I didn’t know Singapore has such a vibrant Turkish culinary scene until my girlfriend suggested going to a Turkish restaurant called Derwish for our meetup. It turns out that the whole Bussorah Street is filled with Turkish restaurants. Bussorah Street is directly opposite Masjid Sultan and most Turkish restaurants are halal which attracts Muslims.
Among all the Turkish restaurants on Bussorah Street, Derwish is one of the most popular. The design of the restaurant is distinctively Turkish with three blue-tiled steps that leads to the entrance of the restaurant. White Turkish tiles decorate the walls and a chandelier hanging in the middle of the ceiling gives the place a feel of royalty.
There are more seats on the second floor which can only be accessed by stairs at the back of the restaurant next to the kitchen. The room on the second floor is decorated with even more elaborately blue and gold tiles. The chandelier hanging in the middle of the room and the grandiosity of the place makes me wonder if I have mistakenly entered the house of a wealthy Turkish businessman.
Derwish – The Food
Derwish serves Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. This restaurant is halal-certified so Muslim friends can dine here with a peace of mind.
For drinks, we had Apple Tea [S$10]. Turkish apple tea is really sweet, it has almost no tea taste, it is almost like drinking heated-up apple juice.
Hummus [S$9.90] is a classic Turkish starter that I believe most people have heard of and probably tried before. The creamy mash is a mixture of middle-eastern chickpeas and sesame seeds “thaini”, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, lemon and garlic. It is nutty and creamy which goes really well with the bread that comes with it.
If the bread that comes with the hummus is not enough, you can always order a Lavash [S$5.50]. Lavash is commonly known as “ballon bread” because its oval shape resembles that of a deflated ballon. The lavash is served piping hot and studded with black and white sesame. It’s soft and chewy, the perfect accompaniment to the creamy hummus.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese [S$17] is perfect for those who want a little something to bite that is not too cheesy. Halloumi is a semi-hard unripened cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep’ milk. The texture is a little rubbery and tastes a little like feta cheese. Grilling halloumi gives it a slight smokiness which goes really well with the tomato, cucumber and olives that accompanies the cheese.
If you can’t decide on whether to get chicken, beef or lamb, why not get all three? Kariski Kebab [1 pax S$42, 2 pax S$58] gives you a mixed grill of chicken, beef and lamb on a bed of Turkish rice and topped with homemade tomato sauce. The meats are perfectly-grilled and the tangy tomato sauce takes away the greasiness of the meats but the portion is too big for the two of us. Even though the S$42 potion is said to be for 1 person, it is really meant to be share between 3-4 people.
For desserts, we had Kunefe which I can’t seem to find on the menu. It is a combination of cheese and shredded Kadayif noodles soaked in sweet syrup. Derwish serves it in a sea of cream and with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. The cheesy noodles pancake with creamy and vanilla ice-cream is simply perfect. It is creamy, sweet and cold, the perfect end to a great Turkish meal.
Derwish – Conclusion
Derwish is a great place to sample some halal Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. The prices are reasonable and portions are huge, so be sure to come with friends to share the meal. Plus, you feel like royalty with the lavish decorations.
Address: 60 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199476
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11am – 11pm, Friday – Saturday 11am – 12am
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lovederwish/