Note that much of this post was written after my first visit to the old Fill-a-Pita back in March 2015. I recently visited the slick new outlet in Nankin Row (address details below) and I’ve updated the post with pictures of Koshari Rice and new pricing. All new text is in italics.
There is one kind of food that Singapore can’t seem to get its head around. Middle Eastern food. Given that there’s a whole precinct dedicated to all things Arab and Middle Eastern you’d think that there’d be no end of good options to choose from. My personal experiences though have been decidedly disappointing. Aside from the fact that many Middle Eastern restaurants in the Arab Quarter do not serve alcohol (I may sound desperate but I really find it a bit annoying not being able to enjoy a glass of wine if I’m out with friends at a nice dinner) there also seem to be a number that are either too lazy or just don’t care enough to bother offering good food and good service. I guess it’s because it’s a touristy area and there’s a view that there won’t be much repeat business.
What is most annoying is that the area is so vibrant, and has so many good bars and music venues, but you just can’t seem to get a good meal. Anyway, I’m working my way through a list of recommendations in the Arab Street area so hopefully I’ll be able to put together a decent Middle Eastern post some time soon.
In the meantime I bring you, drumroll please, Fill-a-Pita. I love Fill-a-Pita. I’ve written about Fill-a-Pita before as a healthy lunch time option in the CBD area but having recently revisited I was reminded just what a hearty and satisfying meal you can get here. And it’s all vegetarian. But don’t let that put you off if you’re a meat lover – the food is absolutely hearty and satisfying.
My favourite is the fava bean pita ($8), an awesome combo of cooked fava beans with crunchy red cabbage, tomato, tahina sauce and just the right amount of chilli sauce (I ask for medium).
Hassan who owns Fill-a-Pita is dedicated to ensuring that high quality ingredients are used in all his products. So the pita bread used now is just the right consistency to hold your meal together whilst you munch through the generously sized portion for lunch. You’ll also find that most options are suitable for vegans or can be made suitable and there are gluten free options as well.
Recently I had a chance to try the Koshari Brown Rice. Every Thursday and Friday this Egyptian concoction of Thai organic red brown rice, lentils, macaroni and spicy red pepper sauce is served at Fill-a-Pita. The Koshari is often sold out by as early as 1pm so you need to get there early if you want guaranteed enjoyment. I couldn’t believe how hearty the rice was, it seriously tasted like a rich bolognaise sauce. You can opt for a half size serve ($5) or a full size ($8), I went for half and added olives to it with a side of coriander hummus and bread ($10 in total). Note that the sauce is pretty spicy, so the addition of hummus takes the edge off nicely. Below you can read more about my previous visits to Fill-a-Pita.
The falafel pita ($9) is also good, falafels are a good size and if you really want to pig out you can order extra falafels. My one try of the falafel did result in a bit of a mess with the bread self destructing before I had a chance to finish but now that the bread has changed I think this will have improved.
Fill-a-Pita also offer sides like hummus, coriander hummus, taboulleh salad and mixed salads with or without falafels. It’s a simple menu but it’s packed with flavoursome options to suit the hungriest of city workers and you can mix and match your options.
The space is a little tricky to find, it’s on Nankin Row, the foodie street that runs between China Street and South Bridge Road, wander along and you’ll find Fill-a-Pita slightly closer to the China Street end. You will have to wait a few minutes for your pita, everything is prepared as it’s ordered, there’s no case of food sitting around to get soggy or lacklustre, it’s all perky fresh and worth the wait every time. Also, the new space is air conditioned so it’s a much ‘cooler’ experience than the previous location.
Note that the prices I’ve listed here include gst (there is no service charge but you could leave a tip if you like 🙂 ).
Note that Fill-a-Pita is cash only.
3 Pickering Street, China Square Central
#01-29 Nankin Row, Singapore
phone +65 9835 1446
Open 11.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 12pm to 3pm Saturday