My idea of Greek cuisine is really salads, olives and yoghurts and I have to admit I am not so familiar with Greek dishes at all. I finally had a chance to try Greek cuisine recently when my friend brought me to this very popular restaurant just around the hood.
From afar, the restaurant emits a Santorini atmosphere with it’s white, blue and wood furnishings. While most people are familiar with Santorini but Greece has more to offer so Bakalaki aims to offer the best from regional producers, as traditional ingredients are sourced from authentic Greek suppliers and they also serve a unique selection of Greek wines and beers to make sure their diner has an authentic Mediterranean experience
The interior of the restaurant has a cosy and welcoming atmosphere of your favourite restaurant in the neighbourhood in the Greek countryside somewhere. The warm lights and a combination of high bar tables and low dinner tables creates a casual and relaxing ambience.
It is hard to miss the numerous awards they have earned on display at the main entrance
The menu has a great variety and being a first-timer, I left the ordering to my friend with recommendations from the server. The full menu can be found here
We were first served a small crate of warm toasted bread which was very soft and has a slight savoury taste from the sea salt that is sprinkled onto the bread.
The next item which is something you find in every Greek restaurant is the pita bread which is served with sea salt and oregano.
The first dips we had to eat with the pita bread was the Tzatziki which is greek yoghurt made with cucumber, garlic and olive oil. The reddish one is the Tyrokafteri which is spicy feta cheese spread with greek yoghurt & roasted red peppers. The cucumber dip is very refreshing and light which gives the yoghurt a good balance. The feta cheese one is heavier in flavours and has a more sourish after taste because of the pepper and cheese.
I loved the dips so much that we decided to order another set of 2 dips to try the other flavours available. The one on the left is the Melitzanos alata Agiorit iki which is smoky eggplant spread with red peppers with a pinch of garlic & extra virgin olive oil and the right one is fava beans with capers, onion and extra virgin olive oil. The eggplant spread is very savoury and a little spicy and you can taste the finely chopped eggplant giving a good texture. The fava beans spread is basically like the usual hummus. Personally, I liked the cucumber and eggplant spread the best.
The server recommended the grilled sardines which is a seasonal item that was specially available that day. The tiny sardines were grilled with sea salt and served with a wedge of lemon for taste. The taste of the sardines was very natural as you can taste the original flavours of the fish which tasted like the sea exploding in your mouth. However, there was no fishy taste at all. The only downside was the tiny bones that were all over the fish. Although you can eat the bones from sardines, the grilled version did not look as edible as the canned ones so I spent lots of time picking out bones.
A big lover of grilled octopus, we had to order the Htapodi which is grilled octopus leg with lemon, oregano and olive oil. The octopus leg served was very fleshy and came with a nicely chargrilled skin. The suction on the tentacle was crispy with a nice smokey flavour and the octopus itself was tender and soft. The dish is great but did not match up to my expectations of a melt in my mouth experience like the one I had in Croatia.
This next dish is my friend’s favourite and since I was not a big lamb eater, I decided to give it a try only after much persuasion. What deters me from eating lamb is the gamey taste but to my surprise, this lamb chop was very nicely done and there was absolutely no gamey taste. The meat was well grilled and very succulent although my friend claims it melts in the mouth if we had ordered medium raw instead of medium done. That aside, the flavours were great and very well balanced as the seasoning was on point but did not cover the flavours of the meat itself.
By now we were really exploding from the 2 servings of pita we had and decided to forgo desserts but the servers still served us a plate of Greek doughnuts as an after-meal snack. The doughnuts were not oily but were very dense and extremely sweet. It was not exactly something I liked as a dessert so we did not finish it.
Overall, the dishes were fabulous and the flavours were refreshing and natural. I liked the fact that Greek cuisine does not tend to over process or season their dishes so you can still taste the natural flavours of the fresh ingredients used in their dishes. I really liked the friendly service of Bakalaki and every dish they recommended was great and the restaurant has a nice ambience for gatherings and weekend chill out.
Address: 3 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168891
Operating hours: 6 pm to 10 pm ( Mon to Thur) 12 pm to 2.30 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm ( Fri to Sun)