The Place Located in the buzzing Keong Saik Road, Thevar is a modern Indian restaurant which was just accorded One-Michelin Star for the first time in 2021. The shophouse restaurant is helmed by Chef Mano Thevar, where the seating layout include limited bar seats, indoor tables and outdoor tables.
I was excited to try the restaurant for a long time and thankfully I made a reservation right before the Michelin Guide announcement. In terms of the food here, you can expect familiar Indian flavours presented with European techniques by virtue of Chef Mano culinary experiences.
The Food There is only one menu for dinner, the Chef’s Menu (S$198++). That said, there is also an ala carte menu but the caveat is that it is only for outdoor seatings and walk-in only.
For the Chef’s Menu, my meal started with a series of snacks, in the following order of sequence – Beetroot Chaat, Summer Truffle Maitake Mushroom Samosa, Crispy Pork with Sambal Aioli, and the Pani Puri.
My favourite snack of the lot is the Summer Truffle Maitake Mushroom Samosa, where you get a nice crispy texture and that hint of truffle topping seals the flavour.
The Crispy Pork with Sambal Aioli uses a tender Iberico pork and I really like the sambal taste here which really whets my appetite right from the start. Have it all with the leaf!
The last snack is the Pani Puri which is a great choice as it helped to cleanse the palate for the courses ahead.
My first appetiser was the Coriander & Tellicherry Pepper Cured Hamachi Coconut Sothi. It sounds like an odd Japanese Indian fusion, but the fish and the coconut sothi really blends so well. You then get a little hint of spice from the pepper, but that is subtle yet delicious.
The second appetiser was the Argentinian Prawn Kachori, where the traditional deep-fried snack is stuffed with more luxurious ingredients here and topped with Marigold flower. It feels almost too easy to pop more of this as I definitely could do with another serving, so good! Interestingly, there is also the unexpected element of avocado purée within.
The third appetiser is heavier in flavour, where I had the Chettinad Chicken Roti, inspired from tacos. I like how progressive the flavours of the dishes are so far, as it teases the palate and makes me look forward to the next dish.
The next appetiser was the Pink Guava & Kashmiri Chilli Gujiya, shaped like a mini donut and it acts like a palate cleanser before the mains.
For mains, I had the Crispy Scale French Bass-Polichathu, and it is served together with the Madras Crab Curry Rice. I’m not sure which is better, the fish or the rice. Both are equally good.
The crab curry rice is akin to biryani, but with so much more finesse. It is not easy to achieve that fine crispy scale for the fish, which taste even better with that spicy sauce beneath.
The next course is a pre-snack dish before the last mains. It is akin to a fried fish ball served along with a very comforting Rasam, which I really enjoyed.
The last main dish I had was the Cape Grim Short Rib – Green Goodness and Rumali Roti. The Roti is coated in beef fat and topped with shirozo pepper, and the beef is delicious.
For pre-dessert, it is a very refreshing Papaya Sorbet along with some fresh fruits beneath.
Dessert is the Rasmalai, a creamy and rich Indian dessert yet it is quite light in texture. Beneath the creamy surface likes cinnamon ice cream and I am surprised that I quite like the overall combination, given that I’m usually not a fan of overly sweet endings.
Rants The indoor space is quite tight as almost half of the space is taken up by the open kitchen. A party of four is ideal, less so for bigger groups.
Will I Return Again? I really enjoyed every course at Thevar. The flavours are punchy, yet the courses are well-planned with surprises in terms of flavours for me. I like the unpretentious service and fine-casual dining experience too. In short, it is a well-deserved Michelin Star restaurant which is worthy of a try.
Make your reservation instantly at Thevar here.
Taste bud: 4.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4.5/5
9 Keong Saik Road
Tel: +65 9750 8275
Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm to 12am
Closed on Mondays & Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter