Exotic and mysterious. Words that come to mind when one imagines The Ottomani. Think Arabian Nights. Scheherazade would approve. The restaurant evokes a sensual and sultry opium den, where the mood is determinedly romantic with dangerously dim lighting and lush décor. Oil lanterns that illuminate the intimate space, create mauve shadows that entice unsuspecting diners into its beguiling embrace. The Ottomani demands for you to stay, the same way a fierce lover would. Step past a pair of luscious velour curtains and be completely transported into an exotic new world where your journey into the heart of Middle Eastern dining begins, with dishes that are bold and innovative. There is nothing demure or timid about the menu here.
Created by Head Chef Beau Churchill, the New Middle Eastern menu combines local, sustainable ingredients with unique flavours from Morocco and Turkey to create vibrant and exotic dishes. Featuring a four-course set, priced at S$108++ per person with an optional wine pairing at $68++, a glass for each course, guests will delight in a feast fit of a Bedouin Sheikh. This menu is a collection of dishes that are cooked above a charcoal grill and a wood-fired earth pit oven, inspired by various parts of Chef Beau’s life and his admirable passion for experimentation.
Chef Beau’s love of innovation animates some of his best creations as he transforms traditional cuisine and flavours through his personal memories. Indulge in dishes such as the Tomalas Bay and Mum’s Spinach & Cheese Triangles from the Bites section. One of the highlights is the Pea Version 9, a Fava Falafel ‘Kebab’, with foraged mushroom and truffle.
Start your voyage with a regal set of dishes like the Rock Hill, Pollin, Crust to Crust or Rough Seas which features Boston lobster served with blackened orange and dill vichyssoise. Rock Hill, short for Rock Hill Ranch, consists of succulent grilled black figs, cashew labneh and fresh pomegranate. Crust to Crust is made with foie gras mousse on toasted brioche, orange gel dots, semut (flowers) and crushed roasted pistachio. This dish is so remarkably photogenic that one cannot help but to ponder upon its beauty. Is beauty simply just compensatory or is this the real deal? Ponder not too long though, because the true revelation is in the eating. It is every bit as divine as it looks. “Crust to Crust” is a phrase Chef Beau holds close to his heart; a piece of culinary advice from his grandmother who cooked professionally for 60 years – “If you’re going to spread butter on toast, always do it crust to crust!”. A reminder that no matter how simple the task, one must always endeavour to do it right.
Continue your culinary adventure with a repertoire of sumptuous mains. Chef Beau has created wholesome pit roasted communal plates that are slow roasted overnight. Inspired by Chef John Ash, the man who invented farm to table dining, Ash highlights the seamless marriage of fire-kissed Kurobuta pork collar, Turkish coffee, Szechuan pepper and zhoug. Thick and nutty, the spice sparks upon the tongue, leaving a delightful tingle. Down the Tracks, is made with a black Angus 90-day aged striploin, blanketed in tomato chutney and kashk. It is flavoursome and rich, without being overwhelming.
In Marshall is a fork-tender omega lamb shoulder that is slow roasted in the woodfired earth pit. The lamb, so tender that it falls apart into shiny panels, is accompanied by a spectacular mosaic of spiced molasses and sprinkling of sumac gremolata, then garnished with charred shallots and parsley. All mains are served with four side dishes that encapsulate the spirit of Middle Eastern dining. These include Charred Corn with fragrant couscous, preserved lemon dressing and Turkish spice, Baby Potatoes with pickled sumac onion and Turkish spice, Local Squash with smoked labneh and raisin relish, and Heirloom Tomatoes with Beyaz Peynir, saffron dressing and Turkish spice. The Turkish spice introduces a more complex personality to the otherwise simple accompaniments.
Your journey to the Far East comes to an end with the sweetest conclusion. The Accident, a dish that resulted from a mishap when making the quince-based Turkish dessert, Ayva Tatlisi is the most popular order in the house. At The Ottomani, The Accident features sorbet that has been enhanced with spices, providing a sweet and savoury twist to the traditional version and is simply trance-inducing. Close your eyes, savour the taste and feel yourself fade away into the evening. The journey is now complete.
Address: The Ottomani
48 Peck Seah Street