If there was one place in Singapore where you can find Swedish food, bougie coffee and hummus all along the same street, it’s the ever exciting and eclectic Arab Street. This historic street is more than its burgeoning textile stores, it’s a unique patchwork of cuisine that will keep your taste buds on their toes while also showing them a good time.
So, we’ve rounded up some of the best spots on Arab Street so that you’ll be guaranteed a good time any time you’re there.
If you’ve been to New York, chances are you’ve heard of The Halal Guys—a halal fast-casual chain restaurant that had their humble beginnings in a pushcart along the streets of Manhattan. If you’ve been dying to try their highly raved about Beef Gyro Platter but a trip to New York is out of the question, let Overrice be your answer.
Overrice is Singapore’s very first Muslim-owned eatery serving a variety of halal Mediterranean-influenced rice bowls. Their Signature Bowls come with the likes of slow-cooked Pulled Beef (S$10.90), oven-grilled Chicken (S$9.90), and Falafel (S$9.90).
Then, it’s accompanied with a serving of yellow basmati rice, fresh pita, shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Doesn’t that sound amazing after a good sweat session at one of the yoga studios nearby?
Of course, no experience at Overrice is complete without the two sauces that accompany your meal. Drench your Signature Bowls with both the creamy white sauce and fiery hot red sauce for an unforgettable feast that will transport you to the streets of New York and back.
2. % Arabica
Aaah, % Arabica, or more endearingly known as the ‘percentage’ coffee joint. This unabashedly bougie Kyoto coffee joint caused quite the buzz when it arrived, and it’s not just from the coffee.
Choose from your classic Cafe Latte (S$7 for Short, S$8 for Tall) or sweeter Spanish Latte that comes with condensed milk. Have it Hot (S$7.80 for Short, S$9 for Tall), or the more preferred Iced (S$9).
Sip on these drinks as you sit in their white-washed interior and watch the world go by. If not, you can always head to their Chip Bee Gardens outlet to try some of their food.
IKEA is not the only place you’ll get your Swedish food fix. At the corner of Arab Street and Beach Road is Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro, where you can find affordable and home-cooked Swedish food that is more than just meatballs.
Go outside your comfort zone with dishes like Korvstroganoff (S$15), Panbiff (S$19), or the Swedish Lambstew (S$24). I would suggest the Smörgåsbord (S$69) for particularly ravenous eaters that promise to be a feast in every sense of the word.
But, if you want to get their meatballs, Fika’s Swedish Meatballs (S$19) come with the classic selection of lingonberry jam, potato, cream sauce, and pickled cucumbers. It might just give the Swedish giant a run for its money.
One can never have too many chunky cookies, and Guilt is where you have those Nasty Cookie-eque bakes for the cookie monster in you.
Started by two friends, Kirsty and Grace, who left their corporate lives to pursue something they could call their own; Guilt promises all customers 100% cookie porn with their thiccc and decadent treats.
There are no plain-jane chocolate chip cookies here; the OG (S$3.50) takes it to a whole new level with a brown butter batter and decadent Valrhona dark chocolate chunks. If you are a fan of s’mores, you will love Guilt’s Walk Of Shame (S$4.50), the bakery’s interpretation of a s’mores cookie prepared with dark chocolate chips and caramel infused vanilla cookies. Topped with toasted marshmallow bits and a graham crumb crust, this is a cookie that is so good you won’t be able to stop at one.
Guilt’s cookies also come with a cheeky twist, such as Tinder Surprise, Fifty Shades Of Grey and Mac Daddy, all the more to indulge if you ask me.
Here to bring you to a state of enlightenment with their dessert is Nirvana Dessert Cafe. Dive into their Japanese Soufflé Pancake (S$9) that features three beautiful cloud-like pancakes alongside a variety of fresh fruits and whipped cream.
For those of the waffle persuasion, try your hand at their Waffle With Ice Cream (S$8.50 for Original, S$9 for Chocolate, S$9 for Charcoal) that will surely delight with its denser texture when paired with ice cream.
