RedMart and Cold Storage do pretty decent pots of hummus. But we like venturing out into the world for a casual dinner or a mean brunch every now and then. So we’ve made note of some of the local joints with Greek and Middle Eastern-influences serving moreish mezze spreads.
Artichoke's chef-owner Bjorn Shen is back in the kitchen after two years managing fried chicken restaurant Bird Bird. The Channel 5 MasterChef Singapore judge has been tinkering around in the kitchen and the menu underwent a makeover earlier this year.
Synonymous with Bjorn’s “dudestronomy” ethos, the food is hearty, bold and every bit satisfying. While waiting for mouthwatering must-try dishes such as the tender grilled Iberico pork collar doused in caramelised Coca-Cola sauce ($34) and juicy hot skillet prawns with green harissa ($38) to arrive, kick off with some warm Turkish bread ($4.50) and a medley of dips.
Newcomers include the Iraqi spiced mushrooms ($12), which are piled on a bed of fried egg puree and drizzled with shaved parmesan. Familiar favourite babaganoush, the pomegranate-dusted rich and smoky teriyaki eggplant is still on the menu, as are the burnt miso hummus and muhammara. All priced at $10. Phew.
Buzzing and unpretentious, it’s the kind of place you’d want to chill out with your foodie friends at. If you fancy a tipple to go with your light bites, try Sunday Punch’s fragrant and homely pandan gimlet. The gin, pandan and lime concoction is pleasant on the palate and easy to drink.
Location: Artichoke, 161 Middle Road. Opening hours: 4 to 7pm for light bites and drinks, 6 to 10.30pm fo dinner (Tuesdays to Sundays). Brunch is available on weekends from 11.30am to 3.30pm. Tel: 6336-6949. Website: www.bjornshen.com/artichoke
Sitting along Robertson Quay, Eastern Mediterranean eatery Summerlong is a welcomed escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Helmed by Neon Pigeon head chef Justin Hammond, the menu compliments the location’s laidback bright and breezy beachside vibes. It is the kind of place we’d want to hang out at on lazy days and cosy nights. Ease into the meal with the hummus flight ($17), a selection of four different types of hummus with flame grilled flatbread ($4).
Available for order separately, the hummus flavours consist of eggplant and mint, artichoke, white bean and rosemary, and the classic chickpea with an optional add-on of spiced minced lamb. Deceptively simple, definitely delicious. Elsewhere on the menu, the crispy, mildly spicy Persian fried chicken ($25) and the smoky sea bass ($44) roasted with lemon and herbs are also good for sharing.
Location: 60 Robertson Quay #01-04. Opening hours: 10.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-12am (Thursdays to Sundays). 5.30pm-12am (Mondays to Wednesdays). Tel: 6235-1225. Website: https://www.summerlongsg.com/
The Greek restaurant mushroomed in Tiong Bahru last year and the dips are divine. We enjoyed mopping up every drop so much that we featured the place in our November issue. Bakalaki’s Greek chef, Spiros Palaiologos is all about authentic flavours, with much of the produce he uses imported from his home country.
The smoky eggplant spread ($14.90) was a fast favourite amongst the Her World team. Packed full of flavour, it is made up by pieces of eggplant, red pepper, onion and olive, with a splash of tart white vinegar. Smear it on the house-made pillowy soft bread, sprinkled with oregano and fleur de sel (tiny and delicate flakes of sea salt).
Location: 3 Seng Poh Road, Opening hours: 6pm-10pm daily and 12-2.30pm (Fridays to Sundays). Tel: 6836-3688. Website: https://bakalaki.com/