The name Alaturka means ‘in traditional Turkish style’. It originates from the era of the Ottoman Empire and used to describe the roots of musical and cultural concepts. It is also the name of a very good Turkish restaurant in Arab Street area.
Opening Alaturka in May 2005 at the current location along Bussorah Street, Turkish native Nafiz Bozkurt is an accidental restauranteur with no experience of running a restaurant but found success in taking great care of the business and serving up authenticity.
Since then, they have been serving high quality interpretations of classic Turkish dishes as well as tasty new ventures into uncharted territories of Mediterranean food. They were awarded the Michelin Guide Singapore Bib Gourmand in 2016.
Having a Turkish feast with a table full of shareable plates is one of the hallmarks of an Alaturka meal. Here’s our lunch menu for two.
Sharing platter of specialties – hummus, babaganoush, saksuka, yumurta salata, ezme and havoc salata. Served with salata, yaprak sarmasi, feta, olives and lavash.
I love this Meze Tabagi platter for its diverse assortment of flavours, from the smoky eggplant from the baba ganoush, tartness from the havoc salata and freshness from the saksuka. Served with a thin, sesame coated lavash bread, something I would recommend you order ala carte even if you have not order the meze platter. Ezme means “mashed” which served well here since all the ingredients are chopped very finely.
Charcoal-grilled favourites – adana lamb, kuzu pirzola, patlıcan kebab, tavuk sis and kanat | house sauce
Coal-fired adana lamb kebabs are slowly cooked and juicy, unless the ones I got in other places. As for the rest of the meats, what you get on the plate were tender, succulent and very smoky meats. The buttered rice was delicious with the house sauce, which is a thickened brown sauce from the au jus of the BBQ.
Baked buttered pastry shreds encasing soft cheese, topped with sweet syrup and served with cream. Turkey’s finest dessert.
The first time I had künefe was in Tel Aviv in a Lebanese restaurant. It was too sweet for me. But it did leave a deep impression for its crispy kataifi (shredded filo pastry) that resembled Ah San fried bee hoon. And I have eaten many versions since, and it always has three main components – shredded filo pastry, honey water and cheese. And the variations are with the different type honey and cheese used, with or without a sauce. Here, they used mozzarella cheese with a simple honey and topped with heavy cream. Delicious if eaten warm, not recommended for takeaway.
I have tried many of the Turkish restaurants around this historical district and Alaturka is by far the best I have been to. All of them have great service, all of them are pretty generous in their servings, but only Alaturka did not try to alter their recipe to suit local palate. This is Turkish cuisine as close as you can get besides flying to Turkey.
Alaturka Turkish Restaurant
15 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199436
Tel : +65 6294 0304
Visited Jan 2023
Michelin Singapore Guide Bib Gourmand 2016
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