BAROOD bar opens in Singapore

The interior of the Barood Bar reflects the rich Moorish influences of 1960s Paris

Singapore’s latest Indian fusion bar serves up tapas plates beyond biryani and butter chicken

Singapore is fast becoming a city with modern, avant-garde Indian restaurants, thanks in no small part to visionary chefs and receptive diners.

Barood, the brainchild of Chef Saurabh Udinia, is the latest entrant on the scene. Last seen at Delhi’s Farzi café and Indian Accent, Udinia is on a mission to challenge the perception of Indian food as ‘curry-house’ cuisine. Instead, he innovates by borrowing techniques and flavours from Latin and Japanese cuisines to create his moreish bites.

“At Barood, we strive to strike a balance between honouring traditional Indian flavours and infusing our dishes with unique touches. As an izakaya, we also ensure that the dishes are convenient to eat without filling up guests too much,” says Udinia.

The Dark Knight cocktail is a twist on the Manhattan with a rye whiskey base

The name Barood is symbiotically linked to brother restaurant, Revolver, a playful nod to guns in Bollywood movies, which were invariably called revolvers. Revolver’s immensely popular open fire-grill concept is located on the ground floor of the same building. While neither restaurant serves all-Indian fare, their explosive names subtly convey their Indian heritage.

Take the Goat Biryani Arancini (S$24), which brings “all the flavours and textures of a traditional Hyderabadi biryani, but in a small bite-sized sphere,” Udinia says. The Duck Rice Cakes (S$20) are his take on Panirayam preparations, featuring mini cakes of Madras style pulled duck cooked with curry leaves, star anise and black pepper.

Vegetarians will spot familiar flavours of butter paneer in Paneer Paratini (S$18) and the Spiced Chickpea Tacos dressed in raw mango dust. (Tip: Ask the server for additional vegetarian options beyond the published menu.)

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For a little carb-heft explore the Malabar Sloppy Joe (S$22) — hand-pulled pork belly cooked in Malabar spices of curry leaves, coconut and lime, sandwiched in a traditional buttered pao bun. Every plate, from the Tawa Lobster Yakitori to Spiced Chickpea Tacos, seamlessly blends cultures, ethos, and spices. And complementing these bites are a slew of purpose-designed cocktails.

Malabar Sloppy Joe: A classic buttered bun, playfully updated with Malabar pulled pork

Chilean bartender Rodolfo Rodriguez dips into the Indian repertoire of flavours for his seven signature cocktails. In Smoking Gun (S$28), he creates a vermouth blend with sherry, tomato water, curry leaves, cumin, and green cardamom. For the Sweet Assassin (S$24), he combines ghee, saffron, thandai, Nannari sherbet and Monkey Shoulder Malt Whisky for a kesar kasturi concoction that flavours the Tequila-based drink. And then there are the crowd favourites, like the Café con Leche (S$24), Rodriquez’s take on the expresso martini, and the Naked Flower (S$24), which riffs on a forgotten pre-Prohibition classic called Bijou — a blend of gin, vermouth and chartreuse — with jasmine and Cocchi Rosa Vermouth. If cocktails are not your choice, the menu also offers a selection of wines and spirits.

The inviting menu is matched with an equally appealing décor which, for a change, is not influenced by India. It takes its cues from the rich Moorish influences of 1960s Paris. The mahogany walls of the izakaya-styled bar are decked with art-deco frames and lit with soft lighting, creating that perfect ambience for a date night or a long overdue catch-up.

All in all, Barood is an enticing space and a must-visit on your next visit to Singapore.