Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Samar Arabic Cuisine, Singapore

Rating:3/5 11100
Smoke a shisha (water pipe), soak in the great-for-tourists ambience and stay for the live music during Friday nights but skip the so-so food.
Located in the strip of halal restaurants at the Arab Street area is the homely Samar which serves middle-eastern cuisine.

It's a two-storey place that reminds me of those old wooden houses in the Philippines with the wide-open windows that are perfect for harana.

During that Friday night that I went for dinner, I was lucky enough to catch the live middle-eastern jamming session complete with dance number (S$1 cover charge)! The music, carpets and barefoot dining greatly contributed to the whole 'Arabian nights' ambience and took my mind off the fact that I couldn't find a comfortable way to sit on the pillows.

The food is so-so, nothing to rave about and I think are a bit expensive relative to the quality. You get great service if the manager (usually the guy in the long sleeved polo) is the one waiting on you but the rest of the staff could learn a thing or two from him.

Come here for the steady vibe, smoke a flavoured shisha (S$12) and just chillax. Leave your Manolo Blahniks at home and make sure you're wearing nice socks because you have to leave your shoes at the foot of the stairs.

Oh and if you're squeamish, you may not want to drink too much because barefoot + male urinals = yucky.

Three pawikan points. Bonus points for feeling like Aladdin and wanting to sing "A Whole New World". Minus points for getting my feet wet in the restroom with what I hope was just water.
To get here, alight at the Bugis MRT. Follow the signs to the Mosque. Samar will be at the corner of Kandahar and Baghdad st. Tell the manager in long sleeves that reviewsbyp sent you and watch his blank reaction.

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