Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant, Singapore

(a long overdue post that i started writing during easter break but only got round to finishing after exams :/)

killing many birds with one stone is key with every meal given the limited time i have back home over easter. this time, the birds i had in mind were roti prata and butter chicken and this search took me to al-azhar, the stone of the day, which if i may say, rocked πŸ˜‰ wahahahaha.

al-azhar is located along the stretch of eating houses in upper bukit timah, opposite beauty world and the whole series of similar-looking malls which i remember as the go-to places for huan zhu ge ge collector’s cards when my sister and i were little:i202415487_86414_3
LOL.

okay, enough random digression, back to the food. (but i have to say, that picture of the hzgg cast really cracks me up and i’m sure it brings back memories for all of us who grew up watching it in primary school at 7pm as we ate our dinner. ah, those were the days~)

that upper bukit timah stretch (aka 7 mile) is known to have a few 24 hour eating places serving up a whole range of supper foods, and 2 joints – al-ameen and al-azhar (the one i went to)- are particularly well-known for their roti prata, roti john, mee goreng, murtabak etc offerings; basically everything greasy, good and guilt-inducing when eaten at 3am in the wee hours of the morning.

headed there on a friday night, and walked past al-ameen while making our way to al-azhar. i had always thought the 2 were pretty similar in standard but realised i was wrong after checking out other online reviews – seems like al-azhar is the more popular one while al-ameen had a noticeably thinner crowd and smaller shop space.

the menu at al-azhar is probably one of the most extensive ones you will ever find in singapore, ranging from thai food to prata to fried ice cream to red velvet cupcakes (yes i’m completely serious; we were thoroughly amused)?!

we had butter chicken, prata, roti john and murtabak!

I LOVEEE BUTTER CHICKEN. LOVE IT. could eat it all day every day, and so i was extremely pleased when the butter chicken here turned out to be some really good stuff. even my friend whose mum makes a mean butter chicken agreed!!! it was tasty and extremely satisfying – the gravy was of just the right creaminess and consistency and the chicken pieces were tender. i was eating spoonfuls of the gravy after i ran out of stuff to have the remaining gravy with!!!

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the cheese & mushroom prata was not bad. it was fluffy, not too greasy, and was of a good size. comparable to the one at prata house along upper thomson road, i would say!20130412_204019

my friends had the mutton murtabak and chicken & cheese roti john, which they were both happy with as well! the servings are pretty big and really fill you up (even for ravenous, growing boys):20130412_20395020130412_203958

for dessert, we shared a chocolate tissue prata (though we were tempted to try the red velvet cupcakes just to see how they tasted HAHA) and it was good stuff!!! thin and crispy – perfectly done tissue prata with a good dose of chocolate and sugar heehee.20130412_214657
we attacked it very happily and it was gone in no time, but not before taking a picture with it as a prata party hat first πŸ˜‰
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so unhealthy, but so good. really reasonably priced too! will definitely come back here to satisfy random midnight cravings in future. and for the butter chicken! shall try it with the naan next time – i hear the naan is good, and it did look good! i was eyeing the naan that the people at the next table ordered throughout dinner πŸ˜›

oh yes, and we had drinks:
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this is really belated since i only just got round to completing this post (an entire month late) but to deep and curlz: thanks for taking me out that night and saving me from drowning in case law, guys πŸ™‚ will see you again for more exciting times really soon!!! πŸ™‚2013041222110956020130412221417112
bahahahahaahahahhahah.

good 24h supper spot discovered!!! (y)

Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant
11 Cheong Chin Nam Rd
Singapore 59973620130412_22113220130412_220900

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Dishoom, London

got to know about this place via a friend’s instagram picture (yes i shamelessly confess – i am an instagram addict) and am really happy i made the trip down to their covent garden outlet to check it out!

dishoom is a bombay-inspired cafe that serves indian food throughout the day – indian breakfast, indian lunch and indian dinner! we went for the breakfast. my friend was surprised when he saw what it looked like – he was expecting more of a hole-in-the-wall/in-a-dank-basement kind of shop (typical stereotype of restaurants serving legit ethnic food…) when i described to him the idea of an “authentic indian breakfast”; dishoom is trendy, bright, clean and airy. i, on the other hand, was expecting exactly what i saw since i had visited their snazzy website many times before, inspecting the menu and deciding in advance what i was going to order lest i take a million years deciding at the restaurant itself (typical me).

Imageit was really empty when we arrived at 1030am (breakfast is only served until 11am) on a thursday morning so the staff were attentive and ordering was a breeze. food came fast and our hunger pangs were quelled in double-quick time (always a plus)!

i had the bacon naan roll and it is DEFINITELY something i will be going back for.

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the bacon was fried just nice (in my opinion, but opinions about how bacon should be done tend to differ) – crisp at the edges and not too soft in the middle; it was tasty and flavourful and went perfectly with the cream cheese and herbs that accompanied it. the proportion of cream cheese to bacon was also great – the cream cheese was not in such a copious amount that it left a “wet” feeling in your mouth. the naan (which they make on the spot – you can actually see them flipping the dough in the open-concept kitchen) was all fluffy and warm. the naan came with a chilli tomato jam which was also delicious – i was peeling off bits of my freshly-baked naan to dip into the jam, though the naan roll was yummy on its own already. and the best part of the dish? at an amazing affordable Β£3.70!!! some might find the serving small (especially for hungry boys), but i thought it was fine and value-for-money.

my friend had the bombay omelette which came with tomatoes grilled on the vine and fire toast (bread that is buttered then grilled, according to the menu). it was a tasty and fluffy omelette that was filled with tomato, onion, green chilli and coriander. i wouldn’t rave about it, but it was still good. the tomatoes on the vine were perfectly grilled, sweet and juicy. he added a sausage to his dish and the sausage was very yummy – crisp on the outside and the texture of the meat inside was not too soft.

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i also ordered their house chai, which is supposed to be their specialty, while my friend got a coffee. the house chai was not bad – light and fragrant, though i would have preferred it to be a little thicker (was imagining something a bit frothier like teh tarik). loved the cupsthey served the drinks in – seemed very legitimately and traditionally bombay-ish πŸ˜‰ i didn’t try the coffee but since my friend ordered a second cup, i suppose it was pretty good!20130321_105003

we sat and chatted till lunch hour came and my friend wasn’t full from his omelette so he decided to order something from the lunch menu. he decided on the pau bhaji since themenu said “no food is more bombay” – it was a bowl of spicy mashed vegetables with a nice soft bun to accompany it. i didn’t have much of it but i quite enjoyed it from what i tried, and my friend was satisfied. it was really rather spicy but delicious with the warm and soft bun that accompanied it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

who i would recommend this to: people looking for a casual place to have an affordable and relaxing breakfast/brunch. they open at 8am for breakfast apparently, so its great for early risers or people who need to be somewhere soon after breakfast. when we went at 1030, there were plenty of available tables and though the crowd started coming in closer to lunchtime, at no point in time did we feel rushed/pressurised to leave.

will i return? yes definitely for the bacon naan roll! at a great price of Β£3.70 and dishoombeing conveniently located, i will definitely go back when i’m looking for a light breakfast/brunch that is something different from the usual morning fare.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADishoom

12 Upper St Martin’s LnΒ Β London WC2H 9FB, United Kingdom
+44 20 7420 9320

-rach

PS. back in singapore (the land of AMAZING/GLORIOUS/WONDROUS/DELECTABLE/OUT OF THIS WORLD food) for easter break now, so look out for some singapore eats on the blog soon!!! πŸ˜€