Bakalaki Greek Taverna – Seng Poh Road, Tiong Bahru

Greek food is known for its rich culinary history and use of quality ingredients. Adding a sparkling blue and white banner to the Tiong Bahru neighborhood is Bakalaki Greek Taverna, a new restaurant serving authentic Greek food. This restaurant is an example on how spaces can be aesthetically designed to cast a lasting first impression. Full credit to the interior designer who has done the contemporary decor of the space. Some of the ideas worth mentioning are the barrels on the wall, zigzag wine bottles display, harbor paintings and the blue sofas that adorn the restaurant. There is a seating area in the verandah which would be ideal for brunch and the interior seating would be good for dinner to best enjoy the ambiance. The service was exemplary! We were given an explanation about the dishes, suggested the recommended items, always had the water or wine glasses refilled on time, and were told upfront about the wait time with respect to some items. Before I proceed to share my experience on the food we ordered, let me tell you right away that this place is a must-visit!

Bakalaki decor

Bakalaki decor

The Orders
I was really happy to see that Bakalaki had a lot of vegetarian options on their menu. They also have an elaborate drinks menu in which you can check out the Greek wines. They also sell some products in the retail section in case you are looking for their branded Greek olive oil. While we were in the process of placing our order, we were served complimentary bread which was warm and very good, especially those sea-salt flakes that were sprinkled on the top.

There are some dishes that we order by default at a Greek restaurant and one of them is the ‘Pita with Tzatziki’. The refreshing Greek yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and extra virgin olive oil acted as a classic appetizer. The pita bread was top-notch and the saltiness enhanced the pairing with the Tzatziki.

Pita with Tzatziki

Pita ($2.90) with Tzatziki ($14.90)


Do not miss out on trying a cheese dish at a Greek restaurant – either the feta or the halloumi. We ordered the ‘Halloumi’ which was served with lemon and oregano. Grilled to perfection and with the right chewiness, this cheese was satisfying on many levels. But the ingredient that elevated this dish were the cherry tomatoes. Naturally sweet, take a bite of them paired with a small slab of cheese and you will feel an enhanced food experience. Highly recommended and do not miss this if you are a cheese lover.
Halloumi

Halloumi at $16.90


The next dish was recommended by the staff and we were glad that we tried the ‘Tomatokeftedes’ which will surely remind you of a Greek Holiday. These herbed patties were made with Santorini tomatoes which are full of nutrients and have an amazing texture. Even though the patties were charred black on one side, there was no burnt taste experienced while eating the dish. The dish is under the appetizer section but is as filling as an entrée and I would call them as little pillows of delight. Do not miss this dish!
Tomatokeftedes

Tomatokeftedes at $15.90


The dessert menu was interesting and we tried the authentic Greek dessert called ‘Rizogalo’. This dessert derives its name from the two main ingredients – rice and milk. It had a dense and creamy texture like a rice pudding and was sprinkled with a gentle dose of cinnamon. We wanted something mildly sweet and this served the purpose. It also helped that it was served in jar which made it extremely convenient to eat the dessert.
Rizogalo

Rizogalo at $11.90


The simplest of Greek desserts is the ‘Giaourti’ which can be had as a snack at any time of the day. It is basically Greek yogurt served with honey and walnuts and is a simple sweet treat. Since it is made with quality ingredients at Bakalaki with authentic Greek honey, this dish was delicious.
Giaourti

Giaourti at $12.90


The ‘Greek Frappe’ is the hallmark of coffee culture in Greece and is a cool refresher on a hot day. The foam is quite thick and does not mix completely with pure black coffee. Even if you don’t take sugar normally, you will need to add the sugar syrup that they provide to sip the drink. This is for people who really appreciate the caffeine kick.
greek frappe

