The first time I tried a Pakistani restaurant was in Singapore this winter and I’ve got to say it was really not a highlight of the trip. No, sir, not at all. Here I was thinking I’d get my butter chicken fix and…NOPE.
We found Usman Restaurant close by to Mustafa Center. There were quite a few people there, so we decided to hit it up for a Pakistani lunch. The menu is quite long and had a lot to offer. We decided to go with some classics-murgh mahkni (butter chicken) and palak paneer (spinach with paneer cheese). Oh, and lots of naan. Lots of naan.
So, the food arrives along with two chais. I dig in excitedly, but am quickly disheartened. What could have been a quite good palak paneer is ruined by the fact that THERE IS NO SALT! The taste was good, but you all know what it’s like when there’s not enough salt in a dish. The butter chicken was a bit of a surprise. I’m always used to the lush, creamy, decadent, drink-it-with-a-straw kind of sauce. This was watery. Also, there was the same problem with the salt.
To quote a famous Pakistani, Babu Bhatt, it is a “VERY, VERY BAD MAN!” who ruins a good butter chicken.
A positive aspect of the lunch was the naan. That came out pipping hot and was quite good. The chai was fine-not the best I’ve had, not the worst.
In a food-centric city like Singapore, I was expecting every meal to wow me. Next time I’ll head to the food court at the top of the street and see how that treats me.