Town Restaurant @ Fullerton Hotel - Lost and Found || Artisanal Malay and Indian Cuisines

Local food and cuisines lost and found are primed to get more glory in the year 2016 with a meal at Town Restaurant snatching up some pretty impressive accolades, in my books, with a short term stint featuring mother-and-son duo Lakshmi and Daniel Surendran from Heavens Catering. Returning as guest chefs after a very successful debut last year in July, the pair will be dishing out a storm on the buffet line at Town Restaurant only from the 6th to the 16th Jan'16. So you better start jostling for a table quick!

The story goes that Madam Lakshmi, (the amicable personality that greets you at the thosai station and tries to place one too many of the crispy shells stuffed with tender egg potato mixture on your plate), was confounded by the gradual disappearance of some local cuisines  that she was particularly fond of. Then, armed with her mother's culinary skills and the different influences she was exposed to, she went on to set up a humble hawker stall, Heavens, at Ghim Moh Road Market Food Centre some 15 years ago, peddling traditional Malay and Indian fare. Despite, his mother's reluctance for his involvement in the kitchen, son, 28-year-old Daniel decided to follow in her footsteps and shroud himself in spices and oils as he poured his heart into learning cooking from scratch. Come the first quarter of 2016, his very first restaurant, targeted at serving up halal Singapore cuisine will be set to open its doors along Race Course Road; and I must admit that after a night of tireless feasting on his winning local fare, I'm extremely excited for the new venture.

So, for the stipulated period, the dinner buffet available from 6 30pm to 10.30pm daily will not only feature the usual spectacular spread; ranging from pasta station, cold cuts, fresh seafood, sashimi station to perennial local favourites such as Laksa as well as Town restaurant's famous Hainanese Chicken Rice - but also a showy exhibition of traditional Indian and Malay cuisine, with a focus on recipes that are generally reaching a state of oblivion in present days. Start off your journey with the Appam and the Royal Thosai ; the former which I was first exposed to in Dubai, and till date, my trip to Town Restaurant accounting for the second time. Crisp edged with a fluffy egg filled center, perfect with gula melaka syrup and coconut cream; this sweet savoury treat goes down well with everything, If you have a penchant for curry puffs, the Royal Thosai is a great alternative with a delightful egg potato filling perforated with spices such as caraway and curry powder. 

Rounding the bend closer to the Chinese roast meats section is a whole entourage of claypots that contain a myriad of Chef Daniel's innovative fare. My favourites include the Udang Buah Keras (prawns in candlenut gravy), Fish Lemak with Yam, and the Kari Itek (duck curry). Each a true representation of some brilliant old school techniques lost as modern times call for efficiency and short cuts. Here, you get the quintessential local treatment sans the addition of MSG and lots of love and patience to boot. 
Laksa Fish and Daging Masak Itam (Squid Ink Beef)
Go ahead and make second or even third rounds as those crystal clear prawns lacquered in spiced up gravy beckon for you to dig to the bottom of the pot in search for liquid gold to dip a hunk of freshly toasted naan into. The proteins in most cases are cooked well, tender and fall off the bone with a lengthy scent of its provenance, the lamb for example, a tad gamey benefits from the dark soya sauce and addition of feisty chili padi; all it requires is a plate of saffron basamati rice as company.
Kari Itek (duck curry)
Kambing Kicap Manis (lamb cooked in dark soya sauce and chilli padi)
Red Curry Vegetables

In addition to the buffet spread, diners are entitled to unlimited servings of a featured cooked seafood dish  (depending on the ever-changing menu); my lucky stars paving the way for lobster thermidore that unfortunately was a tad tough and lackluster even in the presence of its warm blanket.

Moving on to desserts, you can get your staples, chocolate cake, orange chiffon cake and the signature Bread and Butter Pudding, which is not to be missed. Unique to this period only, is Chef Daniel's Steamed Banana and Sesame cake as well as his Ondeh Ondeh, crafted in ways to highlight techniques strayed. The former, spongy with a bit of residual crunch in its wake from the black sesame is a delightful way to conclude the debauchery whilst the latter disappoints slightly with the absence of the conventional flowy gula melaka innards. 

Still, Chef Daniel and mother, Lakshmi's tale is one of bittersweet symphony and true grit; and in its admirable ways, translates fully into the food dished out. For some authentic fare served up in lush colonial settings, head on over to Town Restaurant for a taste.

Banana and Sesame steamed cake
Ondeh Ondeh


The Town restaurant's "Lost and Found": Artisanal Malay and Indian Cuisines is available from 6 to 16 January 2016 from 6 30pm to 10 30pm. Prices are as follows

Sun - Tues
Adults: $56
Child (6 - 11) : $28
Wed - Sat
Adults: $69 (with seafood selection); $89 (free flow draught beer and Singapore Sling)
Child: $34; $44 (with seafood selection)


Town Restaurant 
Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
t: 6733 8388

Operating Hours
6 30am - 11 30pm

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