There’s truly nothing more enjoyable than staying up until midnight with a group of friends, having a late-night supper at a casual eatery. Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant, a Muslim-owned diner in Geylang, provides a menu full of comfort food in large portions for customers to stave off the night time munchies.
I visited Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant on a Saturday evening, and was greeted by a cosy space with images of their dishes plastered on the walls. The restaurant was managed by a young 22-year-old lady, who had taken over the business from her mother.
With a selection of dishes, including murtabak, roti john, nasi goreng and mee goreng, we were spoilt for choice.
What I tried at Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant
We started off with one of Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant’s titular murtabak dishes, the Chicken Murtabak Cheese. We ordered the smallest plate, which cost S$13.
The murtabak came with stretchy cheese, chicken meat and egg within its prata layers and although we ordered the smallest serving, we were pleased to receive a rather sizeable portion of murtabak.
The murtabak was on the doughier side, and the surface wasn’t as crispy as I would have liked. However, I enjoyed the contrasting flavours and textures of the murtabak fillings. The cheese was stretchy and chewy while the egg was soft.
The chicken was nicely seasoned and slightly spicy, well complemented by the salty and gooey cheese. There were also bits of onions inside, which gave the murtabak a nice crunchy texture and fragrance.
The curry sauce was mild with a light spicy kick. With a slightly watery texture, it gave the murtabak a bit more spice and saltiness.
Overall, it wasn’t the best murtabak I’ve tried, but it still left me feeling very satisfied.
Next, we had the Roti John Beef Cheese (S$7) which was essentially a sandwich with cheese, egg and a beef patty within two layers of soft buttered bread. A plate of chilli sauce and mayonnaise was served on the side. This was the first time that both my dining companion and I tried roti john, and we enjoyed it.
The Roti John Beef Cheese was filled with enough cheese to provide a glorious cheese pull. The cheese itself tasted a bit like common processed cheese sold in supermarkets, but it was still satisfying enough.
The bread impressed me the most as it was nicely buttered and toasted such that it was a little crispy on the surface while being incredibly soft on the inside. Bread lovers won’t be disappointed by this!
The actual beef element of Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant’s Roti John Beef Cheese was a little disappointing. I had been expecting chunks of beef meat, but instead, I found that there was just a layer of processed beef patty, similar to those sold in the frozen section of supermarkets. The patty didn’t have a strong beefy taste and was easily drowned out by the other elements.
Despite that, the roti john was still really tasty, especially when dipped into the chilli sauce and mayonnaise. Personally I would have liked if the sauces were drizzled inside the buns for a more even distribution.
Finally, we ended off with the Nasi Goreng Fried Chicken (S$7), which came with a portion of nasi goreng, vegetables, and a large piece of fried chicken.
The nasi goreng rice was pretty flavourful and soft. It tasted a bit like shrimp paste, and had an aftertaste that reminded me of beans. Generally, I found that the rice was tasty enough to be eaten on its own, though I wouldn’t say it was the best nasi goreng I’ve had.
The piece of fried chicken was large, and I found the chicken meat to be tender enough to pull apart with my fork. However, I could tell that the chicken wasn’t freshly fried as the skin was not crispy or crunchy. Though the fried aspect of the chicken was a tad disappointing, the meat was nicely seasoned and the size justified the price.
My dining companion and I were stuffed by the time we finished our meal. Though the food at Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant did not blow me away completely, I was still impressed by the large portion sizes and both of us had a very satisfying meal.
Given how Marhaba Murtabak Restaurant is open until 12am, if you’re ever in the Geylang area and are in need of a late-night supper spot, I’d recommend dropping by for a quick bite.
Expected damage: S$5 – S$20 per pax
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