There’s a reason why Kinara has been a mainstay of the Indian dining scene in Singapore for so long, and that reason is, without doubt, the reliably delicious food. With a richly decorated space in Boat Quay, a few notches higher in formality than its casual neighbours, the fragrant North Indian dishes are the best you will find along the river, and likely, anywhere on the island!
Kinara means “river bank” in Punjabi, so the fare is appropriately a mix of North Indian classics and some South Indian seafood specialties, particularly from the Kerala region. Each dish is dizzingly complex in flavour profile – as Indian cuisine is famous for – but none are overdone or exorbitant in price. You will find your favourite staples like naan and butter chicken, but if there’s one Indian restaurant where you should push your menu boundaries, it’s at Kinara. Try the Jhinga Biryani, with plump tender prawns and al-dente spiced rice or the Lucknowi Burra Kebab, with tender morsels of lamb. Heat-level can be tailored to your liking, but with truly great Indian food, the beauty is in the interplay of spices rather than the blunt spiciness.
The vibe here is proper enough for a business lunch but with the approachability of a weeknight family dinner spot. The intricate decor is chock-full of regional artifacts that, along with the sensational food, truly transport you. (Mar 2014)