Derwish

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Last Saturday I made a trip to Derwish on 60 Bussorah Street with two friends. I was excited! In the latest issue of Her World magazine, there was an article on interesting shops and restaurants in Kampong Glam. One of the restaurants featured was Derwish. As I was still desperately seeking a good Turkish/ Middle Eastern restaurant in Singapore, the restaurant caught my attention and left me craving for grilled meat and hummus. I immediately grabbed my phone and messaged my two friends! Within a couple of days, I was sitting in the pretty restaurant. Derwish is located in front of the magnificent Sultan Mosque and directly opposite Deli Moroccan (one of my favourite budget eatery in Singapore.)

Upon arrival at Derwish, I was surprised to find the inside of the restaurant empty with only a couple of people sitting outside. I was a little worried by the few patrons but being extremely hungry and with two friends due to arrive, I told the waiter I wanted to sit inside. The weather was too hot for me to sit outside and pretend to enjoy the heat. The waiter then told his colleague to switch on the air conditioning inside. *Sigh* I had to wait for the air conditioning to cool down the room. However when I walked into the restaurant, I was greeted by a beautiful sight. The restaurant was not big but seemed spacious by the gold gilded panel bordering the wall. On the tables were white plates with a blue logo of the restaurant on the top of the plate. There also lay the most attractive coasters I have ever come seen.

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I begin to feel excited and more comfortable. The waiters were quick to hand me the menu but I was desperate for cold water and only after I asked 5 minutes later did they then bring me a glass. It didn’t take me long to decide what to order. My friend, D, and I decided to share an appetizer and mixed kebab platter. At the start of the meal, my friend ordered a hot Turkish Apple Tea. Because outside wasn’t hot enough?! Never mind, the tea was served in a beautiful tea cup.

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The appetizer platter came with a mixture of dips and different types of salads served with a HUGE warm Lavash Bread. Needless to say I dived into the food. The salads included a potato salad with mayonnaise, chopped up cucumber with tomatoes in light vinegar, an extremely delicious eggplant stewed in tomato sauce and others. My memory fails me at this point. I thought the bread went very well with the dips and not so much with the salad although they were refreshing. However the salads did later come in handy with the mixed kebab platter.

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If you like meat, this is for you. The platter came with two pieces of shish kebabs, two sticks of chicken kebab, a grilled chicken wing, a lamb chop and two sticks of grilled beef cubes. All the chicken were glazed in a thick sauce that went well with the rice and prevented the dish from being too dry. I ate the sauce with the rice like gravy. With so much meat and only a few cauliflower and broccoli florets, which I guessed were thrown in due to the guilty conscious of the chef, the salads from the appetizer helped cut away the intensity meatiness of the dish. The rice was also delicious! It was light and there was something mixed into it. Not sure what though. They reminded me of Chinese dried scallops. Haha! But anyhow I was lapping it up. It was so light and I didn’t feel as if I was eating much of it, dangerous for my low-carb diet. What I loved most of the dish was how moist the meat were. Usually that is my beef with middle eastern restaurants. Meat being too dry but this was different, the chicken were not stringy and none of the meat were overcooked(!)

When we finished with the platter, I was thirsty! Sooo incredibly tasty. Too much MSG??? Anyhow I saw earlier on the menu, they served Turkish tea in teapots. I rejoiced when my friends were keen to share a pot. Although there was many options available, which is rare in Turkish restaurants here, I stuck to good old Apple Tea.

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The teapot was served on this hot plate. And when some tea spilled on it, it sizzled like meat being placed on a hot BBQ plate. The tea was sweet! So sweet and rich with the taste of apple. The sweetness was great because we didn’t need to order desserts plus the pot was huge. For $8.50, we managed to fill three small glasses several times. A great deal!

In all, including my friend’s single Hummus order, the bill came to $74.50. No GST was charged. Not too expensive and I will definitely be back!

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