Komala Vilas Restaurant
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Komala Vilas is a typical South Indian Restaurant, in addition to the wide range of South Indian dishes, they serve a splendid selection of dishes from the North.
76 / 78 Serangoon Road
Tel: 6293 6980
12 / 14 Buffalo Road
Singapore 209 723
Tel : 62933664
Sweets and Savouries
82 Serangoon Road
I've lived in Singapore all my life and I used to visit Komala's Villa with friends and family. One time, I was treated so poorly when I was there with friends from out of town, that we politely got up and left, but I vowed to never return. I had a friend from out to town visiting so I decided to try out Komala's again after 10 years. Bad mistake. Service is still rude, arrogant, and lazy.
I had a friend visiting from the USA so I stupidly took him to Komalas. Not used to the heat. The man at the end of our table kept the water to himself so I reached over to the other table to grab some water. The staff walked over, removed the water from our table and returned it to the empty table. I guess empty tables are more important than paying customers. He did it on purpose to be mean and rude. He never came over to refill our water and ignored us the whole time we were there. We never got a refill of rice or dhal and were basically rushed out the door. There were no more customers for the day so he just wanted us out.
We were not the only ones who had to raise our hands and wait for service. There are 10 staff members to each customer, but each is more surly, rude, and arrogant than the next. I think they treat the regulars with respect. Everyone else, they treat you like "we got your money, now leave." I left frustrated and angry, but I had to save face in front of my guest.
I try to support local businesses, but Komala's Villa, I cannot support. I work hard to treat people decently and with respect. They work hard to remind you that they are an institution and that they don't need your money. It was like this 10 years ago, it is like this today, and if you look at the other comments on this page, I'm not the only person who thinks this way. Obviously they don't care. Be forewarned. You can get better food without the attitude. Stay far away from Komala's Villa. It's just a tourist trap now. Unlucky for the tourists!
Being a South Indian I’m not particularly excited about eating Indian cuisine outside, unless its North Indian food! It is quite boring to eat the same food that you have at home outside as well. Komala Villas has no great ambience to it. I have hardly visited the eatery that often. It had always been take-aways.
When I was much younger, my parents would drop by the outlet near Farrer Park MRT and buy back Pani puri and Dahi puri for the family, whenever they visited Mustafa. They felt that we deserved a treat since we were at home ‘studying’.
Pani puri is basically a mini puri (a puffed crisp pastry) filled with flavoured water, tamarind chutney, onion, chickpeas and potatoes. It has a spicier taste compared to Dahi puri. The Dahi puri has a slightly milder and tangy taste due to the addition of yoghurt. Fans of yoghurt (Me!) would usually opt for the Dahi puri.
I am rather surprised that no one has mentioned this North-Indian snack up till now. I can’t find a better reason to make a trip to the eatery! Even though the entire Mini puri might not fit into our tiny mouths, its best to consume it in a few bites so that you can experience the spectrum of flavours and textures.
Whenever I'm vegan, I tend to gravitate towards Komala Vila's for food. I am particularly fond of the cheese thosai and poori. The mock curry is tasty, but sometimes I feel it's a little overpriced for the portion you get. The food is definitely authentic, and pretty spicy, so if you can't handle spicy food, don't eat here!
I usually don't like eating at the sit-in outlet though, because it's a little rundown. The takeaways taste fine, but it's not the same as eating it piping hot out of the kitchen. The place can get rather crowded on weekends and Friday nights, so I suggest eating here on a weekday afternoon to avoid the crowd.
I love Koma Vilas. And I do mean the original Singapore store along Serangoon Road (in the google map above) and not the new fast food variant. The store looks run down and ambiance is gritty but that to me just adds to its charm. It feels incredibly authentic and the dishes are so value for money we often end up ordering 2 dishes per person just to get more feel for the flavours.
The Indian sets like in most restaurants typically come with the heavenly trio of dhal (orangy stewed lentis/beans), raita (white yogurt type dip) and vegetable curry. Prices for the sets are between $2.20 (Idiyappam set) and $4.50 (Chili Parotta)!
I don't buy anything off counter because the fried food don't look very healthy. The Lasi is super thick and not for me either. Koma Vilas is not for everyone but for those who loves to soak up the culture then Koma Vilas is a must stop destination in Little India. I simply like going there for good food at great prices.
Komala Vilas is a household name in North & South Indian cuisine. And what better place then to feast on them in their main Serangoon Road outlet, where amid Indian temples, spices shops and many stalls selling flower garlands for offerings and religious prayers...you feel somewhat "teleported" to India.
If you have foreign friends (especially from Europe) wishing to soak in the Indian ambience, this is a great starting place..what better way to start and enhance the the visual experience with Indian cuisine ?....and to be frank, I really enjoyed the atmosphere when I entertained my Russian friends. I felt like a tourist too as I seldom dine at Serangoon Road.
