Vibe You’d be forgiven for thinking Pind Balluchi – a successful Indian restaurant chain specialising in Punjabi classics – belongs in the same bracket as its shallow, party-happy Clarke Quay neighbours, with its nightclubesque exterior and loud music pumping through the dimly-lit restaurant. But make your way past the outdoor area and a sleek-looking bar at the front of the house to an all-black dining area ensconced at the back and you’ll find some quality food on offer. Sadly, the music’s still too loud here, which makes dinner conversation virtually impossible – and servers difficult to flag down. While the waiters are professional, they can also be quite detached and harried at times; we had to ask twice for recommendations and the bill.
Food Pind Balluchi’s specialty is Indian-style barbecue, and its execution is spot-on. The galouti kebab ($28), lamb patties finely minced 32 times, dissolve wonderfully on the tongue and pack a fiery punch from a mélange of spices. Equally good is the hara masala chicken ($22), tender pieces of grilled thigh meat marinated in yoghurt, fresh mint and coriander.
Vegetarians have quite a few options to choose from, too: try out the saag paneer ($22), which is a traditional cottage cheese and spinach dish. If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on the peshawari naan ($11) – sweetened flat bread studded with a variety of nuts and raisins for a crunchy, burst-of-sweetness finish – Christmas in a naan, anyone?
Drinks Interestingly, there’s a bespoke cocktail concept here – the resident mixologists will ask you what you’re in the mood for and make something accordingly. Our request for something sweet yet sour yielded a refreshingly light gin, passionfruit and lemongrass concoction ($16).
Verdict There’s a serious restaurant waiting to bust out beneath the clubby exterior – if only there was a little less emphasis on the party vibe and more on the service.
|Venue name:||Pind Balluchi Bar & Grill||Contact:|
#01-15 Clarke Quay
3B River Valley Rd
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 6pm-midnight, Sat & Sun noon-2.30pm, 6pm-midnight|