Istanblue Mezze & Grill House

July 18, 2015 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Istanblue Mezze & Grill House
17 Baghdad Street

https://www.facebook.com/IstanblueSG


Handcrafted Turkish Kebabs

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7 / 7
Ambience & Setting: 3 / 7
Food & Beverage: 8 / 8
Service: 6 / 6
Value for Money: 9 / 7
Spent about SGD $6 / $25 per person.


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It's irritating when you buy a kebab from the usual pasar malam / night bazaars in Singapore, because more often than not, you're getting bone dry meat, packed loosely within a factory made tortilla, with little taste. Thus, I was happy to discover the Istanblue Mezze & Grill House pop-up stall at the recent Geyland Serai Hari Raya Puasa / Ramadan bazaar in Paya Lebar recently.

Istanblue Mezze & Grill House actually has the longest queue of any kebab stall here. Despite being a pure takeaway stall, Istanblue Mezze & Grill House has taken the trouble to hand make everything on site, from rolling and baking their own dough / tortillas / pita bread, to marinating and slow grilling their chicken and beef meats.

Chefs at Istanblue Mezze & Grill House work quickly and neaty, with the kebabs / pita breads laid out neatly. This enables them to quickly fulfill orders, clearing the queue fast. Despite their efforts though, the great tasting food they offer means the queue remains near constant! You can actually watch the chefs working behind, rolling dough or marinating meat, provided you can stand the heat of the bazaar!

The kebabs and pita breads at Istanblue Mezze & Grill House are excellent, with soft, chewy, fluffy dough. Generously stuffed with marinated meat and fresh vegetables, each bite packs flavour. Portions are decently sized for 1 person, and prices are the same as elsewhere, budget about SGD $6 per person for 1 item. Good value for money, as for the same price, you essentially get a much higher quality kebab!


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The pop-up stall is unmissable, with its central location within the bazaar and large signage, as well as the extremely long queue.

Istanblue Mezze & Grill House Banner


Istanblue Mezze & Grill House Pop-Up Stall



Dough is freshly rolled and baked on-site, which makes a huge difference in taste and texture. The meats, chicken and beef, are marinated on-site as well, and slow roasted till perfection.

Kebab Roll Dough & Pita Bread


Rotisserie Meats


Rotisserie Chicken & Beef


Prep Area


Chef Slicing Meat


Chef Making Bread



The Doner Kebab Roll features that wonderful, hand made on-site flatbread. Stuffed with lettuce, onions, and your choice of meat; either chicken or beef.

Doner Kebab Roll



The Beef Doner Kebab Roll (SGD $6) is tightly packed and decently sized. The beef is savoury and tasty, not too dry with some moisture, much better in quality than the typical kebab at a pasar malam / night bazaar. The vegetables of lettuce and onions are fresh and crunchy, and the sauce is light, not too heavy or cloying. Extremely satisfiying. Highly recommended!

Beef Doner Kebab Roll 01


Beef Doner Kebab Roll 02



The Chicken Doner Kebab Roll (SGD $5) is tightly packed, but rather smaller in portion compared to their other Kebab Roll. At least the chicken is tender, tasty, and slightly moist, which speaks to the good quality of their food! Packed with vegetables, including lettuce, onions, and finished with a light sauce, this makes for a light meal, or a heavy snack! Highly recommended!

Chicken Doner Kebab Roll 01


Chicken Doner Kebab Roll 02



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Update Sep-2015: Finally made it over to the actual outlet of Istanblue Mezze & Grill House! Ambience at Istanblue Mezze & Grill House is decent, clean, blue and white walls offset by colourful pictures of Turkish life. Service at Istanblue Mezze & Grill House is also decent, staff are efficient and food is served quickly, but there isn't much engagement or attention given to diners. Food at Istanblue Mezze & Grill House is still distinctly Turkish / Mediterranean, and portions are quite large, suitable for sharing. Prices are similar to most other casual dining bistro / restaurants, budget about SGD $25 per person for a meal here.

