Friday, October 18, 2013
ROTI - Alka's Kitchen - Clementi
ROTI - Alka's Kitchen
Location: #B1-22/23, 154 West Coast Road, West Coast Plaza
Opening Hours: Daily 10.00am-10.00pm
the 2012 Family Food Legacy cooking competition (which she won), and the 2011 Mama Lemon cooking competition. Chef Alka prides herself on serving fresh and authentic dishes to her customers. Because of this, the dishes will not arrive within 15 seconds like most eateries in Singapore. Customers will have to wait a little longer, but the food and freshness is worth the wait.
Gokul) where you don't need to be a lover of Indian food to visit. Unfortunately, Indian food often gets a pretty bad reputation in Singapore, from people who really don't know anything about it. This restaurant does have a lot of authentic Indian dishes (North Indian in origins), but the main selling point is certainly the roti wraps. Pictured on the left are the customization options for ordering the wraps. In terms of other dietary requirements - I was really delighted by how well educated Madam Alka and her husband are on vegan food. As soon as I mentioned the word 'vegan' to them, they instantly understood, and reassured me that they will not use any animal products in any of the dishes they serve to me. Additionally, for those unable to take onion and garlic, Madam Alka can make most dishes without those ingredients, but a longer waiting time will be needed, as she will have to prepare it fresh.
Roti Wrap. For my customization, I chose a mock meat daily special, on a whole wheat spinach wrap, with smokey roast sauce. The roi wraps are currently on promotion (usual price is $6.90), so right now they are tremendous value for money. As the roti wrap is a key selling point to this restaurant, the standard really has to back this up - And it did. These are truly outstanding wraps, which were a joy to eat. As this is an Indian fusion wrap, there are certainly undertones of Indian spices inside. But, none of these spices overwhelm the wrap, and there is very little chilli heat. The roti bread is exquistly charred, yet not too tough in texture. The roasted sauce was delectably smokey, and the vegetables inside were crispy and fresh.
Price: $5.00. 8/10
Taava Chapatti. They use the traditional method of preparing chapatti (this method is common in India, but rarely implemented in Singapore). The result of this process is a nice light and delicate chapatti, which is slightly crisp on the outside, yet has a pleasing elastic texture. Fantastic chapatti.
Price: $1.00/pc. 8/10
Briyani of the Day. I like how this dish changes each day, so that regular customers can expect something new each time they order it. Personally, I would have liked the basmati rice texture to be a little firmer, and less salt in the dish overall. Also, I am not a big fan of whole garam masala in dishes, as it becomes quite irksome having to pick it out, and occasionally accidentally chewing a piece. Although I can appreciate that using whole garam masala (opposed to powder) does heighten the flavour of any dish. Not a bad briyani overall, and went nicely with the other dishes ordered.
Price: $6.50. 6/10
Baigan Ka Bharta. This Indian dish is a personal favourite of mine, and basically consists of mashed smoked eggplants with a myriad of delightful non-spicy Indian masalas - Almost like an Indian style baba ganoush. There are literally hundreds of different versions of this dish in India, but I was surprised to find the eggplant skin was inside the dish (usually the skin is discarded after the smoking process). I quizzed Madam Alka on the reason why, and she explained that keeping the skin on allows her to make the eggplant fresh every time. I must say, the skin was not too tough, and added extra flavour. A tremendous dish.
Price: $8.00. 9/10
Chicken Masala. It is unusual that an Indian restaurant would use mock meats (Gokul is the only other one I know of), but I'm glad, as mock meat really combines well with Indian curries. This dish was made without cream (which would otherwise be included) but still tasted delicious. There is a distinct difference in taste between a curry that has just been flung together using pre made sauces, and a curry that has been made with greater love and attention. This curry definitely belongs to the latter category, and the result is a well-balanced deletable curry, which went perfectly with the chapatti.
Price: $8.00. 8/10
Conclusion - I challenge anyone to visit Alka's Kitchen and not leave with a smile on your face. This restaurant has probably the most humble and endearing owners you will likely find. The food is fantastic, and you can tell the best ingredient of all has been added into every dish - Love. One of the best places I've visited this year, and one I will return to over and over again in the future.
Food - 8/10
Service - 10/10
Value - 8/10