It’s a matter of little dispute that there are two ways by which the true quality of an eatery can be determined:
- would you go back (with quality increasing in proportion to how soon after your first/last visit you go back); and
- would you take your entourage there?
I did both last week, when I returned to Murugan’s with my sister and M in tow. My main aim was to try a few more things on the menu (and to introduce the sister and partner to Murugan’s delights, of course), although in the end the only horizons that were expanded were those of the butter onion uttappam. Funnily enough (and, it would seem, as usual), I wasn’t even intending to have an uttappam. Really, I wasn’t. I went to wash my hands and spotted one being dispatched from kitchen to table. I couldn’t take my eyes off it; it was a thing of such beauty and aromatic pancakiness that it took me but one tenth of a second to know that I needed one in my stomach. Toute suite.
Despite my sensory prescriptions, the butter onion uttappam actually turned out to be rather expensive (at SGD 5.20) and I was a little apprehensive as to whether or not it could live up to its price tag. Just one uttappam, approximately 15cm in diameter, for over five dollars? High stakes poker is nothing compared to high stakes Indian edibles, believe me.
For the uninitiated, an uttappam is a bit like an Indian-style pancake. Thicker than the humble dosa, I think the closest comparison is with the Japanese okonomiyaki. It’s thick and savoury and really quite substantial. What I liked most about it was that whilst the outside was slick with butter, the innards actually had quite a simple, clean taste. It wasn’t, in other words, the greaseball that can so easily make these things a chore – and often a pain – to eat. It was soft and fluffy – not slick and slimy – to the bite, and white – not yellow – to the eye. The onions added crunch and piquancy, and, of course, a glimpses of red and purple amidst the seared roof of the ‘pam. Combined with the chutneys (the chutneys!), this thing worked wonders for the appetite. It was a delightful, filling, all-rounder of a meal.
Worth the price tag? A non-question; of course it was.
Vegetus’s review #1
The Wikipedia entry on uttapam
Hungry Ang Mo’s review
Singapore Actually’s review
Small Potatoes Make the Steak Look Bigger’s review
The Travelling Hungryboy’s review