Eat Around the World In Kampong Gelam
Having local food overload or missing a slice of home? You’ll be glad to know that this hip neighbourhood is spilling with culinary surprises from all over the world in every corner, from the Mediterranean Restaurants in Bussorah Mall to hole-in-the-wall cafes along Bali Lane and Haji Lane. Here are some of our recommendations.
A Michelin Bib recipient in 2016, Alaturka has been serving up tasty Turkish fare for 15 years. Start your meal with the hummus (mashed chickpeas with tahini, cumin and olive oil) or the Saksuka (sautéed diced eggplants tossed in tomato sauce) before moving on to mains like the Incik Pilav (slow-cooked and braised lamb shanks served with rice and salad) or the Hunkar Begendi (beef ragout served over eggplant puree) and wash it all down with some Turkish mint tea.
15 Bussorah Street, Tel: +65 6294 0304
Opening hours: 11:30am – 10:30pm daily
Serving some of the finest Lebanese cuisines in Singapore, Beirut Grill whets your appetite with their signature Beirut Lamb Chops, where the lamb is marinated with spices and herbs imported from Beirut and char-grilled to perfection. If you’re dining in a group, share the joy by ordering their mixed grilled kebab platter of lamb chops, lamb kebab, tikka kebab served with grilled vegetables and rice. During the weekends, you’ll be treated to a live belly dance show.
72 Bussorah Street, Tel: +65 6341 7728
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am – 10pm; Sat & Sun 11:30am – 11pm
Founded by a Vietnamese, the simple but fresh ingredients used here combine to offer up palate-pleasing Vietnamese food that stays true to its roots. The star dish at this eatery is undoubtedly the Bánh Mì; baguette that is fluffy yet firm inside and remarkably crusty outside, filled with generous portions of ham, vegetable slaw and homemade butter which come together to bring about an explosion of texture and flavour with every single bite.
359 Beach Rd, +65 6291 6435
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm daily
Stepping into Derwish, with its blue-tiled walls and Middle Eastern-influenced interior decor, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the Middle East. Feast on signature dishes such as the Testi Kebab (lamb cubes, potatoes, onions, eggplants and tomatoes) which is slow-cooked in a sealed clay pot and Pide (Turkish pizza), served with lots of cheese and meat toppings. The menu also features vegetarian options such as Bamiya (fresh Okra cooked in tomato sauce coriander) and Karni Yarik (roasted eggplants stuffed with herbs, spices, pine nuts, cheese and baked in tomato sauce).
60 Bussorah Street, Tel: +65 6298 8986
Opening hours: 11am – 11pm daily
When most locals think of Swedish meatballs, the first place that comes to mind is Ikea. Give Ikea a miss and head on over to Fika Swedish Cafe, which serves an equally great (if not better) meatball dish with baby potatoes, cream sauce, lingonberry jam and pickled cucumbers on the side. The menu also features a good selection of Swedish classic dishes and desserts.
257 Beach Road, Tel: +65 6396 9096
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu & Sun 11am – 10pm; Fri & Sat 11am – 11pm
Better known for their swanky bar that serves bespoke cocktails – Flying Monkey’s offerings of contemporary Indian cuisine are nothing to scoff at. Start your culinary adventure with the Tandoori Chicken that has been marinated overnight with the chef’s secret recipe before moving on to the Quail Musallam which features a whole quail that has been slow-cooked and buttered before being set on the saffron rice. Accompanied by one of their innovative cocktails no doubt.
67 Bussorah St, +65 6291 0695
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am – 11pm; Closed on Monday
It’s impossible to miss this cafe, especially with the large I am… Amsterdam inspired sign placed prominently near the entrance. I am… serves a line-up of Dutch-inspired food such as their signature burgers, to-die-for ribs and hearty sandwiches. Must tries are the charcoal-grilled Beef Burger topped with crispy turkey bacon, and the popular meatball snack Bitterballen served with mustard sauce on the side. For die-hard Instagrammers, the black-and-white mural of one of the many bridges and canals in Amsterdam makes a perfect backdrop for your Insta-post.
674 North Bridge Rd, Tel: +65 6295 5509
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 10am – 11pm; Closed on Monday
Hankering for some Mexican food? Piedra Negra is the popular choice here! Soak in the ambience of this vibrant and colourful eatery while savouring authentic Mexican fare – enjoy the guacamole that is made on the spot right in front of you or opt for the chicken quesadilla that comes paired with melted cheese that makes you crave for more, before washing it all down with their heady orange mojito.
241 Beach Rd, +65 9199 0610
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm daily
Upon entering Pizza Fabbrica, the wood fire oven in the back of the kitchen attract your attention immediately. The Neapolitan style pizzas served here are fired in the oven for no more than 90 seconds to give that authentic taste and texture. The pizzas here are the obvious choice to go for. Treat yourself to the Peperoncini e Salsiccia (raw San Marzano tomato sauce base, mozzarella cheese and fennel sausage) or the Vegetariana (raw San Marzano tomato sauce base, mozzarella cheese, grilled eggplant, peppers and zucchini).
