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Battle Of SG’s Murtabak: Zam Zam VS Victory VS Al-Tasneem


Shasha Dania •  Jan 10, 2020


When it comes to comfort food, there's nothing better than tucking into a delicious plate of murtabak and feeling all of your worries disappear with every bite. ? For those who aren't familiar with murtabak, it's an Indian Muslim dish made from a filling of onions, meat, and egg all wrapped in a delicious pastry similar to roti prata (but usually a little thicker). But if you're in the mood for murtabak, which stall has the best version? ? Credit: Giphy Locals and visitors alike may have heard of 2 names that frequently come up when we're talking about murtabak: Zam Zam, and Victory. These 2 neighbouring Indian Muslim restaurants along North Bridge Road (they're just some of the amazing halal eateries in the Bugis/Kampong Glam area!) are 2 of the oldest Indian Muslim eateries in the country which are famous for their murtabak. They even have loyal followings, with people who refuse to eat at one or the other. So we decided it was time to pit them against each other to see whose murtabak would come out on top. ? We even added in a 3rd competitor - Al-Tasneem, a third Indian Muslim restaurant located right next to them! Credit: Giphy Keep reading to find out how these 3 restaurants stack up against each other - and which murtabak is really worth a try. ? We ordered chicken murtabak and beef murtabak from each restaurant, and had a blind taste test in the office. No one knew which murtabak came from which restaurant during the tasting - although some of us who frequent them could tell them apart! ? Disclaimer: We brought the murtabak back to our office and tried all 6 murtabak in 1 sitting. Eating it freshly made at the restaurant would definitely be a different experience!
Zam Zam Restaurant
We'll start off with Zam Zam, one of the most famous names in Singapore when it comes to fulfilling your murtabak craving. ? At 12PM on a Thursday, the restaurant was starting to get busy with customers heading up to the 2nd floor to grab a seat but the service was still really fast.
Within 2 minutes of placing our order, our murtabak was in our hands ready to eat! ? It's definitely a testament to how busy and hectic the restaurant is, and how popular the murtabak is on their menu. Peeking through their window, our eyes went to how quickly the chefs were flipping dough and plating food, as well as the huge bowl of filling waiting to be transformed into a delicious meal. ?
At first glance, the beef murtabak (From SGD5) didn't look so appealing once we opened the packet at our office. The dough looked a little moist on the outside, although we were excited because it did look like it had a lot of filling! After trying it, however, we were a little letdown. ? The end pieces barely had any filling and even the pieces in the middle seemed to be more dough than meat. The dough was soft and chewy, but overall it wasn't so flavourful unless dipped in the gravy. Overall rating: 3 out of 5 (With gravy it goes up to a 3.5!)
Their chicken murtabak (From SGD6) fared slightly better amongst us. The dough was a bit soggier (maybe due to the chicken pieces) but we felt that the chicken in this was really tasty! ? The end pieces were a bit empty as well, but there were larger pieces of chicken towards the centre so if you were eating this by yourself it would definitely balance out. The only downside was that the chicken still had its bones in, which was an unpleasant surprise. Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
Victory Restaurant
Victory is the other big contender when it comes to the murtabak market in Singapore. The fact that it's right next door to Zam Zam has definitely fuelled the 'rivalry' between the 2 shops and their loyal followings too. ? Similar to Zam Zam, the service here was really quick - the staff yelled out our order to the kitchen, and less than 2 minutes later someone was handing us our food.
Personally, I hadn't tried Victory or Zam Zam until 2 years ago but the speed of their operations has always impressed me since then. ? Despite how busy the restaurant gets, they already had so many packets of gravy waiting to be put into plastic bags, as well as sheets of dough stacked up next to the stove. If you're looking for a quick bite, these are the restaurants you can rely on for a fast and affordable meal. ?
Victory's beef murtabak (From SGD5) was actually a surprise hit amongst us! The filling was a little dry, but it made up for it with how generous and flavourful it was - even without any gravy. The filling was the most evenly distributed for this murtabak too, and every bite gave us a delicious mouthful of spiced beef. ? Overall rating: 4 out of 5
Their chicken murtabak (From SGD6) also impressed us. The dough was a little tough and chewy, but the chicken flavour was strong and the chicken pieces closer to the middle of the murtabak were quite large too. The end pieces were a bit stingy with filling and it did become a bit soggy after a while, but overall the generous chicken servings (with a slightly smoky taste) balanced that out for us. Overall rating: 3 out of 5
We've reached our final contender - and it's one that lots of people may not even know about! Al-Tasneem is located on the same block as Zam Zam and Victory, but it's not as well-known as the other 2 despite having a similar menu and price range. There's less footfall around Al-Tasneem, so if you're looking for a quieter option for lunch this might be it!
What immediately stood out to us was that we needed to wait for our food at Al-Tasneem. The wait was only 5 minutes long, but after having our food being instantly ready at Zam Zam and Victory we were reminded that Al-Tasneem just didn't seem to have the same level of demand as its neighbours. At the same time, it was great to see the chef preparing our meal right in front of us. ?
When we opened the beef murtabak (SGD6) we were surprised - the dough looked like roti prata! One of our writers previously described eating Al-Tasneem's murtabak as 'eating roti prata with filling' and we all agreed with this after one bite. ? The filling was most generous in this, with lots of onions and egg mixed in with the beef. However, it overpowered the taste of the beef - some bites felt like it was just dough, onions, and egg. Overall rating: 3 out of 5
Similarly, the chicken murtabak (SGD6) also looked like roti prata at first glance. Something else that stood out was the chicken was not roasted in the same way as the other 2, and was shredded rather than being in large chunks. The filling was pretty generous for this one too, and the meat was tender and slightly spicy. The onion taste was as strong as their beef option - so onion-lovers, we recommend trying out Al-Tasneem's murtabak for your next treat! Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5
Conclusion: Which one is best?
Victory's options slightly edged out Zam Zam and Al-Tasneem for our overall ranking, but it wasn't without some debate amongst our team! Personally, I loved Al-Tasneem's versions because of how much onion was in the filling, but that may not be everyone's cup of tea. ? Zam Zam's chicken was also a hit for its rich flavour, so if you're a fan of chicken murtabak you can give them a try next! In the end, we wouldn't say that one restaurant was the best - but they're not all the same either! Each place has its own unique taste, and we can definitely understand why some customers are loyal to their favourites. If you're in the Bugis area, maybe it's time to give something new a try. Who knows - you might discover your new favourite late-night murtabak spot. ? Zam Zam Restaurant Halal Status: Muslim-Owned Average Price: SGD5-9 (Mains) Opening Hours: Open daily; 7AM - 11PM Address: 697-699 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198675 Victory Restaurant Halal Status: Muslim-Owned Average Price: SGD5-9 (Mains) Opening Hours: Open daily; 7AM - 11PM Address: 701 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198677 Al-TasneemHalal Status: Muslim-owned Average Price: SGD5-10 (Mains; do note that Al-Tasneem only accepts cash payments) Opening Hours: Open daily; 8AM - 11PM Address: 709 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198681