Fan of Indian curries? You're in for a treat.
MANAM, located at Upper Circular Road, is the sister restaurant of Nalan Restaurant, a North and South Indian vegetarian restaurant which we previously reviewed.
Read the review of Nalan Restaurant here.
But unlike Nalan Restaurant, who is renowned for its fully vegetarian and vegan-friendly offerings, MANAM serves mainly meats, seafood, and curries. That being said they do provide some vegetarian options on their menu.
We sauntered in on a weekday afternoon and was immediately greeted by the friendly staff who ushered us to our table. The restaurant was decked out in brown, with one side of the walls entirely tiled in reflective gold.
As a meREWARDS member, you enjoy 1-for-1 deals on their Starters, Curries, or Cocktails and Mocktails. With the help of the friendly staff, we picked out some of the must-try dishes here at MANAM.
1. Starter - Kozhi Milagu Varuval ($19)
The Indian take on fried chicken, this dish is made by marinating chicken morsels in Indian pepper, chilli paste and salt each morning. It is then fried till crispy brown, dusted with spice and tossed with sesame seeds.
What you get is an incredibly crispy, flavourful, and mildly spicy starter that will thoroughly whet your appetite. Squeeze a bit of lime juice over the chicken for a nice, zesty contrast.
2. Vaazhai Ilai Meen Varuval - 2pcs ($21)
Fish steak cuts, marinated with masala each morning, are pan-seared till golden brown. They are then wrapped in banana leaves with spiced curry leaf paste and cooked again for the fish steak cuts to absorb the juice and essence of the spiced curry leaf paste.
We really liked that the fish was able to retain its juices, and the spiced curry leaf paste on the crust gives this dish a spicy and savoury kick.
3. Curry - Eral Maangai Masala ($22)
There are 15 different curries on the menu, and many of them looked unfamiliar to us. We seeked the advice of the friendly staff who recommended us to try their Eral Maangai Masala ($22), or prawns cooked with raw mango and aromatic spices.
It turned out to be our favourite dish from this visit - this curry features juicy, pan-seared prawns cooked with raw Indian mango and aromatic spices. Raw Indian mangoes are much sourer than the Thailand or Philippines mangoes we are used to here.
Some of the ingredients in the curry include cardamom, chilli powder, garam masala, a blend of ground spices originating from India, and fennel, a hardy herb indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean.
The pan-seared prawns are sweet, juicy, and crunchy, providing a perfect contrast with the rich and decadent curry. Add a bit of the raw mango and savour the ultimate explosion of flavours in your mouth.
No curry is complete without a side of carbs, and that is why we got 2 pieces of the Kerala-style Parotta ($7) - name variation of the prata we all know and love - to go along with the curry. This dish is considered a delicacy in the state of Kerela.
Instead of the usual flat ones we are used to eating at our kopitiams, their Parotta has a soft yet crunchy outer layer, with cushy inner layers that are adept at soaking those yummy curries up.
4. Kongunadu Kozhi Kuzhambu ($19)
The second curry we ordered was this Kongunadu Kozhi Kuzhambu ($19). Named after a village in Southern India where this dish originated, this rich and aromatic 'village-style' chicken curry is a comfort food for many Indians. Cooked with chicken bits, masala paste and freshly roasted spices, this mildly spicy curry is rich on flavour without being overly heavy. It has this slightly grainy texture that goes well with the likes of thosai, naan, or parotta.
We also liked that there was a tinge of herbs in the curry. Again, not too overpowering, and provided a nice contrast against the thick and flavourful curry.
We ordered the Kal Thosai ($7 for 2 pcs), a soft and spongey thosai variety in Tamil Nadu, to go along with the chicken curry. This breakfast staple is made with parboiled rice, raw rice, and urad dal, or split black lentils.
Did you also know that thosai, or dosa, has come a mighty long way? One of the earliest mentions of this dish dates to the sixth century and can be found in the Tamil literature of the Sangam period in India.
5. Cocktail & Mocktail
Looking for drinks instead? With the 1-for-1 deals on cocktails and mocktails, you have no reason not to indulge in some of your favourite drinks here at MANAM. Some of the crowd favourites include the classic gin-based Singapore Sling, Long Island Iced Tea, and the Mystic ($18) mocktail, a sweet concoction with hints of yoghurt.
meREWARDS 1-for-1 Deals
Bring a friend down and flash your meREWARDS app to enjoy 1-for-1 deals on the tantalising Starters, Curries, or Cocktails & Mocktails! If you enjoy Indian cuisine as much as we do, then we are sure you will be in for a treat!
Address: 15 Upper Circular Rd, #01-01, S058413
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun (Mon Closed), Lunch: 11am - 3pm, Dinner: 6pm - 10pm
Nearest MRT Station: Clarke Quay Station
Check out our review of their sister restaurant, Nalan Restaurant at Capitol Singapore here.
This is an independent review brought to you by meREWARDS.