From traditional mezze to grilled seafood, Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients and flavours. Here are reviews of four Greek restaurants in Singapore – see what we thought were the best dishes. Warning – don’t read this when you’re hungry!
Bakalaki Greek Taverna
There’s a reason this place is packed every night of the week. The Tiong Bahru-based gem has a great vibe with warm, unpretentious service that’s only made better with always-delicious food. (It’s definitely best to make a reservation, but I’m guessing these guys won’t turn you away if you show up without one.) There’s alfresco dining available on the patio, and a light and airy indoor dining room decorated with wooden furnishings, earthy tones and a wine wall resembling the Greek flag. Whether you go for date night or a large friends’ gathering, there’s a table to accommodate any group size.
Start with pita and one or more mezze spreads – we especially love the meliitzanosalata agioritiki ($14.90), a smoky eggplant spread with red peppers, garlic and extra virgin olive oil – and don’t miss dousing your bread in the to-die-for oil imported from Greece; I couldn’t leave without buying a bottle of it from the mini shop! Do save room for other appetisers, though, like the keftedes (beef meatballs; $16.90) and the deliciously salty, grilled halloumi cheese with oregano and tomatoes ($16.90). You also can’t go wrong with the fresh Greek salad ($20.90).
There are loads of meat options, from kebabs and yiros, to a beef moussaka ($25.90) and meat sharing platters ($97.90 to $188.90) for two to four people. The seafood selection doesn’t stop short either; standouts include the htapodi ($32.90) – perfectly grilled octopus with lemon and olive oil – and a newly introduced special, grilled red mullet fish with vegetables. And, whatever you do, don’t leave without ordering a side of fried zucchini sticks ($15.90) with garlic dip; if you like French fries you’ll love this.
For dessert, definitely try the baklava ($14.90), but be sure to ask if they’ve got the mosaiko ($14.90; think Nutella with biscuit chunks!) as a dessert special – if available, it’s not to be missed.
– Amy Greenburg
Alati Divine Greek Cuisine
With white-washed walls and a clean blue-and-white décor, Alati is a transporting experience. If there was an ocean view, you’d swear you were in Greece itself.
Not many restaurants could get away with the word “divine” as part of their name, but Alati truly is that: divine! I’m a huge fan of Greek food, eating it often, and the moussaka ($24) here may truly be the best I’ve ever had. Other traditional dishes such as the slow-roasted dolmadakia ($22) and the fava ($17) starter were a notch above others I’ve tried. My very lucky kids went with me, and they were raving. “This fava dish is the best thing I’ve ever had.”
Everything at Alati combines tradition with a bit of a twist, using many ingredients imported directly from Greece. Take, for example, the tyrokroketes ($22), crispy cheese balls with feta and graviera cheese that comes with fresh watermelon and a green citrus chutney. Not only is the dish stunning, but it’s also downright delicious.
The restaurant is really known for its seafood. We had a grilled lavraki (Greek sea bass; $11/100g), which was cooked to perfection. We also tried the xtapodi souvlaki ($39), a combination of wagyu beef and char-grilled octopus on a skewer served in a pita wrap. Yum!
The lemon pavlova ($21) was as tasty as it was beautiful (which is saying a lot) and my kids adored the loukoumades ($19), a type of Greek doughnut. There was so much more I wanted to try, but my stomach gave out. Next time…!
– Melinda Murphy
Mykonos on the Bay
This semi-alfresco, pet-friendly restaurant fronts the prime harbour location of Sentosa Cove. The backdrop of yachts docked at the bay paints a picturesque setting from wherever you’re seated. One tip is to visit in the evening when it’s not too hot; we were there at 6pm on a Sunday and it was the perfect time to watch the sun go down. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly, yet romantic at the same time, thanks to the stunning views and white-and-blue interiors inspired by Greece and the sea.
Start with the Mykonos dip platter ($26), a trio of tzatziki (Greek yoghurt with garlic, dill and cucumber), taramosalata (cured fish roe), melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant) and handmade pita bread. My favourite appetiser, though, was the hummus ($17), which was fresh and light, yet incredibly tasty.
For mains, go for the pita gyros ($27.50), a generous serving of pork belly shaves, tzatziki, hand-cut fries and pita bread. It’s super filling, making it great for sharing. If you’re a fan of lamb, the giaourtlou ($33) will tick all the right boxes. The rich and gamey flavour of the minced lamb was beautifully offset by the layer of Greek yoghurt slathered on the meat.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the pagoto giaourti ($14.90), a simple yet satisfying combination of Greek yoghurt and honey ice cream, with walnuts and light sponge cake. Another must-try is the iconic baklava ($15.90), pistachio pastry rolls bathed in a honey syrup.
– Anthia Chng
We used to live in the condo next to Blu Kouzina when it was on Bukit Timah Road. In fact, my wife claims I moved the family to that condo specifically to be close to Blu. (She may be onto something…) Now, the restaurant is in much bigger digs in Dempsey – a huge yet inviting space, with stunning black-and-white tiling, floor-to-ceiling windows, and some striking vintage pieces offset by bowls of fresh lemons.
“I’m ready; I’m pumped!” says my 12-year-old daughter after we’ve chosen from the menu. Excited much? Our favourites soon start arriving: saganaki and figs ($19.80), oozy cheese sizzling on a hot pan and topped with a jammy fig sauce; moreish pita triangles served with a variety of dips, my pick being the sublime taramasalata (white cod roe, capers, lemon, $16.80); and xtapodi ($39.80), grilled octopus, simple but delicious, drizzled liberally with extra virgin olive oil.
That oil, by the way, is special stuff. The family behind Blu brings in their own cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from their cultivation in Greece. You can just feel it doing all those good things that have made the Mediterranean diet a revered one.
There’s more to come; paidakia – grilled lamb chops ($36.80), perhaps my personal highlight. They are massive and succulent – perfection, in fact – and they put the stringy, overcooked chops of my childhood to shame.
Pastitsio is another favourite of ours; it’s a baked dish of macaroni, beef, tomato and béchamel ($30.80) that represents wholesome, home-style goodness on a plate.
Finally, the galaktoboureko ($14.80) takes the humble custard pie and lifts it to Mount Olympus, with semolina cream pudding inside a crisp filo shell, topped with house-made syrup. (Imbert, our knowledgeable, attentive and funny waiter, hears my sigh of appreciation as the spoon hits my mouth and he nods knowingly.)
Is there a condo apartment we can move to near here?
– Shamus Sillar