Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weeks Kampong Glam

Haji Lane. Kampong Glam area. Singapore.

It was a few weeks ago, I met up with JY and SH. They were very thoughtful to arrange for the get-together to celebrate my birthday. Our meeting place was at Bugis MRT station. Being someone who dislike crowds, I did not suggest having dinner at Bugis Junction shopping mall which was very near the MRT station. Instead, I suggested having dinner at Kampong Glam area. JY and SH were very nice to oblige to my request even though they had to endure a 5 minutes walk from the MRT station to Kampong Glam area.

I think I am falling in love with Haji Lane. While the shophouses there aren't very lavish, I love them for they somehow looked simple and unpretentious.

Being me, my first instinct was to record the scenes of Haji Lane using my digital camera. I was fearful that several years later, Haji Lane may lose its flavour of authenticity. I am thankful that JY and SH had been patient with me. And thanks to their patience, I was free to take photos to post for the blogging world to see!

I knelt down to take this shot. Somehow, I like the tranquility of this little lane.

I find these cushions and carpet lying outside one of the shophouses to be very interesting.

We initially had wanted to consider the Egyptian restaurant located along Haji Lane. However, it was playing loud and what SH and myself considered "unbearable music" when we were just outside its shop. As such, we decided against having our dinner there. Maybe food establishments need to bear this lesson in mind: good music attracts customers; poor choice can repel the customers.

The shop looked like it has been around for ages.

After spending quite some moments at Haji Lane, I led SH and JY to Baghdad Street and Ambrosia Cafe looked as if it was not opened for business yet. As such, I very gladly recommended SH and JY to have dinner at Alaturka. The music was acceptable, and so we had our dinner venue decided. The truth is, I was biased. I have a personal liking for Alaturka. The food and decor there is simply good.

As yours truly believe that no visit to Kampong Glam area would be complete without visiting the Sultan Mosque and the Malay Heritage Centre, it was quite a predictable move for me to suggest that JY and SH take a stroll to these two landmarks. I gave JY and SH a quiz along the way. See if you can answer the question: Look at the dark-green-colour base of the dome of Sultan Mosque. Guess what it is made of?

Sultan Mosque.

Malay Heritage Centre (also known by many as the Istana Kampong Glam). Istana Kampong Glam was the historic seat of the Malay royalty of Singapore.

Gedung Kuning.

On our walk about Kampong Glam, SH reminded me to take a photo of the shophouses right below. Compare the design of the shophouse below with that of the shophouse in Haji Lane, which would you prefer? Whatever your preference is, my choice is rather clear.

After quite a lot of walking, JY, SH and myself treated ourselves to Turkish food at Alaturka. I personally think that Alaturka serves very nice mutton. Do try its mutton dishes. SH finds the restaurant a little hot but I think I was too happy with the food and the company to be bothered by the lack of air-conditioning at the place.

Apple Tea.

Meze Tabagi. Assorted mixed salads.



Kunefe. Nice, but very sweet. It is wiser to share this dessert among a few people.

Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant
16 Bussorah Street Singapore 199437
Tel/Fax: 62940304

It was a good day for yours truly especially when food, lifestyle and heritage combine. Do check out Kampong Glam area, and be pleasantly delighted.

Related posts:
- The Kampong Glam Walk
- To view the Singapore Biennale 2006 site at Sultan Mosque
- To attend Cultural Clubbing at the Malay Heritage Centre
- Dinner with Emily
- A place to while time away
- An afternoon at Kampong Glam


kyh said...

Beautiful place! I too love those sites with a lil bit of history and colonial flavours.

And the Sultan Mosque is just wonderful! My town has 2 absolutely stunning mosques with brilliant architecture: one was built in the colonial era, the other is a modern masterpiece. :)

Anonymous said...

i know the answer! i read about it not too long ago. the base of the dome of the Sultan mosque is made of bottles!

Anonymous said...

Since it's weeks ago, can I still say happy belated belated belated birthday?

The cushion and carpet on the "five-foot-way" interesting indeed. Must be used for some "chit-chat"session of the family members or friends of the family who owns the shophouse.

Nice capture of Kampong Glam. I never had a chance to walk through like that before.

Anonymous said...

Pide looks like pizza, hmm, yummy.

mistipurple said...

likely for prayers? the cushion/carpet i mean.

eastcoastlife said...

I like to go Kampung Glam. I usually go for the teh tarik at the corner stall near the URA carpark.

When shall we have a meal there? My treat for your birthday. :)

oceanskies79 said...

kyk: Yes, it is a beautiful place. The history of Kampong Glam has close links to the colonial masters of Singapore's past. Sultan Mosque is one special mosque in Singapore. Just visit it during prayers time, and you will love it.

oceanskies79 said...

Noel: Spot on! You are well-read. Three cheers for Noel! :)

oceanskies79 said...

Tigerfish: Thank you for your birthday greetings. I hope Kampong Glam remains as it is, and does not get too commercialised. Yes, I love the five-foot-way and the cushion and carpet.

oceanskies79 said...

Edwin: Pide isn't that cheesy. I dare to say the mutton pide is good. My friend ordered it, and I had sampled a bite of it.

oceanskies79 said...

Misti: Maybe not for prayers?? I had thought that prayers need to be done facing a particular direction...and that orientation of the carpet did not seem to be facing that direction.

oceanskies79 said...

Eastcoastlife: Thank you for your kind thoughts and offer. I enjoy your company.

Now, your comments reminded me that I still have yet to explore quite a few places in Singapore that we had wanted to explore.... deep down, I am hesitant to say yes for I fear I may not being able realise my agreement.

Anyway, I have been working on my double bass practices, so that if you should ask me to play for you anytime, I would at least be playing something decent enough for your ears.

kyh said...

Oooh I forgot to comment on the food! They look delicious! *drool*

As for the mat, I don't think it's for prayer. There's a small table and so many cushion pillows! Think it's used for yam-cha session instead.

And yeah... Muslims must pray towards the direction of Mecca 5 times a day. :)

Simple American said...

I love the quaintnace of those old buildings. Seem so homey and warm. Very inviting. Come on they convey. :)

oceanskies79 said...

kyk: The food is delicious. :)

Yes, you are right about the five prayers a day, in the direction of Mecca.

SA: If you were to come to Singapore, I hope I could have a chance to show you to Kampong Glam.

Anonymous said...

nice pictures