If you are looking for Lebanese food in Singapore, then the best place to find it is in and around Arab Street. My craving for this cuisine led me to Beirut Grill, a restaurant serving authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. This small restaurant is designed with Arabian motifs and artifacts making it quite a colorful setting. It has both indoor and alfresco seating, which helps if you want to embrace the vibes of the nightlife of the bustling Bussorah street, especially on a Friday evening.
The Orders I enjoy Lebanese cuisine because it usually has a lot of vegetarian options. The dishes usually have vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you go as a larger group of people, then Beirut Grill is famous for its mezze platter, either hot or cold. But since we were just the two of us, we ordered the individual dishes.
We went with the staple order of soup to start the meal. In the Middle East, ‘Lentil Soup’ is a common dish. This soup was made with the same lentils as Indian dal, but with a texture resembling a classic soup. It was made thick and creamy and garnished with freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley. This was a delicious soup and acted as a good start to the meal.
Lentil Soup at $7
A must order side dish is the Batata Harra which is a delicious Lebanese appetizer made with potatoes and cilantro. The sautéed potatoes had such a nice spice kick to them with the chilli and fried onions. They disappeared from the plate in no time. Recommended dish.
Batata Harra at $12
Falafel wraps are addictive because there is hardly anything in them not to like. Beirut Grill’s version had fried falafel, lettuce and tomatoes wrapped in a roll and finished with a spread of hummus and tahini. The falafels made from fava beans and chickpeas were crisp, had an authentic taste and were pretty awesome. The wrap is served with pickles and fries on the side. The portion size is quite good and is apt for the appetite during lunch or dinner time. Highly recommended.
Falafel Roll at $14
Sometimes they also have an ongoing special menu which also has a decent number of vegetarian items. You’ll also get to catch a glimpse of some belly dancing during your dining experience in the evenings. For its tasty dishes, for an authentic Middle Eastern cuisine fix and for its friendly service, Beirut Grill is worth visiting.
There are days when you just yearn for a comforting meal. At these times, I experiment with lentils since they work brilliantly in soups and stews. During a grocery shopping spree, I had picked up green puy lentils with the intention of trying to cook some Middle Eastern dishes. Puy lentils have a smooth texture and do not require to be soaked overnight. They absorb seasoning very well and can be paired with different spices. They are little marvels that provide you with a sustaining and comforting meal. Add some veggies, and you get a great stew / soup that pairs well with shortbread or buns. For seasoning, I chose Za’atar (a spice mixture) as it is uniquely Middle Eastern in usage. This was my first time working with this spice and it elevated the stew to another level. To say that the dish was enjoyed would be an understatement!
Rinse the puy lentils in warm water 2-3 times and set it aside.
In a pot, take olive oil and sauté the onions, zucchini and carrots with a pinch of salt for around 8 mins.
Add the finely chopped garlic and sauté it further for another 2 minutes.
Next, add the Za’atar and mix well. Within a minute, you will smell the amazing fragrance from the spice.
Now add the rinsed puy lentils and add in the water. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for another 10 mins. The lentils should be tender and should not turn mushy.
Now add 2 tsp of salt and mix well. Let it simmer for another 10 mins. Switch off the flame.
Puy lentils stew with ciabatta bread
Serve this delicious stew with ciabatta bread. I grilled the bread with mozzarella cheese.
Make sure you sauté the vegetables well – but do not let them burn.
You may need to check on the stew occasionally to add some water. It will take between 3 – 5 cups to cook the lentils.
For those staying in Singapore, I bought the puy lentils from Mustafa. I picked up the Ciabatta bread and fresh Mozzarella cheese from Providore Cafe counter at Mandarin Orchard. They have a really good cheese counter with a lot of variety.
From Tanjong Pagar, this place has now moved to Pasarbella at Suntec City where they have a food counter with seats scattered around. When I got down to seeing the menu, I was thrilled to see the sheer number of vegetarian dishes featured on it and I sensed that my dinner was going to be one hearty meal.
The Orders My first order was the ‘Sabich (without boiled egg)’ where the grilled eggplant was the star of the dish. The taste of eggplants complemented the crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes perfectly. It is served with Hummus and Pita bread. The salad also acts as a healthy component in this dish. Highly recommended.
Sabich at $12.90
Middle Eastern food would almost be considered incomplete without the order of ‘Falafel’. All their main course dishes are served with salad and pita bread as accompaniments.The thing that impressed me was that their falafels were baked and they tasted great! The texture of Hummus is amazing and you can keep eating it just by itself.
Falafel at $12.50
Our next dish was interesting as I had never tasted it before. The dish was called ‘Stuffed vine leaves’ which basically consisted of rice and herbs wrapped in the vine leaves. The leaves are a bit sour, but when combined with other offerings on the plate, they tasted delicious. If you like to try something different in food, you should go for this.
Stuffed vine leaves at $11.90
After their highly consistent main course, I knew I had to try their ‘Baklava’. It was served as small bites. That actually worked for us since we could finish it in our own pace and it was not too heavy for a dessert. It was a tasty and satisfactory end to a delicious dinner.
Baklava at $4
For quite a number of vegetarian options, for their healthy and tasty food, for takeaways and for authentic Middle eastern cuisine, Pita and Olives is a must visit.
In a Nutshell
Cuisine Type: Middle Eastern
Nearest MRT: Promenade
Address: Pasarbella @Suntec , #01-455 North Wing Suntec City, 7 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038987