani is not oily and proved to be a treasure trove with the layers of spiced mutton and potatoes.The Macher Paturi or Boneless Fish in Banana Leaf ($13.90) is another must try from the array of Bengali dishes. Keeping an open mind is almost a requirement here given the unusualness of this dish. The snapper fish is marinated in mustard paste and the end product is a refreshing concoction that is neither too pungent nor too bitter, leaving a mild mustard aftertaste. Ms Radhika Abbi, the restaurant's director explains that this “taste” has been tailored for Singapore, as the Bengalis prefer a much stronger mustard taste.Roomali Roti or Handkerchief bread ($3.50) is an extremely thin piece of bread folded a number of times, just like its moniker. An art in itself, it must be savoured hot as it will gradually harden when cold. If you have room for just bread, then this has to be it! Team it with the roasted eggplant or Baingan Ka bharta ($7.90) which looks deceptively mild but as one chews through the soft eggplant, a piquant aftertaste will come fore or combine it with any of the aforementioned dishes and you will be assured of a lip smacking meal .On the Punjab side, the Sarson da saag te Makki Roti ($11.90) is another interesting find. Served in a round metal tray, this dish comprised of maize bread, which is surprisingly heavy and very, very filling! Eat it with a puree of mustard greens, sugarcane or jaggeri and onions; to savour it like any true blue native.For a variety of grills, try the Kabab e Tastar or mixed kabab patter ($24.90). The latter is a mixture of chicken, mutton and seafood. What makes this platter different is that it is cleverly orchestrated with fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and natural seasonings to give it an assortment of taste and colour.If you think that your tummy is near bursting but has room for a small desert, then it has to be the Rossomalai ($5.90). The petite, fluffy and spongy cottage cheese ball soaked in milk is not too sweet and is just the right size to finish off a lovely meal.The SD Food Advisor's take on Mustard 
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!




Mustard – The Many Flavors of Bengal and Punjab

By Veron 

I’vesaid this before, and I’ll say it again — I love Indian food. I personally feelit is one of the most perfect cuisines in the world. But even for me, thegravies somehow taste the same in most dishes after a while. If you are likeme, mustard is one Indian restaurant that is refreshingly different.Ofthe mostly North Indian restaurants along race course road, mustard sets itselfapart by specialising in food from bengal and punjab, two of India’s mostsophisticated states in culinary. The key that ties the two together? Mustard,an ingredient that is widely used in both cuisines. This is why the restaurantis named after the yellow spice.Havingbeen accustomed to the bursting flavors of Indian cuisine, I find the food hereto be delicious in a more subtle way. Some of the dishes are very unique anddifferent from what other Indian restaurants offer.Seafood figures prominently inbengali fares. The signature dish of the restaurant is chingri maacher malai, a bengali specialty of prawnssimmered in curry with coconut milk. The curry is an unusual shade of lightgreen, spiked with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.There are mildly spicy and sweetundertones in the milky gravy. If you are familiar with the Thai sweet greencurry, this is like a less spicy version. What’s unique about this is that youcan enjoy the curry with a scoop of malai (coconut flesh) scraped from theinsides of the shell. Yum! Another bengali dish recommended bythe restaurant is the maacher paturi,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 masala 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 masalachai (spiced tea). It is served unsweetened, which makes mewonder how people can drink it just like that. Sugar inmasalachai 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 saunf (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 muthu’s curry 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.




Mustard Restaurant

by | Location: 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.

Mustard RestaurantLocated 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.