Urban Bites – Experience Exotic and Intriguing Lebanese
What comes to your mind when you think of Mediterranean cuisines? Well, apart from exotic spices and captivating flavors, I’d bet your thoughts often land to Turkish and Greek cuisines. Yet, your mind will most probably never wander to specific cuisines from smaller countries within the region such as Lebanon! Worst still, finding a restaurant serving authentic and contemporary Lebanese Food far away from the region is almost impossible. That’s why what Urban Bites is doing right in the heart of Singapore is no mean feat.
161 Telok Ayer Street
Ph. +65 6327 9460
The Heart Of Telok Ayer Street
The minute you step into Urban Bites, you’ll get the sense that things are very different in a good way. This charming space on Telok Ayer Street offers unique and typical Lebanese warmth. It has minimal furniture and rustic industrial setting. Boasting also a dessert counter and stone oven. This restaurant means business: serving authentic Lebanese, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Legend has it that Lebanese food was virtually non-existent in Singapore. Then the late Chef Ghazi Georges Khanashat arrived in 2001. Lovingly referred to as the “Godfather’ of Lebanese cuisine by friends and foes alike, he headed several restaurants in Singapore before opening Urban Bites in 2007.
Today, the restaurant is run by daughter Christine, who has enlisted the skills of Executive Chef Haroutioun Ara Sayegh, also from Lebanon.
We’d planned to sample Impossible Eats. Unfortunately, it was sold out early, so we decided to go for an impromptu walk on Telok Ayer. We randomly chose Urban Bites and I can tell you it was my best decision on that day! Jenzen the sommelier was so friendly and welcoming, and provided fantastic service!
“In the Lebanese culture, food is life and sharing it with friends and family brings warmth and joy. This is what we’re trying to give our customers here at Urban Bites,”
In addition to being absolutely mouthwatering, we soon discovered a new twist to Lebanese food. Just like other Mediterranean cuisines, Lebanese cuisine is arguably one of the world’s healthiest and nourishing cuisines. Warning; Lebanese dishes are not only sumptuous but very addictive.
If you love hummus, Urban Bites is very proud of their hummus because it’s arguably the best in Singapore! Served in signature Sampler Platter ($28), it’s combined with lots of fried treats including pumpkin kibbeh, breaded lamb and falafel. It’ll be then accompanied by yogurt-mixed labneh, tabbouleh salad and dressed with pomegranate seeds.
The Grilled Halloumi is a decadent choice if you are a cheese lover. This dish is served with capsicum, herbs, and bread.
Lebanese food without kebabs is practically unimaginable. We therefore had the Kebab Teen ($22). Marinated minced lamb meatballs cooked with sweet figs and baked in chili tomato sauce. Served with green leaves, yogurt, and rice.
At the end of it, we rightly discovered that Lebanese food is all about sharing, communal dining, warmth and absolute hospitality.
We hadn’t booked in advance; so we just bumped in and we were warmly welcomed!
Even more surprising was the restaurants very affordable prices. For instance, a bottle of wine that had cost us $110 somewhere else just a few days ago was only $55 at Urban Bites!
I can’t help but agree that everything about this authentic Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant is purely alluring!