Are we in Singapore or Santorini? It’s hard to tell when perched at one of the outdoor riverside tables at Zorba The Greek Taverna, the national colours of blue and white at every turn. Longer-term expats may recall this restaurant when it was located next door here. Now it has returned to the recently rejuvenated Clarke Quay and it’s a very happy homecoming. 

By day, Zorba operates as a charming cafe, offering Mediterranean brunch favourites such as Shakshuka, Greek coffee, and avocado toast with cherry tomato confit, feta cheese, and a pomegranate and balsamic glaze – so far, so Greek. As night falls, it transforms into a bistro serving authentic cuisine crafted meticulously by a team led by a Greek chef. From tantalising mezes to the sizzling perfection of grilled meats and fish, each dish is a testament to Zorba’s commitment to authentic dishes and exquisite flavours.

During a sunny Saturday afternoon, we dived into various items from the menu. In true Med-style, we started with the Dips Platter (S$28), featuring a medley of Tzatziki, Hummus, Tirokafteri, and Taramasalata, accompanied by the warmest, fluffiest pita bread this side of Athens.

No Greek feast is complete without Moussaka, and being a signature dish here, we opted for the beef version. Being a filling dish, we were pleased with the portion size which allowed us to indulge, but also leave room for what was to come. The harmonious balance between the different layers of minced beef, eggplant and potato was spot on; it tasted juicy, hearty and homely. Next, we savoured the Htapothy Sti Shkara, or the more commonly known grilled marinated Gilmar octopus. It was served to perfection in terms of char and texture, and showcased the mastery of simplicity.

Taste sensations kept coming in the shape of the Mixed Grilled Platter (small S$78 / large S$108), featuring Lamb Gyro, Chicken Souvlaki, Duroc Pork Chop, Chips, Baby Salad, and Tzatziki. Each meat piece was a juicy, gorgeously grilled delight. 

While Zorba boasts a few signature dishes, focusing on just one or two would be a disservice – here you have to do as the locals would do and go large. Having recently travelled to Greece, this meal served as a journey down memory lane. Surrounded by platters, people, and the internal promise of a postprandial nap, you can fool yourself into thinking you’re on a holiday in the Hellenic Republic.

Being the weekend, we indulged in a couple of Zorba’s cocktail signatures ($20), each one named after a Greek god. Bottles of the famous Greek lager, Mythos, is available too. We also welcomed the chance to hang out with some furry friends: Zorba’s pet-friendly environment is reminiscent of the relaxed and inclusive dining culture in ‘real life’ Greece. Sadly for them though, the food was too good to share. 

VERDICT: Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur of Mediterranean cuisine or a newcomer eager to explore, Zorba’s dishes promise a fantastic culinary experience. The vibrant flavours take you through authentic recipes and invoke many memories. With confidence, I can say that Zorba is my top Greek restaurant destination in Singapore.

Zorba The Greek Taverna
 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay Block A ORA 1, 179020