From a quick kebab to a grand banquet of sharing plates, Middle Eastern food can really hit the spot. We’ve rounded up our favourite Middle Eastern restaurants in Singapore that draw on different elements of this diverse cuisine – from Persian and Turkish, to Lebanese and Mediterranean – for a mezze to remember.
Five of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Singapore
Shabestan for Persian cuisine
Looking for a Persian restaurant in Singapore? This Robertson Quay restaurant serves up authentic Persian cuisine and would make a perfect spot for an alfresco lunch or a romantic dinner date. We started with the cold appetiser platter, featuring a plethora of dips and mezzes. All were zesty, fresh and vibrant; we especially couldn’t get enough of the spicy eggplant dip, infused with plenty of Middle Eastern spices to deliver just the right amount of kick. Equally impressive was the muhamara, crafted from walnuts, pomegranate, molasses, toasted breadcrumbs, roasted peppers and more of those zingy spices, plus a drizzle of olive oil. We found ourselves scraping the platter clean with the freshly baked Persian bread it was served with!
The Singapore restaurant is renowned for its Persian cuisine with signature grilled dishes served straight from the charcoal grill, and we couldn’t resist trying a few with the chef’s recommended Shabestan platter for two. The sizeable serving featured a variety of minced lamb, chicken, fish, prawn and beef or lamb fillet, accompanied by a plate of buttery mixed rice that included zereshk rice and bahala rice. Everything was impeccably seasoned, too. We especially loved the smoky and succulent lamb kubidehs, as well as the saffron-marinated fish and tiger prawns – plump, juicy and not a second overcooked, showcasing not only the quality of the ingredients but also the chef’s expertise in Persian cuisine.
Don’t forget to wash it all down with a glass from the extensive wine list or a signature cocktail like the Saffron Negroni. And you should also try dessert: baklava, kunafe or a generous scoop (or three) of pistachio-topped saffron ice cream. Finally, if you’re after some healthy and flavourful Middle Eastern fare during the day, check out Shabestan’s newly launched Middle Eastern Keto Set Lunch, featuring a variety of delicious mezze, kebabs and vegetarian dishes. It’s another reason to make this your go-to Persian restaurant in Singapore.
Beirut Grill for Lebanese cuisine
Beirut Grill has offered an original Lebanese dining experience in Singapore since 2009. The store has striking red walls at the entrance, with traditional Lebanese carpets and motifs. There was also a Middle Eastern soundtrack on my visit, enhancing the ambience. Anyone looking for a slice of Lebanese life in Singapore will appreciate this spot.
My meal at this Middle Eastern restaurant in Singapore began with the Beirut Mezza Platter, which gave me the chance to try a number of items. It includes hummus, two eggplant-based dips (baba ghanoush and moutabal), cheese roll and falafel. The cheese roll and falafel combination was my favourite. I liked the tangy, stretchy cheese texture, and the falafel was fresh and crunchy. I was given pita bread to pair with the different spreads. It was such a natural complement, especially to the hummus, that I finished the whole basket in no time!
For my main, the Shish Taouk came recommended as one of the chef ’s signature dishes. Chicken cubes are marinated overnight in Lebanese herbs and spices, then cooked and served on fragrant rice, along with grilled vegetables. The chicken cubes had a smoky flavour, while still being quite subtle and light on the palate.
For dessert, the Kunefe came as a surprise – it’s a creamy and sweet pastry dish with a crispy topping, soaked in a syrup called attar, and layered with cheese. The distinctive mix of crunchy and gooey textures made for a very interesting and succulent treat! As it’s only prepared to order, do ask for it early to save on waiting time. For those craving a tipple or two, Beirut Grill boasts a great cocktail and wine menu too.
Alaturka for Turkish and Mediterranean food
The cosy 50-seater Middle Eastern restaurant predominantly serves up Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. We started with the meze tabagi, an assortment of the restaurant’s signature dips. Served with a warm Turkish lavash bread – the perfect base – this appetiser was absolutely delicious. We opted for the small portion and had plenty to go around for two. There’s also a bigger portion available for larger groups.
Meat lovers will be pleased with the selection of kebabs on offer. The adana kebab, featuring minced lamb seasoned with traditional spices, was seared to perfection. It also came with a generous serving of fragrant, fluffy buttered rice and a side of fresh green salad. For something different, try the inegol kofte – special grilled beef patties based on a 19th-century recipe. They’re well executed, extremely flavourful and with a tender bite.
End your meal at this Middle Eastern restaurant with the classic baklava – simple yet divine. Or, if you only have room for one dessert, get the kunefe, a one-of-a-kind treat made of thin vermicelli pastry baked in soft cheese and sweet syrup – hands down the highlight of my meal!
Fat Prince for modern Middle Eastern food
This vibrant, modern Middle Eastern restaurant in Singapore is perfect for those who love Turkish cuisine, especially kebabs and mezze. We chose the fried cauliflower with white lemon, black olive and green tahini from the mezze section to start, followed by a salad of okra with kale, bacon and mihalic cheese. We then tried all five kebabs! While that sounds like loads, each pita is “open” and the fillings are hearty, perfect for rolling up and tearing in two.
Middle Eastern cuisine at Artichoke
The restaurant is home to loads of shared platters and is ideal if you’re looking for fun Middle Eastern food with a twist. We started with a selection of mezzes including chickpea and tahini hummus, smoked eggplant, pomegranate and teriyaki babaganoush and roasted red pepper muhammara, all served as dipping plates with soft pita bread.
The caramelised cauliflower was among my favourites at this Middle Eastern restaurant, tossed in a tahini and dill sauce. Also excellent was the squeaky halloumi with honey-glazed carrots and Thai basil. Next came the kale fattoush, a homemade “feta burrata” served with kale croutons and herbs. And then brassica tabbouleh – perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts with raw cauliflower grains, red cabbage and pickled onions. The mains were amazing too: hot skillet prawns in green harissa and cream, 100-day aged short rib with Turkish coffee barbecue sauce and slow-roasted lamb shoulder, which melted in our mouths. Artichoke has a great selection of beers, wines and ciders, and can also make pairing recommendations for your Middle Eastern food.
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