cbd eats April 24, 2017
Do you know that as of 2015, only 5.1% of the world's population was vegetarian? It's not very easy to be a vegetarian in Singapore when you have to resign to eating salads or oily mock meats or fried carbs. And even more so when you are one in the central business district (CBD). So when Middle-Eastern vegetarian joint at China Square Fill-A-Pita invited me to try out their pitas, I was intrigued. I have never been to the Middle-Eastern part of the world so I've never tried any of their food locally, but I'm glad that we're so cosmopolitan that cuisines from most parts of the world come here instead.
When I asked what's special about Fill-A-Pita (for there are so many stalls in China Square targeting the lunch crowd, I never expected the reply below:
Our food is made fresh daily - we get the ingredients from our suppliers every day and prepare our dishes from scratch. For example:
• Our Pita bread is baked daily and locally
• Our food is 100% vegetarian (none of our dishes contain egg)
• Our food is 100% halal (no alcohol or pork extract in anything we make)
I was very impressed.
This is the shop front and the signboard. Actually it looked a little bit like our Halal logo if you see it from far and have bad vision. Going closer though you will see that the shop is a cosy size with a pita-making counter, and some tables and chairs (probably sits 12-16). During lunch time they are definitely busy!
Here's the menu / signboard of items. Super exotic to me as a Singaporean to see all these items that are not so commonly found here! The last falafel I had was in Berlin last year, of all places. I like that the menu also contains vegan and non-garlic/onion labels.
According to Wikipedia, "falafel is a deep-fried ball, doughnut or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as taboon; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way."
Anyway, I had an assortment of items, all of which are super fun to pronounce. Like the Koshari (S$9) which is like.. Middle-Eastern spaghetti with spicy red pepper sauce? Sounds familiar? It tastes really good though. It was probably my favourite that night. I love the combination of spices (and you'll hear this a lot) but there's much more depth to this than regular tomato sauce, haha. 4.5/5
The next dish which puzzled me slightly (in a good way) was the Moussaka (S$10) which had eggplants with bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. The thing that I was super confused was the rice is not just steamed plain white rice - there's a bit of oil in the cooking (Egyptian style I was told) which made the rice taste strangely like chicken rice... without the chicken! In any case, this was so good as a standalone dish, especially for eggplant lovers. Unfortunately I wasn't one. 4/5
I have to rave about the sides - the Hummus dips (S$3 for 80ml, S$9 for 330ml) that came in regular (delish!!) and Coriander (no garlic or onion). Both were very yummy. I could probably be happy just with those, and some pita bread. The labna cheese (unsalted cow cheese) was smooth and creamy, and just brilliant to eat with the koshari.
We also tried some Babaganoush (S$3.50), which was an eggplant dip with tahina (sesame) and lemon juice, picture at the top right corner of the table with some peppers. I found it super spicy for me, and again I'm not a fan of eggplant... but I love saying the name though. Babaganoush! 3/5
Then there was the falafels, which were made in-house daily using a secret recipe. They were the green balls you see in the spread below. They were friggin' fantabulous balls of flavour. And the strangest thing is, they are not dry and shrivelled and flavourless like most others I've tried. These were more "herbal" in a way and tastes fresh. You have to try it. 4.5/5
Ahh. So this is what good Middle-Eastern vegetarian food taste like, I suppose, and at a fair price too! When you walk away from the restaurant feeling full but not heavy, tastebuds pleasantly tingled with all sorts of spices and combination of textures. We were both happy campers that night - and I would definitely recommend anyone working in this area to check it out or even bring your family here for a quiet dinner in the evenings on Fridays and Saturdays!
#01-29 Nankin Row, China Square Central, Singapore 048660
Mon-Thurs 11.30am to 5.30pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am to 7.30pm
Closed on Sundays
Thanks to Ahmed from Fill-A-Pita for the invite!
By the way, do join me on Pepo App's "Singapore Foodies" chat group where we chat about where to eat in Singapore and share delicious #foodporn photos!