The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises. This review of ‘Anglo Indian – Café & Bar’ being the latest by our Singapore branch.
The OCC takes pride in searching out the finest Indian restaurants and providing impartial reviews of Curry Houses all over the world.
Members vote anonymously without being influenced by other members (we call this “no swaying”) on 5 categories, and an average score out of a maximum 10 is given to each restaurant we review.
On Friday 22nd March 2019 – The OCC visited Anglo Indian Café & Bar; Shenton Way
For full transparency, see below scores (out of 10). The voting is based on the votes from OCC members. Restaurants must score an average of 7/10 or above to receive the OCC sticker of recommendation. All OCC members have been through a rigorous selection process to gain entry into the Club. In short, we all know our curries.
Customer care: 5.22
Anglo Indian IS NOT awarded the much-coveted OCC sticker of recommendation as it did not meet the required 7/10 average.
Anglo Indian – Café & Bar, as the name suggests is pitched as a casual dining experience with the food paying homage to the style of the ‘British Raj’. The delicious spiced dishes taken back to Blightey by the Brits returning from India. In-ter-est-ingly, the ‘Anglo’ in Anglo-Indian represents the ‘warm, courteous, ever present but not intrusive service’ synonymous with the country that gave us Downton Abbey and Alfred from Batman. A quick look at the scores for service and customer care suggest a disconnect here which will be addressed later in the review.
Situated in the heart of the CBD at street level under a large office building (a mere stone’s throw from Satay street), Anglo-Indian is ideally situated for an ‘after work curry’. Definitely not a conventional curry house vibe with outdoor seating only, rattan furniture and ‘happy hour’ style laminated menus; this was one of the more unorthodox establishments the OCC have reviewed thus far. Unfortunately, atmosphere scored below the required 7 points. Contributing factors being that you are effectively sitting on garden furniture in a concrete lot and also due to the fact that the location offers no natural air and there are no fans to offer respite from the heat and humidity. This would be a real issue for the largely ‘after work’ clientele in trousers and long sleeved shirts and we were a sticky bunch within a few minutes of sitting down.
Upon first inspection, the menu was fairly limited. Doc had the difficult task of ordering starters for the table from the smallest selection I have ever seen. We ordered samosas, chilli paneer and chilli fish but decided against the chicken curry nachos, which are neither Indian, British nor appropriate on any level!There were also no poppadoms on the menu. Those familiar with the OCC may perhaps hear a slight death knell in the background at this point. Starters were average, although one member commented that their samosa was still cold in the middle. Not ideal in itself but also suggests a more damning truth that the samosas are cooked from frozen?!?
On to the mains then; we fared slightly better here. The menu did offer enough selection and we ordered 7 mains in total with roti and naan playing their usual supporting role. The group were fairly conflicted with their views of the food. Most members describing dishes as ‘clean and tasty’ but most also felt that they were ’drowning in sauce’, some of which resembled something you might pick up in your local supermarket. Most notable of the mains was the mutton biryani which was presented sealed INSIDE a type of naan bread igloo. Incredible scenes which quite possibly tipped the quality score just over the top to obtain a score of 7.17
Both service and customer care scored incredibly poorly. As a large party we would expect wait staff to check up on us once in a while but having craned around in my chair for the fifth time to get a waitresses attention I was frustrated to see one playing on her phone and the other watching the barman pour a pint. Interestingly one half of the table seems to have scored service quite well whilst the other half seemed to have had a less enjoyable experience. I am not sure what to put this down to other than luck of the draw but as a group we were certainly not overwhelmed with the ‘ever present’ service mentioned earlier in the review.
The bill came in at about S$ 82 a head. Not great, not terrible you might think but it is worth noting that in spite of the location, alcohol is very (very) reasonably priced at Anglo-Indian. This was commented on by pretty much the whole group and the novelty factor of such a bargain no doubt resulted in us ordering more beers than was possibly necessary.
Despite the discounted ale, excellent location and the biryani in bread wizardry; with a score of 6.26 Anglo Indian will not be awarded the OCC sticker of approval. In summary, this is probably a good place for city workers to go for a quick bite to eat and a few drinks after work (on a cool night or in your underwear) but the lackadaisical service and restricted menu may put off a curry connoisseur. One member having summed it up pretty well with “not really a curry house but food was alright. No poppadoms”.
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