fantastic turkish/middle-eastern food up in fusionopolis. this place was a gem – expert, wholesome cooking coming out of a tiny kitchen. and it was manned by the most unlikely – and very likable people too – plus, plus.
reasonable prices and decent portions too – I think this might be the totally uncool but entirely amiable and completely delightful country cousin of the town-cool hipster joint.
it’s a tiny cafe on the top floor of the fusionopolis building – but packed out during a weekday lunch. the proprietors and servers are old chinese aunties and uncles who would be seemingly less out of place in local kopitiams – coffeeshops – they reminded me of my grandparents; upon seeing my camera, the uncle-in-charge very nicely told me in mandarin to take more photos and to post them something nice online. and so I am.
there was a more ethnic kitchen staff walking around with food – which I suppose explains the expertise of the kitchen. a huge tray of mouthwatering, golden baklava was out on the counter, as were bags of pide. all signs pointed to a good meal – and it was. we started off with warm fluffy pide and hummus; the bread was crusty and delicious, the hummus decent (it’s a bit difficult to conjure epithets for what are essentially mashed legumes – but these were tasty as you’d expect).
the food really is surprisingly good. I had a grilled chicken breast served on a single large asparagus stalk. the chicken had char, and was moist and tender – at a standard I would expect from a restaurant – and the asparagus perfectly al dente. my friends had the adana kebab (a lamb-beef mix) and the baked rice – both of which went down easily enough.
we finished with baklava – and a cup of turkish coffee – and while it wasn’t the best I’ve had, it’s more than I expected for this place. the pastry was sweet (because this is middle-eastern – I have a persian friend who takes his tea with 5 sachets of sugar) though not tooth-achingly so, and moistened just enough for the filo layers to still be discernible. I remember a slight floury after-texture (as opposed to aftertaste), but nothing off-putting.
so you see: a tiny, unpretentious, but immensely likable café – and gratifyingly close to the gastronomic wasteland of my workplace. the food might be simple, and the place more spartan than the likes of al hamra or the beirut grill – but this place is endearing where those are clinical, and I see repeat visits (in my gastronomic crystal ball).
Arkadas Cafe Authentic Turkish Cuisine
Connexis Tower #03-02
1 Fusionopolis Way
tel +65 6466 9918
$$: one starters + three mains main + one coffee + baklava = sixty-eight