It could be the aesthetics of light wood furniture. It could be the soothing Classic Blue, Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2020, interiors. Whatever it was, I felt absolutely relaxed as I sat down to dinner at Zorba The Greek Taverna, the new Greek restaurant in Singapore.
Although the body of water surrounding the establishment isn’t quite as stunning as Santorini’s, Zorba makes up for it by bringing the Greek culture of communal dining into its restaurant. That is, serving its guests huge portions of authentic Greek cuisine and allowing them talk, laugh and eat at their own pace. That’s the beauty of dining like a Greek — there’s no rush, and no fuss.
The meal started with three appetisers: the Greek Moussaka (S$22), the Dips Platter (S$28) and the Spanakopita (S$16). The Dips Platter is a plate of thick pita breads with five home-made dips. It is a simple and delicious dish. The dippings include tzatziki (yoghurt), tirokafteri (spicy cheese), melitzanosalata (roasted vegetables), taramasalata (cod roe) and hummus. The Spanakopita, on the other hand, is a phyllo dough pie with spinach, feta cheese and herbs.
The winning appetiser, personally, has to be the Greek Moussaka. Think of it as a lasagna — warm baked cheese wrapped around layers of minced beef and sliced vegetables (zucchini, eggplant and potato) and topped with béchamel sauce. That said, unless you’re dining with a group of friends and family, skip the appetisers and dive straight into Zorba’s mains. The appetisers can be a little overwhelming for those with a smaller appetite.
If you enjoy more proteins in your meal, consider Zorba’s Lamb Kleftiko (S$36) and Mixed Grill Platter (S$88). The Mixed Grill Platter consists of all types of meat — think pork, chicken, lamb and beef. It has cheese-stuffed bifteki (beef), pork gyros, chicken and beef souvlaki, lamb chops and Loukaniko (pork and lamb sausage). Kudos to its grilled and burnt edges, all meat had a salty texture which gives some depth to its flavour. And it can be rather addictive. The Lamb Kleftiko, as compared to the platter, is less stodgy. It is more tender and less “dry” because the lamb has a gravied texture — marinated in Mediterranean herbs, vegetables, garlic and lemon juice.
For those who, on the other hand, prefers a more pescetarian diet, the restaurant has the Tsipoura (grilled seabream) (S$32), the Garides Saganaki (grilled prawns) (S$28) and the Htapothi Sti Skhara (grilled octopus) (S$30) available to choose from. Out of these three, the best has to be the Garides Saganaki. As it’s sautéed in olive oil and deglazed with Ouzo, spicy tomatoes, garlic, shallots, the jumbo prawns pack a more flavourful punch as compared to the Tsipoura and the Htapothi Sti Skhara. If there’s one thing it can improve, though, I’d wish the prawns to be as crispy and as grilled as the Mixed Grill Platter.
The meal was completed with the Greek Baklava, one of Zorba’s saccharine desserts. Similar to the Spanakopita, the Greek Baklava is made with layers of crispy phyllo dough. Instead of cheese and vegetables, it is filled with chopped nuts and chilled honey. Zorba’s Yiaourti Me Meli is another, more conventional, dessert option — Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts. And just like that, the night ended on a sweet note.
Zorba The Greek Taverna is located at 3A River Valley Road, tel. +65 8558 1704. Find out more at zorba.sg.