There’s something just so delightful about juxtaposition; the oddness and how strikingly incongruent a scene is, is what makes the mish-mash melting pot of Singaporean culture so adored and loved. That’s why I found it especially amusing when I found Atas Turkish Kebab planted in the middle of Fortune Centre.
The irony of feasting upon hearty, meaty Turkish kebabs in the middle of a mall known as a mecca of vegetarian fare is not lost on me. In fact, I had a little giggle at it all. Of course, Atas Turkish Kebab is not the only place that seems slightly out-of-place. There have been a whole host of Japanese eateries that have garnered quite the cult following, but we’ll leave those for next time.
What I tried
At first blush, I have to say that having a name like Atas Turkish Kebab is slightly gimmicky, but we cannot judge a book by its cover so quickly. After all, we know that when it comes to food, window dressing doesn’t mean anything. Plus, there is nothing more disappointing than a well-plated dish that falls short of everything.
For starters, when one arrives at Atas Turkish Kebab, the choices are overwhelming. Besides the usual spiel of kebab, donner, and hummus, Atas Turkish Kebab also serves the odd pizza with fish chips. I suppose it’s to cater to our ever capricious taste buds, and I’ll never say no to those, but we have to remain focused on what we came here to do.
We’ll start with what I’ve been seeing flooding my feed, the Kebab with Turkish Butter Rice (S$8 for Chicken, S$9 for Beef, S$10 for Mixed); I chose the Mixed because Hannah Montana has left her mark on us all.
When my kebab arrived, I was rather taken aback by the sheer gloriousness of it all. Here, you have a mess of iceberg lettuce, sliced onions, tomatoes followed by liberal shavings of beef and chicken before being slathered quite aggressively with a yoghurt sauce and a fiery dollop of chilli.
With explosive pops of colour everywhere, it was certainly a feast for the eyes and my Instagram feed. You have to appreciate the amount of food you get at this price point. Given our penchant for value, abundance is a quality that everyone can appreciate.
There’s only one way to go when you are presented with such a kerfuffle of ingredients, and you dig right in. As far as kebabs go, this one was pretty good. The surrounding cornucopia of vegetables was fresh and crisp; the yoghurt sauce ran slightly thin but was creamy enough.
Now, the real test of any kebab is the meat, the heart of the matter, if you will. Those vertical rotating spits where chicken or beef are slowly roasted just spell heaps of flavour, and I’m all for it. As promised by the legion of fans, the chicken and beef were both tender and extremely flavorful.
What’s even better than the meat is the butter rice. A fragrant spoonful that leaves you hankering for more. Not to mention, you would be hard-pressed to find anything wrong with the mound of butter rice at your disposal. Moreover, given the portion, it made this rather ravenous writer quite satisfied at the end of it.
If you prefer things to be wrapped in neat packages, then the Chicken Tombik (S$7) is something you can consider. It is pretty much the same as the Kebab but instead sandwiched between two fluffy layers of pide ekmek, which I hear the owner makes himself. Pide ekmek, for the uninitiated, is a bun-shaped flatbread that is crispy on the outside and pillowy on the inside.
Like all their dishes at Atas Turkish Kebab, they are extremely generous with their servings. I can barely hold the Chicken Tombik as I took a bite out of this sandwich. What you’ll appreciate is the freshness and how soft the pide ekmek is. If you’re lost at the options Atas Turkish Kebab has to offer, I’d say get Chicken Tombik and it’s lunch or dinner settled.
While I might be slightly opposed to the name, it’s clear that Atas Turkish Kebab knows how to feed a crowd and very well too. They have tapped into the Singaporean sensibility where more is more, indeed. Atas Turkish Kebab serves as a reliable, value-for-money spot for Turkish food that everyone should have in their back pocket.
Expected damage: S$7 – S$10 per pax
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