Pides (pronounced as “pea-dae”) are Turkish flatbread which are typically combined with various toppings, traditionally prepared during Ramadan.
Trust the Koreans to ‘hipster-fy’ it.
I chanced upon What’s Pide at China Square Central, which is a South Korean brand with 11 outlets in Seoul.
It operates like a fast-casual restaurant concept, offering 5 types of Pide – Hey! Lu Lu ($6.50), Sofia’s Meatballs ($7.50), Prawn Star ($8.50), Mrs Park ($9.00), and Eda-san ($7.50). (Who comes up with these names?)
Good to know that the pides are hand-kneaded using a specially formulated flour from Korea which are created with a secret mix of dry ingredients, and baked fresh every day.
The recipe and technique combined is said to give the traditionally firmer flatbread a spongier texture.
I asked the cashier to pick a Pide for me, and she went with Mrs Park which contains seasoned bulgogi beef, pickled jalapenos and caramelised onion. Good as this is probably the most Korean of all the offerings.
Considering that I just came back from the Middle East for a trip and eaten loads of flat bread, I found the Korean pide familiar yet different.
I enjoyed the feeling of holding it with the hands, feeling that soft texture before chomping down. There was this lovely crust on the outer, and the bread was indeed like cushion.
The beef bulgogi used in Singapore is said to use 50% less sugar – no wonder it wasn’t as rich as I have expected.
I enjoyed the sweet-savoury marinate but wished that it was overall juicier.
Perhaps this was done so as to not create a mess while eating for the CBD workers.
What’s Pide also offers its own coffee, a Pide’s Brew ($5.50) brewed fresh with a splash of coconut water.
It was rich, chocolatey and quite intense, but the balance seemed marginally off such that you get quite strong-bitter notes towards the end. Perhaps it needed more coconut water for that slight sweetness.
Promising, and I think it will make a suitable take-away meal. Good alternative to the boring sandwiches.
22 Cross Street #01-63, China Square Central, Singapore 048421
Tel: +65 9389 0863
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sun