Today I decided to give my readers an etour of the famous “Arab Street” in Singapore. Arab Street or Kampong Glam, a beautiful and eye-catching integration of old culture and modernization, is a very beautiful cultural area of Singapore. The beautiful and colorful ambiance of the street, it’s shophouses and restaurants make the street so special. It is like a little piece of Middle East or Arabia in Singapore. Here you can get shawls, scarves, carpets, rugs, beautiful clothes, Spa treatment and enjoy a variety of Arabian food ranging from food from Lebanon to traditional sweets from Turkey.
It is located just a few blocks away from the hustle bustle of Bugis Junction. This area has beautiful old shophouses that line the streets. The most beautiful example of Muslim architecture in Singapore, “The Grand Sultan Mosque” is centered in Arab Street. Sultan Mosques is open for properly dressed visitors too. This area is important in Singapore history, since the Sultan had his Istana (palace) here.
There are two stories about the origin of the name Arab Street. Some say that the area was owned by an Arab merchant, Syed Ali bin Mohamed Al Junied and as it was the site of an Arab Kampong, hence the name Arab Street. The Chinese race of Singapore refers to the street as jiau a koi (Javanese street), in the view of the Javanese who used to be the majority inhabitants of the area. The other explanation is linked to the pre-existing situation at the time of the nation’s founding by Sir Stamford Raffles who allocated the area to the Bugis seamen and merchants living near the Sultan Palace. So the areas Bugis and the Arab Street were given their names. Via Link
The street is colorful and lively, famous for Muslim shopping and food. Food, clothing, spices, basketry items and Sonkoks are some of the specialties of the street. Vendors sit outside the shophouses selling beautiful fabric. On Baghdad street-there are a lot of new restaurants/cafe houses opening up. In Arab street you can find food from Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and many other Arabian countries. Islamic restaurant and Zam zam restaurant are famous for their Biryani and Murtobaks respectively. Kampong Glam Cafe is cheap and comforting, while Alaturka serves up authentic Turkish, and next door at B Bakery wonderful mains and pastries are available in a modern Aussie-style cafe. You can try the strawberry shortcake, lemon tart meringue, sticky buns and sticky date cakes.
Cafe Samar offers Arab and Yemeni fare. Here you can enjoy a trip to Middle East while listening to a traditional Arab band playing live. For better and cheaper food, though, try the Lebanese delicacies at El Sheikh on Pahang Street. Another interesting place is Cafe le Caire (also known as Al-Majlis). Here delicious Arab cusine and sheesha go hand in hand.Via Link
I guess I talked too much about mouth watering food and delicacies. You will definitely enjoy the variety of food available at Arab street. As I said earlier Arab Street offers beautiful traditional clothes and fabrics so Arab Street offers a lot for ladies who enjoy shopping and visiting boutiques and parlors. Wayan spa on bussorah street behind the Sultan Mosque is a very famous Spa. Molkan Fabrics is famous for it’s beautiful fabric. There are shops selling carpets from Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran. I think it is a place worth visiting, giving a wonderful cultural experience. If you go to Singapore, do visit this little Arabian part of Singapore.