SINGAPORE RESTAURANT

D'Bell

Two floors of light Indian bites and loungey vibes at this Mumbai import

This modern Indian resto-lounge has some Mumbai nightlife pedigree and a melange of Southern and Northern Indian dishes, many reinvented with a lighter, healthier take in mind. Don't expect lots of cream, butter and ghee because you're not going to find it here. Although they serve Western options like lobster bisque ($12) and herb crusted lamb chop($26), their forte is Indian. We like the light pappadum cone filled with veggie relish ($5.80) and the Tawa Wali Fish-Chennai Express (grilled fishcubes with coconut and curry leaf paste, $22). The lounge upstairs is all lattice-work and colorful cushions, yet tastefully restrained. There's a full-service bar playing loungey Buddha Bar-esque tunes. Aside from an extensive bottle list with premium bottles like Nikka whiskies and Grey Goose vodkas, they also have Indian-inspired signature cocktails like the Golden Moment (vodka, mango, and passionfruit) alongside classic offerings. The space also comes with a private VIP room tucked at the end of the lounge and fits about 30 people.

The buzz: Modern Indian resto-lounge serving North Indian cuisine opens with an open-concept bar upstairs, adding some much-needed spice to the Chinatown-meets-CBD limbo.

The vibe: Not your typical Indian restauran—there's no drapery, carved wood, glass mosaics or bronze statues. Instead there are velvet banquettes, vintage chandeliers, modern chairs and a hint of Indian heritage with ethnic pillows. A quiet respite from the bustling CBD, though the upstairs lounge playing Buddha Bar-esque tunes gets rowdier on weekends.

The food: An eclectic mix of North Indian and Western cuisine. Tikka masala appears alongside sliders and chocolate brownies next to gulab jamun. Although the restaurant replaces ghee and butter with healthy oils, you can hardly taste the difference. Expect snack-like pappadum cones with veggie relish ($5.80), butter fish cubes with coconut and curry leaves paste ($22) and char-grilled salmon ($24) with asparagus and basmati risotto. Their black Amritsari dal ($12) stays true to the way grandma used to make it, even if you do get it with a chilli cheese naan ($8).

The drinks: A surprisingly extensive list of wines that start at $68 for a bottle and rare Single Malt Scotch Whiskys like 12-year old Strathisla for $288 to imbibe as you party the night away after dinner. Check out their cocktail list for Indian-inspired concoctions.

Why you’ll be back: They have great lunch sets (from $15) for the spice-loving CBD crowd. Plus it’s refreshing to see this delicious cuisine deviate away from cliché interiors while maintaining a light touch with the food.

Book a table at D'Bell with Chope

Venue Details
Address: D'Bell, 43 North Canal Rd., Singapore, 059299 Singapore
Phone: 6536-4046
Website: www.dbell.sg
Area: Boat Quay
Cuisine: Indian
Open since: March, 2014
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm; Mon-Thu 6-11pm; Sat 6pm-midnight
Nearest trainClarke Quay
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