The fairly low-key Copthorne Orchid Hotel on Dunearn Road is one that most of us have driven past on numerous occasions. It now houses a gem, Heritage – The North Indian Cuisine, which moved to the hotel from Sixth Avenue in September last year.
Looking onto a courtyard with a water feature, Heritage is big enough for a large function, smart enough for a business meeting and relaxed enough for a family dinner. It also has private dining areas. Owners Rakesh and Vandana Khetrapal have won various culinary awards for the past five years and set a number of trends in innovative dishes and new flavour combinations.
We went along before Christmas and tried their turkeys “with a difference”. One turkey was marinated in mustard and sesame seeds and stuffed with broccoli and sautéed vegetables. Another was marinated in spinach paste and stuffed with mixed vegetables, ginger and garlic. It would be a hard call to choose a favourite, but the broccoli stuffing was exceptional!
They make more than 15 types of bread, and their delicious naans, whether plain or garlic, are extremely moreish. I like places that serve the kind of Indian food I am used to – and I liked that the restaurant manages to serve authentically undiluted versions of standards such as tikka, dal and masala while giving them a creative edge. You can choose from mild, medium, hot or extra hot versions of each dish, and all are full of flavour.
Corn kabab is just one of a number of their own inventions that have been adopted by other restaurants over the years. Also tasty was the seekh kabab – minced mutton, marinated and flavoured with exotic herbs and cooked in the tandoor, and the Lahori fish tikka – fingers of fish marinated in a tongue-tingling masala, coated with a light batter and fried. Paneer tikka, cottage cheese chunks marinated in spices, is another favourite.
Just when we thought we had finished our meal, the main course arrived.
Arranged on a platter were:
• Goan prawn curry, jumbo prawns gently simmered in coconut, blended with garlic and ginger;
• Chicken tikka butter masala, boneless chicken cooked in the tandoor and then simmered in a creamy tomato
• Hari makai, the chef’s signature dish of finely chopped spinach and sweet corn cooked in cream with exotic
• Mattar paneer, green peas with cottage cheese;
• Yellow dal tadka, a thick gravy of lentils sautéed in oil with dried red chilli and flavoured with butter.
There are plenty of options for vegetarians and seafood lovers; tandoori crab is a speciality. After our feast, we couldn’t find room for one more mouthful, not even dessert, so I didn’t get to review any!
Whatever the time of the year, this is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a good Indian. And for those who live in Newton or surrounding suburbs, the location makes it a lot easier to get to than going into town.
Heritage – The North Indian Cuisine
Copthorne Orchid Hotel, 214 Dunearn Road
+65 6875 0433 / +65 6875 0434