For gorgeous food in a gorgeous setting supper club style, head to sumptuous modern Middle Eastern spot Ottomani
Ottomani (previously known at The Ottoman Room) is a hidden dinner-only restaurant behind Fat Prince on Peck Seah Street near Raffles Hotel. Pull back the velvet curtains and enter a little harem of a dining room — oil lamps suspended from the ceiling giving only a flicker of candle light, leather lounge chairs and a mix of salsa, hip hop and international beats.
Ottomani may share a
lover chef with Fat Prince but make no mistake, it is a whole different restaurant. Food is fine dining, experimental in parts, and heavily spiced with exotic blends flown in directly from Istanbul. Most everything is made in-house from the labneh to the sweet potato chilli hummus. If you have been craving proper forward-thinking New Middle Eastern cuisine, look no further.
The menu has changed from a set price to fully a la carte, and at first glance it might look a little modest. There is only one starter, hummus ($9, pictured above left) done in a choice of three styles – sweet potato chilli, herby artichoke or duck fat and candied lemon – served with pita.
There are just four mains – including Lebanese Duck ($35) and Apple Stuffed Lamb ($38, pictured above right) – a selection of vegetable sides and two desserts. But the charm of The Ottoman Room happens when the trolley is rolled out dim-sum style, laden with a feast of mezze dishes between $6-20 dollars each. If you are lucky, seared brined Jerusalem Artichokes with pickled chilli and farmers cheese ($12) will be on offer — a wonderfully interesting dish full of texture and contrasting flavours and probably the best rendition of Jerusalem artichokes this side of Persepolis. Other mezze items might include Saffron Mussels with pork mince stolen from Fat Prince in a prawn bisque, Fresh Oysters or Salmon Tartare with dukkah.
As you sip your Black Sea Rize cocktail (Vodka, Lemon, Turkish Tea Syrup and Ginger Ale), the enigmatic bearded Chef Hunter Moyes makes his way around the tables, bringing his exotic creations to life with an explanation of spices and the great culinary length it takes to put each dish on the table.
A standout dish is the Market Fish ($32, pictured above) of Red Gurnard ethically line caught, crispy pan fried and accompanied by a delicious cucumber labneh, Za’atar pesto and pine tree honey elevating this dish into something to marvel. Another hit is the Black Lentil Salad ($12) – pearls of black lentils glossy in a cardamom-heavy vinaigrette with vibrant splashes of pomelo, sweet grapes, pickled chayote and watercress.
The feast won’t be over until you’ve tried the Turkish Delight ($12) – don’t shy away from this delectable treat even if it’s not normally your thing. A trio of flavours to choose from – tangy Pomegranate, a wonderfully rich chocolate, or Pistachio – are hunted down from an Istanbul market and smuggled into the country monthly.
We have a special place in our heart for quick saucy kebabs and the buzzy atmosphere of Fat Prince, but for something more sultry with food fit for a Sultan, The Ottoman Room is where it’s at.
Ottomani (Enter via Fat Prince), 48 Peck Seah Street, Singapore 079317. Tel: (+65) 6221 3683, www.fatprincesg.com/prince-vs-ottoman-1