In the quiet neighborhood of Bukit Timah area, stems a new restaurant Roots Mediterranean who’s concept revolve around a great selection of Spanish, Greek and Italian dishes.
We paid a visit on a Saturday night to find the vibrant restaurant packed with customers enjoying drinks and savoring interesting dishes. Dinner started with an interesting shot of OUZO which is a dry anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus. The very strong aperitif interestingly changes color when added into water.
We had a great selection of interesting dips which was great for sharing. Starting with the beloved Tzatziki(8SGD) Greek dip, Yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. The freshness of the cucumber dip paves the pave for the mains to come.
We also tried the Tirokafteri(SGD10) -yoghurt, feta cheese and chilli. A spicy and cheesy dip that went well with the warm toasted bread.
The Hummus(SGD8) is easily one of the most iconic Middle Eastern dip made with chick peas cream with sesame paste. This was one of our favorite dips with the nuttiness of the chick peas and sesame.
Our least favorite was the Melinzano Salata(SGD8) Roasted eggplant dip with lemon, extra virgin olive oil and parsley. The dip was a tad blend and paled in comparison with the other dips.
The Garides Saganaki(SGD18) Sauté prawns cooked in a slightly spicy tomato sauce and topped with feta cheese was packed full of flavor. Each mouthful was bursting with the tangy tomato and crumbly feta cheese accompanied with a creaminess.
The Croquettas de Jamon Y Queso(SGD8) crisp fried breaded ham & cheese croquettes was another good sharing dish. The croquettes similar to those Japanese ones was stuffed generous with velvety potato and the ham and cheese gave each bite a balanced saltiness.
For truffle lovers, consider the Crosquettas de Trufa instead. A truffle twist to the classic Spanish croquettes which was equally good.
The Octopus Gallego(SGD18) is Roots Mediterranean’s version of the Spanish classic comprising Octopus chunks, oven-warmed potatoes and seasoned with smoked paprika and extra virgin olive oil. The tenderness of the octopus was unlike any other restaurants we have dined at.
We also tried the Gambas Ajillio(SGD15) Sauté prawns with smoked paprika, fried garlic and parsley. The smoked paprika and garlic went well with the fresh prawns.
Gratinated Mussels(SGD18) The crispy baked mussels stuffed with a tasty mix of breadcrumbs, spices, parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. We loved the crunch from the breadcrumbs and built contrast against the soft mussels.
Papas Bravas(SGD8) – Baked Potatoes topped with Spanish spicy dip
Mains(Pasta, Risotto, Pizzas)
For mains we tried the Spaghetti Frutti Di Mare(SGD28) The al dente spaghetti with fresh Italian datterini tomatoes, mixed seafood, basil and a touch of fresh chilli was very enticing dish. The fresh chilli opened up our appetite and we craved more with each mouth. The crunchy prawns were really fresh and we could taste the seafood sweetness.
We loved the Spaghetti Carbonara(SGD20) for those who did not know, there is no cream in the traditional carbonara. The original way is to use crispy bacon, egg yolk, pecorino cheese and black peppers to taste.
The Risotto Porcini Mushrooms(SGD24) made with Carnaroli rice, porcini mushroom, parmesan, butter and parsley was a tad salty but overall a nice al dente rice dish.
The highlight for the night went to the 1 metre long pizzas (25cm:SGD18, 50cm:SGD26, 1 metre:SGD$50) ! The pizza dough here are freshly made and has a good chew to each bite. Here are some choices
The Burrata and Parm was our favorite with confit cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, Parma ham, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil. The good quality Parma ham had just the right amount of saltiness balanced out with the fresh cheery tomatoes and burrata cheese.
The Capricciosa was also a good choice with tomato sauce, mushroom, pork ham, green olives, artichoke. The interesting artichoke was tender and brought a slightly earthly flavor to the pizza.
For those who are vegan consider the Parmigiana with tomato sauce, fried eggplant, mozzarella, parmesan, fresh basil or the Greek with tomato sauce, feta cheese, kalamata olives, oregano, cherry tomatoes. I believe key to a good pizza is to taste individual flavors and marry well. The Greek pizza did just that with it’s simple ingredients.
Fan of Ravioli can choose from the Black Ink Giganti Smoked Salmon(SGD24) with ricotta cheese and smoked salmon.
There are plenty of vegan options include Half Moon Ricotta Spinaci(SGD20) stuff with traditional ricotta cheese and spinach, Cappellacci Pumpkin(SGD20) and Lunette Truffle(SGD24) filled with cheese and black truffle.
All the raviolis are served with a tomato base and are of great quality.
We ended our dinner with desserts that came on an elegant platter – Rootless Dessert Platter (SGD32 for 2 persons), Chocolate Mousse Cake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Mango Sorbet, Profiterole, Chocolate éclair Yiaurti – Authentic Greek yoghurt topped with honey and walnuts(Items are available on a rotational basis)
We felt that the platter was a good option for high tea or looking for a perfect end to your meal, a visit to Roots Mediterranean is not complete without trying at least one of these mouthwatering sweets.
Located within the restaurant is also a little shop selling epicurean cheese, wines and cured meats.
Roots Mediterranean is truly a gem hidden in Bukit Timah and is now our brand new go to place for Mediterranean and Italian food. Each dish is made with great care and the chef and the crew stay true to the roots of the dishes.