Best Food Singapore – Murtabak
Devouring murtabak at Zam Zams in Singapore was high on my list of ‘must-eat’s’. After seeing it featured and highly recommended on Mark Wiens Youtube series on Singapore food, I knew that this was one dish that I could not miss!
Indian food is one of my favourite international cuisines. My dad was a sous chef in an Indian restaurant, and the flavours have stuck with him which meant that I was basically raised on rice and curries! In Singapore there is a vibrant Indian community, so there are plenty of delicious food options available. You can read about my Indian curry delight at the Banana Leaf Apolo here!
Although I’m familiar with most Indian dishes, murtabak was something new to me. A delicious dish that I’ve never experienced. There was no way I was leaving Singapore without trying this iconic dish, and Zam Zams was supposedly ‘the place’ to try it.
Happily we made it to Zam Zam’s one sweltering afternoon after hours of exploring the local area. The air conditioning is an instant relief as we sat down to order. I couldn’t go past the chicken murtabak, so we ordered a large to share. As soon as we arrived I knew we were in for a treat.
You know that weird feeling when you know that a dish is going to taste amazing, then the joy when it actually looks insanely delicious too? Thats was how I felt when this arrived at our table. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it looked.
Layers of crispy buttery naan pastry are cooked over a hot grill giving them a superb charcoal, golden, flakey appearance. The murtabak is then cut into chunks, so you can see the delicious filling bursting out. Chunks of succulent chicken, folds of egg and sweet onions were loaded with spices to give it an orange glow.
The murtabak comes served with a bowl of thick rice chicken curry. Struggling to identify what type to sauce it was I asked our waiter. Hilariously he said ‘It’s chicken’ very matter-of-factly. Well duh! The sauce was a buttery and spicy which paired perfectly with the murtabak. The sauce still remains a mystery!
With the first bite the layers of pastry give an initial crunch followed by a delicious chewy texture. Juicy and packed with flavour the chicken is perfectly complimented by the sweet tang and crunch of the onions. The just-set fluffy egg gives the dish lightness and creaminess. The murtabak is so flavourful on its own, but reaches a higher level of deliciousness when liberally coated with the curry sauce.
How it’s made
On our way out of the restaurant I stopped to watch the chefs in the kitchen. There is an open window on the street front where you can watch them artfully create these beauties. The dough is made by the chefs then rolled into perfect serving sized balls. When an order is place the chef begins working the dough and stretching it out. Cracking an egg onto the dough they quickly whisk it to cover most of the surface area. Pre-cooked meat and lashings of onion are scattered on top. The chef carefully folds the edges into a rectangular shape, carefully to make sure the fragile dough doesn’t brake. The murtabuk is then places onto an oiled grill plate where it is cooked through.
Watching the chefs prepare the murtabak was fascinating. I could have stood there for hours watching these chefs.
The murtabak at Zam Zams is a perfect ‘anytime’ meal. The dish is large enough for a full meal, not to mention it’s rather filling! It’s also an ideal snack to share. This was one dish that I was so happy to eat! I sat there smiling whilst devouring the entire plate. I would fly back to Singapore simply for this dish! Murtabak at Zam Zam’s is truly some of the best food you’ll find in Singapore.
Have you been to Singapore? What was your favourite dish there?
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