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Singapore Neighbourhood Guide: 8 Hidden Gems In Bugis You Might Not Have Heard About


Faruq Senin  •  Jul 31, 2020


With plenty of halal food options and Instagrammable spots, the Bugis area is very popular with Singaporeans. If you're heading there this weekend and looking for things to do in Bugis besides just hanging out at your favourite cafes, we've rounded up these 8 hidden gems you need to visit. Time to discover another side of Bugis!
Halal hidden food gems:
1. Soulfood Catering
Looking for nasi lemak with a twist? You'd love Soulfood Catering's variety of nasi lemak offerings. Owned by Australian-Muslim Brett and his wife, their nasi lemak is full of flavour and are affordably priced too. Expect some fusion nasi lemak like Bangers & Hash, Surf & Turf, Eggs Benny, Steak and more. Their BBQ Boneless Thigh is a mouthwatering option too - the marinade is super yummy and the chicken is juicy.

Halal Status: Muslim-owned Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 12PM-9PM Address: 13 Pahang St, Singapore 198614 Website | Facebook | Instagram

2. Dahlia Cafe and Sinaran Suria
 Located on the second floor of Golden Landmark Shopping Centre, Dahlia Cafe and Sinaran Suria are popular with the lunch crowd working in Bugis. The two stalls might look unassuming but they serve up some hearty meals. Dahlia Cafe's nasi goreng with fried chicken and ayam penyet are a hit with customers. The nasi goreng also has a slightly spicy version. The crispy fried chicken is a treat to your taste buds, with just the right amount of flavour. Just beside it is Sinaran Suria which serves local 'kampung' style dishes like Mee Soto, Nasi Rawon, and Mee Kuah. Their sweet Jemput-Jemput (fried banana dough balls) is perfect as a snack 🤤 Halal status: Both Muslim-owned Opening hours: Dahlia Cafe - 8am - 4pm daily (closed on alternate Saturdays) Sinaran Suria - 7am - 5.30pm daily Address: 390 Victoria Street, #02-20-22, Golden Landmark, 188061 Instagram (Dahlia Cafe)
3. Chef Lam's Restoran
Credit: Chef Lam's Malay Seafood Restoran on Facebook A halal zi char (Chinese homecooked dishes) restaurant in Kampong Glam? We kid you not! Newly open this year, Chef Lam's Restoran at Sultan Gate serves up enticing dishes like Chilli Crab, Salted Egg Chicken, Seafood Crispy Noodle, cereal prawns, butter squid and more. The restaurant is Muslim-owned but the main cook, Chef Lam, used to work in a famous hotel in Singapore so you can expect high-quality dishes that you can enjoy with loved ones! Halal status: Muslim-owned Opening hours: 11.30AM-2.30PM, 5PM-9.30PM, closed on Thur Address: 43 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198491 Website | Facebook   P.S. Find out more halal food in Bugis with our ultimate Bugis food guide of over 50 eateries!
Things to see and do:
4. Sultan Arts Village
The murals and street art of Haji Lane and the back alleys near Masjid Sultan might be a popular photo-taking spot among tourists. But did you know that there's another spot in Kampong Glam with street art too? Head over to Sultan Arts Village for some graffiti art. Most people would tend to overlook this unassuming spot but they have some pretty interesting murals like this batik-inspired artwork by Slacsatu. Plus, this spot has art studios and a shop selling spray paint too, so be sure to check them out! Address: 71 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198496 P.S. Check out these 11 IG-worthy spots in Bugis!
5. Vintage Camera Museum
 A camera museum in Singapore? We kid you not! The Vintage Camera Museum has over 1000 cameras on display, some even dating back to the 19th century. Besides your usual handheld cameras, check out unique "artefacts" like a James Bond-like spy camera hidden in walking sticks and a rare machine-gun camera used by the Japanese during World War II 😱 Don't forget to snap a photo with the eclectic sculptures out on their front lawn too! Opening Hours: Mon-Sun; 10.30AM-7.30PM Address: 8C-8D Jalan Kledek, Singapore 199263 Contact: +65 6291 2278 Website | Facebook | Instagram P.S. Going shopping in Bugis? Check out our ultimate Bugis shopping guide!
6. Sifr Aromatics
Interested in making your own customised perfume? Then head down to Sifr Aromatics located along Arab Street for a truly unique experience! They specialise in customised perfume blends, scented soy-wax candles, natural essential oil blends and home fragrances among others. When you enter the store, you'll also be greeted with a gorgeous wooden aesthetic. Be fascinated by its rows of perfumes and scents too! Opening hours: Wed-Sat; 11AM-8PM, Sun; 11AM-5PM, closed on Mon-Tue Address: 42 Arab St, Singapore 199741 Website | Facebook | Instagram
7. Xcape Singapore
Priding itself on being the first real room escape game in Singapore with Hollywood-inspired effects, Xcape Singapore is a unique twist on the "escape room" concept. If your group of friends love thrill and horror, you should totally sign up for one of their games. Take your pick from the Busan Express, Resident Evil, Shutter Island, Azkaban and start your journey. Price: from $22 Book your experience here Website | Facebook | Instagram
8. Basheer Graphic Books
 Bras Basah Complex might be known as a place for students to get art supplies but there are always surprising finds here like Basheer Graphic Books! The store is perfect for arts and book lovers. With a treasure trove of first-hand books on all things graphics-related, including but not limited to architecture, photography, graphic design, movie and comic art, this store is heaven for art students, enthusiasts and those seeking creative resources. Not to mention that the store's black and white checkered floors are a good opportunity for nice photos too 😍 Opening hours: 10AM - 8PM (Mon-Sat), 11AM-7PM (Sun) Address: #04-19 Bras Basah Complex, 231 Bain St, Singapore 180231 Contact: +65 6336 0810 Website | Facebook | Instagram Bet you didn't know that there were so many unique things that you can do in Bugis! From uncovering a new secret halal spot to trying out new experiences, it's time to see a different side of Bugis 😊