I live to travel, to experience different cuisines and I want to tell you about it in my blog whenever I have time. I didn’t go far this time, but just to Little India here in Singapore.
Copper Chimney Serves Sizzling Indian Chinese Fusion
It is not everyday that I can have a pleasant time with two very accomplished Indian entrepreneurs, but today I met Vikram Natarajan and Adnan Bamboat who have made Singapore their home and told me about their hopes and dreams over lunch at a very special place.
Our lunch at their Copper Chimney restaurant was a pleasant event that started with a refreshing thirst quenching crushed ice Mint Calamansi followed with the most succulent and aromatic Chicken Tikka sprinkled with a hint of cilantro which just melted in the mouth. See we were at their main restaurant, a sleek looking outfit in the heart of Little India, smack in front of Mustafa’s, one of my favorite shopping hangouts.
I love Indian food and especially North Indian heart-stopping creamy sauces and aromatic spiced meats and kebabs. So I was lucky to tag along with Floyd to check out this newly re branded restaurant.
Over a leisurely 90-minute lunch we learnt about these very impressive young professionals with superb academic and professional backgrounds, Vikram is the CEO of the chain and with the help of Adnan as his business development director, they are set to change the local dining scene with their "Chindian specialties", the signature dishes of north India coupled with a medley fusions of Chinese favorites.
Vikram wants to create a new brand of dining experience that will entice both the Indian and the Chinese food lovers who would want to have their kebabs coupled with Szechwan fried rice or have Chicken Manchurian with Rumali Roti. With so much thought going into the concept they might pull it off. Of course Singaporeans are very picky when it comes to food and discovering excellent dishes anywhere is a popular national pastime. This restaurant might be a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
The brand’s new chef, Gyanesh Dass, who also hails from India, believes in the authenticity of Indian cuisine. His culinary repertoire comprises of specializing in Indian and Chinese cuisines and he brings a wealth of experience from his past posts in many lofty hotels and restaurants in India and abroad. "Nowadays people are presenting dishes in a Continental way because of the media and even though they are going fusion, I believe in being authentic. I want to bring it back," he says. By joining the Copper Chimney group of companies he will oversee this concept flourish in Singapore as Vikram hopes to expand rapidly in the next three years into 20 restaurants and outlets island wide.
Vikram and Adnan wanted us to try the famous fusion dish of " salt and pepper baby corn" a crunchy surprise on the menu. Baby corn is mixed with garlic, peppers and soy sauce and stir-fried to perfection. I had it on its own as an appetizer or you can order a glass of chilled beer and savor it that way while waiting for your main course to arrive.
After we had cleaned out the appetizers we had the most amazing array of delectable main North Indian dishes including the all time favorites Mutton Roganjosh, Butter Chicken, sitting next to Szechwan Fried Rice , Veggie Manchurian along with Chili Garlic Noodles of China! Two baskets of freshly baked garlic Naan and Rumali Roti were waiting for our fingers to tear apart and dig into the delicious creamy sauces.
The food was fresh and light and I did not feel bloated or sleepy as I usually do after eating an Indian meal of this proportion and I haven’t talked about desert yet. The restaurant offers two different flavors of homemade Indian ice cream- kulfi; rose mixed with rose petals and lychee as a local favorite.
If you are still in the mood and have not gorged you can dig into the chocolate inferno of a nut filled brownie topped with ice cream brought to your table on a hot plate. The chocolate sauce is poured on top creating a pool of hot chocolate lava bubbling on the plate. Heavenly! If you love chocolate a must go without a doubt!
Vikram with the help of his team, including his wife, has reinvented the brand with a new intriguing Chindian logo. At this location the walls are adorned with black and white pictures on one side from the yesteryears of the streets of Singapore going back to 1930s. The pictures depict the changes that have taken place over the years and on the opposite walls they are planning to hang colorful modern posters to contrast the scenes. The copper dishes and modern cutlery brings class to the establishment but the prices remain very reasonable, suitable for drop in lunches or office functions. A very precious find in the heart of little India.
My personal favorites at this restaurant; drinks: Mint Calamansi, appetizer Chicken Tikka, Main: chilli garlic noodles , Szechwan fried rice, dessert: lychee kulfi.
Check their website at www.copperchimney.com.sg for their other locations.