The Fat Prince is everything we imagined it to be. Indulgent yet classy, a hide-away fit for royalty that reflects the beauty and grandeur of the Middle East.
Opened in September 2016 by The Dandy Partnership — the same folks behind Neon Pigeon, the Middle-Eastern kebab cafe & bar manages to inject a much hipster-ish yet modern vibe to the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood.
Head Chef, Hunter Moyes has definitely brought sexy back to the East with it’s take on authentic mezzes, refreshing salads and juicy kebabs that are not short on bright and bold flavours
The interior of The Fat Prince is clearly very well put together, reflecting Istanbul’s approachable cafe culture with modern European influences. A reflection of Istanbul’s waterfront arts district, it offers a glimpse into the Ottoman empire through the artsy modern tiles and rustic painted beige walls.
Opt to sit at the bar counter seats to watch the baristas and bartenders work their magic and prepare your desired beverage of choice.
We could certainly tell that the owners have taken every effort to recreate the experience of dining in the Middle-East. Just look at the salt and pepper shakers that are brought in from the markets of Marakesh.
You know the owners are serious about staying true to the Middle-Eastern vibe when they built a sandpit to prepare authentic Turkish coffee.
Silver cezves (Turkish coffee pots) are filled with coffee grounds and water and placed into the sandpit, where the sand is piled up around the pot in order for the heated sand to slowly bring out the flavours of the coffee.
Choosing to go the whole mile, The Fat Prince offers a unique drinks menu that will cater to the discerning palette.
If coffee is not your thing, choose from a variety of drinks that includes wines and beers from Lebanon, Morocco and Jordan, as well as a cocktail programme that incorporates ingredients from around the region. Just think cinnamon spiced gin, sumac and anise rum or even a Turkish coffee cocktail.
We were feeling a little naughty and decided to start our meal off with a Orange & Cardamon Turkish Soda spiked with Mescal ($16). The citrus notes really complemented the spice from the cardamom, which was jazzed up by smoky aromas and slight tanginess of the mezcal.
The thing we love most about Middle-Eastern cuisine is the huge variety of dips ($12 per dip) that you get at the start of the meal.
We were presented with four dip options that included Fat Prince Hummus (Chickpeas, Duck Fat, Garlic, Lemon), Truffled Baba Ghanouj (Sumac, Mint Leaves, Crispy Shallot), Sweet Potato and Chilli & Artichoke and Dill.
While the latter two dips are not available on the menu yet. The hummus had a pleasantly mellow flavour enhanced by the richness of the duck fat, which was thankfully not too cloying.
The Trufled Baba Ghanouj (Eggplant) has a more creamy texture with intense aromas provided by the truffle.
The Turkish Kisir (Bulgar Wheat, Roasted Vegetables, Turkish Pepper Paste, Herbs) – $14, with its bright and vibrant colours was simply irresistible. Upon taking our first bite we were hit by the robust smoky aromas from the roasted vegetables. The dish also provided a nice contrast of textures by the crunchy bulgar wheat against the softer roasted vegetables.
Another salad choice is the Quinoa Tabbouleh (Red Quinoa, Mint, Long Leaf Parsley, Pomegranate) – $14. A more refreshing option, the sweetness of the tomatoes and pomegranate are complemented by the quinoa and bright flavours of the fresh herbs. It totally got our appetites ready for the kebabs that followed after that.
After the light mezzes and refreshing salads we moved on to the big boys. The Fat Prince has a total of six different kebab flavours to choose from, with any two flavours going for $16 and three flavours going for $24.
First up, we tried the Spicy Adalar Prawn (Buttered Soy, Pickled Chayote & Pear Salad, Spring Onion) which featured large chunks of juicy grilled prawns that are placed on top of oven baked pita buns.
While the dish had a pleasant spice kick to it, we were provided with a yogurt sauce and spicy tomato sauce to either downplay the spice or take it up a notch further.
The Smoked Kasar Cheese (Avocado Mousse, Pomegranate Vinaigrette, Candied Almond and Cashew) was an interesting flavour combination for me.
The semi-hard pale yellow Kasseri cheese has a slight salty tinge that balances against the crunchy and sweet flavours from the candied nuts, while the avocado mousse and pomegranate vinaigrette provides a nice tartness to complete the dish.
If meat is your thing, order the Spicy Beef Adana (Pickled Chilli, Smoked Tomato, Sumac Macerated Onion) which features hand minced beef placed on a iron skewer and grilled over a charcoal fire.
Perfectly marinated with spices, the beef is not too tough and falls apart when biting into it. The pickled chilli, smoked tomatoes and onions help provide a slight sour-ish balance to make for a amazing and juicy kebab meal.
Seeing as how the Turkish coffee was prepared we definitely had to try some. The Fat Prince has partnered with Sarnies for its coffee programme, so rest assured as you definitely would be getting quality Turkish Coffee – $6 prepared traditionally.
We just love how the coffee here is presented in beautiful hand painted cup sets that are imported from the markets in the Middle-East. Just look at the intricate details on them!
Opting to have it black with a cube of sugar, the coffee was well balanced with notes of chocolate coming through.
Probably a first concept of its kind, a separate restaurant called The Ottoman Room is located at the back of The Fat Prince. Opening on 1st November 2016, it will be providing a more luxurious Turkish brunch and dining experience for guests who enjoy a little more pampering on their taste buds.
I heard there’s even a mezze cart that will be pushed around with unlimited offerings that you can pick out during your meal.
A small & narrow alley way adorned with Middle-Eastern motifs that leads you to a different area where the ambiance significantly differs. Expect to see the area transform at night with the oil lamps lit up to set the mood for a relaxing and comfortable ambience.
Clearly an area where you can hang loose and recline on leather sofas, lounge on low-lying chairs and dine on gold marbled tables. You definitely wouldn’t mind walking bare footed as there are Persian rugs sprawled all over the ground.
Even the design of the toilets are well put together, with the furnishing of gold painted taps and intricate hand painted basins that are truly fit for a Sultan!
I wouldn’t be surprised if The Fat Prince is what it takes to finally popularize Middle-Eastern cuisine in Singapore. With its offerings of premium mezzes and authentic flavours, you can be assured that you will be treated like royalty and have a meal truly fit for a king (or a sultan in this case).
Expected damage: $14- $24