Middle Eastern Cuisine and in particular, Lebanese food is in the trending with more of such restaurants opened in Singapore this year. Urban Bites at Telok Ayer is a second of such restaurant we visited this year, after Byblos Grill.
Established by the late Chef Ghazi Khanashat better known as the ‘Godfather’ of Lebanese food by clients and associates started Urban Bites in 2007 after 16 years of cooking experiences. The restaurant has since been in the hands of second generation, Chef’s daughter, Christine Khanashat. Helming the kitchen is Chef Haruotioun Ara Sayegh.
Contemporary theme dressed the space of Urban Bites with an iconic raw brick wall. Tables neatly lined in two rows parallel to the wall. With warm lighting in the restaurant, the cosy feel resulted.
With the new Chef in the house, new menu is inevitable. Beside traditional Lebanese food executed largely based on traditional recipe, Chef Ara gave a new spin with some creativity induced. At the same time, a new Brunch Menu was launched too.
Before all food, get the Jallab ($6), refreshing summer drink concocted with dates, grape molasses and rose water is a sweet drink that reminds most of Bandung.
Sample Platter ($28) is a great choice when dining in a group. A total of 6 items are on the plate.
First is the Warak Enab Rolls, rice and vegetables wrapped in preserved grape leaves. I like their version as the prickles grape leaves lack of the greeny grassy taste hence it is highly palatable.
Next are 2 deep-fried Falafel patties made from Chickpea and/or Fava Beans was tasty.
2 Lamb Kibbehs which was a little dry, tasted better with dips could be swapped with Pumpkin Kibbehs instead.
2 dips, Labneh and Hummus are on the platter. The former is a soft cream cheese while latter is Chickpea dip. Both to be eaten with Bread.
Lastly is the Tabbouleh, salad of diced tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, onions tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
Next we have the Burghul Salad ($12). Main ingredients is the Burghul, a super food. It is the hulled kernels of several cereal grains. In addition to the Main ingredients, Burghul cooked with fresh herbs, onions and tomato sauce, added cherry tomatoes, cucumber cubes and pomegranate seeds for a burst of sweet fruitiness to mix. Lastly, drizzle lemon juice for the zest. Toothsome and yet refreshing.
Star of the night was the Samke Harra ($29). Lightly seasoned Seabass fillet, first pan-fried to seal the moist and then baked to perfection sat on a bed of Baba Ghanoush (mashed eggplant) accompanied with baked potato slices.
Mixed Grill ($33) often found on the menu of Middle Eastern / Mediterranean Restaurants. This is the signature dish at Urban Bikes and was on the menu sice day one. On the plate were 4 different skewers; Shish Taouk (chicken, mainly breast meat on our plate), Shikaf Lahmeh (beef tenderloin), Kafta Lamb (minced lamb), Kafta Chicken (minced chicken).
Must have dessert to end the meal is Osmaliyeh ($12). Finely shredded Filo pastry with clotted cream and strawberry slices and rose syrup made up this delicious dessert. I am going to have a full portion to myself at my next visit, strictly no sharing. Lol!
For the next brunch, instead of your usual cafe, try Urban Bites New Brunch Menu with more than 10 items to choose from. Available on Saturdays from 9.30am to 4pm (last order 3.30pm).
One of the buzz is the freshly-baked Cheese Manouche ($16). Four Lebanese cheese (Jeddal, Feta, Mozzarella and Akkawi) with onions and parsley on flat bread. If you love Cheese and Bread, this is a must order.
Fettet Cauliflower ($15), a vegetarian bowl of savoury yoghurt of roasted Cauliflower and toasted Chickpea topped with crispy Pita Chips and pomegranate served with bread.
Akin to our usual cafe food for brunch consisting of Eggs and Meat is this classic Lebanese delicacy, Eggs With Lamb Shashouka ($20) is completed with bread. A dish baked with pulled lamb, 3 Poached Eggs covered with sauce and fresh tomatoes, chilli peppers, cumin and onions, lastly capped it off with crispy Kale and pomegranate.
Our final thoughts about Urban Bites? Without any reservation, we recommend this Lebanese Restaurant to all, especially those who are adventure or love Middle Eastern Cuisine.
161 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068615
Tel: +65 6327 9460
Mondays – Fridays 1100 to 2200 (Last order at 2130) | Saturdays 0930 to 2200 (Last order for Brunch at 1530; Last order for the day at 2130) | Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
- Downtown line – Telok Ayer station
- North-South or East West line – Raffles Place station
- Prudential Tower along Cecil Street 57, 131, 167, 186, 700, 970, 971E (nearest bus stop to Telok Ayer Road)
- Opp The Ogilvy Ctr along Robinson Road 10, 10e, 70, 75, 97, 100, 107, 128, 130, 162, 196, 196e
- One Raffles Quay along Shenton Way 10, 10e, 57, 70, 75, 97, 97e, 100, 107, 128, 130, 131, 162, 186, 196, 196e
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.