Chaats – Teatime Treats Bursting with Taste & Texture!

Hi Makan Kakis,

Our Foodie Friend Juwanda Hassim returns after a little hiatus to update us on what’s been happening with his cafe The Fabulous Baker Boy. It hasn’t been a walk in the park after closing his cafe during last year’s circuit breaker and finally moving to his new space in Kampong Glam in January; then just as things were picking up, we’re back in Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). Even though we can’t dine in at the cafe, we can still order cakes and delicious savouries online. FREE whole cake deliveries island-wide as well as food orders over $80, plus discounts with self pick-up from the cafe.

HEAR:

SEE:

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It’s a rare pleasure to actually share a meal in a restaurant with a Makan Kaki, so it was wonderful catching up in person with Juwanda at the very restaurant he was recommending. Just to be clear, these pictures were taken before the current Phase 2 Heightened Alert was announced. Fortunately, you can still order everything you see online and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home, so stay safe everyone!

Kailash Parbat is a favourite of Juwanda’s because of their famous chaats, which are deliciously moreish tea-time treats that can also be eaten on the go, hence their popularity as Indian street snacks. The restaurant has lots more to offer on their extensive menu, but Juwanda wanted to really zoom in on the chaats, which are vegetarian, not too heavy on the stomach, yet bursting with flavours, colours and textures. First introduced to him by a vegetarian friend from overseas, Kailash Parbat is now his go-to place when he wants to give friends a surprising treat. So lucky me, I had a whole array of chaats over a chat one lovely afternoon with my Makan Kaki, whose first recommendation off the menu was Pani Puri.

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Little puffs of deep fried pastry, crispy and light as a feather, are stuffed with a spiced potato mixture, drizzled in a sticky, sweet and sour tamarind sauce then bathed in a spicy yet refreshingly cool mint water. For $7, you get 7 pani puri plus the sauce and spiced water on the side to pour as you like. According to Juwanda, one bite and you’re hooked – the flavour is just amazing. Small enough to pop whole in your mouth, you’ll get hot, cold, crispy, creamy, spicy, tangy, sweet, savoury all in one. This is one dish that ticks all the boxes for taste and texture. It’s Juwanda must-have when he’s at Kailash Parbat and he needs all 7 to himself – he won’t share! And he loves the pani puri so much, he’ll even eat yours too if you can’t finish your portion!

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Next up, for a one-stop intro to chaats, Juwanda recommends the KP Chaat Platter ($17), which presents a whole selection of classics on one very large plate. Described in the menu as “An exciting platter of dahi wada, bhel puri, sev puri & crispy corn basket”, it was an entire meal on its own, capable of feeding 4 people, or 2 greedy people (us!). Quite the intimidating spectacle for the uninitiated (me!), the KP Chaat Platter was made up of different colourful mounds, thrown together with different ingredients, sauces and chutneys. It was like a delectable archaeological dig, unearthing tasty treasures from under the blanket of sauces and crispy, golden sev (small pieces of spiced chickpea flour noodles).

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First came the vadai, smothered in a cool, creamy yogurt sauce, studded with glistening jewels of pomegranate. It wasa  mellow and mild start, because things were about to get much spicier!

IMG_4167Next, in a riotously wonderful assault on the senses, were deep fried discs of golden crispness (flat puri, pastry balls), chilli chutney, sweet and sour sauces, puffed rice, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, green chilli chutney and tamarind sauce.

IMG_4172Finally, crunchy corn baskets filled with fresh ingredients like sweet corn, diced onion and tomato, along with an innocuous-looking green chilli sauce which turned out to be so formidably spicy, it burned. But it hurt so good, the heat tempered by the raw veggies! Literally a rainbow on a plate and a party on the palate, this platter was an incredible introduction to the world of chaats.

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After washing everything down with long cool glasses of Mango & Fennel Lassi ($7), believe it or not we still had room for more, so we rounded off our “light” tea with the Punjabi Samosa.

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Two hefty pyramids of pastry packed full of spicy potato were served along with a gorgeous, hot chick pea curry garnished with chopped onion and coriander.

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It isn’t hard to see why Juwanda is enthralled with the place – it’s not expensive, the chaat menu is all about sharing food featuring all the familar Asian flavours we love and everything tastes like it’s made with love.

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TASTE:
KAILASH PARBAT Chaats/ Dining/ Banquets
Takeaway from various locations including Juwanda’s favourite at 3 Belilios Road #01-03, Hilton Garden Inn, S(219924)
Open Daily: 11am – 10.30pm
Order online for delivery via www.kailashparbat.com.sg
Tel: +65 68365545

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