Greek frappé at $4.90


To be honest, I found it difficult to pick out any flaws with respect to this meal. Some dishes may feel a bit overpriced but considering the quality of ingredients used in the dishes, we found the vegetarian dishes to be worth it. Overall, it has turned out to be my favourite Greek restaurant in Singapore. For their authentic Greek food, use of quality ingredients, lovely ambiance their exemplary service, Bakalaki Greek Taverna is highly recommended for an overall awesome dining experience.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Greek ★★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Tiong Bahru / Outram Park
Address: 3 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168891
Timings: Mon-Thu: 6pm – midnight ; Fri-Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm , 6pm – 1am
Website: https://bakalaki.com/
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Pita Pit – Fusionopolis Place

A large number of cafes and restaurants have sprung up in One North over the last few months, specially around Fusionopolis. Since it is primarily an office area, there are lot of lunch options – be it takeaways or dine-ins. During an exploratory walk, I came across Pita Pit which is a wrap and salad shop. When I entered the place, I found their signage quite interesting as it marked their global reach.

Pita Pit map

Pita Pit map

The Orders
Orders are placed across the counter. It helps that their well-lit menu mounted on the wall clearly states the options. I was happy to see vegetarian and vegan offerings. There were combo meal options for a wrap + juice or wrap + coffee.

Pita Pit menu

Pita Pit menu


Upon payment, the ordering process is very simple as you choose your type of wrap along with your preferred toppings. It was obviously nice to see that they aren’t stingy on toppings. Also it was good to see the service staff know about eating preferences of customers and clearly ask for vegetarian or vegan requirements.

Pita Pit ordering process

Pita Pit ordering process


Pita pit toppings counter

Pita pit toppings counter


For the wraps, I ordered the ‘Falafel’ and ‘Halloumi’ versions for takeaway. Once you choose your wrap size, you get to choose unlimited toppings in your order. The other interesting thing to note was they use a separate grill for their vegetarian wraps. If you want some of your veggies grilled (Onion,Mushrooms and Green Peppers), then just let them know that you want O.M.G in your wrap! Their assembly line is pretty neat and the wrap is shaped like a huge pocket so the veggies can be nicely stacked into it. Personally I preferred the Falafel wholemeal wrap but that is purely because of my love for falafels. The Halloumi was also quite nice and halloumi as a cheese goes very well in any grilled version.
Pita pit wraps

Pita pit wraps


Falafel wholemeal wrap

Falafel wholemeal wrap at $9.90


As you can see, the large version of Falafel wrap can be a full meal. They also have a juice counter where bottled fresh juices are available in different flavours. I tried the ‘Calamansi Lemon Honey Juice’ juice which was refreshing and tasty.
Pita Pit juice

Pita Pit juice


Apart from takeaways, they also have a dine-in option with around 15-20 seats. Instead of wraps, you can also order salads. For the freshness of their ingredients, for their liberal portions and for their efficient customer service, Pita Pit is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Mediterranean ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: One North
Address: 1 Fusionopolis Place, Galaxis #01-15, Singapore 138522
Timings: Mon-Fri: 8am – 8pm ; Sat-Sun: 11am – 6pm
Website: http://www.pitapit.com.sg/#about

Ottoman Kebab and Grill – Science Park

[UPDATED on July 2017] – Ottoman Kebab and Grill has located to Science Park area (address mentioned in the end of this post). The Bedok Mall outlet is permanently closed.
One of the best aspects of Turkish cuisine is the fact that there is no dearth of options for vegetarians. During a random outing to Bedok Mall, I stumbled upon this hidden joint called Ottoman Kebab & Grill . It was quite unassuming but the exhaustive menu placed on the stand outside made me decide to give it a chance. Specially since it was a chance to have a Turkish meal on the East side of Singapore.

The Orders
For starters, we ordered the ‘Borek Platter’ which reminded me of spring rolls. They are the Turkish version – rolled baked pastries with a filling. In this platter, we got both the Potato Borek and Cheese Borek which were crispy and yummy. They are also good to set the tempo for the meal till the mains are served.

