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“Saturday morning breakfast at its best” 4 of 5 stars
Review of MTR Restaurant

MTR Restaurant
438, Serangoon Road | Opp. Sri Perumal Temple, Singapore 218133, Singapore (Formerly Mtr)
+65 6296 5800
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Ranked #7 of 7,262 Restaurants in Singapore
Price range: $8 - $10
Cuisines: Indian, Coffee Shop, Vegetarian, Healthy
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Serving Pure Vegetarian Authentic South Indian Food Since 1924. Only the Finest and Fresh Ingredients used. No MSG,Chemicals and Preservatives used. NO Service charges levied. Situated Opp. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road. Near Ferrar Park MRT station Next to City Square Mall.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Saturday morning breakfast at its best”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

At the onset, I'll be honest:
1/ I didn't even know that MTR existed in Singapore until last night!
2/ I've never written a review before

My friend was leaving for Oxford for further studies in a few days, and he asked if we could meet up one last time before he flew off. And then he dropped the bomb: let's go to MTR.

I'd been to MTR Lalbagh (Bangalore) exactly once 5 years ago, and it was a gastronomical delight. Coupled with the fact that I went with a local friend of mine, the experience was amazing. I can vividly remember the waiter mentally noting down orders for 20 people at a go and then appearing with the delicacies after a while.

Cut to the present: I was standing in front of MTR, and we walked in and placed the orders.

Order: there was no waiter to take the order at the tables: I presume to cut operating costs. That has a huge disadvantage, which you'll realize in a while. So we ordered rava idlis (semolina steamed cakes), masala dosas (rice pancakes with potato filling) and filter coffee, MTR style: all at the billing counter. We were given a placard with a number; which was for the waiter to deliver the food from the kitchen to the tables.

To the table: Since there were two of us, we wanted to sit in a small table. The eatery has about 50 seating places, with long 10-seater tables in the centre flanked by 4-seaters at the sides. There was one 4-seater table available, but after a futile wait for a few minutes, we didn't notice anybody cleaning it. We were about to grab a 10-seater, but the Floor Manager told us to wait and in a minute, somebody came and cleaned the tables.

Food: the rava idlis arrived almost instantaneously, with the customary small bowl of clear heated ghee at the side, with thick coconut chutney and steaming pallya (potato curry) in small serving bowls. The ghee was dutifully poured on the idli, and I took the first hesitant spoonful.
I felt like I'd been yanked back in history to the same MTR in Bangalore: it tasted exactly the same. The fresh coconut chutney was fresh and consistent (not with the usual watery 'discharge' that you get in other eateries) and the pallya was hot and tangy; just perfect!

The dosas had arrived, in the meanwhile. Time for the spoon test: which is, picking up the spoon, cutting the dosa at the edge and instantly realizing that the crust was perfect: brown on the outside and just done on the inside. The potato filling was perfect, as was the sweet sambar and the same coconut chutney. The cook has been successful in recreating the magic.

Finally, the filter coffee. A bit too milky for my friend's taste, but I didn't find it too bad.

Now, the faux pas. We wanted another cup of coffee, so we asked the waiter if he could get us another cup of coffee each. He nodded and ten minutes passed, the coffee didn't arrive. I got up and paid for two coffees at the counter, and the coffee arrived in 5 mins. There should be a provision for guests to be able to append items to the order later. Imagine if one were to eat with his hand: s/he would have to get up, wash hands, grab the wallet, walk over to the counter, pay for the items. It complicates even further if the guest is alone: the waiter might clear the half-finished food, because there was nobody at the table.

All in all, it was a great experience. The floor manager was nice, amicable and requested me to write a review, and here it is. The price is very reasonable, considering the location of the restaurant and the fact that the quality of the food is very good. The hearsay is that it's the first MTR eatery out of India, but I don't have anything to prove it. The menu and the price of the food can be found at its online site: http://www.mavallitiffinrooms.com/singapore/. This is a bonus, because you know what's on offer and the budget.

