Walking into 73 Amoy Street is almost like stepping into Greece – even if just for dinner. Two white wooden doors and a potted olive tree fronts the restaurant; inside, white-washed wooden walls and ultramarine blue cushions that line white stone seats add a cosy dimension to the airy spaciousness the high cavernous ceilings brings.
Sure, part of us wishes the restaurant didn’t model its interiors after Santorini – a beautiful if not overly photographed city on everyone’s bucket list – but it’s done up so well that we’re willing to look past this.
Besides, the food here is delicious. Dishes follow the style of Greece’s capital state Athens as “it is more palatable”, and resembles a cross between Italian and Turkish cuisine. “People tend to think of Greek food as just kebabs, but we share a lot of similarities with both Turkey and Italy,” says Leong Khai Git, general manger of Alati.
Leong was formerly executive chef at Dibs restaurant and bar, which serves modern food with a local take. The 31-year-old is now restaurateur together with two Greek businessmen he met through a friend. Athen-born chef Soutsos Dimitrios rounds up the team as executive chef. The choice was between opening in Athens or Singapore, and the team picked the latter. A smart move, going by the numbers on a Thursday night. It’s just hitting half-past seven, but nearly all 58 seats in here are already taken.
A good way to start is to order up a platter of mixed dips with warm pita bread triangles. There’s fava (bean puree), tarmosalata (salted cod roe cream), tzatziki yogurt and a smoked eggplant with walnut to choose from, though our favourite is the unassuming pale pink cod roe cream that has an addictive briny finish.
Another starter, the fyllo-wrapped feta, is one we really should have saved for dessert but just couldn’t stop sneaking in forkful after forkful. A generous block of feta is wrapped snugly in layers of crisp flaky pastry, then drizzled with Greek (naturally) honey and a light smatter of sesame seeds for that bit of crunch. It’s dense, it’s rich, and it’s irresistible.