Bugis is one of the best tourist destinations in Singapore. Think of London and you’ll get people recommending you places like Hyde Park, Regent Street, Portobello Road, Mayfair etc. In the same way, Bugis is one of those must-go experiences when you’re in this sunny lion city. And for Muslims, this place is just a haven for us.
Before we get to the food, one important thing you need to know is that Singapore’s oldest mosque, Sultan Mosque, is located in this area. Or more specifically, at Muscat Street. So you can shop and eat all you want and not worry about where to pray.
Bugis is quite a large area, but easy to walk around, don’t worry. Here, you can find a plethora of world cuisines, besides local fares. In the mood for Korean food? Bugis has it. Japanese? Yep, Bugis has it. British? Oh, most definitely.
This list is by no means exhaustive. But it should be enough to whet your appetite.
1. Local Malay
The typical Malay food spread is rice with a few dishes. However, we do have rice and noodle one-dish meals like nasi goreng (fried rice), mee bandung (noodles in spicy thick broth with egg and chicken/seafood), mee soto (noodles in chicken broth) etc.
Two recommended restaurants in Bugis to get your local Malay dishes are Hajjah Maimumah Restaurant and Mamanda.
Hajjah Maimunah is a popular, laid-back eating house, and is often noisy and bustling. You’d often see large groups of family or friends having their meal here.
Mamanda, on the other hand, is the upscale cousin. This place prides itself in serving royal Malay cuisines. Though some of the dishes here can be found at Hajjah Maimumah, there’s a refinement to its taste.
2. Local Indian
Indian food needs no introduction, but if you’re in Bugis, a visit to Zam Zam Restaurant is a must. This restaurant, located opposite the Sultan Mosque, is almost always recommended to tourists.
They are famous for their briyani rice, done in the Hyderabadi dum style. Basically, it’s a style where the rice and meats (choice of mutton, beef or chicken) are cooked together, with the meats often buried under the rice when served.
3. Local Chinese
Encik Tan at Bugis+ Shopping Mall would be a good place to try local Chinese dishes. Wanton Noodle, Fish Soup Noodle and Fried Carrot Cake (not a literal cake; it’s a noodle dish that’s sweet-savoury) are the more popular local Chinese dishes to try.
There’s a few halal Korean food options in Singapore, but in Bugis area, there’s only Jinjja Chicken. This is a fast food restaurant, so you are treated to street foods you’d usually see in Seoul, like marinated chicken wings, jjajangmyeon (black paste noodles) and steamed or fried mandu (dumplings).
Seriously, you’re so spoilt for choice in Bugis. Personally, I love The Ramen Stall. There are a few Japanese food outlets in Singapore but The Ramen Stall is where you’ll find almost authentic Japanese dishes.
Choose from a plethora of ramen (their spicy Volcano Ramen comes highly recommended!), sushi and sashimi platters, tofu, fried dishes and many more!
Well, you’ll not exactly find French cuisines here but La Marelle is a French-themed fantasy cafe. They are famed for their cakes and also sandwiches. So if croissants and baguettes are French enough for you, this would be a good place to chill and take in the whimsical atmosphere.
They also sell items from, well, La Marelle ( hence the name of the cafe) so you can find cute and pretty bags and stationery.
There are a few Turkish joints but Alaturka takes the cake for me. Or maybe it’s because I’m just in love with their desserts, particularly the sweet baklava (filo pastry with pistachio and honey). The food is delicious too, but serving is quite generous, so make sure to go on an empty stomach and with company.
Perhaps the only halal Swedish fare in Singapore. Fika Cafe & Bistro first launched in Bugis, and became so successful and well-received that there are now 3 outlets in Singapore.
Must-try items from Fika are the Swedish meatballs and Smörgåsbord, a mini buffet mix of cold and hot dishes that is good for two.
Seems like we don’t have to travel all the way to UK to get some authentic British pub grub. If you’re in Singapore and craving good ol’ fish and chips, head down to The Mad Sailors.
Other must-try items are their Bangers and Mash, English Fry-Up and beef pie.
Halal Mexican is hard to find in Singapore, so bless the souls who opened up Afterwit – Mexican Taqueria, who are also the geniuses behind The Mad Sailors. Yeah, seems like these guys are keen to bring the world to the streets of Bugis.
So get your Mexican fix here for classics such as tacos, burritos and quesadillas that are generously padded with mouthwatering fillings.
There are just too many places to list where you can have your tummy filled, but here are some others worth checking out also.
Pho 4 All
II. European / Western
Hyde & Co.
III. Burger Bar
IV. Bakery / Dessert Bar
Cake Love SG
Follow J.J. on Social MediaHalal Food Guide In Bugis Singapore