Zuzu Kebab: True-blue Turkish hawker single-handedly serves amazing kebabs & butter rice in Serangoon

Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre is packed with yummy hawker stalls, but there was one in particular that has stood out to me for a long time. Zuzu Kebab, with its bright blue signboard and snaking queues, is a Muslim-owned Turkish hawker stall that offers authentic Middle-Eastern food such as kebabs, burritos, butter rice and so much more.

Zuzu Kebab 02 - storefront

There are a couple of reasons why Zuzu Kebab impressed me from the get-go. 

All its orders are made fresh on the spot, and the entire stall is single-handedly manned by a true-blue Turkish chef, who tirelessly juggles between taking orders, slicing freshly cooked meat from the vertical rotisserie in true shawarma-style, cutting vegetables, preparing orders, and serving them up to waiting customers. 

I mean, it’s already hard enough to run a stall in a bustling hawker centre such as Serangoon Garden Market & Food Centre, let alone do it single-handedly. 

And for a one-man show, its menu is quite extensive, offering pita bread, baked pasta and rice, moussaka, babaganoush, falafel, kunefe and even beyti, a traditional Turkish kebab made with ground meat wrapped in a pastry!

Zuzu Kebab - storefront

Because of the limited manpower, Zuzu Kebab is well-known for its long queues and waiting times. During dinner time or on weekends, waiting times are said to average out to about an hour!

I decided to try my luck on a weekday and dropped by for lunch. With only four people in front of me, I counted myself fortunate and patiently waited for my food.

It is worth noting that the entire process of queuing, ordering and waiting for your food is a bit of an organised mess. The hardworking Turkish chef takes two to three orders at one time, and after placing your order, you’re asked to wait by the side. No buzzer or queue number is given, but the stall owner recognises each customer and signals that their food is ready with a ring of a bell.

What I tried at Zuzu Kebab

Zuzu Kebab 05 - chicken kebab

I got the Kebab Wrap with Chicken (S$8), and was instantly stunned by how hefty it was. 

This was one stuffed baby, filled to the brim with freshly shaved grilled chicken, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, crunchy onions, and a variety of homemade sauces. Topping it off was a toasted tortilla, and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

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Zuzu Kebab 04 - chicken kebab

Okay, but how do I even begin devouring Zuzu Kebab’s impressive kebab? The external paper-like sheet stuck to the tortilla skin, making it difficult to remove. After much manoeuvring, I ended up making a small tear and worked my way around the kebab, bite by bite.

Zuzu Kebab 12 - chicken kebab

If there’s one thing you need to try at Zuzu Kebab, this is it. 

Each bite was a literal burst of flavour, with mouthwatering juices coming from the grilled chicken, tomatoes, lettuce and accompanying sauces. The hero, of course, were the insanely generous juicy chunks of chicken, complete with addictive charred bits, that made the kebab so delicious that I couldn’t put it down. Everything came together in a hearty and scrumptious way that rendered me wordless for a minute or two. 

Just based on the amount of ingredients that the Turkish chef had packed into the kebab, it was a wonder that he even managed to successfully wrap it all in the first place. Zuzu Kebab has officially spoiled kebabs for me (no more pasar malam or commercial kebabs!), and this was completely worth the S$8 price tag.

Zuzu Kebab - butter rice

Out of the other dishes on Zuzu Kebab’s menu, the Asian in me decided to order one rice-based item— Butter Rice with Beef (S$10).

The hefty beef slices formed a small mountain and covered the butter rice, so much so that I could only see peeks of the rice from underneath. It came with freshly chopped vegetables and a mint yoghurt sauce.

Zuzu Kebab - butter rice

The rice was light and fluffy, with a good amount of other ingredients such as corn, carrots and peas. I loved it that the inclusion of butter made each spoonful of rice all the more moist and indulgent.

Zuzu Kebab - beef

Given how thinly they had been sliced, I was worried that the beef slices would be too dry, but they were surprisingly juicy and flavourful. Some pieces were indeed drier than others, but I attributed it to their cut, and paired it with the buttered rice for that indulgent finish.

Zuzu Kebab 09 - vegetables

One thing I truly appreciated about Zuzu Kebab’s salad was how refreshing it was. The fresh bites of lettuce and juicy bits of tomato really helped to balance out the savouriness from the beef slices. Plus, the addition of sliced olives added that umami and savoury note to tie the entire meal together.

Zuzu Kebab 10 - butter rice with beef

Together with the deliciously savoury and buttery rice, this made for a dish that I couldn’t put down. Literally. I found myself holding onto my plastic spoon, digging into my next spoonful of butter rice and thinly sliced beef, reluctant to put the spoon down, even if it were to return to the Chicken Kebab. Consider me officially sold. 

Final thoughts

Zuzu Kebab 03 - chicken kebab and beef butter rice

The food at Zuzu Kebab was worth the wait. 

I absolutely loved the hefty Chicken Kebab Wrap and would definitely return for this, even if I wasn’t in the Serangoon area. As for the Beef Butter Rice, despite the slight dryness from the occasional beef slice, I thoroughly enjoyed the silky butteriness of the fluffy rice, and absolutely appreciated how well-rounded each bite was, especially when coupled with the fresh and crunchy salad.

This was exceptionally phenomenal when considering that the Turkish chef at Zuzu Kebab handled all of this by himself, and at peak hour too! 

Regardless of whether there’s a humongous queue or not, I look forward to returning to try Zuzu Kebab’s other dishes (I had been eyeing the Hummus (S$9) but simply didn’t have the stomach space for it), be it with a dining companion or two.

Expected damage: S$8 – S$15 per pax

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Our Rating: 5 / 5

Zuzu Kebab

49A Serangoon Garden Way, Serangoon Garden Market, #01-32, Singapore 555945

Our Rating 5/5

Zuzu Kebab

49A Serangoon Garden Way, Serangoon Garden Market, #01-32, Singapore 555945

Operating Hours: 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 9pm (Sun to Thu), 12pm - 9pm (Sat), Closed on Fri

Operating Hours: 12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 9pm (Sun to Thu), 12pm - 9pm (Sat), Closed on Fri