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Sunday, October 08, 2006 

Happy food @ Azhang

It isn't often that I get overly excited after a visit to a new restaurant, maybe somewhat new in this case, but Azhang did make my week after a meal there about 2 weeks back. Formerly located in Joo Chiat, it recently moved to its new premises along Mohd Sultan. Its clientele seemed to have changed to the youngish pre-yuppy crowd or so I've been told, apart from the regulars who make weekly visits to the restaurant.

Its interior is simple and cosy. Eva, part owner and server at the eatery, told me that the surroundings were designed to encourage a sense of homeliness. I thought the front half of the dining hall a little cold, and the real warmth only began past the teak wood sofa in the middle and through the end of the hall. Go down and see for yourself.

One doesn't quite get the sense of the food at Azhang solely by reading the menu. This corn salad tasted nothing like what the menu described it to be. The kernels were grilled to perfection with distinctive spicy smoky aroma about it. Tossed in a light asian-tasting dressing, it caused a lot of oohs and ahhs from our party. It's not often to see people reacting this way to corn. Two servings of the salad later, a third was ordered when everyone couldn't have enough of it.

So happened that the special on the menu that evening was a seafood paella. This was quite unlike any paella I've ever tasted, an eclectic mix of indian spices, seafood curry and chillies. We were fighting for the charred bits which were stuck to the bottom of the pan. For lack of a better word, it was shiok!

Not to be outdone by the paella, this huge grilled platter of jumbo prawns, calamari, meats and fatty salmon belly appeared next. I thought the prawns a bit overcooked, which was a real pity as they were nice and large, and just a little chalky. The rest of the dish was nicely done thought he calamari could have spent about 5 more minutes on the grill. Seasoned with middle eastern spices, this platter was another explosion in taste that characterises the fare served at Azhang. A robust bottle of shiraz would be a great accompaniment.

Chef/owner Patrick appeared several times in the dining room as the night was winding down. We were curious as to how he'd label his cuisine and when asked, he simply remarked that it was "happy food". I wonder if that large goblet of wine in his hand had something to do with it. But really, it is food that makes one yearning for more, and that makes me happy.

Patrick does host a number of social nights where invited diners sample some of items which are not featured on the regular menu. So, get on his good side and he might just let you in on the dates.

6 Mohamed Sultan Road
Singapore 238956

Tel: 6836-3436

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i think you have great photography skills!

Patrick n Eva have the right recipe – A large helping of anything goes with all pretentiousness sifted out.
Not for the food snobs but 'Cheers' to that!

Great pics! I love the place. Will try the paella one day :)

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