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Last updated : Nov 2009
Singapore Restaurant Guide - Budget
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Gorkha Grill
Price: S$24. Wine: S$38 or BYO
This small gem of a dining room, situated in the busy eating area of Smith Street, is Singapore’s first authentic Nepalese restaurant. Small and friendly, with large murals of mountain scenery, the menu is a superb sample of the spices and flavours of Nepal. Filling without being heavy and greasy, momos (meat or vegetarian steamed or fried dumplings) are an excellent way to start. Recommended dishes include the soup consisting of beans simmered with herbs and green vegetables; Jheenge papita (prawns marinated with vegetables and herbs) served in a papaya boat, and kukhura so makhani (chicken marinated with butter gravy and herbs). Gorkha Grill is delicious and reasonably priced – made more economical by bringing along your own wine. A new branch, Everest Kitchen, opened in mid-2002 specialising in North Indian cuisine, has an excellent-value buffet lunch for S$8.
21 Smith Street
Tel: 6227 0806.

: 55 Chander Road,
Little India Tel: 6299 0745.
Komala Vilas
Price: S$10. Unlicensed.
Komala Vilas is one of many small, relaxed eating places in the ethnic section of Little India. The vegetarian menu offers an entire traditional South Indian meal, with specialties such as the dosai, a vegetable-filled crêpe, and thali, a complete meal of rice, lentils and a variety of curries, all presented on a banana leaf. A superb place for breakfast, open from 7.00 am. Credit cards are not accepted.
76–78 Serangoon Road
Tel: 6293 6980. Fax: 6392 9385.
12–14 Buffalo Road
Tel: 6293 3664.
Ling Zhi
Price: S$25. Wine: Unlicensed.
With most Chinese food dominated by meat and seafood, it is a relief to be able to enjoy purely vegetarian dishes – and at reasonable prices. Dim sum is an excellent place to start – the fried monkey head mushrooms with capsicum and dried chilli are a must to sample (despite the name), as must the honshimeiji mushrooms, stir fried with capsicum, asparagus, and macadamia nuts in a crispy yam basket. The chefs in the two outlets have proved that one can to turn vegetables and soya into creative and tasty dishes. Due to the location and price, lunchtimes are crowded but generally relaxed, with friendly service.

Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road
Tel: 6734 3788. Fax: 6734 5788.
Far East Square, 7–10 Amoy St
Tel: 6538 2992. Fax: 6538 7882.
Newton Circus
Price: From S$3 per dish.
Eating in a hawker centre is a unique dining experience to Singapore, with many throughout the city, particularly in the shopping quarters. Newton Circus is constantly a favourite place among the locals and foreign visitors, particularly because it is open-air and open 24 hours. Tourists should pay no attention to the touts who try and lure visitors to their stall but check out what each place has, then find a table and place an order. As is the case with most food centres, you can order from different stalls and it will all be delivered to your table. It doesn't have the greatest variety of dishes, with few vegetarian options, nor is it the least expensive, but the ambience is always lively whether people get together for a late-night meal, for breakfast, or for a beer at 4.00 am.
Newton Circus, next to the Newton MRT
Orchard Maharajah Price: S$26. Wine: S$30.
This small North Indian restaurant, located in Orchard Road’s shopping area, is a perfect place for those who enjoy open-air dining amidst many activities. In spite of its modest situation and price, the food is excellent. The tandoori platter comes laden with chicken tikka, fish, prawns and shish kebab. The Raan e Maharajah is the specialty, the lamb marinated overnight and roast in the tandoor. Some vegetarian dishes are the classic saag aloo (spinach and potato) and baigan bartha (aubergine with spices).
27 Cuppage Terrace
Tel: 6732 6331.