Kampong Glam is famous for its Middle Eastern restaurants. There’s a smattering of choices on Arab and Baghdad Streets, but pedestrian-friendly Bussorah packs the most culinary punch. Starting at Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) and walking towards Beach Road, you’ll find:
Zac’s Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Cuisine
Don’t be fooled by online claims that this restaurant closed down; it simply moved from it’s old Jalan Pinang location to the shadows of Singapore’s largest mosque. There’s an invitingly cheerful verandah out front and a long list of ice-blended drinks which makes this a good spot to drop in for a break from silk shopping.
Derwish Turkish Mediterranean Restaurant
The two booths on the deck are the best seats in the house, though there is plenty of outdoor seating to go around. It can be like a mini-Boat Quay here – an eager group of waiters are ready and waiting to usher you to an Oriental carpet-adorned tabletop, though be sure to take a quick look at the food to ensure what they offer is what you want. derwishturkishrestaurant.com
Recent renovated, this popular restaurant offers al fresco dining, though if it’s coolness you’re after, you’re better off sitting inside under the fans. Though not a deli in the sense that we know (there’s definitely no pastrami on rye or selection of cold cuts and olives), the restaurant is known for its lamb apricot tagine, couscous dishes and Moroccan iced tea. Seats fill fast on weekends.
Istanbul Grills & Café
This Halal Turkish restaurant has a huge menu filled with plenty of photos. There’s even pizza and pasta for that one member in every group. Some bloggers are long-time fans though it’s not often that we see HungryGoWhere ratings that hover in the teens.
Don’t be fooled by the name and the location; this corner restaurant serves Chinese, Thai and Western food – but no Middle Eastern cuisine. Keep walking.
Ignore the signs that say “Café Rouge” on the awnings; this place offers Turkish and Italian food with a selection of beer and wine. Visit the pavement-side chiller to get a look at the desserts – a selection of expected (read: pastries) and the unexpected (read: Hershey’s bar on a plate) are on display to entice you to pull up a seat.
This eatery can be easily spotted by the Turkish lanterns that decorate the interior and the faux tile wallpaper outside. Technically this restaurant is alcohol-free, but if you grab a seat at the bistro next door, you can order their alcohol and Alaturka’s food. Problem solved.
Want a little bit of Egyptian, a little bit of Western and a whole lot of hookah? This is your place. This restaurant started as a food stall back in 1997 and has been going strong ever since. amirahsgrill.com
The view may be of a back alley and a fishing tackle store, but one of your best bets for quality food on Bussorah is this restaurant close to Beach Road. Platters are beautifully presented and the service friendly. Alcohol? It’s got its own menu filled with cocktails, martinis and champagne by the bottle. beirut.com.sg