The Arab Street precinct offers several Middle Eastern restaurants. I generally tend to go to an old favourite. On this particular evening, a friend of mine and I decided to give one of the other restaurants a go. We had always walked past Derwish in the past – a Turkish restaurant in the street in front of the Sultan Mosque – but ended up going to the establishment directly in front of it.

We were very pleasantly surprised.

The Ambience, Service and Staff

Derwish is an unassuming restaurant in an area that is home to several backpacker hostels sprinkled among Middle Eastern Restaurants. It is housed in a former shop house and has a mannequin of a whirling dervish outside the restaurant. You cannot miss it. Restaurants in this area do have staff who will beckon you to enter their establishment.

Derwish has both an indoor airconditioned area, and an outdoor alfresco area. We chose to eat indoors. We hadn’t made any reservations and walked in. We were promptly seated in a roomy table. The restaurant was fairly busy on the evening that we visited – it was a Tuesday night – and it was quite noisy indoors.

The staff promptly took our order and brought out our starters – the hummus and pita bread – following our drinks.

On the day, the staff and the kitchen were struggling to keep up with the orders. There was a very large group of office workers who were meeting who kept the orders coming.

The staff were conscious that our food was taking a while, and were very considerate to offer us another round of hummus and pita bread while we waited.

The Food

We ordered some hummus with lavash, karisik kebab for 2, and the lamb pide. We also ordered a watermelon juice and a mango smoothie for our drinks.

The portions are very generous, and the quality of the food is excellent.

The lavash was freshly baked and hot, lending a sense of comfort in every bite. The hummus was smooth and was a perfect accompaniment to the bread.

The kebab platter had a selection of minced lamb, beef cubes and chicken, and came with rice and salads.

The Lamb Pide was dense and very filling.

In hindsight, we probably ordered more than what we should have, and struggled to finish our meal.

The Price Point

We ended up paying a little over $120 for this meal. When you take into account the fact that we had the starters, and the drinks and the pide, this is reasonable, but slightly on the pricey side.

The Final Verdict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Derwish offered us a hearty meal, and ensured that we were well fed with no room left for dessert. The interior of this restaurant does get noisy. On a cool night, alfresco dining is definitely an option and something that I will recommend. It’s a great place to meet up with friends for a casual meal.

60 Bussorah St, Singapore 199476.
Phone: +65 6298 8986.