Mat Western, Bedok North: “The chicken aglio had me at chilli padi”

A month ago, Mat Western—a Muslim-friendly Western stall in Bedok North—popped up, selling a medley of Italian-fusion fare. What’s the big deal? Well, upon discovering that the duo running the stall is French-born Muslim revert, Umar Fabrice, and Singaporean Malay-Muslim, Hidir Kasim, who used to be chefs at reputable restaurants, I had to make my way over and try their dishes. 

I’m obsessed with Italian cuisine—it’s almost like an addiction, something I need to consume weekly to avoid a bad Italian shake. Think outbursts of random hand gestures paired with Robert De Niro’s signature ‘pinched face’. 

Image of stall

Against the rudimentary backdrop of the idle chattering of uncles and dull lighting of the coffeeshop, you’ll notice a huge chalkboard handwritten with Mat Western’s menu items. It’s fixed with a fairly large open kitchen with a tabletop gas stone oven—perfect for those who like to feast with their eyes first. 

What I tried

Image of pizza

The one true way to judge the authenticity of an Italian joint is by their pasta and pizza (and even desserts on rare occasions), so I decided to go for their classic since it’s my first visit, and ordered the Pizza Margharita. Unlike most places, their pizzas here aren’t overpriced, and my 10-inch pizza set me back S$10 only. 

Close up of pizza crust

I heard that the pizza dough here is made with doppio zero flour—finely ground flour that has a lower gluten content in comparison to most flours and produces the perfect amount of elasticity in a pizza.

Close up of a slice of pizza

Unlike the usual thin-crust, breadstick-looking pizzas one will most likely find in coffeeshops, the pizza here is satisfyingly chewy. It’s generously topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella sans fresh basil leaves and has a lovely charred crust akin to what you’ll find in fancier restaurants. This is one flavourful pie I’d gorge on any day. 

Image of chicken aglio

Over here, they serve up a range of fusion pasta dishes, and as a lover of aglio olio, I went for their Chicken Aglio (S$8). Upon ordering, you’ll have the option of spicy or non-spicy, and I opted for the spicy version. 

Close up of pasta

The Chicken Aglio is served with springy spaghetti tossed in a generous serving of minced chicken and chilli padi, and topped with crisp kai lan. Unlike a regular plate of aglio olio, the combination of Asian flavours gives off an aromatic and robust flavour—definitely catered to the locals.

The Chicken Aglio had me at chilli padi due to my very Asian palate and preference for chilli padi with anything. I couldn’t stop eating it; it was that flavourful. I do have to warn you though if you’re a small eater, you might want to share it with your friend because it comes in a large portion—for me, that is. 

Image of cheesy fries

I was a tad bit disheartened to find out their Truffle Fries (S$5) weren’t available so I went with the next best thing, Cheesy Fries (S$5). Although it didn’t taste any different from what I can get at any good ol’ coffeeshop Western stall, I do have to give these dudes credit for their generous servings.

Not only were the golden-brown fries fried to perfection, but they also came topped with an abundance of cheese—which is lovely for any cheese lover. 

Final thoughts 

Mat Western won me over with their tasty pies, and they also managed to do a great job in encapsulating the essence of fusion flavours in every dish. I was also lucky enough to try their homemade pizza because only a limited amount of it is available each day due to their prep time, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. 

Although I was sad to find out that calzones are no longer available, I will surely be making my way down again to have a go at their mains and burgers. All it takes is experience, hard work, and magic fingers to create superb dishes like the ones I had today. Grazie for the deliziosa meal, men! 

Expected damage: S$5 to S$14 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Mat Western

122 Bedok North Street 2, Block 122, Singapore 460122

Our Rating 4/5

Mat Western

122 Bedok North Street 2, Block 122, Singapore 460122

Operating Hours: 1pm - 9pm (Mon & Wed to Sun) Closed on Tue

Operating Hours: 1pm - 9pm (Mon & Wed to Sun) Closed on Tue
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