We scour the bar scene to bring you the new and noteworthy. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! KATIE ROBERTS checks out Fat Prince at Peck Seah Street.
An Istanbul-inspired café and bar, Fat Prince has succeeded in creating an atmosphere that feels a long way from Asia. This is the second venture of the team behind Japanese fusion joint Neon Pigeon, and the same attention to cultural detail is obvious. Sit at the bar or at a cosy table, but do either book or arrive early, as this place is popular with the 30- to 40-something crowd and was shoulder to shoulder the night we visited.
The Chosen One:
On the shelves are enormous glass canisters which evoke memories of science experiments gone wrong. In fact, they hold a precious liquid: flavoured homemade gin – the basis of many of the bar’s unique cocktails. Choosing our favourite was a toss-up between two strong contenders: Cyprus Isolation ($21), a sweet fusion of cinnamon-spiced gin, koko kanu (Jamaican coconut-flavoured rum), lemon, strawberry and Prosecco; and Fosco’s Fiyasco ($20), a satisfyingly bitter concoction of pink peppercorn and rose gin, Campari and sweet vermouth – reminiscent of a Negroni.
Cheaper than the cocktails, but not quite as powerful, are the beers. Highlights include boutique labels such as Carakale, a Jordanian microbrewery, and Lebanon’s 961 Beer (from $13). Alternatively, opt for a house-made nonalcoholic soda ($8), or a wine from a list that includes a couple of interesting Lebanese labels, among others.
Bite on this:
This is not a drinking-only establishment; the kebabs (two for $16) are the main event on the food menu, and are so tasty that you’ll want to sample them all. We tried three varieties: spicy prawns, smoked kasar cheese, and spicy beef for good measure. Mezze dishes ($12 each) include hummus (made with duck fat) and truffled baba ganoush. There are four healthy salads ($14 each), including quinoa tabbouleh (with pomegranate, an ingenious twist), and Turkish kisir (with bulgur wheat). The only dessert is halva ($12) with a pistachio crust, and it’s a must-try.
Last but not least: Brunch
Visit Fat Prince for the equally yummy Sunday brunch (11.30am to 3pm). This is a relaxed, low-key option for those Sunday’s when the all-singing, all-dancing hotel brunches are not on your radar. We enjoyed smoked salmon toast ($17) with scrambled eggs, dressed pea shoots and labnah; and the falafel Scotch egg ($22) with a tasty fig, fennel and pistachio salad. Special mention goes to the delicious, harissa-driven Cyprus pork sausage menemen ($23) served with scrambled egg, sun-dried turkish olives and crispy potato. Wash it down with the two-hour free flow option (beer, wine and Prosecco) for $68, or try the yummy housemade sodas ($8) and finish with a perky coffee such as the nutty pistachio latte ($6) or orange chilli mocha ($7).
This article first appeared in the November 2016 edition of Expat Living. You subscribe now so you never miss an issue!