Cover Photo: Firangi Superstar

Traditional Indian food is out the train window here at this modern restaurant helmed by head chef Thiru Gunasakaran

Simply take a step into Firangi Superstar, a new modern Indian restaurant along Craig Road, and you will be transported to a Wes Anderson movie set version of India with its darkened interior, colonial-styled rooms and spicy aromas.

Before you even get to the food, you have to pause and allow yourself to be taken on a journey. The restaurant, which is a foreigner’s love letter to India, is separated into different rooms, each with its own theme and exquisite design. 

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You begin in the Officer’s Club which features a well-stocked bar, mounted rifles and framed photographs of military men before moving into a private dining room designed to represent the interior of a train carriage.

Pay attention because if you look closely at the painting on the wall, you will see two men running after a train. The scene, which was painted by local artist TraseOne (Sufian Hamri), is reminiscent of an iconic scene from one of Wes Anderson’s most iconic movies, The Darjeeling Limited.

As you move into the restaurant, close your eyes for a second and take a deep breath because you need to allow the overpowering and sharp smell of spices to surround you before you step into the glamourous Elephant Palace and Jungle Lodge which features stone elephants, animal print and the cosiest nooks and crannies that will take you straight back to the ’40s.

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As you open their creatively designed menu, you’ll be forgiven if you have to look twice. The food here is not Indian as we know it, but rather, Indian food broken down, moulded and reinvented at the hands of head chef Thiru Gunasakaran, a South Indian third-generation Malaysian who grew up with the recipes of his grandmother, mother, aunties and sister.

He also worked at Spago Dining Room by Wolfgang Puck for six years before joining the Firangi Superstar team where his skills and creativity has certainly been given free rein.

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Some of the restaurant’s delectable and whimsical creations are dishes such as This is Not Aloo Gobi, a modern, deconstructed version of the traditional aloo gobi.

The base of the dish is cauliflower couscous topped with crunchy roasted cauliflower florets, cauliflower coriander puree, cashews, raisins, mint leaves and spicy masala compote. However, the star of this reimagined dish is the crispy potato cubes that top the beautifully plated dish. 

You’ll want to pair this with their Sothi Fresh, an elevated take on the traditional yellow coconut curry which features snapper ceviche cured in Kokum dressing and mixed with coconut jelly and shallots. Kashmiri chilli oil is generously drizzled over the cold dish to kick the taste up a notch for a spicy medley. 

If you’re craving something more familiar, try the chef’s unique mash-up of the classic chicken and waffles and butter chicken. Firangi Superstar’s Prata Waffle??? is a waffle-pressed prata topped with Madras-style fried chicken, jaggery syrup and your classic butter chicken sauce. 

Of course, you need to mop up all that delicious butter chicken sauce with their addictive naan which features tandoor grilled naan with house-made black garlic butter. 

Pair this with their Salvador Thali, a Thali platter featuring pumpkin that is marinated with sambhar, oven-roasted and then tandoor-charred. The chef smothers this with sour lime pickle, fried salted chilli flakes, quinoa and places his creation on a bed of dhal and coconut paste for a truly unforgettable experience. It is certainly not your typical Thali from India.  

The highlight of most Indian meals is the sickly sweet desserts that are a favourite no matter where you go, and Firangi Superstar is no exception.

Chef’s homage to the traditional gulab jamun is a chocolate mousse smothered with gulab jamun crumble, pistachios, rose petals and delicately dotted with rose patisserie and cardamon vanilla ice cream. A deliciously sinful and rich ending to an exciting meal. 

We might not be able to dine out right now as the country goes into Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from July 22 but we can promise you that you will want to put this on your bucket list for when the restrictions lift. 

See also: Singapore Returns to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert): Dining-In to Be Suspended, Group Sizes Down to 2

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