8 Haji Lane, Tel: +65 8869 5106
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 12pm – 12:30am; Fri-Sat 12pm – 1:30am; Sun 12pm – 12am
With a highly-raved-about menu that is chock full of Italian favourites, it isn’t surprising that Positano Ristro is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in Singapore. Start off your meal with the Bruschetta Alla Funghi, toasted Italian bread drenched in olive oil topped with wild truffle mushrooms; followed by a Lobster Fettucine served with a whole Boston Lobster and finishing with their Positano signature Oreo Chocolate Lava Stack.
66 Bussorah Street, Tel: +65 6292 1866
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am – 10pm; Fri & Sat 11:30am – 11pm
A culinary gem serving authentic North Indian cuisine with a claim to fame for serving the biggest naan (800 grams) in Singapore. The naan is made from 2 different types of flour and cooked to perfection, giving it a soft chewy texture thus making it a perfect dip for the Murgh Makhni (chicken tikka simmered in gravy with spices) or the ever-popular Dal Khandari (black gram, tomato puree, butter and cream) which is slow-cooked for 12 hours to give it a rich creamy taste. Their tandoori items do not disappoint either.
8 & 9 Bali Lane, Tel: +65 9199 0610
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 12pm – 12am; Fri – Sat & PH 12pm – 1am
Located along quiet Bali lane, this nondescript yakitori is inspired by Japanese-style Izakaya bars and offers affordable skewers and sake. Some of the crowd favourites include the enoki bacon, asparagus bacon and chicken thigh with leek. Order up a few skewers with some sake and enjoy a night of catching up with friends or families.
31 Bali Lane, Tel: +65 9727 5567
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 10:30pm daily
Located along Bali Lane, Sticky Rice is a halal-certified restaurant serving up no-frills, affordable and authentic Thai food. The absolute must try here is the classic seafood tom yum soup; the soup itself is sour and spicy but does not overpower the taste of the seafood and it comes with a generous portion of prawns. For something a little more filling, order their basil rice set served with minced chicken, before finishing off the meal with the crowd favourite mango sticky rice.
23 Bali Lane, +65 6294 0118
Opening hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm daily
Symmetry, an artsy, hip cafe with a distinct Australian coffeehouse-style ambience is an all-day dining restaurant and bar tucked away in a corner of Jalan Kubor. With an extensive menu that features everything from beef ragout pasta to lamb moussaka and even an exclusive menu available on Mondays; this eatery is not to be missed for those seeking delicious Aussie grub.
9 Jalan Kubor #01-01, +65 6291 9901
Opening hours: Mon 11am – 9pm; Tue-Fri 11am – 11pm; Sat 9am – 11pm; Sun 9am – 7pm
Halal Chinese Dim Sum anyone? The team at the halal-certified Dim Sum Place has been serving up their own rendition of the Cantonese style cuisine with a local twist and the results do not disappoint. Tuck into unique dishes such as the vermicelli roll with lamb rendang, beef short rib with black pepper, salted egg custard bun and traditional egg tarts that come served in an oriental looking basket.
791 North Bridge Rd, +65 6655 8787
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 11pm; Fri & Eve of PH 11am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 2am; Sat 11am – 2am; Sun 11am – 11pm
Looking to sate your appetite for classic British food? The Mad Sailors is a Muslim owned eatery that serves up generous portions of British classics. Kick-off the meal with the tomato and parsley mussels that come coated with a slightly spicy tomato, then move on to the bangers and mash which comes with two garlic and herb beef sausages, fresh slaw, mushy peas and mash drenched with onion gravy before washing it all down with the house special, non-alcoholic butter beer.
24 Haji Lane, +65 8768 0465
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am – 10pm; Sat&Sun 10am – 10pm
Nestled among the row of shops along Kandahar Street, Taliwang Restaurant is an Indonesian halal eatery that serves authentic Lombok cuisine. With mouth-watering dishes such as the satay rembiga, ayam bakar taliwang and tempeh goreng that are carefully prepared using traditional methods without any artificial preservatives to ensure the best flavour in their dishes – this eatery will keep you coming back for more!
26 Kandahar St, +65 6909 9776
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12pm – 10am
We just have to sneak this in. For a dose of Singapore flavour, Geylang Claypot Rice is the place to be. This popular Michelin plate eatery has been serving up to-die-for claypot rice for over 30 years. Forget about your diet and add more lard oil to their signature claypot rice that comes with ingredients such as salted fish, marinated chicken, Chinese sausages, vegetables and an irresistible dark sauce that is drizzled all over the rice.
361, 363, 365 Beach Rd, Tel: +65 6744 4574
Opening hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5pm – 10pm daily
Get a taste of Hokkaido at Zensho Ichikokudo, Singapore’s first halal Hokkaido Ramen restaurant. Tuck into one of their unique Hokkaido style ramens: Hokkai Jigoku Ramen, named after a famous volcano in Hokkaido or seafood-based ramen from their range of Hokkai seafood ramen. The grilled gyoza and the special tartare sauce Karaage are also not to be missed.
45 Bussorah Street, Tel: +65 9002 4414
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am – 11pm; Fri & Sat 11am – 12am