Newer doesn’t always mean better—as what we’ve experienced from some of the still-teething, new concepts recently—but if Rang Mahal’s reopened flagship outlet at Pan Pacific Singapore with a daringly different, polished new look, contemporary fine-dining style plating while still serving up the best of their celebrated Indian cuisine is anything to go by, it seems re-invention might just be the answer.

In contrast to the flatteringly—romantic even—candlelit entranceway, the elegantly illuminated, voluminous restaurant now welcomes diners with a lavish and extensive spread of luscious offerings at noontimes with their almost available daily Gourmet Lunch Buffets (Sundays to Fridays, $55 per person).

However, it is their a la carte dinner menu, features the surprising use of some non-traditional ingredients such as truffle, quinoa and soy milk have got us intrigued—and wanting more. 

Led by a team of accomplished chefs—some even sharpening their culinary cleavers at the restaurant since its inception—the menu showcases a paradigm of authentic cuisines from the northern, coastal and southern regions of India are more often than not hits, rather than misses.

The Smoked Salmon & Arugula salad is one such exemplary item. Spiked with Bishop’s weed and cooked in the tandoor, the salmon steak arrives beautifully smoked with a rousing aroma, teamed with the oomph of Indian spices.

The Quinoa Upma makes for a gorgeously plated, toothsome and gluten-free entrée that will surely appeal to the crowd of suited executives in the area, but the lemak-packed Tava Scallops is something I’d gladly have every other day. Rich, spiced coconut sauce envelops the moist crunch of glistening shreds of green chilli, which lend a slight fieriness, that the lightly seared scallops sit on.

The velvety-textured, robust Raarha Gosht—a thick curry of minced and whole chunks of lamb cooked down in its own fat—packs heat in the form of pepper and hand-pounded dried red chillis its cooked with, and is undoubtedly a highlight.

Also fantastic and worthy of mention are Amchuri Bhindi (tender sautéed baby okra seasoned with fresh ginger and green chillies) and the Jodhpuri Paneer Makhni (homemade cottage cheese simmered with tomatoes and dried fenugreek) that had us meticulously wiping up any leftover gravy with their selection of naans—plain, butter, and even truffle oil (priced from $10-$12) or flat rotis.

The legacy of notoriously saccharine Indian desserts continues on at Rang Mahal—I had the Espresso Kulfi (homemade milk frosty with espresso) that wasn’t too sweet, supposedly to pair with the Kesari Jalebi (crazily sweetened crispy gram flour rings served with wholesome reduced milk) that almost sent me into shock—though we hear the chef reined it in on the Cinnamon Panna Cotta.

Rang Mahal presents an extraordinary fine-dining experience for both new and returning diners with their impeccable service, tried and true classics, and impressive use of non-traditional ingredients without leaving its roots.

Note: This was an invited tasting, and dishes shown are in tasting portions. Rang Mahal Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 3 7 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039595

Tel: +65 63331788 | Website

Operating hours: Buffet lunch 12noon – 2.30pm Dinner 6.30pm – 10.30pm