The Ot­tomani

Wine & Dine - - RESTAURANTS -

A se­duc­tive, in­ti­mate space, The Ot­tomani is en­sconced in the back room of Fat Prince, a hip Mid­dle East-in­spired cafe-bar con­cept at Peck Seah Street. The Ot­tomani had a false start late last year as The Ot­toman Room, a fine din­ing sis­ter es­tab­lish­ment to Fat Prince. Then helmed by Cana­dian chef Hunter Moyes, it of­fered set menus and a free flow of mezze. Now, it re­turns with Aus­tralian ex­ec­u­tive chef Nic Philips in­stalled and its con­cept tweaked as a mod­ern Mid­dle East­ern sup­per club.

What that en­tails is a kalei­do­scope of ex­pe­ri­ences. Upon en­ter­ing, the dark­ened set­ting, wal­nut-ta­bles and stu­dious li­brary lamps give it an aus­tere, con­spir­a­to­rial air. Oil lanterns hang over­head at dif­fer­ent heights, and around the room, ex­otic touches like rugs from Is­tan­bul and or­nate ceil­ings trans­port you to op­u­lent Turk­ish din­ing halls of yore.

Drinks served ta­ble­side on a mo­bile trol­ley con­tinue the lux­u­ri­ous theme. A wide range of con­coc­tions are on of­fer such as Türk Ka­jvesi G&T ($21), made with cof­fee-in­fused pa­per lan­tern gin; and The Ot­tomani house tonic, a fun com­bi­na­tion of creamy, spicy and aro­matic cof­fee beans.

Then comes chef Philips’ fare. Start off the meal with a mor­eish smoked date but­ter with freshly made sour­dough bread. Next up, dishes meant for shar­ing such as adana beef tartare ‘ke­bab’, a re-imag­ined grilled meat ke­bab in tartare form topped with a chilli tu­ile. An­other un­usual com­bi­na­tion are the sweet potato dumplings ($28), gnoc­chi-like and de­li­ciously mar­ried with Turk­ish mi­halic cheese, an aged sheep’s milk cheese, and a Per­sian fer­mented yo­gurt crum­ble. Fi­nally, items slow-roasted in a cus­tom-de­signed wood-fire earth pit, such as pit-roasted lamb shoul­der with spiced mo­lasses and sumac gre­mo­lata ($24 per 100g), and the in­tense, pi­quant sticky pork belly with Turk­ish cof­fee, palm sugar and Szechuan pep­per ($21 per 100g).

While the mix of flavours here are cer­tainly in­ter­est­ing to ex­plore, for us, the decor and at­mos­phere are this venue’s great­est draw. —CC

48 Peck Seah St, #01-01A. Tel: 9231 9316; theot­tomani.com

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