Borek platter

Borek platter at $8


Since we had heard about ‘Turkish coffee’ at the start of the meal, we were looking forward to tasting it. The unique presentation in a small cup had a distinct aroma and resembled a much finer version of the espresso. It is supposed to be sipped slowly for you to enjoy the taste fully.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee at $4


For the mains, we went for the ‘Falafel Pita Sandwich’ which was grilled to perfection. The falafels were deep-fried and crunchy. They are are dense and full of flavour. You will find it a little hard to eat but the spices and textures will make you swoon over it. The cucumber and tomato salad on the side is fresh and perfect to enjoy with this dish.
Falafel pita sandwich

Falafel pita sandwich at $6.90


The ‘Falafel Wrap’ is another variant to eat the crunchy falafels in the main course. This consisted of toasted tortilla served along with a salad. Highly recommended.
Falafel wrap

Falafel wrap at $6.90


Eggplant is widely used in Turkish cuisine and if you like it, you should try the ‘Vegetarian Mousakka’ which is a layered oven casserole dish made with eggplants, tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. This was quite filling and tasty and all the veggies were well cooked and seasoned.
Vegetarian mousakka

Vegetarian mousakka at $7


It is difficult to nail the traditional desserts in Turkish cuisine. After tasting the ‘Kunefe’ here, I can say that personally for me , this is the best that I have had in Singapore. Kunefe is made from stretchy goat cheese encased in phyllo pastry and drizzled with sugar syrup and pistachio flakes. Every bite was literally poetry in motion. I highly recommend this dish to finish your meal. Since it is made fresh, it takes around 20 mins to be prepared, hence order it in advance.
Kunefe

Kunefe at $8.50


After the meal, I went personally to compliment the chef for the dessert and it was nice to talk to Head Chef Ali Kose who has previously worked with Gordon Ramsay. On the whole, for its extremely pocket-friendly prices, for delicious Turkish food and for it awesome Kunefe, do try Ottoman Kebab and Grill!

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Turkish ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Kent Ridge
Address: 2 Science Park Drive, #01-34 Savourworld, Singapore 118222
Timings: Mon-Fri: 11am – 8.30pm
Website: http://ottomankebab.com/

Pita and Olives

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

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

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

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

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 Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Middle Eastern ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Promenade
Address: Pasarbella @Suntec , #01-455 North Wing Suntec City, 7 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038987
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://www.pitaandolives.com/

Mykonos on the Bay

More often than not, I have wished for a quick getaway. By that I mean a vacation-like ambiance, a lazy lunch, something away from the maddening crowd – and a different cuisine. Situated in the Quayside Isle of Sentosa, Mykonos on the Bay provides a perfect combination of sunny weather and exotic waterfront view along with Greek cuisine. Quayside Isle is the new area which has opened up in Sentosa Cove and is filled with restaurants serving different cuisines. This area is situated diagonally opposite to the W hotel in case you need to explain to cab driver. When I reached the place, I noticed that it had an immediate Greek appeal – the white and blue themed cutlery, models of ships and a taverna feel. We opted for outdoor seating as we wanted to enjoy the breeze along with the view. In case if it gets too sunny, the serving staff are very kind in shifting the table to the shaded part of the restaurant.

Mykonos cutlery

Mykonos cutlery

The Orders
The menu was extremely interesting with clear description on the offerings and there were quite a few vegetarian options. It was a bit pricey, but that is expected in Sentosa and the location in which the restaurant is situated. We straight away went for the ‘Tzatziki’. It was crunchy and had the right balance of cucumber, Greek yoghurt and olives and we gobbled this up in no time. As a dip base, we ordered the ‘Warm Pita bread basket’ which went very nicely with the Tzatziki. The bread was well seasoned and spiced to act as the hot ingredient for the cool cucumber dip.

Tzatziki

Tzatziki at $13.90

Pita bread basket

Pita bread basket at $4

To beat the humid weather, I decided to go for the ‘Feta cheese and watermelon salad’ which was refreshing to the core. The watermelon had just the right sweet taste and the feta cheese along with mint leaves elevated it to the next level. I enjoyed every bite of this salad and it added to the chilled out mood.

Feta cheese and watermelon salad

Feta cheese and watermelon salad at $17.90

When a dish is clearly explained on the menu, it becomes easy to order as one can visualize the blending of flavors. Next we went for the ‘Gemista’ which was quite interesting to eat as it had Roma tomatoes stuffed with rice and herbs along with yoghurt mint sauce and fries. I had not tried rice stuffing inside a vegetable before and it’s something I definitely plan to try now!

