The Mediterranean diet has been catching on lately. So, what exactly is this diet we are obsessed over? A diet traditional in Mediterranean countries, it is characterised by a high consumption of vegetables, olive oil and moderate amounts of protein (especially legumes, fish and lean poultry). It is considered to confer health benefits, lowering the odds of having a heart attack.
Wait... Eating while dieting? Sounds like a really good deal to us. So, if you want in on this, we’ve curated a trusty food guide consisting of four of the hottest Mediterranean restaurants that opened recently in Singapore. We know where to find you this weekend.
The newest Greek restaurant Bakalaki resides on Seng Poh road. Helming the kitchen is chef Spiros Palaiologos (sounds like Greek to you? That’s because he’s actually Greek) who has over 20 years of culinary experience, specialising in Greek cuisine. Prepared with high quality ingredients that are hand-picked and imported from the Mediterranean, you get to enjoy Grecian favourites such as Tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip), grilled shared meats and more. What really caught our attention is their extensive list of Greek spirits (think Ouzo, Tsipouro and more), wines and craft beers. If you’ve been to Greece, you’ll know just how delicate and light the local wines can be.
Have a portion of the Moussaka with glasses of wine for the complete Greek experience. The layered casserole consists of eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, meat and bechamel sauce. Ultra savoury, the chunks of potatoes help to balance out the rich flavour from the meat and tomatoes while the eggplants add a creamy texture to the dish.
Bakalaki, 3 Seng Poh Rd, S(168891)
From the good folks at Neon Pigeon and Fat Prince (the HerWorld team previously had quite a sacchariferous dining experience there), Summerlong is their newest Eastern Mediterranean beach bar and restaurant along Robertson Quay. Incorporating bright and breezy beach vibes into their decor, Summerlong serves up a mix of Eastern Mediterranean foods like roasted sweet potato and chilli hummus, braised lamb in pastry and a whole slew of raw seafood.
For those who are looking for a lighter and refreshing plate that satiates, we recommend trying their Fresh River Trout served with peas, sage and goat feta. The feta cheese isn’t too overpowering, allowing the other ingredients to shine through, especially the subtle sweetness from the broth and the tender salmon fillet.
Summerlong: 60 Robertson Quay, #01-04, S(238252)
Inside Orchard Central, you’ll find the new Spanish restaurant, Tapas Club, that offers up heart-warming tapas. Using only carefully sourced and imported ingredients from various regions in Spain, you can be sure that it serves up authentic Spanish fare that won’t disappoint. We’re talking about squid ink paella with cuttlefish, jamon (ham) croquettes, Spanish tortillas and more. If you’re into wines and beers, Tapas Club brings in small batches of wines and beers from one of the oldest breweries back in Spain.
We recommend the grilled octopus. Served with a choice from seven side dishes, the cephalopod’s tentacles is nicely charred on the outside and tender on the inside. We love the drizzle of paprika oil - it lends a slight smokiness to the dish.
Tapas Club: 181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central #02-13/15, S(238896)
Pim Pam by FOC
Following the success of FOC Restaurant and FOC Sentosa, the eatery group decided to set up another Spanish restaurant, Pim Pam by FOC at Claymore Connect. If you’ve been to the other FOC restaurants, you can find similar tapas served here. It is helmed by Spanish chef Jordi Noguera Pey, who has over 10 intensive years of culinary experience under his belt. Offering up genuine and quality Spanish food, the restaurant boasts of a relaxed and casual environment suitable for gatherings with your BFFs and gal-pals.
We recommend ordering their Paella A La Llauna (only available at Pim Pam), a variation of the traditional paella (almost as good as the one the HerWorld team loves at Bukit Timah Food Centre) served in a rectangular flat pan instead of the ubiquitous round one. The pan promises more surface area, which gives the paella rice more of a crackly texture (yes, we do love our rice to be a bit on the charred side) while maintaining the intense flavours of scallops and marinated pork ribs.
Pim Pam by FOC, #01-29 Claymore Connect, 442 Orchard Road, S(238879)
BONUS: Get your Greek on with VIOS by Blue Kouzina, courtesy of Deliveroo
Want a warm bowl of tasty Greek goodness without having to leave your desk or doorstep? You can, if you happen to live in Katong. Deliveroo Editions now serves customisable grain bowls from VIOS by Blu Kouzina. You'll be spoilt for choice: for your grain or green base alone, you've got 8 options including organic kale, cauliflower rice and basmati white rice. There's also a variety of homemade dips like Tzatziki, spicy feta and hummus (and you can choose two!).
Our favourite meat is the flavourful lamb kebab, but it was the evenly spiced zucchini and eggplant side dish that stole the show for us. On top of that, you have toppings like pita crisps, olives, tomatoes and onions, and more. From $12.99, the bowls cater to vegetarians too, with protein dishes like Indian-inspired dal. Finish with extra virgin olive oil, or a variety of other sauces like avocado sauce or Japanese-inspired pink mayo sauce. If the number of choices overwhelms you, go for a signature bowl instead.
VIOS by Blu Kouzina is currently available to residents in Katong. Order here.