Middle Eastern cuisine in Singapore isn’t as easy to come by as say Italian, Chinese, or Japanese, but that’s not to say we don’t have some great restaurants serving up divine dishes from locales like Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran. We love a good meze spread (small shared plates), shwarmas, and smoky grilled veggies and meats, so we set off on a mission to track down the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Singapore. These are nine of the most outstanding places we found where you can grab delish eats from the Mediterranean region and beyond. (Ranked in no particular order)
Located in groovy Kampong Glam, Alaturka was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand for its tasty and affordable Turkish dishes. Start with enticing appetisers like the spicy tomato salad and minty, yoghurty haydari dip with ekmek bread, then move onto mains like the lamb and beef kofte, musakka chicken with eggplant, potato, and cheese, or the Turkish pide, which is similar to an Italian pizza. Wash it all down with cups of Turkish mint tea.
Alaturka, 15 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199436. p. +65 6294 0304. Open daily 12pm – 11pm
2. Arkadas Cafe
The entrance to Arkadas Cafe is like a hidden oasis with lush greenery on all sides and a waterfall cascading down one wall. The interior is a little less inspiring with just simple chairs and tables, but that’s ok because the food is supremely tasty and authentically Turkish. Chef Mustafa was once the personal chef to the Turkish ambassador, so you can expect quality traditional dishes like yarprak sarma with rice in vine leaves, chicken doner kebabs, and beef musakka.
Arkadas Cafe, 1 Fusionopolis View, #01-02, Sandcrawler,, Singapore 138577. p. +65 6466 9918. Open daily 11am – 10pm
Chef Bjorn Shen’s quirky personality shines through at this eclectic Middle Eastern inspired eatery. On the menu you’ll find modern takes on classic dishes like the green harissa prawns with split cream and charred onions, BBQ quail shish taouk, and the baklava cheesecake with rhubarb, pistachio, and honey. They also do a killer brunch with hearty fare like the crab and bacon toast and shakshuka eggs in a rich tomato sauce.
Artichoke, 161 Middle Road, Singapore 188978. p. +65 6336 6949. Open Tues – Fri 4pm – 9:45pm, Sat – Sun 11:30am – 2:45pm, 4pm – 9:45pm
4. Beirut Grill
If you’re not familiar with Lebanese cuisine, then get yourself down to Beirut Grill stat. The cosy interiors will make you feel right at home, and the food boasts aromatic herbs and spices flown in from Lebanon. Some of our favourites here include the fresh and tangy tabbouleh salad with parsley and lemon, the creamy hummus with hints of garlic and sesame, and the succulent lamb chops marinated in fragrant spices.
Beirut Cafe, 72 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199485. p. +65 6341 7728. Open Mon – Thurs 12pm – 10pm, Fri – Sat 12pm – 11pm
5. Fat Prince
Step inside Fat Prince and you feel as if you’ve been whisked off to a sultry lounge in the middle of Istanbul. Grab a seat at the bar to sample some of their innovative ‘koktails’, or settle in on one of the plush sofas for a modern Middle Eastern feast. Must-tries include the mushroom flatbread with tulum cheese, aleppo pepper, pine nuts, and baharat cream and the grilled spicy seabass kebabs with cured lemon mayo, cabbage, and chili.
Fat Prince, 8 Peck Seah st #01-01, Singapore 079317. p. +65 6221 7794. Open Mon – Sat 11:30am – 12am
By day Kazbar is a cool cafe where you can grab reasonably priced Lebanese lunch sets and chill out with some mint tea, and by night it transforms into a chic cocktail and kebab bar complete with belly dancing performances. You’ll find classic dishes on the menu like hummus and baba ganoush dips, crunchy falafel and kibbeh for starters, and char-grilled meat and seafood kebabs for mains.
Kazbar, 25 Church St. #01-03; Capital Square 3, Singapore 049482. p. +65 6438 2975. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 12am, Sat 6pm – 12am
This small spot in Zhongshan Mall may not look like much at first glance, but give the food a shot and we can guarantee you’ll be hooked. Egyptian-born chef Khaled Elelimi spent years working at high-end restaurants in Egypt, India, the Maldives, and at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, so he knows a thing or two about cooking. Here he whips up healthy versions of Mediterranean dishes like the homey fattoush salad and lamb shank tagine.
Pistachio Grill, 20 Ah Hood Road, Zhongshan Mall #01-15, Singapore 329984. p. +65 6262 6400. Open daily 11:30am – 10pm
If you don’t mind splashing out a bit for an exquisite Middle Eastern meal, Shabestan is a good bet. This classy fine dining spot serves up Persian cuisine like rice dishes laced with saffron and dried fruits, fresh salads with zippy herbs and dressings, heart-warming stews, and char-grilled chicken, lamb, beef and seafood. If it’s not too hot outside, try to snag a seat on the patio next to the river.
Shabestan, 80 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-13, The Pier @ Robertson, Singapore 239013. p. +65 6836 1270. Open daily 12pm – 12am
9. Urban Bites
Situated in the hip Telok Ayer hood, Urban Bites has been serving up classic and contemporary Lebanese dishes since 2007. There’s something to suit all tastes and diets here including a great range of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. We suggest coming with a group and ordering up some shared platters like the three dips platter with hummus, muhammara, and moutabal or the shish tawook platter with marinated chicken skewers.
Urban Bites, 161 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068615. p. +65 6327 9460. Open Mon – Fri 11am – 10pm, Sat 10am – 10pm