Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine is hard to come by in Singapore, especially in hawker centres and coffee shops. Hence, I was intrigued when I learnt about Pete’s Mediterranean Grill.
Pete’s Mediterranean Grill is helmed by Chef Peter Omar, who was born in Iraq. His stall is located within AlibabaR The Hawker Bar, a kopitiam and bar concept along East Coast Road.
Pete’s Mediterranean Grill serves authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food like kofta, hummus, falafel and knafeh. The prices were a bit on the steeper end, with the cheapest main dish on the menu costing S$11. Some sharing platters were even over S$50! Still, I was enticed by the selection of dishes offered and decided to try some of Chef Pete’s food.
What I tried at Pete’s Mediterranean Grill
We started off with the Falafel & Chicken (S$25), served with four falafel balls, chicken cubes, hummus, flatbread and a side of salad.
The portion of food served was not very impressive, especially given the S$25 price tag, but my dining companion and I were both blown away by the incredible flavours of the dish.
The chicken cubes were tender and soft with a rich and smokey taste. They were incredibly well-marinated and each piece of chicken was full of flavour.
The falafel balls, made with ground chickpeas, were equally as outstanding. They were fried to a perfect golden-brown colour, and each had a crisp exterior and soft, warm interior. My teeth sank into the mushy balls easily, and like the chicken cubes, the falafels were tasty and flavourful.
The side of hummus did not disappoint either. It had a grainy mouthfeel and a savoury, umami profile. It also had a very strong cumin taste, while I liked. I loved the creamy and thick texture it had, and its mild flavours made it the perfect pairing for all the elements of the Falafel & Chicken dish.
I found the flatbread to be underwhelming, as it just tasted like regular store-bought tortilla wraps cut into pieces and toasted slightly.
Finally, the salad on the side was refreshing and simple. I enjoyed the addition of the pickled onions, as it gave the dish an elevated tangy and zesty element.
Overall, while the taste of Pete’s Mediterranean Grill’s Falafel & Chicken was phenomenal in taste, the small portions did not justify the S$25 price.
Next, we had the Beef Kofta with Rice (S$15), served with a single skewer of beef kofta, a grilled chilli, rice, a side of salad and tzatziki. The dish came with the option of either rice or bread as the carb, and I decided to try out the rice, given how it looked different from the usual white rice that I was familiar with.
I had never previously tried beef kofta, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Compared to regular minced beef meat I’ve had, Pete’s Mediterranean Grill’s beef kofta was very tender and soft. It wasn’t overly chewy, and had plenty of spices well-incorporated into it.
The tzatziki was light, slightly tangy and refreshing. It retained the creamy, milky elements of yoghurt without tasting too tangy or sour.
The rice tasted average on its own, though it was well cooked. The portion of rice served was very big in relation to the amount of beef kofta and salad.
The side of salad was also refreshing, and I especially enjoyed dipping the cucumber slices into the tzatziki.
Similar to the Falafel & Chicken, I thought that Pete’s Mediterranean Grill’s Beef Kofta with Rice was flavourful and impressive, but the S$15 price was not justified. A single beef kofta skewer was not enough to satisfy our meat cravings, and adding on an extra skewer would have cost S$11, which I found to be too expensive for the small size.
Finally, we ended off with Pete’s Mediterranean Grill’s Ratatouille (S$11), made with eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, potato stew, tomato sauce and herbs.
The different elements of the Ratatouille were all cooked well, with my favourite being the potato stew. However, my dining companion felt that the eggplant was more bitter than other eggplant dishes he’s had. Generally, the Ratatouille tasted like most other tomato soups and while I wasn’t blown away, it wasn’t too salty and made for a decent dish.
While the food at Pete’s Mediterranean Grill tasted amazing with authentic flair and a flavours that transported me to the Middle East, the prices were akin to those of restaurants, despite the stall being located within a hawker bar. Our meal cost us a whopping S$51, and if it wasn’t for the steep prices, I would return in the future.
Despite that, Pete’s Mediterranean Grill has certainly gotten me interested in trying out more Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine in the future!
Expected damage: S$11 – S$33 per pax
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