The image of an elephant leg-sized worth of closely layered chicken meat slowly spit-roasted and freshly carved into slivers is what most people think of as filling for pita bread pockets.

But Pita Pan has turned this Mediterranean staple vegetarian, and that hasn’t made their offering boring, leafy or tasteless as non-vegetarians are apt to presume.

In fact, enough people enjoy this switch that the bistro opened its second outlet at nearby Marina Square last month. This happened just 16 months after it first introduced at Marina Bay Sands.

The 60-seater casual eatery is often patronized by white-collar workers, so customers can choose to have their pita pockets (the most popular item on the menu) on the go.

[insert photo of restaurant]

Create your own Pita Pocket (from $7.90 to $13.90) with up to 35 salads and 6 sauces at the salad counter.

Pita with only vegetables may sound bland, but Pita Pan gives you the option of having either vegetarian Shawarma (newly-added to the menu) or Falafel in their pita pockets.

If you like the sweetness of fresh vegetables that go well with meat (or mock meat, in this case), you can skip the pickled veggies and go with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, onions, cabbage and corn bits. I topped my pita pocket off with garlic tahini, a creamy sauce that’s nutty and a little bitter with a hint of garlic fragrance.

Other sauces you can choose from are:
Red chilli – similar to spicy belachan
Green chilli – a tinge of refreshing lime hits you before the spiciness sets in
Mango mustard – a burst of sour plum flavour (was expecting sweetness as the name suggests, but was definitely caught off guard on this one!)
Salsa – a raw tang of tomato juice

The Shawarma was surprisingly flavorful, considering that it’s not really chicken you’re having. Compared to the usual mock meat that’s sold at vegetarian cafes or food courts (like the Chinese mock meat that’s made of flour), Pita’s Pan Shawarma is much more tender and even has tiny shreds, like a steamed chicken breast. Using high-grade soy, the blend is filtered many times to remove impurities and this results in the creation of their vegetarian Shawarma, which is then marinated with Mediterranean spices.

You can enjoy a full meal with thick-cut fries and soft drinks starting from $15.90, which is considerably more expensive than having a fast food meal.

Alternatively, you can opt for sweet potato fries by topping up $2 more, which are definitely worth it as the sweet crunchy treats adds a fresh twist to the usual fries.

And if you’re not a fan of fizzy drinks, don’t worry, Pita Pan offers other beverages such as fresh fruit juice, beer and even cocktail for a few dollars more too.

With the opening of its Marina Square branch, the Green Shakshuka ($13.90) has been added to the menu. This new dish is a twist of the tomato and onion-based Red Shakshuka ($11.90) that they’ve been serving. Instead, it’s filled with baby spinach, basil, spring onions and sweet paprika.

The Shakshukas are served in its still-sizzling pan, along with a basket of 1 pita bread.

While the Red Shakshuka permeated the air with the fragrance of its tomato and herbs, the Green Shakshuka only had a faint spinach fragrance when you lean closer.

There’re 3 ways to enjoy this poached dish: eating it directly, dunking your pita into it, or filling your pita pocket with it and munching away.

The Red Shakshuka’s chunky tomato herb sauce and the dry, chewy pita was a delightful mix of texture and taste. Though the tomato fragrance was strong, I was surprised (and relieved) that it didn’t leave a sour aftertaste in my mouth.

The Green Shakshuka was wholly different. Though only faintly aromatic, the spinach was actually much more savory compared to the latter. The excellent combination of the egg and spinach did its magic, where the 2 different tastes complemented one another superbly.

Another item not to be missed is the Falafel, a deep fried vegetarian ball patty made with chickpeas. You can enjoy this either In the pita pocket or enjoy it as part of the Mediterranean Platter With Falafel ($26.90). Particularly crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside, it offers an enjoyable fusion of textures. The salty fragrance and taste’s so remarkable that many have mistaken it for real meatballs!

Surprisingly lip-smacking, Pita Pan’s dishes, whlie a tad expensive, were served in fairly generous portions where you certainly can be filled with one serving. And if you’re still a skeptic for vegetarian food, this Mediterranean bistro will likely change your mind with just one bite.

Rating: 4/5
Price Rating: $$
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 10am – 11pm

Marina Square #02-183A
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands 2 Bay Avenue, L1-87, Bay Level

+65 6337 2587
+65 6688 7450

Photos courtesy of Charmaine Lim