We all have a special place in our hearts for food that is familiar and well-loved. These dishes appeal to memories deep within us, involving people and places we love and unforgettable events. They are the dishes that evoke a sense of ‘home’ to us, like no other.
But imagine if these are paired with innovative and beautifully presented creations that conjure exciting new possibilities, expanding our horizons for enjoying food experiences in delicious new ways.
Raffles Hotel is serving up a special menu that offers exactly this. Its legendary Tiffin Room, that has built up a solid reputation for authentic North Indian cuisine, will play host to an exciting collaboration for a limited period. The restaurant will team up with Meatsmith Little India, a fusion American barbecue restaurant, to offer a unique pairing of cuisines.
Meatsmith, known for its signature use of grilling techniques and American Southern-style barbecue flavours, will add accents from Indian spices and inspirations to create new adventures in taste and presentation.
In a media food preview, our meal opened with a welcome drink and snack, followed by a delightful trio of appetisers by Meatsmith, served in an elegant and unusual way. These delectable little bites of Cured Fish Biryani Nigiri, Ikura Papadum and a layered Oyster Leaf and Cabbage combo on a stick left me simply wanting more.
The delicious fusion items, inspired by Japanese and Indian flavours and techniques, had great visual appeal as well. So did the next appetizer, a tantalising looking carabinero prawn with a topping of shaved curried granita whose cold, grainy texture contrasted well with the unexpected spiciness of the curry flavour. The whole concoction was unique.
The four main courses were all standard Tiffin Room favourtites, served in its iconic Tiffin Box. We had the Lamb Chop Masala, Chicken Curry, an unusual Fish Biryani and the most delicious Dal Makhani. The meats were tender, and the sauces well-differentiated. While all the curries were good, as you would expect from the Tiffin Room, the Dal Makhani absolutely stood out for me for its creaminess and flavour. If there weren’t so many other tempting items, I could have eaten a whole bowl of it. The selection was well-rounded and accompanied with a platter of Garlic, Butter and Cheese Naan, with white rice on the side for anyone needing it.
Meatsmith then introduced a fun element with a dessert of smoked coconut with jackfruit jam, that was individually torched at the table to accentuate that smokiness. It was another winning and unique presentation.
To round off the meal there were some excellent traditional Indian sweets by the Tiffin Room: Besan Burfri and Chenna Murki – these were made of chickpea flour and milk solids respectively.
There were carefully curated wines offered with the courses, including unusual selections from the Caribbean and Morocco. These enhanced the dining experience; however, they are extra.
Meatsmith undoubtedly injected an element of fun and playfulness into this meal, and I really enjoyed the appetisers and the coconut dessert they created. Their originality set up a mood of anticipation for the rest of the meal. Of the Tiffin Room’s dishes, I fell in love with their Dal Makhani, though the lamb and chicken curries were also excellent.
All in all, this collaboration by the Tiffin Room’s Chef Kuldeep Negi and Meatsmith Little India’s Kurt Sombero worked very well, with each team showcasing its strengths. Those coming for traditional authentic North Indian food will not be disappointed, while the innovative creations by Meatsmith will delight the senses and make new fans. It’s a menu that will be appreciated by anyone who enjoys Indian food, regardless of whether they might have their roots in another cuisine.
This promotion will start with an opening dinner on 22 April and continue with lunch and dinner daily from 23 April to 6 May 2021.
Prices: $98++ per head. Additional Wine Pairing at $58 per head.
Optional vegetarian menu: $88++ per head
Anne Chiang is a self-confessed foodie who admits that food is her “consuming passion” in more ways than one. She is a freelance editor and writer with many interests.