Monday 6 February 2023

Marmaris – Hidden Treasure in Little India

Marmaris is Authentic Arabic, Mediterranean and Western food in Singapore’s Little India. A quick google search will show that it is one of the highest rating restaurants around Little India. Since we were looking for something different, we decided to check out Marmaris.

When you arrived at the location, you will be greeted by two vertical rotisseries, commonly found in the Middle Eastern grilling the meat. In the middle, there will be the ingredients bench, which looks similar to the one in Subway store, where the staff assemble the shawarma, salads and other items on the menu.

For dine-in, you can go to the 2nd floor. It is air-conditioned and simply furnished with wooden tables and chairs. The lights and the walls are decorated with Middle Eastern lights and Middle Eastern motifs wallpapers. There is also al-fresco seating on the 1st floor.

Dining Area 2nd Floor
Decor and Lights
We started the meal with Hummus Salad Platter ($8) – Served with Arabic Bread, Veg Salad and Muhallal – Arabic Pickle. The hummus is smooth, creamy and packs with chickpea flavour. The Arabic bread is warm, soft and pillowy. We just can’t stop scooping the hummus with it. The salad on the side is simple yet refreshing. In no time, we polished off the platter.

Hummus Salad Platter
Falafel (1pcs, $1.50). From the look, we thought it was going to be hard and dry. Surprisingly, it is crispy externally, while it is moist and soft inside. Very good.

Al Faham (Grilled Chicken, Signature, $15.50 half, $28 full). We ordered half, as we also ordered a rice dish. According to the menu, the chicken is slow-grilled with special herbs. It is served with Arabic bread, veg salad and garlic sauce.

Al Faham
The exterior of the chicken has a nice charred texture and flavour, followed by juicy and succulent flesh, including the breast part. Though the marinate of the chicken looks fiery red, it was not spicy at all. The chicken is very tasty and the garlic sauce just enhances the flavour of the chicken and herbs further. It is served with lovely Arabic bread as well.

Al Faham
Lamb Shank Briyani ($17.90, 1 pax). I just can’t say NO to a lamb shank briyani. Cooked in a claypot dum, the aroma just entices us when it was brought to our table. Of course, the bone sticking out just add the WOW factor to the dish. The rice is fluffy, sweet and tasty. The lamb shank is juicy and without any gamy flavour, however, it is a bit of a challenge ripping the meat off the bones. I think the lamb shank can be cooked longer, before mixing it with the briyani. My best experience with lamb shank briyani is when the meat reaches the point of fork tender and falls off the bone. I’ll probably order the mutton briyani next time.

Lamb Shank Briyani
Lamb Shank Briyani
Lamb Shank Briyani
We end our meal with Kunafe ($12) - A traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with cheese and thin noodle-like pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup topped with crushed nuts. I like the crispy texture of the Kunafe, combine with the sweet and savoury flavour in it. The sugar-based syrup is served separately. Though the syrup looks milky, I find it too watery and does not blend well with Kunafe. Instead of pouring the syrup into the pastry, it is better to dip the pastry into the syrup.

We had Mango Lassi ($4.50) and Fresh Lime Soda ($4.50) to accompany our meal. The bottled water is already on the table, so if you open it just let them know when you make the payment on the 1st floor.

CBK verdict: it was a great Arabic Middle Eastern food. Very tasty, flavourful and pocket friendly. The winners of the night are the Hummus, the chicken & the garlic sauce. We’ll definitely come back to try the Shawarma and the rest of the dishes. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25; $26 - $50.

111 Dunlop Street
Singapore 209430

T: +65 6291 3001
OH: Daily 11.30 – 22.00

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