The first time I was introduced to Aromas of India, was way back in 2011 when I visited the restaurant then situated on Thomson Road, Novena. I distinctly remember walking into a welcoming, aesthetically designed restaurant, with a friendly, smiling staff. Already impressed, I was quite pleasantly surprised with the quality of their food and their service as well. I have been ordering in food from Aromas or getting a take-away for quite some time now… And I have yet to have an anything but “Wow” experience.
A few months back, Aromas of India shifted from Novena to 60 Race Course Road (near little India MRT)… The bottles of Sheesha adorning the bar area are gone, but apart from that, and few changes to the décor, little else has changed.
They still have the beautiful Indian touches to the décor. The paintings on the wall are arty and blend in perfectly with the warm orange colours of the wall.
The interesting Indian artifacts and handicrafts look tasteful, as if someone has given enough thought to the small touches of the décor.
Then be it the mantlepieces placed high up or the Surai placed at the bar counter. The orange colour theme makes the restaurant look welcoming and comfortable.
I like their décor. It looks like someone has put some thought behind it.
They have an elaborate menu and the tandoor dishes and biryani are quite a hit. But this time around we decided to try out a few different types of dishes. But of course, we started with the papad…
Here’s what we ordered:
 Palak Pakora (Spinach crispies) (S$ 5.90): Just like you would expect, the pakoras are chopped spinach dipped in besan or spicy gram flour batter and deep fried. So far so good… but what really amazed me was just how ‘crunchy’ the pakoras really were. “Look at just how many times you hear the crunch as you chew,” my husband pointed out… and it was true. This is one starter which is a must try, whether you are a vegetarian or not!
 Gobi (Cauliflower) Munchurian (S$ 5.90): This is one of my all-time favourite preparations. Takes me back to the small Chinese food stall outside my college. This Indian-chinese preparation comprises of deep fried florets of cauliflower cooked with soya sauce, vinegar and few other ingredients… the Gobi munchurian was really good, the florets of cauliflower still had a little crisp to it. The sauce was a good mixture of sweet, tangy and chilli. Although, I could have done with a little more chilli too. All the same, the overall dish was good!
 Murgh (Chicken) Tikka Badami (S$ 12.90): The boneless chicken mixed with cheesy cream cooked in a charcoal oven was really savory. The chicken was very well marinated and nicely flavoured. This is a heavy dish, considering the fact it has generous amounts of cheese and cream added… but if you are not counting calories… it’s a great dish to try. If you are more a spicy palate person, this dish may not be for you.
 Stuffed Capsicum Masala (S$ 8.90): This was quite a unique stuffed capsicum dish we tried. Usually, the ones I have made or tasted involve stuffed capsicum baked / grilled in an oven and then added to a gravy. This one looked like the entire capsicum was stuffed with a nice potato stuffing and cooked fully in the gravy… Either ways, the gravy was really tasteful and spicy… and capsicum beautifully cooked… Liked the preparation quite a bit. It was definitely different from the usual ones I have had so far.
 Saag (mustard leaves) Chicken (S$ 10.90): Boneless chicken was cooked in really well done mustard leaves curry. For those who enjoy the taste of mustard leaves… it’s a great dish to try out… I have had it before at a Dhabba (roadside eatery) during my trip to New Delhi… The mustard curry was delicately made, taking care that it was not overcooked. Try it if you enjoy trying out different preparations…
 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani (S$ 9.90): The chicken was soft and really well marinated with the biryani masala… What’s more, the chicken was boneless… The chicken gravy used was also extremely savoury with distinct flavours of cardamom, mint and almond paste… The potion of the biryani was quite large too… The only thing I am not sure about is, whether the biryani was actually mixture of gravy chicken with rice or actually cooked over dum (slow cooking over low flame allowing the meat and the ingredients to cook in their own juices). Either ways, the biryani was nice and tasteful…
 Breads (S$ 3.50 each): We tried the peshawari naan and pudina (mint) paratha. Both the parathas were good and complemented well with the dishes we had ordered.
 Kulfi (S$ 4.90): After stuffing or rather over-stuffing ourselves with what I do call too much good food, there really was no place for anything more than a hot cup of masala chai (tea)… just to keep us awake… but from the limited dessert menu, we couldn’t resist the kulfi (Kulfi is a frozen Indian dessert, made out of milk, similar to ice cream, but slightly richer) so we ended up ordering both. The kulfi was nice with fair bit of pistachios mixed with the frozen cream. Very apt way to end our elaborate Saturday lunch!
Amazed at how the restaurant has managed to surprise me and provide a satisfactory culinary experience, I decided to chat with the co-owner of the place, Sanjeev Thakur . During our brief chat I was quite amazed at the fact that he actually works full time and manages the restaurant post his full time professional commitment. “Yes it can get quite challenging and hectic… but this restaurant is a dream effort. In fact my father was in the Indian Navy… so I am a first time entrepreneur in the family.” Prodding further he said, “We do home deliveries too. And there have been times, especially during weekends, when we have had a lot of delivery orders. So many times I have delivered the orders myself. But it is a part and parcel of starting out on your own…” Whoever said entrepreneurship was easy. “We have been really lucky to have a good manager and chefs who have been as involved in making this restaurant a success as we have… it’s one thing to start out with great quality. But it takes a real strong team to maintain it.” Well cannot debate that.
How much will it cost me: From the very beginning, for a fine dining experience, I was extremely surprised how reasonable and affordable the place really is! The entire elaborate meal cost us around S$ 70 with figuratively a ton leftovers (I wasn’t complaining, I just got a take away for the next day!). The potions are sizable for the price…
The Verdict: With the number of Indian restaurant options available in Singapore, I often find myself going back to Aroma’s especially when I have guests over… they have some nice twists added to the otherwise common dishes. Plus they have a really tasteful ambience and what I observed was a good service staff (quite a rarity in Singapore I must say), adding value to the overall dining experience. If you are visiting the Durga Pooja Pandal at Race Course road this year, this place is a definite try…
Address: 60 Race Course Road, Singapore 218567
Tel: +65 62562448