Directory

CAPE COMORIN

Cuisine: Indian

It’s located just off Military Road on the first floor, so you could easily walk past without knowing it’s there, but Cape Comorin is worth searching for. The friendly staff dish up flavoursome south Indian cuisine. Start with dosai, crispy pancakes made of rice and white lentils, from $11.90, great for dipping in sambar, coconut and tomato chutney. Lamb varuval $17.90 is a succulent delight, cooked with mint herbs and spices in a thick gravy. Chicken chettinad curry $16.90 adds some spice to the menu and cape beef $16.90 is also worth a try. Vegetarians will love homestyle curry with peas and potatoes $20.90. Check out what flavours of kulfi are on offer on the specials menu for a sweet ending to your trip to the cape.

 

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PAPAYA

Cuisine: Indian,Thai

The decorators here clearly understood how mood can shape one’s view of food before it even hits the table. Papaya wins you over immediately with low lighting, dark wood furniture, pink tealights, a heavy chandelier and antique Thai wooden doors lining the back wall creating an exotic and contemporary feel. The food shows equal flair with dishes often sculpted high on the plate with spikes of scampi, pandan leaves, cinnamon sticks and ribbons of garnish. Entrees $6.90–$8.90 are tasty; try po piah koong ped tod, fried pastry cigars of roast duck, prawn and black fungi with plum sauce. Mains $14.90–$36.90 list lots of stirfries, curries and noodle dishes, but look to the specials for dishes such as marinated lamb cutlets with herbs, fragrant cloves and sesame oil served with seasonal vegetables in a garlic and pepper sauce $22. A favourite with the tastefully bejewelled locals.

 

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RADIO CAIRO CAFE

Cuisine: Indian,Thai,African

The menu has a distinctly African flavour at this long-ago Bent Fork Award winner, but it brings exotic dishes from every corner of the globe. You could expect to sample recipes from as far afield as India, Cuba and the Caribbean as well as Africa. Start with South African lamb sosaties, succulent chargrilled lamb fillets marinated in spicy apricot $8.75, or the legendary New Orleans-style Cajun popcorn shrimp $14.65. Tunisian slow-roasted lamb shanks $24.75 (two shanks) slide off the bone, while Mozambique tiger prawns piri piri $23.75 are deliciously spicy. World music, funky decor and a laidback vibe complete the experience. If you haven’t booked, sit at the bar while you wait for a table and soak up the atmosphere with a glass of wine and a piece of bongo bread.

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TOSHIYA

Cuisine: Indian,Thai,African,Japanese

Bathed in chocolate tones punctuated by a colourful, patchwork-quilt-like painted feature wall and large red lampshade, this trendy and efficiently run restaurant is a welcome addition to Military Road’s ever-changing foodscape. It’s Japanese of the finer dining sort. Blackboard entree specials $12–$18 deserve your first look, boasting wagyu aburi roll, oyster katsu, cod roe omelette and melt-in-your-mouth salmon carpaccio with truffle oil. Mains $16–$29 are equally enticing: paripari chicken with cheese and tartare sauce in spring-roll pastry, ocean perch and fig agedashi and a succulent wagyu beef steak are each presented like artworks. Desserts $5–$8 are slightly less creative — stick with the theme and dodge the creme brulee in favour of cold zenzai redbean soup. 

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VERA CRUZ

Cuisine: Indian,Thai,African,Japanese,Mexican

There’s an initial hospital feel to this place with the only focal points on the stark walls being glowing ER-like crosses (Vera Cruz, also a Mexican state, means “one true cross”) but that dissolves when you get on the level of the tealight candles and start ordering. The cuisine is fresh, authentic and anti-Tex-Mex served in a fun, buzzing atmosphere. The menu changes with the seasons but if the entree of ceviche $16.50 is on, get it. Worthy mains include salsa verde fish with blackbean rice $27.50, the easily devoured Yucatan lime and chilli fish taco $19.50 and the unfailingly popular chicken fajitas $27.50. Leave room for a dessert of churros, Mexican donuts with orange sauce and chocolate icecream $13.

 

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