A seductive, intimate space, The Ottomani is ensconced in the back room of Fat Prince, a hip Middle East-inspired cafe-bar concept at Peck Seah Street.
The Ottomani had a false start late last year as The Ottoman Room, a fine dining sister establishment to Fat Prince. Then helmed by Canadian chef Hunter Moyes, it offered set menus and a free flow of mezze. Now, it returns with Australian executive chef Nic Philips* installed and its concept tweaked as a modern Middle Eastern supper club.
What that entails is a kaleidoscope of experiences. Upon entering, the darkened setting, walnut-tables and studious library lamps give it an austere, conspiratorial air. Oil lanterns hang overhead at different heights, and around the room, exotic touches like rugs from Istanbul and ornate ceilings transport you to opulent Turkish dining halls of yore.
Drinks served tableside on a mobile trolley continue the luxurious theme. A wide range of concoctions are on offer such as Türk Kajvesi G&T ($21), made with coffeeinfused paper lantern gin; and The Ottomani house tonic, a fun combination of creamy, spicy and aromatic coffee beans.
Then comes chef Philips’ fare. Start off the meal with a moreish smoked date butter with freshly made sourdough bread. Next up, dishes meant for sharing such as adana beef tartare ‘kebab’, a re-imagined grilled meat kebab in tartare form topped with a chilli tuile. Another unusual combination are the sweet potato dumplings ($28), gnocchi-like and deliciously married with Turkish mihalic cheese, an aged sheep’s milk cheese, and a Persian fermented yogurt crumble. Finally, items slow-roasted in a custom-designed wood-fire earth pit, such as pit-roasted lamb shoulder with spiced molasses and sumac gremolata ($24 per 100g), and the intense, piquant sticky pork belly with Turkish coffee, palm sugar and Szechuan pepper ($21 per 100g).
While the mix of flavours here are certainly interesting to explore, for us, the decor and atmosphere are this venue’s greatest draw.
#01-01A, 48 Peck Seah Street. Tel: 9231 9316;
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s November 2017 issue – Happy Hour, ‘Restaurants’.