SINGAPORE RESTAURANT

Pita Tree

Healthy Mediterannean and killer lamb briyani on Boat Quay

An extension from the brand’s humble kebab kiosk along Orchard Road, Pita Tree Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar is a full-service outlet within the Boat Quay enclave—in easy reach for the office crowd craving pita, dips, and moist lamb shank for lunch.

The hype: An extension from the brand’s humble kebab kiosk along Orchard Road, Pita Tree Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar is a full-service outlet within the Boat Quay enclave—in easy reach for the office crowd craving pita, dips, and moist lamb shank for lunch.

The vibe: Blink and you just might miss this cozy eatery tucked beside a handful of Lorong Telok coffeeshops (Killiney Kopitiam is one). Inside, decor is minimal but faintly ethnic; no-frills to cater to those who’re just here for hearty Mediterranean food. Counting the alfresco area, there’s room enough to seat 50.

The food: Mediterranean (or variations of the cuisine) isn’t hard to find; but health-focused ones like Pita Tree are. Even its requisite line-up of dips is made with virgin olive oil and natural ingredients like berries, yogurt and saffron. While the restaurant doesn’t want its dips to be its star product, the Spicy Eggplant Dip ($8) is phenomenal, the red peppers and dried chili adding a potent kick to its creamy texture. It also happens to pair perfectly with many dishes—the fluffy pita bread for one, but also the addictive Tangy Sumac Fries ($7) sprinkled with lemony sumac red berries.

If you’re here in a group, get a platter of classic kebab skewers—Lamb Kubideh ($14) and the juicy Grilled Garlic-Yoghurt Chicken ($13), and have a bowl of Tabbouleh Salad ($8) on the side. Salad might sound out of place in a meat-heavy Mediterranean joint, but the citrusy bowl of Italian parsley, onion, tomato and bulgur dressing is easily one of the restaurant’s star items; easy to scarf and genuinely healthy.

For a truly memorable dining experience, though, definitely order the Lamb Shank Briyani ($38), slow-cooked for four hours and its rice oven-baked twice. The chef personally hand-stirs the dish for you, folding tender lamb meat that slides right off the bone evenly into the briyani, so every mouthful is equal parts protein and carbs. The pot generously serves up to four; it’d be an egregious mistake to leave without trying this.

The drinks: Just as extensive as its food menu is the beverage list, which boasts all kinds of coffee, tea and juices. Try the Persian Mint Tea ($5) or Turkish Coffee ($5) for something authentic; the latter, traditionally served black, is brewed in-house to be smooth and strong without any off-putting bitterness.

The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of classic cocktails, martinis, spirits and beers at affordable prices (cocktails start from $14), making it just as much a nighttime destination as it is a daytime one.

Why you’ll be back: If you work in the area, Pita Tree’s value-for-money buffet lunches are hard to beat. $11 gets you one salad and a free-flow of bread and dips from the buffet counter (with a top-up of $3 for a single serving of meat); $17 gets you all-you-can-eat salads, dips, bread, stews or grills, dessert of the day and a drink.

Venue Details
Address: Pita Tree, 14 Lorong Telok, Singapore, 049027 Singapore
Phone: 6532-2098
Website: www.pitatree.com
Area: Central, Boat Quay
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Price Range: $ - $$
Open since: July, 2018
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-11pm; Fri 11:30am-midnight; Sat 3pm-midnight
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