Tiffin, properly defined as a light mid-day meal, has long been a Raffles tradition since 1899. Today, dining at the Tiffin Room is an interesting experience at Raffles Singapore – the island’s colonial Grande dame – and its daily lunch and dinner buffets feature elaborate authentic Northern Indian specialties.
The buffet is separated into three main sections and the weekday spread is priced at S$60++. Begin your epicurean journey with an assortment of salads and condiments. Interesting off beat picks include the salad of prawns stir fried with coconut and curry leaves, the potato-pomegranate salad or the classic Kachumbar – diced cucumber, tomatoes and onions, dressed lightly in lemon juice and salt. Classic condiments include baby onions pickled in beetroot and an array of chutneys and pickles including mango and papaya chutney, the coriander mint chutney, and Raita – beaten yoghurt spiced with salt and roasted ground cumin.
Moving onto the mains, be prepared to be spoilt for a choice of curries, both vegetarian and carnivorous, complete with crispy poppadums. While the entire spread has far too many dishes to be individually named, do not miss traditional must do’s such as Dal Makhaani – the rich creamy combination of red kidney beans and whole black lentils; Lamb Rogan Josh – braised lamb chunks cooked with a gravy based of browned onions, yogurt, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices; Malai Paneer – cubes of cottage cheese cooked in a conventional creamy tomato gravy. In my opinion, while there was a humble chicken curry on offer, there is nothing quite like a good old Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikkas to put the finishing touches to a North Indian feast. Nevertheless, complementing the curries was a choice of plain white rice and a satisfying Chicken Biryani, along with naans made to order. My personal favourites of the day were the Dahi Kebab – small deep fried balls of yoghurt and potatoes and the Corn Palak – a twist on the classic Palak Paneer, where corn kernels replaced cubes of cottage cheese in a creamy spinach puree.
Round up your meal at the dessert buffet, which offers a delightful spread of fresh fruits, ice creams and typical Indian desserts and barfis. My vote goes to favourites such as the Gulab Jamun – deep fried balls of milk powder soaked in a light sugar syrup flavoured with green cardamom and saffron; Kheer – rice pudding and the humble Sooji Halwa – a dry porridge made from semolina and sugar water. Bon appétit.
1 Beach Rd, Raffles Hotel,
Phone: +65 6412 1190