Little Arab Town -Singapore
Little Arab Town -Singapore

Little Arab Town -Singapore

It’s sometimes easy to miss the nuances that give a city personality unless you have a little local knowledge. A dear friend of mine is currently living as an expat wife in Singapore so naturally I questioned her extensively about the places I should visit.

Haji Lane Singapore

Haji Lane Singapore

Renee mentioned a little lane way in Little Arab Town which features awesome shopping and great food! It sounded like the perfect combination so I asked for directions to Haji Lane.

A short cab ride later we found ourselves looking at an ornate Mosque, and smelling the most amazing middle eastern food aroma’s… we had arrived!

Masjid Sultan Singapore or Sultans Mosque

Masjid Sultan Singapore or Sultans Mosque

The Sultan’s Mosque is one of the oldest in Singapore and is located on Muscat Street in Little Arab Town. Tourist are permitted to visit outside of prayer time if they are modestly covered. Muscat Street is just a stones throw away from our destination of “Haji Lane”

Haji Lane Shopfront in Singapore

Haji Lane Shopfront in Singapore

 

Renee had explained that the area we were to visit was far removed from the Orchard Street shopping style which I have previously enjoyed.

Whilst Orchard Rd has all high end labels, Haji Lane in Arab Town is where you can find the up and coming designers and unique “one off items”. She also mentioned that the price tags on Haji Lane are much more “shopper friendly!” I may have been more than a little intimidated walking into Prada on Orchard Street, but I have to say the feeling was similar in some of these ultra cool boutiques. Most boutique were displaying signage which prohibited the taking of images, hence my scant photographic offerings.

Haji Lane Shoe Shopping

Haji Lane Shoe Shopping

Haji Lane is blocked to traffic and has a completely different feel to the rest of Singapore. It is young, hip, retro and absolutely happening! Each store front is an independently owned boutique offering chic, locally-designed items. The whole lane is gorgeously styled in an eclectic bohemian style which is further enhanced by the surrounding restaurants and cafes.

Haji Lane Suitcase Cupboard

Haji Lane Suitcase Cupboard

Window shopping can make a girl quite hungry, especially when there’s the aroma of garlic everywhere, and charcoal grills are roasting seasoned meats in the most enticing manner. Dining is alfresco style on seats, carpets and lounge chair literally in the laneway.

Haji Lane Meal Namai Cafe Singapore

Haji Lane Meal Namai Cafe Singapore

It was just beginning to get dark when we decided on our own patch of carpet at Narmai Cafe. Elsewhere the restaurants were filling and the crowds were getting louder as the beer started flowing. Most cafes and bars also offered a Shisha Pipe menu for patrons which contained a variety of flavoured and sweetened tobaccos. This seemed a popular option with locals and tourists.

Shisha Pipe Little Arab Town

Shisha Pipe Little Arab Town

Diners seemed very content relaxing in the street enjoying hommus with pita bread and passing around the pipe. This seemed like the perfect option for us also so we chose an assortment of Middle Eastern Dips with bread.

Haji Lane Meal at Narmai Cafe Singapore

Haji Lane Meal at Narmai Cafe Singapore

Sitting on our carpet and cushions we firstly devoured the Feta and Spinach Triangles.  These were made from imported feta which was lush and creamy. The triangles were absolutely delicious with lovely crunchy pastry. My children love feta so we could have easily ordered more!

Feta & Spinach Triangles

Feta & Spinach Triangles

The dish I was most looking forward to was the Hummus Bil Laham. Described as a smooth chick pea hummus dip topped with chunks of smokey grill lamb I had been craving this dish based on the street aroma’s.

Haji St Narmai Cafe Hummus Bil Laham

Haji St Narmai Cafe Hummus Bil Laham

The dish did not disappoint, served with flat bread I tore off pieces of bread and made mini kebabs with the beautiful fresh dip, moaning and groaning all the while about how delicious everything tasted.

Babaganoush Narmai Cafe

Babaganoush Narmai Cafe

Mr GG and I both love our Babaganoush, and so thought that we may as well go all out on the dips.

Looking for something a little different our final dish of the evening was Foul w Harissa and Hummus. Yes is was another plate of dips but the flavours were something else again!

Foul w Harissa & Hummus Sampler

Foul w Harissa & Hummus Sampler

The plate was a sampler dip platter with a fava bean dip, Harissa Dip and hummus. Delicious!!! I would choose this again in a flash.

Each of the dishes ordered were about $S6 so it was a cheap and atmospheric meal.  Something I would highly recommend doing if you find yourself at a loose end in Singapore.

Narmai Cafe

14 Haji Lane

Singapore

 

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie

Comments

  1. Loved Haji Lane as well as the Arab Quarter in general! So much fabulous street food in Singapore! http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au/street-food-in-singapore-cambodia-malaysia/

  2. Does seem the shopping on the lane makes cents…And is filled with tantalizing scents!
    =)

    Wondering if the restricted photo taking has to do with the faith of the shopkeepers. My sister now lives in Qatar and has spoken about the prohibitions about picture-taking in public places.

  3. I agree that it’s so nice when streets are blocked off in shopping districts.
    The triangles look delicious and the shoes do too (yes, shoes can be delicious). 🙂

    I’m glad you had a friend to give you inside tips, it looks like a great excursion for the day.

  4. Haji Lane was one of my highlights during my trip to Singapore a few years ago!

  5. Love that suitcase cupboard!

  6. Definitely worlds away from Orchard Road- in the best possible way 🙂 What a lovely find of cute boutiques and such yummy food. I love all the fantastic dips too, yummo!

  7. What a cool area to visit. I would have bought a pair of those red shoes.;)

  8. I would have loved to come shopping and dining with you on this excursion! Wow, what wonderful shoes and food!!

  9. Love the grilled lamb on hummus and tge babaghanoush!!It definitely gives you that Arab feel and who would have thought its in Singapore 🙂

  10. Singapore is a foodie’s paradise! And of course, a shopper’s paradise too. What a combination!

  11. I’ll have to remember this lane when (and if) I get to Singapore. It looks like this area is not concerned with visitors being covered up, like they are in front of the mosque. AND I still have Raffles on my Bucket List!

  12. Thank you for posting the photo of the mosque. It’s beautiful. I’ve always heard Singapore is a great place to visit and for food especially. Seems you found the perfect little lane. I would spend most of my time in the carpet trying out the dishes, not so much shopping!
    Looks like you had a great time! If you’re curious, a Haji is someone who has performed the pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj, you may have known that already 🙂

    Nazneen

  13. Wow i had no idea that there was such a place as the Little Arab town in Singapore because I have only gone to Little India 🙂 I love how diverse the culture is in Singapore and how authentic it looks!

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