Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Greek Food from Philia near Kampong Glam

MoussakaI don't know Greek food that well; I think that most of my experience with it is contained to boxes of pre-made baklava from Costco and a bunch of mass-produced gyros from random "Greek Festivals" in the US. So I really don't have much of a valid reference point with which to compare this five-month-old place (27 Bali Lane, 6299-3267) to.

But in general, I was impressed with the skills of the kitchen. It was clear from items like the moussaka eggplant casserole and kotopoulo chicken rolls just how careful they were in preparing and timing everything. While the food was a bit too mild for me to get overly excited about in the end, it certainly wasn't bad by any means, and I really respected the effort that they gave. So why was this place completely empty tonight?

Perhaps its self-billing as a "Charismatic Restaurant with Special Greek Cuisine" was one of the problems. It was almost as if it were trying to be one of those cult-following places (like Azhang) where maybe the Greek food was meant to be only one part of the experience. And with Italian pasta on the menu too, it was suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. Even from a physical perspective, it didn't look like a restaurant. It looked like a bar/lounge before you realized that the dining room was upstairs, away from view. So to quick passers-by, it didn't even seem like it was serving food.

The odd location further compounded the problem. Tucked away in a small one-way street (don't try parking there...try the Golden Landmark Hotel instead), it was hard to notice, and I only discovered it because I was randomly walking by there on my way to Nadezhda from the bus stop the other day. Well, even if I wasn't that aroused by the mild taste of the food, the quality of it suggested to me that the kitchen had the potential to crank out a few winners (and they were very friendly from a service perspective too). Maybe I'll try the souvlaki next time.


Anonymous said...

hello there! i'd like to invite you for a food tasting session..could you please let me know your email add? my email add is findjuliana@gmail.com Thank yOu!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog everyday and was hoping you'd put a review on Philia. Its one of my favourite places to go to. Great food,great ambience and excellant staff. Do go back again and try the other stuff on the menu..guarantee you won't be dissapointed!Don't we food lovers travel anywhere for great food?Distance or location isnt a deterrent for foodies! =)

Anonymous said...


You totally rock! I'm a United 747 Captain on a layover in Singapore and looking for a good place to eat chili crabs. I've been on Bourdain's website but his links in Singapore are messed up and Vancouver pops up.

Thanks for the tips - hope to have you on a flight some day.

Garry K.


Nic said...

Philia doesnt appear to be open any more. I rang the number and was told is a Arab resturant but serves mustaka... :(