I LOVED Kampong Glam.
Singapore is a multi-cultural city, and where Little India is the centre of the Indian community, Kampong Glam is home to the Muslim community.
It was one of my absolute favourite areas of Singapore, full of beautiful architecture, cool culture, quirky shopping, and fancy street art. Definitely one to visit if you have the time!
It was such a gorgeous blue-sky morning, that we decided to brave it and walk from our hotel. It took us about forty minutes in the heat, and we stopped for iced coffees as soon as we arrived on Arab Street.
I Am… (that’s literally its name) is an Amsterdam-inspired bar, right around the corner from the famous Haji Lane.
It was such a nice shady spot (so cool and refreshing!), that we ended up ordering another round of drinks, and people-watching for an hour or so.
Turn the corner from I Am… and you’ll find Haji Lane. Singapore’s answer to Shoreditch. A hipster’s paradise.
Vintage clothes, quirky juice cafes, trend food shops, tattoo parlours, hip bars, and some of the best street art in town.
It’s bright and buzzy and colorful, and I absolutely loved it!
The street itself isn’t actually very long, but it’s so easy to get lost and spend a whole morning there!
We spent a couple of hours trying on clothes in the vintage shops (me), exploring a geeky gamer shop (Gary), sipping on fresh pomegranate juices, snapping the street art, and people-watching from a window seat. (People-watching is my favourite!)
Then we stopped for Hokkaido ice cream puffs. The freshly baked, crispy, buttery “puffs” are split down the middle, then sandwiched around a hefty lump of ice cream. The ice cream options themselves are a mix of simple (chocolate chips, cookies n cream…) and, frankly, bizarre.
I chose taro, which is a purple root vegetable that tastes like biscuits. (See? Told you. Bizarre). It was bright purple, sweet, buttery, and utterly yummy.
Gary, bless him, didn’t do so well. He decided to be brave and try the Durian fruit ice cream…
Durian, for those of you who aren’t aware, is the smelliest fruit in the world. It’s so smelly, that it’s banned from public transport in Singapore. You can get a £500 fine just for jumping on the metro with this stuff in your bag.
I don’t even know how to describe it. Several people had told me about Durian, and mentioned the stench, but it’s something you can’t even imagine until you smell it for yourself.
And as for taste? No.
That’s all I have to say about that. No.
It was horrible, and Gary took two bites and abandoned it. Such a shame, because the crispy puffs are really yum!
WHAT I’M WEARING:
White smock dress (true to size)
(Fun fact: about three seconds after taking this photo, I tipped my vibrant purple ice cream all the way down my nice white dress.)(And I still haven’t managed to get the stain out.)
The photo below is one of my faves from this day.
Welcome to (apparently) the most Instagrammable wall in Singapore!
We had a very quiet morning, just wandering around, and it was absolutely lovely… but I do kinda wish we’d made time to visit more of the cultural side of things too.
The Sultan Mosque is like something from Aladdin, and absolutely stunning. By the time we found it though, we were desperate for lunch, so we didn’t go inside.
We also missed out on the Malay Heritage Centre, which I wasn’t too bothered about at the time. Now I’ve researched it more, I’m gutted we didn’t go and learn more about the history and culture!
One to add for the Next Time list. (Yes, I have one, and yes, it’s long.)
We found lunch around the corner from the Mosque, at a little Middle-Eastern place called Nasrin Restaurant.
Honestly? The main reason we picked it was because the tables were so pretty.
LOOK AT THOSE TILES. I couldn’t resist.
However. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The tables were beautiful, but the food was… below average.
The flat little falafels were crispy, and the pitta bread slices were hot and fresh. But the babaganoush (I love that word) was slimy and lumpy and bland.
The service was also a bit pants to be honest, so we didn’t linger.
We finished off the bread and falafels, downed our drinks, and headed off to explore the Persian carpet shops. We didn’t buy one (because expensiiiiive), but we did pick up a beautiful blue and green hand-stamped tablecloth, which kind of makes up for it!
Despite the foodie mishaps, I really did love Kampong Glam. It’s such a fab part of the city, and I loved the buzz of Haji Lane and all the beautiful shops.
Definitely worth making time for if you’re in Singapore!