So after an afternoon of researching, planning, and shopping, Avarielle, Mintea, Sarah, and myself headed to Arab Street for dinner. Since we were unable to decide on a place to eat, Sarah read out the first name she saw on a banner. However, after heading there, we spotted a new place – Derwish Turkish Restaurant.
Craving for culinary adventure, we went in.
There are two kinds of seating, indoor and outdoor. Outdoor seating is pretty cool during the evenings, especially if you’d like to soak in the scents of Arab Street (Shisha, mostly) and relatively cool breezes in the evenings (Not this time of the year though).
The indoor décor, however, was magnificently Aegean – quite a bit of Greek influence but with the colourful Turkish details.
We got a jug of Turkish Mint Tea and Hummus for starters. I never really liked Hummus until I went to Alaturka with some ex-colleagues. Even then, I thought it was some special kind of Hummus that only they had.
I WAS WRONG.
It wasn’t overly smooth, but spreadable and you could dip your bread in rather well. The balance of its graininess and smoothness was just right, so you won’t have anything stuck in your teeth or coating your tongue. The chickpea to garlic to olive oil ratio was also well-balanced, though the accompanying bread could be a bit bigger though.
The Mint Tea was rather strong, but I attributed it to the fact that the jug came with a generous bunch of mint leaves in the water. Sarah, Mintea, and Avarielle drank more of it so they might have better opinions. I just liked the smell of mint wafting from the glasses.
Then our entrees came.
Mintea and I got Pides (Turkish stuffed/ flavoured breads) – Mintea got the Sucuk Pide, which was like this breakfast pizza of Turkish Pepperoni, Egg, and Cheese, and I got the Spinach Pide, which was spinach, onions, and cheese. Essentially Mintea had a breakfast pizza, which I very much liked.
The spice of the sausage is slightly mellowed by the egg and cheese, but the balance also maintained the sausage’s flavour. However, it could be a tad too salty if you’re not alternating tastes. The Spinach Pide was much milder in comparison though. However, it had a subtle, sweet onion taste which went really well when I dipped the bread into our Hummus appetizer.
Sarah got a Beyti, which looked like a sliced kebab drenched in sauce. I ate her roast tomatoes for her (as usual). HAH! But I thought Avarielle’s Iskander was amazing.
Simply speaking, an Iskander is a plate of sliced, grilled meat, served with sauce, yoghurt, and bread or rice. She usually has this in Anatolia, which is tasty on its own. Derwish just made it celestial.
The meat was well marinated and thinly sliced, which made the eating much more pleasurable.
We finished our meal with an almond-topped rice pudding (I scraped the almonds off because I’m not nut-friendly. HEE.) Like Anatolia, they use real rice for this pudding. I don’t really have a preference among the two taste-wise but I’d go to Anatolia for the rice pudding based on the face that Anatolia’s pudding doesn’t have nuts. But that’s just me. HAH.
If there was one line used to describe Derwish, they really define the line “Getting what you pay for.” It’s not exhorbitant (mains are between $15-$25), and the food really tastes great. So yes, we will be going back again, probably try their Moussaka (Greek Lasagna but with Eggplants instead of Pasta) the next time!
Derwish Turkish Restaurant is located at 60 Bussorah Street.