Food and Drink

The Song of India in Auckland

Manjunath Mural grew up in Mumbai alongside a family of doctors. At the age of 20, Mural decided not to become a doctor and headed in to the culinary and hotel management fields. Successful in his studies Mural has gone on to work in various hotels and restaurants including The Song of India which is one of Singapore’s most famous and renowned Indian restaurants.

In 2016 Mural earned a Michelin star as Executive Chef for Song of India which was again earned in 2017 and 2018. This month Mural is heading to Auckland to cook for YOU as he hosts a degustation over 3 sittings held at épicer as part of Eat Drink Love Ponsonby.

Grandparents NZ spoke to Mural about his cooking style, flavours and redefining Indian cuisine.

You describe your culinary style as “Asian-Indian gastronomy” what does this mean to you?
Asian-Indian gastronomy is defined by Asian spices flavours & influences. Bringing flavours in Indian dishes with a traditional Indian style of cooking. Dishes like laksa chicken kebab, redang lamb seekh kebab, sambal barramundi, shrimp onion Bhabi.

Indian food is well known for its flavour, what can you tell us about Indian food that is less well known?
There are many different regional cuisines of India, like cuisine from eastern & western India that are not well known. Street food from western India –  Wada Pavings is popular but globally people still don’t know about it. Ingredients like Edamame, asparagus, edible flowers, native ingredients of New Zealand – these can become part of Indian cuisine and it makes it locally delightful.

Indian food is delicious, what got you interested in crafting Indian food as a profession?
Some interesting things happened during my training in hotel management, which made me think about this career. Also knowing that it is not going to be easy at all, sometimes your heart answers you that’s this is the right path, you just follow. I also follow my heart, I have never looked back, with the grace of god.

You moved to Singapore in 2006, how was Indian food received then and how is it received now?
Indian food slowly making presence on global stage, eg the restaurant Gagan, has a made name which has highly recognised Indian cuisine, so the journey has been hard for Indian cuisine to make it a highly respected cuisine. Other Indian cuisine is known for curries and a cheaper version of food, but I am sure in few years time we are going see amazing Indian restaurants and well talented chefs.

What information are you hoping to impart on guests / visitors at Eat Drink Love Ponsonby?
Redefining Indian cuisine with a variety of dishes from all over India in a showcase of degustation menu. I am sure guests are going to enjoy our signature dishes.

To find out more about Manjunath Mural’s degustation menu, coupling rich flavours and spices with a glass of Moet, click here.

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