Dabbawalla - Curry & Cocktails
The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) is a well-respected Institution with multiple international franchises. This review of ‘Dabbawalla - Curry & Cocktails’ being the (sort of) 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 Thursday 20th Feb 2020 – The OCC visited Dabbawalla - Curry & Cocktails; Robertson Quay.
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: 9.1
Dabbawalla IS AWARDED the OCC badge of recommendation and achieves the highest score to date. Value is slightly below par but they smashed everything else, especially customer care.
Hip yet traditional, modern yet authentic – Dabbawalla, our Mumbai inspired restaurant is a high on energy and the bold flavours that typify the food of Mumbai. Located next to the Singapore River, in Robertson Quay, the Dabbawalla, with it’s distinct Mumbai inspired ambience, specially concocted cocktail and street food menu is a foodie’s experience like no other in Singapore. Dabbawalla means ‘one who carries a box’. Dabba means box, usually a tiffin, and walla is a holder. Therefore the English meaning is ‘One who gives food’
If you’ve ever found yourself propped up at the bar waiting for your Guinness to settle, you’ll be reminded that good things come to those who wait. Full disclosure: I’ve had two pints of Guinness in my entire life, and hated both of them, however I am a true believer in procrastination. The act of pondering over something long enough that when it comes to execution you are quite sure that the result is the ultimate best you can give. And so it is with this that I am proud to present the review for Dabbawalla Curry & Cocktails in Robertson Quay. An establishment visited by the OCC in February, and resulting review perfected a mere seven months later.
Let us take you back in time to one month BCE (Before Coronavirus Era). A time before curry consumption was changed the world over. You will find the OCC trickling into Robertson Quay on a quiet Thursday evening to form the congregation that will accept the curry and cocktails being prepared. Many good vibes were ahead. This part of Singapore is heavy on tourist and expat trade, and so full of surrounding bars and pubs. The aforementioned trickle of attendees was so slow that one member had saddled up to the bar opposite the restaurant and in frustration began to consume several early beverages plus some unauthorised snacks that would not form part of the evening’s meal deliberations. But the team assembled in time for proceedings to start promptly as we crossed the not-quite-as-bustling-as-usual footpath to Dabbawalla.
The vibes from the Dabbawalla team were warm. We were shown to our table promptly, even though we could see from a distance that an OCC logo had been placed on the pillar next to it. They had researched their guests and had concluded that the 5-star treatment was to be rolled out. Although pleasantly received by the OCC, this was not going to work as a sway mechanic.
The table was outside (yet undercover) and we were handed menus and offered refreshments in good time. Comfortable seating arrangements, vibrant in colour and lots of scatter cushions. I remember many cushion vibes. With a strong emphasis on the ‘cocktails’ in the restaurant name, and with a large contingent of members having taken in pre-beers, a middle ground was agreed on where half of the team would experiment with prosecco to the meal and the other half remain on beers for consistency. The beers were solid Kingfishers, and the OCC is yet to find a restaurant serving the elusive Cobra.
On to the food. And all we can collectively say is….yes! The food was wonderful. Flavours and spice vibes were cracking across the board. We would have ordered everything again, with maybe the exception of the tandoori mushrooms (unless you were veggie...or potentially vegan). We could go into the specifics of certain dishes, but on this occasion the review takes a much more holistic approach with the passing of time, one remembers that the whole experience is one that will be revisited with gusto. Good food vibes.
One thing to note on the price. Given the skew towards cocktails and bubbles, and given the location of the establishment, it is not totally surprising that the final bill came in towards the top end of previous OCC expeditions, hence the drop in scoring regarding value. But when looking for a trip to a curry house which will deliver on food, service and vibes (at a price) we couldn’t recommend Dabbawalla enough. You, your other half, or your visiting in-laws will appreciate it.