A crowd-pleaser you wouldn’t want to miss out on is Nirvana Dessert Cafe’s Molten Chocolate Cake With Ice Cream (S$5.90). It is a dome of chocolatey goodness that is soft and gooey in the centre, yet crusty and cake-like on the sides–yum!
6. House of Kebab
A romp down Arab Street without some Middle-Eastern food is like going to Mcdonalds and ordering their salad. It’s the same kind of sacrilegious if you ask me. House of Kebab is where you’ll find authentic Turkish and Lebanese food that will leave you rubbing your tummy and smacking your lips.
Sink your teeth into tender Lamb Kofta (S$55.90) or House of Kebab’s Signature Lamb Chop (S$37.90). Or if you are dining in government-sanctioned groups of eight, go all out with the Family Platter (S$137.90) that comes with a sampling of House of Kebab’s greatest hits.
Then, make sure you top your meal up with some Middle Eastern favourites such as Halloumi Cheese (S$21.90) or the Falafel Plate (S$21.90).
21 Arab Street, Singapore 199844
+65 6396 5302
Daily: 9.30am – 2.30am
7. Ratu Lemper
Ratu Lemper has to be one of Arab Street’s best-kept secrets. I must say that although I love my lemon meringue pies and raspberry cakes, I will always have a soft spot for traditional kuehs and snacks.
People from four corners of the island flock to this little store for some of their signature lemper. Lemper is an Indonesian savoury snack made with glutinous rice and filled with shredded chicken or shredded fish. It’s a fragrant, tasty little parcel that makes for the best afternoon snack.
Their lemper comes in boxes of 10, and you can choose between some of their flavours such as Original Chicken (S$20), Spicy Chicken, and Mutton Satay (S$24). My favourite would have to be the Ubi Kayu & Sambal Ikan Bilis for S$4 apiece. Trust me—you can’t stop at one.
Ratu Lemper also has a selection of traditional cakes such as the Original Lapis (S$25, S$48) and Chempedak Lapis (S$33, S$63).
Seeing as Arab Street has a little bit of everything, All Things Delicious as your wholesome and trusty neighbourhood cafe seems about right.
With an all-day breakfast until 5pm, you can savour the ever hearty Shakshouka (S$18.90) or the Nourishing Breakfast (S$20.90) that comes with chubby pucks of crab cakes along with soft boiled eggs.
Otherwise, a creamy Mushroom Stroganoff With Steak (S$24.90) will make all the gym time worth it.
Of course, when one is at All Things Delicious, you have to get a load of their dessert and whether you like Little Madelines (S$9.90), Bread and Butter Pudding (S$12.90), or the Earl Grey Cream Brulee (S$12.90), All Things Delicious has got you covered.
There is no denying how much we love bubble tea; we love it so much that some might call it an addiction. Yes, cue the nervous laughter. Enter Milk, Singapore’s first Muslim-owned bubble tea shop.
As some of the pearls offered by some bubble tea shops are not halal, Milk was established to allow Muslims in Singapore, the option to consume this well-loved beverage with comfort. The beverage menu at Milk is simple—three series with a total of nine drinks, and they are divided into the Classic, Premium, and Fruit Series.
A cup of Matcha Mascarpone (S$6.80) will send you to matcha heaven. For something fruity to stave the afternoon heat, try The Grape Cream Cheese (S$6) from the Fruit Series. Prepared using a green tea base, fresh grapes and cream cheese, it’s as pretty as it looks.
10. 麥吉 Machi Machi
Well, as Jay Chou’s favourite bubble tea joint, I think 麥吉 Machi Machi’s reputation speaks for itself. I don’t need to belabour how bubble tea runs in our veins, so; there is no reason why you shouldn’t make a stop at Machi Machi when you explore Arab Street.
Have their very elaborate Oolong Tea With Cream Cheese Foam & Mochi (S$8) that is more dessert than a drink, which I’m not mad about. If not, their Black Milk Tea With Creme Brûlée (S$6.50), is a drink that you can always count on.