The Muthu's Flavors - 313 @ Somerset

The Muthu's Flavors (313@Somerset)
Image courtesy of Sixth Sense Communications & The Muthu's Flavors

I was invited by Noelle of Sixth Sense Communications & PR Consultancy to attend a tasting session at The Muthu's Flavors located at 313 @ Somerset some weeks back. I reckon most Singaporeans are very familiar with Muthu's Curry, a family-style dining institution in Singapore, famous for their Fish Head Curry. 
Muthu's Flavors is a refreshing departure from Muthu's Curry's traditional style of communal dining, the focus here is on individual portions instead. The stylish presentation of the dishes hints at a fine dining concept albeit in a casual and funky setting. 

Hot Masala Chai @ The Muthu's Flavours
Masala Chai @ S$3.50

It was a slightly gloomy afternoon so I had a warm cup of Masala Chai (hot milky tea fortified with warm spices such as green cardamom pods, cinnamon and black pepper) to warm my tummy. It was not as strong on spices as I would have liked it but perhaps, this version has been tempered to suit the majority of the tastebuds. I shall have to ask for a stronger version on my next visit. 

Pappadum Bruschetta @ Muthu's Flavors
Pappadum Bruschetta @ S$5.50
Tomato, Onion, Chili Powder & Coriander
We started with some Pappadum Bruschettas. This is an interesting interpretation of the traditional Italian Bruschetta which comprises Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic and Onions or Mozarella that have been chopped and  tossed with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper before use as a topping on toasted bread. The variation here comprises Tomatoes, Onion, Chili Powder and Coriander, which is refreshingly spicy without being overpoweringly so. I love Pappadums as they are light, spiced crispy flat and round flatbreads that are often served with dips, like an Asian version of the Mexican Salsa and Chips. The Pappadums used here are seasoned with cracked Black Pepper which added a spicy punch to the mix.

Morumoru Vendakai (Deep-fried Lady's Fingers)
Morumoru Vendakai @ S$7.90
Deep-Fried Slices of Lady's Fingers seasoned with Chili, Cumin and tossed with Gram Flour

Next we had the Morumoru Vendakai (Deep-Fried Lady's Fingers Slices seasoned with Chili  and Cumin before being coated with Gram Flour). I love Lady's Fingers or Okra in almost any form, it is my favourite ingredient in any fish head curry dish. Gram Flour is also known as Chickpea Flour, or if you are shopping in any Indian spice stall (a favourite activity of mine some years back) or Mustafa's ask for "Besan". They are used to make Pappadums, various other breads and Pakoras (deep-fried Indian snacks). Unfortunately, the Morumoru Vendakai while it look promising, was not as crisp as I would have liked it. Perhaps the mucilage (a slimy sap) from the sliced Lady's Fingers, the bane for anyone attempting to cook lady's fingers, was a little too excessive at the seasoning and cooking stage thereby causing the flour not to crisp up as desired. I felt that it could do with just a little more salt but perhaps, the chef had gone easy on the salt to avoid drawing out more mucilage. 
The Muthu's Flavors - LAMB RACK ANANAS
Lamb Rack Ananas @ S$22.90
Lamb marinated in pineapple purée and spices before being cooking in Tandoor oven
* Image courtesy of Sixth Sense Communications & The Muthu's Flavors

Next we had the Lamb Rack Ananas. Apparently this was meant to be the pièce de résistance for the new menu. I love lamb and so I had to give it a try. 

My portion of the Lamb Rack Ananas

Admittedly the charred bits were delicious (however hazardous for one's health they may be) but the lamb was a little too tough for my liking. Did we happen to catch the chef on a bad day? I wonder if they would consider using a little yoghurt along with the pineapple purée in the marination process. I suppose it would help to tenderize the meat further. 

Dhal Makhani
Dhal Makhani
Black Lentil Curry

The lamb was served with a beautiful bowl of Dhal Makhani, my favourite Black Lentil curry that is made with Urad Dhal (Black Lentils) and Rajma (Kidney Beans), and fluffy cheese Naan. Dhal Makhani is a traditional Northern Indian dish which requires hours of cooking and copious amounts of yoghurt and butter. Though Muthu's is originally a Southern Indian restaurant, they make decent Dhal Makhani and Naan here. The Muthu's Flavours is for me a concept that straddles both Northern and Southern Indian cuisine comfortably. The Dhal Makhani here is a Must-Try!

The Muthu's Flavors - MASALA MUSSELS
Masala Mussels @ S$16.90
* Image courtesy of Sixth Sense Communications & The Muthu's Flavors

The Masala Mussels were served in a Romali Roti (Handkerchief-thin Bread) parcel with lightly seasoned Briyani Rice and Pappadum Twisties (curly strips of crispy pappadums). The most interesting bits about this dish for me was the Romali Roti, the less greasy briyani rice than one has been used to and the Pappadum Twisties that gives a nouveau twist to the way Pappadums are traditionally served. I was not too keen on the mussels as I felt that the tomato sauce was a little too overpowering and the mussels were a little overcooked.

The Romali Roti here is made to order by a chef whom diners can observe practising his craft through the orange-glass panels. I requested to be allowed into the kitchen to film the making and here is the video for all  to share.

The Muthu's Flavors - Tandoori Chicken
Tandoori Chicken @ S$16.90
* Image courtesy of Sixth Sense Communications & The Muthu's Flavors

Next we had the Tandoori Chicken, which was deliciously moist despite the fact that only half a chicken was cooked in the oven. Chicken is so difficult to keep moist and juicy especially when not cooked as a whole chicken in an oven. The chefs did a good job here of keeping the flesh tender and succulent. It was served with Briyani rice which we were told was cooked with much less Ghee than the usual recipes called for. Whilst it lost its grease factor, the rice didn't lose too much in flavour. The Tandoori Chicken and Briyani Rice here is a Must-Try.

Masala Chai Flan
Masala Chai Flan @ S$7.90

We were getting pretty stuffed and were getting pretty worried about how much more food was coming when  we were told that it was time for desserts. I am a huge fan of Masala Chai and so I took to this dessert like a duck to water. I loved the light flavours of the Masala spice mix in the slightly sweet crème caramel mix. This is definitely worth a try if you like spices in your dessert and are a fan of flans/crème caramel. 

Beetroot Halwa
Beetroot Halwa with Ice Cream @ S$7.90

The second dessert was an interesting tart filled with grated beetroot that had been cooked down into a thick, pudding like consistency. The result was a very sweet paste that is complemented by the rich buttery pastry shells. If you have a sweet tooth, this is worth a try.

Masala Coke
Masala Coke @ S$3.90

If you like cold drinks, give the Masala Coke a try as it's a nice savoury and spicy take on regular Coke. Could this be Muthu's answer to the Hong Kong Cafe's Boiled Coke (hyped as a remedy for colds)?

The Muthu's Flavors (313@Somerset) frontage
Image courtesy of Sixth Sense Communications & The Muthu's Flavors

The Muthu's Flavors
313 Orchard Road,
Singapore 238895
Telephone: +65 6884-8380

Operating Hours: 
Daily: 11am to 11pm