There’s nothing better on a Friday night (or any night really) than indulging yourself with some great Turkish food. Seriously, it’s the perfect cuisine to share with your friends and/or significant other.
All you need is a mezze platter with some Turkish dishes such as hummus, falafel and kebab – and you’re all set for a night of good food and conversation.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re definitely missing out on a great dining experience. Thankfully, there are plenty of delicious Turkish restaurants to choose from in Singapore.
Here’s a list of 5 Turkish restaurants that are guaranteed to satisfy both your hunger AND your budget:
#1 Sofra Turkish Cafe & Restaurant
I’m sure Shaw Towers used to be a happening place back in the 70s and 80s, but now it’s a bit ah, dated. But don’t let that be an excuse to skip by it next time you’re in the Bugis area – because that’s where you’ll find Sofra Turkish Cafe & Restaurant (not that the “Sofra” signs outside the windows are hard to miss).
Although I tend to gravitate towards Arab Street whenever I feel the urge to dine on Turkish cuisine, I still visit Sofra at least a few times a year – and the quality of the food has always been consistently good.
As for the dishes that I recommend, you should definitely try the breads (sesame and Turkish bread) with the hummus and cacik (cucumber and yoghurt dip) as starters – or choose the salad plate, which has eggplant, hummus and a few vine leaf rolls.
For main dishes, the Sofra kebap, pide, doner kebap rice, guvec tavuk (baked chicken and mushroom with rice) and Sofra yaprak tavuk (chicken stuffed with rice, vegetables and mushrooms) are dishes you must try.
Location: 100 Beach Road, #02-42/43/44 Shaw Towers
Hours: Daily (12pm-930pm)
#2 Cafe Le Caire
Cafe Le Caire is one of my all-time favourite eateries in Arab Street. If you love Middle Easter/Turkish food, this is a place you must visit. By and large the quality is consistently good, although the service can be ah, lacking at times (take my advice and don’t bother waiting for service staff – especially if you dine upstairs).
I’ve been here numerous times and I have yet to sample the entire menu, which is pretty damn extensive. About the only dish I’ve been let down on is the Moussaka – but that’s a forgivable offense.
However, I can definitely recommend some of the favourites including the tabbouleh, hummus bil laham (hummus with lamb), foul mesdammes, meshawi (mixed kebab platter with Arabic bread), Bukhari chicken and just about every wrap on the menu (shish kebab, kofta, muhamaz, tawouke, shawarma, etc.).
Location: 39 Arab Street, #01-01
Hours: Sunday-Thursday (10am-330am) Friday-Saturday (10am-530am)
Most of the restaurants within the vicinity of Arab Street will be well… you guessed it, Arab/Turkish in nature. Alaturka is situated along Bussorah Street, which has several other Middle Eastern/Turkish eateries nearby.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t try the other ones there – but one place you should definitely try at least once is Alaturka – especially if you’re with a group of friends.
Dishes that you sample here include the mezze tabagi platter with the deliciously airy lavash bread (great starter for sharing), adana kebab (mixed lamb/beef kebab), pide (lamb), cheese bread, tawook shish (chicken kebab) and the “Imam Bayildi”, which is eggplant stuffed with diced onions and tomatoes.
Location: 16 Bussorah Street
Hours: Daily (11am-11pm)
#4 Deli Turkish Cuisine
It’s quite easy to miss the Turkish eatery known as Deli Turkish Cuisine. Having a location on the upper levels of the less visited part of Suntec City will do that. However, back in the days when Carrefour used to exist in Suntec, that’s when I first stumbled upon this gem of a restaurant.
After several visits, I can tell you that the falafel, chicken pide and kepab dishes (they have lamb, beef and chicken available served several different ways) are definitely worth trying.
However, the King’s Kebab (in beef or lamb) was by far my favourite dish, as I really enjoyed the tender bits of stewed meat accompanied by a good portion of mashed potato topped with cheese.
A final word of advice – try the kunefe. It’s a sweet savoury pastry-like dessert that’s definitely worth the visit!
Location: 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-004 Suntec City
Hours: Daily (1030am-10pm)
#5 Arkadas Cafe
The sad thing about many great eateries, not just those serving Turkish fare, is that they’re often located in the weirdest places. Arkadas Cafe is no different – as it’s located right on the upper floors of Fusionopolis (which is great in my case since I work nearby).
As for food, the dishes I definitely recommend here are the Turkish pide (lamb), hummus with pita bread, the grilled chicken breast and the mixed kebab platter – which features a little bit of each kebab offering at Arkadas (lamb, chicken, and mixed lamb/beef kebab & kofte).
And if you love sweet desserts, the baklava is definitely something that’ll satisfy your craving for sweet pastry goodness. This is definitely a place you’ll want to visit if you’re in the vicinity of Fusionopolis.
Location: 1 Fusionopolis Way, #03-02 Connexis Tower
Hours: Daily (11am-9pm)
Know of any other great Middle-Eastern/Turkish eateries that deserve to be on this list? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook! For even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!