A popular eating place in Little India where meals are served on a banana leaf, a welcome gesture in Indian culture.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
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Specializing in both North Indian cuisine and South Indian cuisine, The Banana Leaf Apolo is an institution that has been serving up affordable and tasty food since 1974. What started as a small restaurant has grown till today, it is known worldwide, and tourists and locals alike flock to this place.
This explains why, on any given day, the majority of customers within The Banana Leaf Apolo are actually non-Indian. Fortunately, Indian customers still vouch for the authenticity of this place, and the restaurant is still operated by Indians. Which is a good sign especially if you're looking for great tasting North Indian or South Indian food.
Service at The Banana Leaf Apolo has kept up with the times, and staff use tablets to take your orders. Food is generally served quickly, even during peak periods, and you shouldn't have to wait more than 10 minutes. However, because the place is so busy, attracting the attention of the staff may take some time. The duty managers are also knowledgable enough about the food at The Banana Leaf Apolo, if you're unsure what to order, ask for their recommendations.
Ambience tends to be noisy, and the smell of food and spices will stick to your clothes if you sit indoors. While outdoor seating is available, it's rather limited, and attracting the attention of staff is even more difficult outdoors. While The Banana Leaf Apolo has a large screen TV, it's mainly used for advertising rather than entertainment.
I noted that South Indian food is prepared downstairs, while North Indian food is prepared upstairs. Regardless, food here is generally well-spiced (not hot, but flavouful), tasty but somewhat salty, and some dishes are also on the oily side. Those who wish for healthy eating may want to avoid The Banana Leaf Apolo, as sugar, salt, ghee, and butter are major components of many dishes here. Overall, The Banana Leaf Apolo is a safe bet for Indian cuisine (for Non-Indians), but not necessarily the best or most afforable in Indian cuisine!
Have been eating here since I was a little girl and the only dish that I have eaten outside of the Fish Head Curry is the rice and chicken masala with lime juice. I love eating chicken masala and this is super spicy and to die for. The curry gravy is also very nice! However, most recently when I last went there a week ago, they seemed to have toned down the spiciness a notch.
Not sure if it was a locum cook that day or they have decided to cater to the flood of foreign tourists that frequent the place. The fish cutlet also has a bit too much potato as a filling for my liking as well. However, overall experience is still great. I will be going back there again to see if they are still as spicy, if not I'd be honest and say I will be disappointed that they have changed their original taste.
Back in 2002, my wife brought me here for a treat. We ordered a fish head curry with plain white rice to be able to better enjoy the curry.
I recalled waiting for quite a while for the arrival of the dish. But when it arrived, it proved to be worth the wait. The fish was fresh. I have a liking of digging out the eyeballs of the fish and eating everything that comes out with it. With fish that is not fresh, you would probably throw everything back out again. But these guys are good.
During the course of the lunch, my wife started to feel sick and threw up a couple of times. It could not have been because of the fish. She did mention in passing that perhaps she could be expecting, right over the fish head curry.
A test kit later on would prove that she was right after all, but that was the last time I ever had fish head curry with her. Till this day, she couldn't bring herself to enjoy the dish
Had a dinner outing with a couple of friends some time ago and one of my friends brought us to The Banana Leaf Apolo. The restaurant looks really 'atas', and feels as such too!
The highlight of the night was the butter chicken. It was my first time trying such a dish (I hardly eat Indian food, so excuse me if you think I have been missing out all my life, hehe) and it was extremely good! The sauce tasted like bolognaise (spaghetti) sauce, and went very well with the naan too. Another dish I remember trying was the curry fish head. I am not a fan of curry fish head, but because I was out with my friends, I decided to give it a try. The verdict: not too bad. Kind of liked it!
The service here is also quite good, and the waiters are rather attentive to their customers and would sometimes come and check if the food is okay. Cannot exactly remember the cost of the dishes.
If you are love Indian food, maybe this is a good place for a satisfying meal as well as gathering!
Went there for a family dinner recently, having not been there in years. I ordered the Prawn Briyani with egg for myself, while deciding on a Cheese Naan to start things off. We also ordered their Fish Head Curry and Mysore Mutton among other dishes. The Fish Head curry was huge enough to make me gawk at the size of the fish head. The curry was not too oily and cooked with the right level of spiciness. My cheese naan came in a little basket and the portions were big enough that I felt halfway full even before my briyani came. When it did arrive, I saw that I was not going to regret my order. The prawns and curry were mixed into a silver pot, which encompassed all the goodness and flavour of the briyani. There was so much of rice that I had to share it and I still couldn't finish it. I was impressed with the fragrance of the briyani rice as well as the gentle taste of the mild prawn curry. All in all, a good dining experience to remind me that Apollo is still at the forefront of good Indian cuisine in Singapore.
Picture this: it's Chinese New Year and you have no where to go. Orchard Road is most probably flooded with crowds spending their new year money. Restaurants are packed with people having their reunion dinners. Where do you turn to?
The Banana Leaf Apolo restaurant was where my family had one of our Chinese New Year dinners, and although it may seem a tad peculiar eating Indian during a Chinese occasion, there really is no limit when it comes to good food.
The exterior of the restaurant is brightly lit with pretty neon lights and the interior is cozy and reminiscent of a traditional Indian home. Service is extremely attentive and helpful, always asking if you would like more rice or vegetables to go with your curry. You can also choose between white rice or briyani rice.
Although some argue that the standard of Apolo has gone down due to the commercialization of the business, I myself am no connoisseur of food; good food is good food.
If anyone thought that there is no way to get any Authentic Indian delicacies in Singapore, you might be wrong. The Banana Leaf Apolo is the answer to all the delicious and mouth-watering Indian cuisines. Located in Little India, it is very easy to spot the fanciful restaurant.
The restaurant interior is very spacious, cozy and portray the Indian lifestyle. You can place your order right from the counter as it enables you to view the whole range of Indian cuisines from the famous Fish head curry, chicken and mutton curry to the most delicious and flavorful chicken masala.
To me, the most impressive dish is the fish head curry and its chicken curry which can be a great combination for your nasi briyani.
The fish head curry is meaty and once you eat it, you can directly taste the strong-yet- not- too - spicy curry flavour. The fish is fresh and well marinated, hence, no fishy smell and it tastes sweet. The presentation is not too bad either. Not much grease, and the yellow curry powder with a finishing touch of spices makes it look more appealing.
As for the chicken curry, the gravy is not too think and oily and the chicken meat is so tender.
Apart from the quality, the quantity counts too. Each servings of the dishes is so much that you can share with your friends.
If you are a small eater, you can order bits by bits first before going on to add more portions.
Definitely a must try for locals and tourists.
This is one of the random restaurants that i have been when i had no idea what to eat. I like to explore new places that serve me a totally different food from the common.
Although my mom always cook Fish Curry at home including the one with the fish heads, i have never really try it until i tried at this restaurant. For two person, i ordered a small size, because i don't really eat fish head but i like fish curry gravy. When it came to us, it was bigger than expected. The fish head was really big; bigger than a mouse pad. I ordered prata to eat with the gravy. Seriously, by the first sip of the gravy, i know i am already falling for it. It tasted even better than what my mom has been cooking. It is very rich in Indian spices and you can taste every inch of the spice. I am sure it is one of those grounded Indian spices. The prata is in fact very nice too, it is not the same as those you have found in hawker center. It is crispy on the outside but when you start to eat it, it gets softer inside and they use Ghee which makes it more addictive.
The Fish Head Curry is a must to try!