Newsflash: everyone and their mother knows Haji Lane by now… but have you explored the surrounding Arab quarter? Whether you’re seeking a quick-fix getaway or just upping your cool quotient, we’ve got the answer to your woes.
We’ve whittled down the extensive Haji and Bali Lane shopping strip to our favourites. A visit to threadbare & squirrel is imperative: find both local labels like AL&ALICIA and Oliberte and international lines like dace in their two-storey boutique (with the most darling owners).
Another perennial favourite is Soon Lee. Stocks womenswear (we last spied a lovely Aijek dress), fun accessories in its bright and romantic interior. Fancy some Karen Walkers or Thierry Lasrys to match your new togs? Hop right next door to cult brand sunnies at newly opened DH SUNGLASS, by Define Happiness.
Coffee break! Saunter down to Go Go Rama for a cuppa with a local twist – coffee with Gula Melaka. This café also doubles as an indie art gallery, so take a breather and appreciate the art works (both local and international) all around you. Then head to Fika, a halal-certified Swedish bistro for some afternoon bites. We particularly like the savoury smoked salmon crepe, but if you need heartier fare, try the aglio olio (with added seafood).
Dessert is an old-school delight. Touted as the best swiss rolls in Singapore, Rich and Good Cake Shop serves up moist, fluffy swiss rolls in flavours from chocolate (safe) to durian (for the bold).
Walk off those calories by visiting the charming Sultan Mosque (for free) – you have to be appropriately covered up, but there are cloaks to borrow onsite. Tip: the view in the evening is postcard-worthy, so if you’ve got tourist friends in town, you know what to do.
Also make time for some history lessons at the Children Little Museum, and no, this is no boring sit-down lecture. You’ll be wandering around the shophouse crammed with vintage toys, furniture, and other memorabilia. Well-worth the $2 entrance fee and a total eye-opener for the kids.
By now all that walking should have you ravenous (or the heat’s gotten you delirious), so pop over to Maison Ikkoku for evening cocktails and take more postcard-worthy photos. We recommend MI One (White French Maid) and Two (Passionate Moment).
To end the night, celebrate with local hawker fare at Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant. Be sure to order the delish Mutton and Chicken Murtabak (a flaky, pan-fried Middle Eastern pancake) – it’s touted as the best in town.
But if you’re looking to end your adventure on an indulgent note, visit Pasha Restaurant at Sultan Hotel for authentic Moroccan cuisine. It’s the only place in Singapore that serves authentic Moroccan fare – their chef’s born and bred there. We highly recommend the lamb tajine – the meat literally falls off the bone. Yum.