All in all, we spent SGD 28 for two masala dosa, two rava idlis and 4 filter coffees. Pretty much the same price at all the other eateries nearby (foreign outlets of established Indian eateries), but the taste was perfectly recreated. The floor manager runs a tight ship, kudos to him.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MTRSingapore1924, General Manager at MTR Restaurant, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Dear Sir, Thank you very much for your detailed review. We are happy that you enjoyed your first visit to MTR Singapore.
1) Initially we started with 'Taking Order from the Tables'. However shifted to this mode only after realising that it is time consuming. The present mode is appreciated by many regulars, and it is cost effective too.
2) All the ingredients are brought down from Bangalore, to ensure that the same taste is retained.
3) We are putting all our efforts to en-live the legacy of MTR's 90 years' of history.
4) Kindly do visit us more often with your family and friends.
We guarantee your utmost satisfaction, on every visit. Looking forward to see you more often at MTR Singapore....
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446 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lover of Vegetarian food.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

Do not go by the brand. There are far better South Indian restaurants in Singapore (Raj, Anand Bhavan). Also, there are limited items on the menu and prices are on the higher side.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MTRSingapore1924, Guest Relations Manager at MTR Restaurant, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Mr. Birendra, Thank you for your feedback. Our motto is 'Value for Money' by serving authentic South Indian dishes in Singapore. All the ingredients are brought in from India to ensure the same taste. We assure you of a genuine and hygienic food that any Singaporean can afford. Looking forward to meet you more often in MTR Singapore.
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Singapore, Singapore
1 review
“Best South Indian Vegetarian food ever.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

Food is superbly delicious. The place and kitchen is very clean. On weekends one has to wait for tables. They need to expand to a bigger place. This standard of food needs very nice ambience.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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MTRSingapore1924, Guest Relations Manager at MTR Restaurant, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Vyshali, Thank you so much for your review. We appreciate that you took time to look into our kitchen and to see that it is clean and hygienic. Our aim is to give authentic South Indian Food in Singapore at very affordable price, with the original taste...Looking forward to see you more often at our restaurant...
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1 review
“Real south indian food in singapore..”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

I searched various places in singapore to hav south Indian food and one fine day i found this and had my breakfast and lunch.. Really tasty and my family enjoyed a lot, cost is also average.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MTRSingapore1924, Guest Relations Manager at MTR Restaurant, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Subramanyam, Very happy to know that you and your family enjoyed the visit to our restaurant. All the ingredients are imported from Bangalore, to keep the same taste. Our motto is to give authentic, hygienic, and original South Indian Food in Singapore, at an affordable rate. Looking forward to see you and family and friends more often in our restaurant.
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Auckland, New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good quick Indian eats!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2014

Jet-lagged and wanting something close to my hotel in Lavender, I stumbled upon the reviews on this place: MTR.

In New Zealand, the supermarkets are stacked with these beautiful little $2 packet-curries made by a company called MTR - so what was this? A chance to eat at an actual MTR outlet? Their Singapore HQ?!

Unlikely, but it made me Barry Chuckle, nonetheless.

Arriving at The MTR Head Office, I was greeted in a friendly manner and shown to a table. While friendly, the staff were slightly fussy, with a rushed feel to their demeanour. I also felt that they were trying to determine my order for me - I'll decide myself, thanks.

When delivered, the food was of a great standard, and for a very good price, too.

I would pop by here again for a quick feast - about $25 for a couple of meals and a desert.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MTRSingapore1924, Guest Relations Manager at MTR Restaurant, responded to this review, June 24, 2014
Dear Mr. Dunc, Thank you for visit to our restaurant and the review. We are happy to know that you really liked our food. Sorry for the over enthusiasm from our staff to guide you through the menu. (Many first timers ask our help to select from the menu.) Looking forward to see you and family and friends more often in our restaurant.
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