Gemista

Gemista at $22.90


When the best is saved for the last in the form of desserts, you know it ends up in being a fulfilling meal. We decided to skip the traditional Baklava and ordered the ‘Pagoto Giaoyrti’ which was just awesome. This was a home-made Greek yoghurt ice cream with acacia honey and walnuts along with a sesame crunchy biscuit. This was a befitting end to the meal.
Pagoto Giaoyrti

Pagoto Giaoyrti at $7.90


If you are looking for a getaway, a different cuisine experience, a menu with sufficient vegetarian options, friendly service, an inauguration of your new shades, or a relaxed ambiance for a special occasion then Mykonos on the bay is totally worth a visit. Whether I will go back all the way just for the food I don’t know but it will remain a memorable experience on the whole and I might drop by for the baklava next time I am in Sentosa.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type:Greek ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront
Address: 31 Ocean Way #01-10 Quayside Isle Sentosa Cove Singapore 098375
Timings:http://www.mykonosonthebay.com/#!menu/c24tf
Website:http://www.mykonosonthebay.com/#!menu/c24tf

Pita Pan – The Shoppes, Bayfront [Permanently Closed]

Once in a while you come across a place that has a combination of interesting cuisine and umpteen choices on the menu. And Pita Pan is exactly that, a 98% vegetarian joint that provides you with numerous options for a filling lunch or dinner. I say 98% because eggs are used in the Mediterranean breeze section of their menu. I went to their Bayfront outlet which has limited seating (approx 30 seats), hence advance reservation is recommended. For a clearer idea of their location, look for the ‘Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’ or the ‘Lady M’ outlets. The eatery is managed by an Indian couple and they are passionate about the joint and ensure that your needs are met. The concept is of self-service – you have to go and place your order at the counter and decide on what you want to eat. The colourful salad bar on display while ordering is quite fresh.

The Orders
To begin with, we went for the healthy serving of ‘Couscous and Soup’. It was filled with vegetables like carrots, cabbage, onions and chickpeas and was quite tasty. Couscous is typically found in Mediterranean offerings and it is mainly a combination of wheat flour and semolina flakes and served as a befitting complement to the soup.

Couscous and soup

Couscous and soup at $11.90

The pocket meal options mentioned on the menu were quite tempting and we ordered the ‘Full Pocket Meal with Falafel’ since a Mediterranean outing without falafel would have seemed incomplete. This had five crispy falafel pieces inside packed into a huge pita bread filled with fresh vegetables and toppings of your choice and served in a neat tub-shaped box. The falafel was crunchy on the outside and quite soft on the inside and it was delicious. Totally not to be missed if you visit here.

Full pocket meal with falafel

Full pocket meal with falafel at $15.90

The orders continued with the selection of ‘Full Pocket Meal with Veg Shawarma’ which also turned out to be a hit. The serving concept is exactly the same as the falafel option mentioned above. The falafels and shawarma are present inside the pita bread and hence not visible from the top in the pictures. The quantity of both is more than sufficient for lunch or dinner.

Full pocket meal with veg shawarma

Full pocket meal with veg shawarma at $17.90

My fried ordered the ‘Red Shakshuka’ which is their only section with egg offerings. It comes in hot skillet which consists of tomato and pepper stew with eggs poached in it. Pita bread comes as an accompaniment to the shakshuka.

Red shakshuka

Red shakshuka at $11.90


Along with the main orders, you can also try the salads and dips which can be ordered a la carte. We ordered the ‘Hummus’ which was delicious to go along with pita bread.
Hummus

Hummus


If you are looking to grab a quick bite for lunch, they also serve half pocket meals and sandwiches which can act as good take away options. Its also a nice place to catch up with friends or to conduct group meetups. On the whole, Pita Pan is total ‘Mediterranean Magic with Pocket Full of Health’ which acts as a welcome refreshing change and is well worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Mediterranean ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Bayfront
Address: 2 Bayfront Ave, The Shoppes, Singapore 018972
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 11pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pitapansg/