Bakalaki – A Greek Feast
Bakalaki is actually a hybrid word from Bakaliko (this is the Greek version of last week’s post this means a store with flavours, scents and colours) and Meraki which represents love, spirit and soul.
Bakalaki is the latest Greek restaurant to hit our shores. I can count on one hand the number of Greek restaurants I know about in Singapore. Which is surprising because the whole summer vibe in Singapore sits quite well with my view of eating Greek food. Sitting at a big table with friends, enjoying shared food and too much wine, in a convivial atmosphere is what comes to mind. Well Bakalaki is pretty much like that.
The seating is actually an ingenious mix of smaller ‘tables’ at the bar, booths and larger tables. There are also a number of tables outside if you prefer. The set up is very sensible and the owners have managed to fit in quite a number of tables in different configurations to give the room a really good atmosphere. Outdoor tables are a good option, but you are sitting by the traffic on Seng Poh Road.
I visited Bakalaki with one friend so we got to sit at the bar ‘tables’. The bar ‘tables’ are little add ons of bench space to the normal bar area, giving you good space and a pretty good view of all the action.
The Bakalaki Menu
The menu is a fairly traditional Greek menu, with all the choices you might expect. Fresh dips, grilled meat and fish, octopus and Greek salads all feature. We went for the suggestion of two dips to start (we were going to order one for $14.90++ but for an extra $2 you get two dips at a reduced size). A side of pita ($2.90++) was delicious, the pita was thin and crispy and perfect for dipping. A warning that this was more than enough bread given the complimentary herb bread. This was possibly one of the reasons we filled up so quickly.
We chose the eggplant and the feta with peppers dips. Both were home made and delicious. The eggplant is smokey and the dip chunky, a proper, hearty starter. The feta dip was also good, with a hint of spice from the peppers. Next up we had the keftedes meatballs ($16.90++). Oh my, these were delicious. I don’t know how Greek meatballs are so much lighter and fluffier than other meatballs but these were addictive in their flavour and texture. They were accompanied by a tzatziki dip and the feta dip also went well.
Next up we tried the traditional Greek salad that was available in a half portion ($11.90). I almost didn’t order this because I thought it was a bit boring, but I was pleasantly surprised by two things. One was the tomatoes. Lovely, plump, juicy AND sweet tomatoes. The second thing was the big chunk of feta. None of this business of picking through the salad to get the good bits, the feta was all on top ready for tucking into.
We also ordered a serving of the halloumi ($16.90++) which I neglected to photograph. 🙁 You’ll have to take my word for it that the halloumi was fantastic. There were four pieces, each about 5cm by 3cm and again, the texture was light, the outside crispy with a salty flavour and a squeaky finish.
By this stage we were pretty full so when the next plate arrived we were a bit overwhelmed. Our plate of chicken skewers ($23.90++) looked delicious, but huge. As well as chicken there was a decent tomato salad and a massive serving of fries. I don’t really get the fries being served with Greek food (they do this at Alati too). We had no room for these at all. The chicken though was beautifully spiced and cooked. I’m fairly confident they were chicken thighs and they were flavourful, tender and juicy.
We had zero room for dessert and in fact asked for our leftovers to be packed up so they could be enjoyed later. Bakalaki make their own Baklava though so that’s another thing I’ll be trying when I return.
Service was excellent throughout our meal. Knowledgable staff who were competent and helpful. We tried a bottle of Greek red wine with our meal, as recommended by the staff. It was a decent blend and sat mid-range on the wine list at $78.90++. The wine menu is entirely composed of Greek wines, in keeping with the authentic serving of everything Greek where possible. There’s also a little shop where you can buy a small selection of Greek groceries. I’m told that you can also BYO wine to Bakalaki and they charge a reasonable $30 for corkage.
The only drawback to this meal was that we were only two so we didn’t get to try as many dishes as I might have liked. On the plus side, my meal was a great intro to Bakalaki and I’m sure I’ll be back with a big group to have a proper Greek feast.
3 Seng Poh Road, Singapore
phone +65 6836 3688