Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, casual eatery Miznon brings Israeli street food to Singaporean diners with its first outlet in Asia. Here, you will find fluffy, fresh pitas stuffed to the brim with beef, lamb, chicken and vegetables. While not everything was a hit, there’s plenty of good eats to be had.
The highly-acclaimed casual eatery Miznon opened its doors to Singapore diners last November, bringing a slice of Israeli cuisine to our shores. As its first outlet in Asia, the cosy establishment is located along Stanley Street, and is established by Chef Eyal Shani, who is considered somewhat an Israeli food hero. Shani, aside from being a judge on MasterChef Israel, is regarded by famed restaurateur and chef Yotam Ottolenghi as “the voice of modern Israeli cuisine”.
His foray into Singapore marks his 11th outlet, aside from the 10 already established across Vienna, Paris, New York, and Melbourne. The Singapore outlet is headed by Israeli native Chef Or Hakmimi. Here, you will find whimsical iterations of the humble pita, as well as sides that are conjured with good ingredients, consummate culinary skills, a touch of showmanship, and presented with the brand’s characteristic lively and boisterous flair. If anything, the upbeat, jazzy music playing in the background adds to the outlet’s bustling, friendly atmosphere.
However, where it really shines is in its offering of 11 different filled pitas, a quintessential Israeli street food that hits all the right spots for something healthy and filling, simple and tasty. It may appear humble and unassuming at first glance, but bite into one of these magically fluffy pitas and your mind will be changed. The pitas comprise a proprietary mix of different flours, and how they are made is a closely-kept secret.
However, I don’t really need to know how the details behind Miznon’s rendition: a fragrant, savoury and nutty pita complemented by a soft, fluffy and slightly chewy texture — reminiscent of the apam balik in texture. It is unusual — as we are more acquainted with the floury, somewhat dry pita bread we often see — but the bouncy texture is delightful and highly enjoyable, and I honestly could eat these plain.
Aside from the fillings, inside each pita is also the ubiquitous tahini, which is imported from a small town in the mountainous region of Israel. It is apparently a secret recipe on which Chef Or puts his own special spin; whatever it is, I like it.
Now to the different varieties of fillings: First, there is a nod to the French classic, Ratatouille ($17), which is meatless. It comprises hard-boiled eggs, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, carrot and onion stew. The vegetables are first air-fried to remove excess moisture, then baked in a tomato sauce until creamy and almost jamlike, and crowned with chilled tahini and a housemade green chilli dressing for heat.
Then there is the more-ish Chicken Liver ($18) which offers charred chicken livers in a pita, alongside chopped spring onions and onions, a nice contrast to the buttery livers, cool tahini, green chilli dressing and more spring onions.
One variety which has definitely become a firm favourite is the Steak & Egg ($21), which is stuffed with thin slices of sirloin steak seared on high heat for just a minute. A touch of sour cream and luscious yolk from a fried egg completes the pita, along with slices of tomato, onion, and Japanese cucumber for freshness.
A treat for meat lovers, the Abu Kebab ($24) offers lamb and beef meatballs with homemade salsa, tangy pickles, generous drizzle of tahini, green chilli dressing, onions and parsley.
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Now, to be perfectly honest, some may find that the fillings inside these pitas are somewhat under-seasoned. This holds true for the rest of Miznon’s offerings, but especially their Baby Cauliflower Flower ($16), which is a whole cauliflower, still nestled within its leaves, roasted in the oven at high temperature to give it a charred crust with a tender and creamy interior.
I absolutely loved the cauliflower, although others have found it plain and tasteless, as it is lightly seasoned with just olive oil and some salt.
To this, I will admit that one’s mileage may vary; I myself favour light-handedness when it comes to seasoning, preferring subtle flavours which let the taste of the ingredients shine through.
I also sampled the The Intimate ($24), tender beef short ribs braised for four hours in Miznon’s homemade root stew of celeriac and carrot. The comforting dish is accompanied by the usual tahini, green chilli dressing, onion and pickles. Here, again, I find it is underseasoned, but it is tender and the other accompaniments make up for it.
There is also the Hraime ($26), a Barramundi fillet braised in a Moroccan-style stew with garlic, paprika, cumin and harissa; fermented red chilli. The stew is served in a skillet straight from the oven and served with a side of pita, tahini, green chilli dressing and cilantro; and it is marvellous when dipped with the pita.
Overall, Miznon, I find, is bound to divide diners. Personally, I liked the freshness of everything on offer, and the pitas themselves are marvellous. But for those looking for exciting flavours and bold tastes, perhaps Miznon is not quite it — it is simple, subtle and fresh street food done well.
6 Stanley St, #01-01,
Tel: +65 6223 0716
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Saturday
11am to 11pm