Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Muthu's Curry - Mannusavanai and Curry Fish Head

Mannusavanai means "Fragrance from the Land" in Tamil, and let me just say this right off the bat, Muthu's Curry is still the best place to go for an Indian meal.

Known for their Indian curry fish head, it has been around as long as I have, and that says something. Over the years, it remains as an institution for Indian cuisine in Singapore, and its flagship outlet in Little India is such a landmark in itself.

46 years old today, Muthu's Curry is celebrating its long history with a special limited-edition heritage menu that will not only turn heads, but produce beads of sweat for many diners in the coming months.

The Mannusavanai menu consists of specially constructed and designed dishes from Chettinad and is a somewhat rare preparation of South Indian dishes that are not often seen here.

The decor of the Little India outlet has also been transformed from its previous modern look to reflect more of Chettinad's rustic and authentic look. All in all, the place looks gorgeous with its signature patterns and furniture.

The Mannusavanai Set
The set, which is enough for a party of two, consists of five fiery dishes that will test your spice tolerance but at the same time, rich with the beautiful Indian spices that have been made from the ground up.

Milagu Varutha Kozhi

This classic Indian chicken dish had a gorgeous peppery tone with a masala made from ginger, garlic and chillies. The flavours were robust and full-on, and the sharp spicy hits from the pepper and curry were distinct yet never bordered on overpowering the natural flavours of the chicken and the masala

Vendaikkai and Mochai Mandi

This vegetarian dish had such beautiful crunch and textures written over it. Cooked in unpolished rice water and enhanced with tamarind, the slight acidity brought such balance to a dish that proved not only addictive, but utterly delicious in every spoonful. The ladyfingers and kidney beans really gave it such textural depth that you really have to eat this to understand.

Vanjaram Meen Kulambu

Typically mackerels have a very strong fishy taste if not cooked well or if it is not fresh. Here, the mackerels were super fresh and immersed in the curry flavours of tamarind, garlic, ginger and coconut mixture, it was undoubtedly hot.

But underneath the heat, there was genuine flavours that brought out the ocean flavours of the mackerel nicely and punctuating the fish with the necessary balance of creaminess, acidity, natural sweetness and savouriness.

Garlic, Cheese and Butter Naan

No Indian meal is complete without the classic flatbread of Naan. At Muthu's the naan on offer were sublime. All three versions were amazingly crisp and thin and all had the requisite bursts of flavours from the ingredients that they were infused with. The garlic, in particular, was my pick of the lot.

Kashmiri Naan

And then, there was this very special naan. It's called the Kashmiri Naan and it is actually a sweet naan. It is garnished with mixed fruits and nuts and it was brilliant. I had never had this before and it was certainly an eye opener for me. And had a blast eating one.

Curry Fish Head

Yes, their signature fish head. Some have said the standards have dropped since their heyday, but when I had it, it was still the best curry fish head in town. And then some.

The fish was again, super fresh and the curry was thick and robust. Full of beautiful and aromatic spices that never threatened to overwhelm, it is still the pinnacle of curry fish heads. Nothing more needs to be said. If you love curry fish heads, you will be over the moon here.

The special heritage menu is on until the 31st October this year. If you like your food spicy and full bodied, or want to savour what a traditional South Indian meal is like, this one's for you.

Muthu's Curry
138 Race Course Road

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