Indian Tapas

Fennel by Komala Vilas

Fennel by Komala Vilas, at 413 River Valley Road, is described as a modern Indian eatery offering a tantalizing twist on traditional Indian cuisine.  It is the sister restaurant of the well-known Komala Vilas of Little India. Komala Vilas is a no-frills eatery serving traditional South Indian food including excellent Dosa which we often recommend to friends who want to try very good South Indian food.

Fennel by Komala Vilas entrance

Fennel has an Indian tapas menu as well as traditional menu. It is vegetarian with some vegan and gluten free options so all the meat is plant based. It sounded promising so we decided to give it a try.

When we visited it around 2pm on a weekday, it was quiet and we were the only table of diners.

Tapas Menu at Fennel by Komala Vilas

We ordered the following dishes from the Tapas Menu:

Mini Dosa with Tangy Gravy
Tomato Rasam Pani Puri

Tapioca Rasam Pani Puri ($8). Crispy balls called puri are served with a tomato broth which you fill into the balls and pop into your mouth. These were quite tasty and a nice appetiser.

Mini Dosa Served with Tangy Gravy ($4). This is what Komala Vilas excels in. These are crispy crepes made with rice and lentil batter. There is a choice of peanut podi, coriander chutney, curry leaf, gunpowder and garlic cheese. We chose the coriander chutney dosa and this was the highlight of our meal.

Chilli Prata with Raita
Chilli Prata with Raita

Chilli Prata with Raita ($6). Flaky pratas was tossed in spiced flour, sautéed with capsicum and onions, then fried till crisp. This was quite carb heavy though tasty.

Paneer Chappathi Roll ($7).  The Chappathi was stuffed with paneer (cubed cottage cheese), onion, sautéed capsicum, freshly diced tomatoes with a dash of cumin powder. This was probably the healthiest option that we ordered.  

Vadai Curry with Coriander Beehoon
Kefir-Curry Vegetarian Chicken Satay

Vadai Curry with Coriander Beehoon ($6.50). This was Komala Vilas’ famous Vadai Curry combination served with a coriander beehoon. This was a bit on the heavy side, but the curry was good and spicy.

Kefir-Curry Vegetarian Chicken Satay ($6). This was made from plant-based Tindle Chicken with a peanut sauce.

Traditional Menu & Drinks

From the traditional menu, we ordered Uttapam ($4.40), a thick pancake. The array of sambar and chutneys served with this were all very tasty.

Craft beers ($11 each)

There are milkshakes, lassis, craft beers ($11 each) and tea. We ordered a masala tea ($4.40). When we noticed a small insect in it, we pointed this out to the waitress, who promptly took it to the kitchen and returned with the cup, sans insect, 10 seconds later. I think we could have fished it out ourselves.  

Overall: Not a bad attempt at presenting tapas-style dishes, though we prefer the food at the original Komala Vilas

Price: $

Favourite Dish: Mini Dosa with Tangy Gravy


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♬ Pitbull Terrier – Die Antwoord
Spanish Tapas

Binomio Spanish Tapas Restaurant Review

Binomio is one of our favourite Spanish Tapas restaurants in Singapore. There is consistent good food, friendly service and a lively, contemporary atmosphere. The tables are also nicely spaced out.

There is both a casual tapas bar area as well as a restaurant area. The menu includes popular, all-time Spanish favourites as well as more modern versions of dishes prepared by chef Gonzalo Landin.


We order Seleccion de ibericos ($39) to start. This is a cold cuts platter, featuring “lomo”, “salchichon”, “chorizo”, “jamon” and cheese, served with toasted bread and tomato puree.  We had glasses of sherry to go with this. This was a simple and delicious – a perfect start to our meal.

Binomio Jamon
Seleccion de ibericos – “a perfect start to our meal”

We then had tasty Croquetas de queso azul ($14) and Croquetas de setas ($14) – blue cheese croquettes and mushroom croquettes. Croquettes are a staple on Spanish tapas menus, and are quite difficult to prepare. There is no potato in them: a soft, creamy bechamel-like mix is coated in breadcrumbs and fried.

Croquetas – “a staple on Spanish tapas menus”

Seafood Tapas

The chef continued to wow us with the dishes from the seafood section: The first was Tallarines de sepia ($29), an unusual dish with grilled cuttlefish strips served with “sofrito” and veal vinaigrette.

Tallarines de sepia

We also had Gambas al ajillo ($27) – Tiger prawns confit in olive oil and garlic, “ajillo” style and Navajas al pil pil ($29) – Grilled fresh razor clams with “pil pil” sauce. Each dish was unique and flavourful and the seafood was really sweet and fresh.

Navajas al pil pil
Gambas al ajillo

“Earth” Dishes Tapas

From the “Earth” section, we had Terrina de queso fresco ($24), a fresh cheese terrine with black truffles, chives, honey olive oil & toasted olive bread. This was unusual, lighter than expected and really good. We were not as keen on Chuletas de cerdo iberico ($32) – grilled Iberian pork chops with cider and honey gel and roasted cabbage as the pork is served pink and we asked for it to be cooked a bit more as we are a bit squeamish about undercooked pork, but apparently that is how it is done.

Terrina de queso fresco
Chuletas de cerdo iberico

We also had Nido de huevos rotos ($28) a crispy fried potato nest, topped with soft egg, jamon & chorizo. This was well done and tasty, but very rich.

Nido de huevos rotos


A range of paellas requiring 30 minutes preparation time are also available:  

  • A classic chicken and seafood paella – Arroz mar y montaña ($69)
  • Squid ink rice with clam and calamari – Arroz negro ($70)
  • Lobster and clam paella – Arroz de Bogavante ($86)
  • Chorizo, fava beans, chick peas and pork paella – Arroz empedrado de Almeria ($70)


To end our meal, we had a selection of mini Magnums (including prickly pear and olive oil!) on a bed of popping candy to share.

Overall: Binomio is a consistently good restaurant with a menu that changes at least four times a year depending on available seasonal ingredients, so it is somewhere you could go back to frequently to taste new inventive and delicious dishes.

Price: $$$

Favourite Dishes: Gambas al ajillo (tiger prawns) and Navajas al pil pil (razor clams)

It has an extensive wine and sherry menu which complements the dishes well.