Monday, January 21

Pita Pan, Marina Bay Sands

A few years ago, if you told me I would enjoy Mediterranean vegetarian food, I would have pat you on the back and thanked you for a good laugh; and if you told me my family would enjoy such a meal, I would have pat you on the back, shoved some money into your pocket and made sure the taxi driver took your drunken ass back home safely. 

Yes, we have come a long way, haven't we? The stars aligned themselves (well, more like we became fans of Food Network Asia, TLC and Asian Food Channel) and the two wrongs somehow right-ed themselves. 

Located at Marina Bay Sands, Pita Pan was founded by "Israel's curry queen" Chef Reena Pushkarna. To me, it sounds like she is more of a diplomat and her game is tasty healthy grub. Well, I could very well easily make peace with Mediterranean vegetarian food after a meal here. 

If you aren't familiar with Mediataranean cuisine or indecision is your weakness, the Mediterranean Platter would provide that essential 101. I particularly enjoyed the baba ganoush and the hummus was my second favorite.

The platter, like every shashuka, comes with puffy pita bread. Having had my fair share of limp and insipid pitas, these pitas from Pita Pan were a delicious revelation - and perhaps, appropriately so since the eatery isn't called Shashuka Shack or Falafel Hut.

The shakshuka is a someone-must-order dish and we had the Red, Green and White. I know that sounds like some nineties dating meet-up but I guarantee there are no losers in this mix.

The entry-level red shashuka is perhaps the most popular and easily acceptable offering among most diners here. It is rather sourish and the colour might remind one of rage but don't worry, it is pretty tame. It was pleasant enough but I must admit over the years, I have stealthily grown out of love for tomato-based dishes.

On the other hand, the green and white shakshukas made me puppy popeye-eyed.  

Predominantly made up of spinach, the healthy quotient of the green shakshuka made me feel like I have absolved myself of all sins committed during the Christmas/ New Year festive period. Though it was a little salty, the pan was barely recognizable when we were done with it. 

Perhaps not very Mediterranean but just as deserving of a spot on our table were the sweet potato and spicy fries. 

These sweet potato fries are seriously addictive. My selectively-healthy dad heard the words, "sweet potato" and conveniently forgot the word "fries"; I heard the words "sweet potato" and thought to myself "Why, hello there!"

The spicy fries, dusted with paprika, were no-brainer tasty.

I love falafels though it's not easy to get good ones on our tiny speck of an island. I love the gritty-on-the-outside, grinded-on-the-inside textural contrast and plus it's deep-fried. On top of the plain falafel, which I'm sure is pretty good, Pita Pan also offers sundried tomato and basil falafels.  

It's hard to pick a favorite. Really hard. Like I-got-to-have-them-again hard. 

The tauboleh salad was a refreshing toss up of bulgar wheat, tomatoes, green onions, and cucumber. Not just for those whose lifestyle revolves around Crossfit and the Paleo diet. 

My sister fixed up a mixed salad picked from the bar. Though the neo orange dressing was treacherously spicy, the mix of red cabbage, carrots and cous cous among many things were mighty moreish.

It's been weeks but I'm still reeling from Pita Pan's pita breads which were some of the bounciest, chewiest pitas I have ever come across. Maybe instead of renting a bouncy castle for the bub's birthday, I should get some of these pitas instead.

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