Crispy, doughy, fluffy, buttery, sweet, salty, savoury, oily – however you like your plain roti prata, there is no doubt that this humble Indian-influenced round flatbread is a popular favourite with Singaporeans. It’s so “versatile” and “flexible”, you can have it as a meal or as a snack at any time of the day. And what’s better, it can be served with any kind of dip, sauce or topping, with more than a few dozen variations of this bread available, enough to suit any kind of tastebud. So where should you go to eat this comfort food, in actual comfort (read: accessibly, conveniently, without queuing for hours, and preferably, sat under air-conditioning)? Start your “gastro-prata” journey by reading through this list of easy-to-locate dining spots.
Springleaf Prata Place
If you are looking for extra creative takes on roti prata, this is the place to set your sights on. While it still dishes out humbler forms of roti prata (egg, onion and so on), it’s the ones listed under “Ultimate Hawkerfest” in the menu that you should loosen your belt for. Three to try: Umami-50 (chicken floss, luncheon meat, mayo, egg and mozzarella); Salted Egg Prawn Prata (salted egg yolk sauce and prawns); Prata Alfredo (rosemary chicken, Alfredo sauce, mushrooms and mozzarella). Aside from these, its twists on another classic Indian bread, murtabak, are also drool-worthy, such as the news-making Murtaburger (think Ramly burger meets murtabak) and new creation, Magic Meatless Murtabak (a vegetarian delight made of lentils, mushrooms, vegan mayo and Korean sauce). And trying this Singapore-centric fusion food is easy: Two of its outlets can be found at SAFRA Tampines and SAFRA Yishun.
This eatery offers possibly the most varieties of prata in Singapore; at its yo:HA @ Evans outlet along Evans Road, there’s close to 40 on the menu! While its plainer pratas are beloved by diners for their fluffiness, the others are no lightweights in the taste category: Its Seafood Prata comes with shrimps, sotong and crabsticks; the French Prata has banana filling with chocolate toppings; and the Kaya Roti Boom is a doubled-up whammy since it is served as a set of 2. And if the number of prata types don’t satisfy, then know this: Aside from other South Indian Muslim food items, it also serves North Indian, Malay, Thai, Middle-Eastern and Western fare.
Prefer tearing into your prata in an air-conditioned, modern restaurant setting? Then any of the outlets – all located in shopping malls, with a new one upcoming at Chinatown Point – of this quick-service chain should be your preferred choice. And if you are done with shopping, it’s quite likely that you would be in the mood for comfort food; the one prata to tick off the menu here is the basic but good egg prata, that’s said to be crispy, as well as eggy and fluffy at the same time. There’s also the usual suspects of delish Indian fare if you are more than peckish, such as murtabaks, chappatis and biryanis.
Do the flatbreads served by this so called prata master live up to its name? According to in-the-know foodies, it’s a resounding yes (if you like yours buttery, oily and slightly sweetish). While it’s lesser known compared to the bigger players in the prata game since there are only two official outlets, both are located in suburban shopping malls and open till late, making them easier to find and dine at. If you venture to any of its outlets, you might as well be adventurous and try any of the following: Cheese Dates with Honey Prata, Italian Pizza Prata, Maggi with Egg Prata or Masala Hotdog Prata.
Master Prata is at 604 Sembawang Road, Sembawang Shopping Centre, #01-24/25, 758459; and 321 Alexandra Road, Alexandra Central Mall, #01-02,159971.
If you prefer a more Singaporean-Chinese version of the flatbread, then you can look for it at Curry Times, a dining resto by curry puff specialist, Old Chang Kee. While the two pieces of roti prata (termed as pai pai bing in the menu) served here is less oily and crispy, the curry that comes with them is spicy. Want more “curry-ful” dishes? Then the Mint Curry Chicken and Dry Laksa Goreng are the dishes to check out.
Okay, so this fast-food restaurant chain is not known for its roti pratas, but there are quite a few branches of this popular resto so at least you know it is relatively accessible. There are only a couple of “official” pratas listed on the menu: Pudhina Prata and Tandoor Prata. But, the real deal if you do dine at any of its branches, is the sheer variety of South Indian cuisine that you can order in addition to your pratas. Aside from other flatbreads such as naans, kulchas and rotis, there’s also dosais, bhatturas and the OG of pratas, parottas, as well as drinks and desserts such as lassis and the super-sweet gulab jamun.
Mr Teh Tarik
Some people consider roti prata as the perfect breakfast or teatime snack. Luckily, it’s available alongside some of the best local tehs and kopis in town, at Mr Teh Tarik’s group of dining spots. While it’s available at most of the outlets under the Mr Teh Tarik brand name umbrella, it’s best to head to either a Mr Teh Tarik Express or Mr Teh Tarik Eating House to find a prata dish. There are numerous versions to pick from; at last count, there were some 24 varieties, ranging from people’s faves like Prata Plaster and Prata Bomb, to newfangled ones like Prata Chicken Sausage Cheese and Prata Chicken Floss. Choose one (or three) from its list, then pick your drink from any of the 62 drinks on offer, from Neslo (Nestle and Milo) and Almond Halia Kopi, to Horlicks Dinosaur and Matcha Cino.
Featured image: Springleaf Prata Place