Modern mezze that’s simply moreish at Fat Prince
After being around for five years, it is timely that modern Middle Eastern restaurant Fat Prince in Peck Seah Street gets an update. And thanks to its recent tweak, I found a reason to finally make my way there.
I was taken in by the sensuous dark interior and was half expecting belly dancers to appear tableside.
While the interior is traditional, the menu is modern. The current offerings balance newness with crowd favourites, and to help it all go down is an extensive cocktail menu.
My favourite drink is a mocktail called Tiki Twist ($10), with fresh pineapple, lime, coconut cream and turmeric. The drink's link to the Middle East is tenuous but it is tasty, and that is all that matters.
Some of the dishes, too, had me wondering about their ties to Middle Eastern cuisine. All the same, Fat Prince's mezze menu is impressive.
One of its best dishes is the Fried Cauliflower ($14), now updated with a bed of white bean puree, black olives and jalapeno hot sauce.
It is such a simple, humble dish that one might dismiss it, but the crunch of the cauliflower and the mild heat of the sauce make it addictive.
Also worth ordering is the excellent Kingfish Crudo ($22). There is a long process getting the fish to the table.
Kingfish fillets are first dry brined to intensify the flavour, then cold smoked for added complexity. Next, they are sliced and layered with burnt orange gelee, and finally paired with watercress puree to provide a tinge of bitterness.
The first bite sends your taste buds travelling through a spectrum of flavours.
As for the New Zealand Clams ($22), to be fair, few would associate it with Middle Eastern cuisine, but the spiced sauce it comes in - made with shellfish stock and saffron-tinged cashew cream - grants it acceptance.
Also consider the Smoked Sicilian Olives ($12) and Artichoke & Herb Hummus ($12).
The only item that does not leave an impression is a bland rendition of Roasted Bone Marrow ($19).
The most visually stunning dish is the Wagyu Beef Cheek ($29 per 100g), which is marinated with peppers and chillies, then buried in Fat Prince's earth pit oven to be smoked. The result is an aromatic, easy-to-tear piece of meat.
You eat this with pita, but I think the beef cheek is best enjoyed on its own.
The best way to end the night is with Milk & Cookies ($12).
The cookie is one of my favourites, and the milk, spiked with raki (Turkish spirit) is delicious.
Dunk the cookie in the milk, and your grown-up childhood treat is complete.
Again, what milk and cookies have to do with Middle Eastern cuisine is beyond me, but satisfaction is universal.
48 Peck Seah Street #01-01
Opens 11.30am to 3pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm