Har Gau


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Dreams of curry rice - Al-Jilani Restaurant, 127 Bencoolen Street, Singapore

Long before we moved to Asia, my husband had already begun imagining how nice it would be if we could have curry rice sitting by a roadside in the warm weather on an (almost) daily basis.

That, to him, was the epitome of Asian living, and, I'm convinced, the reason he wants to come to Asia. Anyhow, since we'd been dining in the mall for the last week or so, having pretty much the same Japanese and Korean food all the time, we decided it was time to have some of the stuff he likes so much.

Al-Jilani Restaurant, Bencoolen, Singapore

On the way from our hotel apartment to Bugis (amazing shopping where everything is $10), there is this Indian restaurant which we've been going by quite frequently. Everytime we're there, the place has been quite busy, and the food eaten by the diners there looked quite good too.

Al-Jilani Restaurant, Bencoolen, Singapore - Seasons drinks

I wasn't sure if the waiters here spoke English or Malay as over in Malaysia, you're pretty much OK speaking Malay to just about anyone. Gingerly, I tried a little English and when that succeeded, I got a little braver.

This restaurant has a little rice/dishes counter where I guess you're meant to choose your dishes from. Thing is, all the time we were there, I didn't see anyone standing at the counter choosing anything. Plates of rice with dishes on them just kept getting brought out to the table by the waiters - but anyway, doing things the Malaysian way, we stood at the counter and picked out what we wanted to have.

Plus, that way, you can kinda ask for more.

Al-Jilani Restaurant, Bencoolen, Singapore - Roti telur

Roti telur (eggy bread)

We ordered this mainly to compare this place to the ones we're familiar with (Kanna Curry House) and found it to be a little tough in comparison. Maybe it had been made earlier on and been sitting there for a bit, but taste-wise it was nice. Curry sauce was tasty, can't say too much else about this/

Al-Jilani Restaurant, Bencoolen, Singapore - Briyani rice with chicken

Briyani rice with curry chicken

Surprisingly flavourful. I say surprisingly because having tasted the roti telur above, I wasn't that confident about how the rice would be. Served lukewarm (party my fault since I spent about 5 minutes taking pictures), the rice was perfectly seasoned. The curry sauce was delicate and just about right in the spicy department, while the chicken remained very tender and fell apart at a mere push with the fork.

Al-Jilani Restaurant, Bencoolen, Singapore - Roti telur

The whole meal including a S$2 packet of takeaway vegetables came up to S$12.40. Is that cheap? Is that expensive? Not a clue. Enjoyable, though, and we continued our evening having a stroll around the neighbourhood.

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