The fares at Komala Vilas are superb and priced fairly. You might like to raise the "novelty" quotient by ordering the Bhatura, a flour ball deep-fried and ate with veg curries. And don't forget the teh halia terik (pulled ginger tea), which the obliging staff "pulled" right in front of you...Great Entertainment I would say !
The rest of the menu items should be explored as well...as the wall menu indicated just the price, with no pictures. So for the uninitiated..ordering the food by seeing what other diners are enjoying can be a adventure itself..."safe" in the knowledge of healthy dining of vegetarian meals.
Remember...when in Serangoon Road....starts with the food journey...then the foot journey....
When I was a teen in the 90s, my grandad was still able bodied. He had a motorbike which he rode to everywhere for anything. I enjoyed going on joyrides with him. Another thing that both of us enjoy is good thosai.
On weekend mornings, he would wake me up early, both of us would go straight down to Komala Vilas for our thosai fix. He loved masala thosai while I loved the ghee thosai, we would eat our fill at the restaurant, having the best possible experience, before ordering takeaways for those at home. Of course, it doesn't taste as good once you get home 30 minutes later.
Nowadays, my grandad is frail, his kidneys have failed, his heart is failing and everytime I pass by this place, it reminded me of the good times I had with him and I never fail to shed a tear thinking of those times again.
Komala Villas has been a pillar of Indian vegetarian food in Singapore ever since our grandparents' days.
My favourite outlet is the one at East Coast Park. It's more of a fast food concept, plus it's generally quiet in the afternoons and early evenings. I used to head there with my partner and have a Paper Thosai - a thosai which is large and crispy and very thin, as well as their Masala Tea - a brew of traditional Indian tea infused with herbs to bring out the zing in tea!
They have loads of other items on their menu, but often not all are available. I guess it's up to the restaurant's discretion. Anyway, every single item on their menu is honest to goodness Indian vegetarian food, and that's good enough for me!
For those who assumes that good southern Indian food can only be found in places like Little India, you're wrong! The good news is that they do have a branch in the North as well, so yay to all Northern folks!
Komala's restaurant's branch is located at Northpoint shopping mall's food court (Kopitiam) right at the end of the stretch! Although the food court's been closed for a couple of month for renovation, now that its been reopened, Komala is back again!
Every time when I have my meals at Northpoint's food court breakfast, lunch or dinner, I will usually go for Komala's paper dosai or Naan! They are my absolute favourite dishes!
They have a variety of naan, butter and garlic for instance. My preference is towards their butter naan. But my favourite is definitely their paper dosai that is always prepared fresh and crispy whenever I order them. There was however one time whereby my paper dosai was not crispy and looked not as fresh, but upon request, the staffs replaced my thosai with a better one.
Apart from the 2 dishes name, Komala at Northpoint of course serve other dishes as well such as the Bhattura meal (looked somewhat like a "bloated prata" to me) which is supposed to be dipped with their sauces and spices provided. For my case, as I don't really like the heavy taste of their herbs and spices (which is to each individual's preferences actually), I always eat my bhattura plain, which is good and tasty enough for me.
Also for a more filling meal for dosai lovers like me (since sometimes paper or plain dosai just isn't enough!), masala dosai would be the best choice! It is a dosai filled with potatoes and other vegetables. As Komala restaurant is in itself a vegetarian restaurant, there will be no meat in any of their dishes, and hence the masala dosai will only comprise of vegetables, but definitely filling enough for every individual!
You may also want to try out their traditional Indian drink, "lassi" which tastes pretty close to a yoghurt smoothie. My favourite is the Mango lassi, definitely worth a try!
I am no Indian myself, just a normal Chinese, but I do love the Indian food prepared by Komala restaurant.
This restaurant is entirely vegetarian and you will never get to find poultry dishes such as chicken or beef. But when you think of Indian food, you will always think of prata and dosai.
However, this restaurant serves more than just those two I've mentioned.
Ever heard of paneer butter masala?
It's one of my favorite dish there.
Paneer means natural made Indian cottage cheese. I was curious and thus I asked them where does this come from. They told me that it is home made by the restaurant itself. Now that sounds natural, isn’t it?
Masala means the different Indian spices that are used in this dish.
At $7.50 for a Paneer Butter Masala, you will receive a decent quantity. At the first bite of the paneer, you will feel the soft side of this cheesy cottage cheese. It's totally different from those American cottage cheese. For this Paneer, they are more milky in taste but as it goes around your tongue, you will be able to taste the cheese. The butter masala gravy has a thick based and it goes well with the milky cheesy flavor of the Paneer.
Cheese lovers who are into spices too will love to try this.