Cuisine and spas in Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam restaurants and cafes offer as much variety and interest as its shops.

High Tea in Kampong Glam
High Tea in Kampong Glam

The North Bridge Road Muslim Indian establishments like New Victory, Mina and Islamic which have featured in the Good Food Guides of Singapore and Malaysia are famous for their roti prata, murtabak and nasi briyani. Further down, Warong Nasi Pariaman, with its brilliant ayam baker and beef redang, is a favourite with the Malaysian Royal family. Alaturka Turkish and Mediterranean Restaurant in Baghdad Street is distinguished by delicious apple tea but also does pretty mean kofte, kebab, and moussaka. Ambrosia, also in Baghdad Street, not only features an eclectic menu of Egyptian, Moroccan, Spanish, Italian and French fare, but has belly dancing with lessons for patrons who wish to join in. An absolute Kampong Glam, and indeed Singapore, gastronomic must, is Teh Tarik or pulled tea which is tea sweetened with condensed milk and poured back and forth in a long stream between pot and glass to make it thick, frothy and cool enough to drink..

Last but most certainly not least of Kampong Glam’s great attractions are its spas. In an Indonesian resort setting, the women only, Wayan Retreat Balinese Spa offers traditional treatments, including the Javanese Lulur scrub with spices and powdered rice and the Balinese Urut strengthening and renewing massage. The House of Traditional Javanese Massage welcomes both men and women. Its specialty is traditional Javanese treatments to soothe both body and soul.

The best time to see Kampong Glam in all its cultural glory, is during one of the festivals; Hari Raya Puasa, or Aidilfitri, at the end of Ramadan (October) Hari Raya Haji or Aidiladha, at the time of the Haj (December) when everyone flocks to the Mosque in their best and most festive dress, for special prayers and rituals, when the streets are strung with lights, the Malay Heritage Centre is alive with sensational music, dances, plays and dioramas, the endless stalls of the Ramadan Food Bazaar line the street outside the Sultan Mosque and the Kampong Glam Street Bazaar is full of festive treats.