Monday, May 17, 2010
Interesting Turkish Place (Halal)
I've walked into a pretty interesting place for lunch lately. The sights, smells and shop name were all indicative of Turkish/Middle Eastern fare.
Then there was Istanbul Laksa ($3.30). Yes, Istanbul Laksa! While I am certain laksa is more Singaporean/Malaysian than Turkish, the one served here is Nonya-style and no less delicious. Thick, creamy and fragrant, this laksa was topped with beans sprouts, fishcake slices, laksa leaves and chicken kebab bits from the rotating spit. I opted for an additional boiled egg (50 cents). Delish!
The Chicken Doner Kebab with Cheese ($5.20) featured chicken kebab, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions in between pita bread. The pita bread wasn't the flat, hollow ones I had expected. Instead, it was more substantial with the texture of a light sponge cake. The sauces that bound all the ingredients together was a tasty mix of creamy, tangy, spicy and sweet flavours.....mirroring that familiar comfort of Roti John.
Beef Bomb ($8) turned out to be an outer shell of minced beef that encased a boiled egg. The minced beef could have been a little less lean for a juicier bite. But on the whole, the dish was good with a black pepper sauce that was slathered over. Better still was the Power Chili Sauce (ask for it!) that tasted mild initially but induced quite a searing heat after a few seconds. Shiok! Beef Bomb came with baked herbs potato and a bean salad.
For desserts, forget about Turkish Delights.
There's Cold Tremella with Red Dates & Aloe Vera ($2.20). Cool and soothing, it makes for an enjoyable dessert especially on hot days!
For something more soothing and herbal, try the Guilinggao ($3). The slightly bitter finish leaves a pleasant trail at the back of the throat.
Istanbul Gourmet is a casual place where the food is homely and (if you seat at the bar counter) the touch is personal.
Opens: 11.30am to 9pm (or whenever the meats sell out!)
Chew On This:
The man behind Istanbul Gourmet is Henry Teo, Chef-Owner, who was previously with Hyatt Singapore for 10 years before starting his own catering and restaurant/cafe business decades ago. He has been at the current place for 14 years and has seen customers grow up, marry and bring their kids back here for makan!