Istanblue Mezze & Grill House Exterior


Istanblue Mezze & Grill House Interior


Table Setting


Istanblue Mezze & Grill House Menu



The Orange Juice (SGD $3.50) here is from a pre-packed carton, but I can taste the orange pulp within.

Orange Juice



The meat-less Dolma (SGD $8.50) appetizer is served chilled, and features vine leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, onions, raisins / sultanas, and herbs. Garnished with lemon wedges and sliced tomato, each bite is refreshingly clean, with a slight sour and bitter taste, mild enough that it doesn't dampen the experience. Decent, though not the best I've had, and may not appeal to everyone.

Dolma 01


Dolma 02


Dolma 03



The Hummus With Turkish Pide Bread (SGD $7.50) is a classic Turkish appetizer, made with a blend of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic, drizzled with olive oil, and served with piping hot, home made, fresh baked Turkish Pide Bread. Absolutely loved the bread, with its fragrant toasted sesame seed aroma! The Hummus is smooth and creamy, yet light in flavour, and completely delicious. Great for spreading over most food in fact!

Hummus With Turkish Pide Bread


Hummus


Turkish Pide Bread



The Lentil Soup (SGD $6.90) is a savoury soup / broth, with a semi-thin, grainy texture from the cooked lentils within. Primarily savoury sweet in taste, due to the addition of fresh tomato, this soup / broth is a perfect appetizer, warm, comforting, and utterly satisfiying. Good!

Lentil Soup 01


Lentil Soup 02



The Sucuk And Egg Pide (SGD $17) combines 2 classic Turkish dishes (Sucuk And Egg, Pide), a meaty, garlic beef sausage, sliced thin, along with onions, tomatoes, eggs, beyaz peynir cheese, baked together on a home-made pide bread. The result is a delicious Turkish breakfast / brunch dish, the crunch of the crisp fragrant pide bread, dotted with white and black sesame seeds, then you get the full savoury, meaty flavour of the sausage and toppings, and the sweetness of the eggs. Very good!

Sucuk And Egg Pide 01


Sucuk And Egg Pide 02


Sucuk And Egg Pide 03



The Beyti Lamb (SGD $19.50) features chunks of tender, savoury grilled minced lamb, wrapped in a Turkish Lavash (a soft, thin, flat bread), along with cheese. Love that the chef has managed to keep the meat savoury, moist, and tender. Named after its inventor Beyti Güler, who created it in 1961, Beyti (the dish) is served with a savoury sweet tomato Bulgur Pilaf (a classic Turkish wheat pilaf), refreshing cucumber yoghurt, freshly grilled tomato and grilled chili. A filling, delicious dish!

Beyti Lamb 01


Beyti Lamb 02


Beyti Lamb 03



The Lamb Shish Kebab With Bulgur Pilaf (SGD $19) was a special request, I changed the normal rice it's served with to the savoury sweet Bulgur Pilaf, which is a traditional Turkish wheat dish flavoured with roasted tomatoes. Served with fresh purple cabbage and lettuce, and grilled tomato and green chili. But the star is the boneless chunks of lamb, grilled on skewers till medium well. While I found the texture to be too firm, taking some effort to even cut through, the inside was moist and juicy. The taste is very good, nice smoky char on the outside, tender and meaty inside, with good lamb flavour, yet isn't gamey in taste. Above average as a dish, would order again!

Lamb Shish Kebab With Bulgur Pilaf 01


Lamb Shish Kebab With Bulgur Pilaf 02


Lamb Shish Kebab With Bulgur Pilaf 03



Loved the classic Turkish Baklava (SGD $10) dessert here, as their version isn't too sweet! The trio of pastries are made with layers of thin, crisp filo pastry, filled with crushed walnuts and pistachio nuts, soaked in syrup. Perfect for sharing, these rich treats are more filling than they look! Highly recommended!

Baklava 01


Baklava 02


Baklava 03



The sweet Apple Tea (SGD $3) is warm, fruity, and rather refreshing. Helps to alleviate the heavy, savoury taste of most Turkish food.

Apple Tea



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