Modern cities are built upon the backs of hard-working immigrants. Scratch the surface of any major metropolis and you’ll find hundreds, sometimes thousands, of stories of people, driven by dreams, who packed up their lives and crossed oceans and borders to start new lives. Too often, we look down upon these new arrivals. But their determination, their aspirations, their perseverance, and their strength are often the foundations upon which the cities we live in are built.
Suat and Safak, brothers, and Mehmet, their uncle, moved to Singapore from Antalya, Turkey, in February this year. It wasn’t their first trip here though. They’ve been visiting Singapore annually since 2001. Having fallen in love with the tropical island-nation over the past half-decade, they came here hoping to open a successful Turkish restaurant. Once here though, the three relatives had a hard time finding an affordable and centrally-located space for their dream restaurant. They eventually settled on a small space in Peace Centre and instead of offering the full compliment of foods that Mehmet, an experienced chef, could create, decided instead to start small.
from left to right: Mehmet, Safak and Suat
Sultan Kebab opened in June 2006. They offer a tiny but well-executed (fast-food) menu. There are only 4 kebab-based items, each available with either chicken or beef. Choose between a sandwich, a roll, a rice with meat dish, or an iskender kebab (which is meat basted in tomato sauce and slathered with melted butter and yogurt). The dishes are also extremely reasonable; the sandwiches and rolls are S$5 each, the rice and meat dishes are S$7, and the iskender kebabs are just S$7.50.
S and I first tried the kebab rolls here about a month ago. Since then, we’ve become big fans of Sultan Kebab. I am especially impressed that the ingredients here are fresh. Sadly, many kebab places around the world use factory-made and processed hunks of meat. At Sultan Kebab, however, Mehmet prepares his kebabs daily. I’ve watched him make them, transfering good-looking and freshly-marinated cuts of chicken and beef onto his skewers.
If you’re looking for a good, quick and affordable bite (and are kind of sick of hitting BK or MickeyD’s) then swing over to Sultan Kebab. The guys are really friendly and are well worth your support. Right now, they are over here on their own. They hope that in a year or so, they can afford to bring over some more family members. And if Sultan Kebab is a success, they still plan to open up a gorgeous, gourmet restaurant. I hope they achieve their goal. I’d love to see what else Mehmet can do in a kitchen.
1 Sophia Road
#01-15 Peace Centre
Tel: +65 6338 8750
Open daily from 11am until, as Safak says, “the meat runs out”