Friday, May 1, 2009
Zaika S$9.90 Weekday Lunch Buffet
UPDATE: Shortly after I blogged this, the restaurant changed the buffet to a set lunch at the same price. It offers the same items, just one serving only, but I find that is really more than enough. We were so full from trying all the items, we couldn't order much more anyway.
A friend of mine kept raving about this fantastic value-for-money buffet lunch deal and implored me to try it myself. It's a simple little North Indian restaurant along Race Course Road called Zaika.
See? For S$9.90+ per person, you get unlimited servings of 10 dishes including tandoori chicken, fish curry, butter chicken, and naans. They even throw in dessert and free-flow drinks!
Of course, at this price, we did not expect fine-dining restaurant quality food. But what was served was more than decent. (Note that this offer is only available weekdays).
How it works is they bring out to you appropriately portioned servings of ALL the dishes. If you like something, you can request more of it. We started with the Bombay chat (first photo) which I mistook for a pappadum appetiser. That comes with a sweetish and sourish plum-like dip.
A medley of vegetable pakoras and curry samosas (above) followed. I liked the pakoras which had thinner dough skin and were not as heavy as the samosas. See the mint chutney in the background? That was superb!
Tandoori chicken - one small piece per person is served each time. It was surprisingly tender and moist. But hubby prefers his tandoori really well-baked and drier. Still, we ordered one more portion of this.
Some extremely creamy, rich and tangy raita. Somehow it helps to cut through grease and satiates you at the same time.
Three different curries - from left to right: fish curry, mixed vegetable curry (we liked this one best) and butter chicken. All of which are not spicy hot at all, so if you have a low tolerance for chili heat, you will enjoy these. They were very generous with the gravy. However, after a while, the richness of the dishes numbed our tastebuds somewhat and all of them tended to taste alike.
This yellow dhal curry was quite delicious - and we don't even like dhal. We finished this whole bucket.
Lovely fluffy naans, fresh and hot out of the oven. Perfect for mopping up the curries with. I think you can request rice instead if you prefer that.
Dessert is payasam - the milky rice pudding with nuts and dried fruit. I forgot to ask if they vary the dessert daily.
You are going to need a lot of water after all the rich food. They provide free-flow orange squash, which is rather quaint but refreshing. I haven't drunk this since I was a child, maybe during Chinese New Year.
Decor is fairly simple and service is prompt and adequate. The waiters came regularly to check if we wanted more of any dishes. The full course is actually quite filling already, and we could barely accommodate more.
You can't miss the brightly orange facade. You can either dine indoors or at two tables al fresco. Interestingly, the weekday lunch deal is not reflected in their website (link below).
38 Race Course Road
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm
dinner: 6.30pm - 11.00pm
Posted 2:54 PM