Komala Vilas Singapore – Chana Bhatura
Eating in Komala Vilas Singapore is paying homage to one of the nation’s oldest Indian vegetarian restaurants – serving meals in 1947.
When I’m in Singapore, this is my go-to place for authentic Indian cuisine.
The restaurant is in Little India, Singapore’s liveliest, and colorful ethnic enclaves where parking is a CHALLENGE.
The narrow little lanes and a bustling business community of thriving shoppers and diners.
If you’re used to orderly Singapore, Little India can be a little messy (Singapore standard)
Compared to Penang, I find Serangoon, very orderly, and pleasant to walk around.
Why Eat at Komala Vilas Singapore
I was recommended by my friends Ais, Rauf to eat here.
Veronique Ficheux has been eating at Komala Vilas for almost 20 years.
Komala Vilas has been consistent in their food and beverages.
I remember Veronique telling me that this is a national treasure for excellent Indian cuisine.
The only thing we need to bring is an empty stomach to eat all the good food in the restaurant!
Overall decent south Indian food especially the Chana Bhatura.
Komala Vilas Singapore – the Cuisine
Indian food is rooted in the principle that food should provide nutrition for the body and a balance for life.
South Indian food is a brilliant blend of flavors, colors, and texture. A typical traditional meal in South India is served on a freshly cut banana leaf.
The cuisine is renowned for its delightful blend of rice and lentils prepared into Sattvic meals consisting of delicious Dosais, Vadais, Idlis, and Utthapams.
North Indian cuisine is characterized by its thick, moderately spicy, and creamy gravies alongside with Tandoori roti and Naans as staples.
The meals are hearty and rich with dried fruits and nuts.
The variety of sweet and savory dishes will awaken all your aromatic senses.
Komala Vilas Singapore – Chana Bhatura
I could eat everything else on the menu.
But like all finicky eaters, especially one that is faithful – if I find a dish I LIKE, I will eat it to death, literally.
So for me, Komala Vilas Singapore means Chana Bhatura.
We could chant the reverse, nothing is better than a Chana Bhatura at Komala Vilas Singapore.
The first time I had was in Little India in Penang.
A friend Vee, asked, “Do you like Puri?”
My eyes widened like the twin Puri, I envisioned devouring.
Vee: How would you like an upsize?
Dory: As in McD meal?
Vee: As in a gigantic puffed up ball.
The best Bhatura is a deep fried fluffy, puffed golden sphere worthy of adoration.
Chana Bhatura at Komala Vilas Singapore or any Vilas for that matter.
If you haven’t tried – let me tell you this.
Chana Bhatura or simply a Bhatura is food to die for.
Vee: Dory you exaggerate! /ɪɡˈzadʒəreɪt,ɛɡˈzadʒəreɪt/ You be dead since the first meal you ate at an Indian restaurant.
Dory: That will be a Banana Leaf lunch meal in Susila Restaurant in 1983!
Vee: You file that in your multiple open tab brain?
Dory: Nods. Yesssssss
A perfectly puffed up globe-like sphere Bhatura is like having the best hair day of your life. YESSSSS
Everything in the kitchen was going well and humming.
Chef’s happy. All hands on deck.
They know Dory is coming to eat. <I wish!>
But seriously, the truth is getting the oil is sufficiently hot OR ELSE the Bhatura won’t puff up and will absorb a lot of oil.
When you order a Bhatura – You sit facing the kitchen if that’s possible.
When the server brings this out from the kitchen, he walks at a brisk pace.
It’s that moment in the movie when the camera pans to the giant smug ball of leavened dough in all its glory.
You can add semolina to plain flour to make it a little crispier.
Why some would even go as far as using baking powder and ENO <which explains the err.. strange metallic taste or lemon gone bad>
The secret ingredient is <whispers.. tell you and wait for painful excruciating death of a torture chamber of Bhatura that you can’t eat. Muahahahaha>
It’s just dried mango powder (Amchur) which makes all the difference in the world.
I tell you this in all solemnness – yogurt, baking powder may help little Bhatura become BIG Bhatura but the real connoisseurs will know the difference. <whispers>
How do I know about Bhatura or any other food for that matter?
Well, some of you may remember stories of my librarian days spent pored over cookery books since I was 13.
I don’t cook, but hey I know impressive names of vegetables like Rhubarb without ever meeting one before in my life.
Bae chuckles. “You just read too much.”
Calling a Terung, Eggplant, Brinjal – Aubergine made me a weird teen.
The cause of this hunger of knowledge?
I once thought Anchovy was a vegetable.
For the rest of you, if you think Anchovy is a meat or worm meal, please buy a book like an Encyclopaedia of Cooking in 24 Volumes (1949) Hardcover – January 1, 1949.
And read it religiously like me.
Komala Vilas Singapore Menu
The menu has a good list of delicious Indian food with enough vegan options.
Recommended must-try items
- Paper Thosai
- Chilli Idly,
- Ghee Masala Dosa
If I were others (Paper Thosai, Chilli Idly, and Ghee Masala Dosa) I’ll feel a little meaningless compared to the BIG ball when it shows up.
Everyone hawks at a Bhatura and can’t wait to poke at it to watch it deflate, releasing a puff of HOT steamy air.
Then the feeding gets savage,
We tear at it with gusto, using our fingers.
We got to fold as many chickpeas as we could pick up into our Bhatura wrapper.
Chana Bhatura at Komala Vilas Singapore
The Chana Bhatura is an exquisite meal with the spicy; traditional Chana Masala served with a puffy Indian bread called a Bhatura.
Vegan, nut-free, and soy-free, the Chana Bhatura is gluten-free.
Chana Masala’s main ingredient is a variety of chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans called Chana.
These are twice the diameter of typical chickpeas with a more robust flavor and firmer texture even after being cooked.
The legume is loaded with folate, iron, fiber, and vitamin B.
The tomato-and-onion sauce is blended with lots of garlic, ginger, chilis, and good-for-you spices.
Indians eat Chana Masala at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a quick snack from food stalls in the local bazaar.
The Chana Masala here is as good as it gets.
Komala Vilas Singapore Review:
This place should be on your list to visit if you like south Indian food.
I tried Dosa, which is good.
My absolute favorite is the puffy Chana Bhatura a to die for Indian bread.
If you want perfect South Indian food without too much of artificial ingredients, this is the place to go. Cannot get more authentic South Indian food anywhere else in Singapore
The only thing I don’t like is the restaurant has good food but serves many items in plastics even for dine-in options.
The drinks come in a plastic cup with a lid and straw.
The restaurant is busy at most times. I heard that the services are mediocre if you’re not a regular. But since I was with regulars, our food came promptly.
However, I love this place, and every time I’m in town, my Singaporean friends will take me here for an authentic experience in Little India.
We usually buy a whole bunch of Samosa and take them home!
Komala Vilas Singapore Restaurant | 76-78 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 217981
Business Hours: 7 am-10:30 pm (Daily)