BAKALAKI Greek Taverna makes you feel like in the land of the Mediterranean once you step in – the music, vibes, energy, and of course the food.
The restaurant has just moved from Tiong Bahru to Martin Road, and looks like it will pack in the crowd pretty soon, especially when this area is rather popular with expats.
I have just been to Greece, dined in a lot of good restaurants, and I would say BAKALAKI’s quality of food is authentic and makes me feel I am right there dining at Athens.
The name “Bakalaki” comes from “Bakaliko” which means a traditional neighbourhood store full of flavours, scents and colours, and “Meraki” which represents the love, spirit and soul of the team.
Walking in, the interior is warm and welcoming, reminiscent of a traditional Greek home designed by award-winning Greek designer Dimitris Economou.
This place is HUGE, with several sections and large dining area which is good for groups of families and friends to gather over a hearty meal and great time.
Before ordering your food, you can take a look at a wall of wine made in the shape of the Greek flag.
The energy was buzzling, and service crew knowledgeable and pro-active (which I find always lacking in many new restaurants, actually even established ones).
It serves up upmarket Greek fare and prices are higher than the usual. My friends thought it was well worth the price of the quality and authenticity.
Start with the Mezedes & Orektika, which means “little plates of tasty tidbits” and appetisers.
There is a quite a range including Tzatziki ($15.90) of refreshing Greek yoghurt mixed with cucumber, garlic and EVOO, Keftedes ($17.90) which are beef meatballs with mint and lemon, Gavros ($23) crispy fried anchovies with lemon, and Kalamari Tiganito ($23.90) of crispy fried squid with lemon.
For Salates, there are four options of Horiatiki ($22.90), Dakos ($22.90), Lahano Karoto ($16.90) and house-special of Balakaki ($24.90) with lettuce, tomato, rocket, pickled peppers, radish, green olives & olive oil.
I was recommended the Horiatiki ($20.90), in which this traditional-style Greek Salad made a great start to the meal with its Kalamata olives, Feta cheese and Bakalaki Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The vegetables used were fresh, the tomatoes sweet, olives tasty, and the extra-virgin olive oil was of top-notch quality. (If you notice a smaller portion for the photo, that is because the server offered to half it as I came in a small group.)
The olive oil is a house-brand made by cold-pressing olives only from Koroneiki olive trees.
The Moussaka ($26.90), a baked casserole of beef minced meat, eggplant, potato and béchamel sauce is also worth a try.
This was hearty, creamy and flavourful. The restaurant still does it the traditional way from scratch, instead of say just putting everything into the oven.
The Kalamaki Merida ($25.90 – $27.90) which are grilled skewers are good for sharing, coming in Beef, Chicken, Chicken Yiro and Minced Meat with Beef & Lamb options.
They come served with tomato, onion, tzatziki and pita bread.
Interestingly between the Grilled Chicken and Beef I had, I preferred the chicken was it was evenly grilled, moist and somehow more flavourful.
If a trip to Greece seems too far away, then I reckon BAKALAKI would just cure your wanderlust cravings. With that said, remember to make your bookings – it will be quite packed pretty soon.
BAKALAKI Greek Taverna
38A Martin Road, Singapore 239072
Tel: +65 6836 3688
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 12am (Mon – Thurs), 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 12am (Fri – Sun)