Singapore Neighbourhood Guide: 16 Hidden Gems In Bugis You Might Not Have Heard About


Faruq Senin •  Jul 31, 2020

[Updated 31 December 2021]

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 16 hidden gems you need to visit. Time to discover another side of Bugis!

P.S. Did you know that within Kampong Gelam, there are many hidden gems you may not have known about? You can download our Have You Met Kampong Gelam self-guided walking trail to get started! We have a few eateries and retail stores listed, so read on to find out more!

Discover These 16 Hidden Gems When You're In Bugis The Next Time

What you can explore on the Kampong Gelam Trail

1. Rumi The Poet's Cup 

Credit: Rumi The Poets Cup

Rumi The Poet's Cup has returned at their new location at 64 Haji Lane and now you can satiate your cravings of their signature drinks again! To make the most of your visit, download our FREE self-guided Have You Met Kampong Gelam walking trail to explore the surrounding landmarks, shops and halal eateries in Singapore’s vibrant neighbourhood. You can also unlock amazing discounts and a secret menu that you can’t get anywhere else! Okay, we'll give you some hints: if you love matcha or coffee, or you love ice blended flavoured drinks, you will definitely not want to miss their promotions! It's going to end by 31st December, so hurry on and check out what are the promotions here now!

Halal status: Muslim-owned

Opening hours: Daily, 1PM-11PM or 12AM

Address: 64 Haji Lane, Singapore 189257


 2.  The White Label 

Credit: The White Label

Grab a seat at The White Label and indulge in must-try French fusion signatures like Fusion Pasta, Squid Ink Spaghetti, Smoked Duck Spaghetti as well as their newly launched brunch menu! Heading there for tea time? Claim a coupon to enjoy FREE long black, cafe latte or cappuccino during Le Goûter, also known as tea time (valid from Monday to Thursday, 3.30PM-5.30PM).

Halal status: Muslim-owned

Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 2:30PM-5:30PM (High Tea)

Address: 734 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198702

Website | Facebook | Instagram

3. Broti 

Credit: Broti

Broti has come a long way, from a bazaar stall to a flagship store at Baghdad Street. For anyone who enjoys having something refreshing on a hot day, you’ll love their Thai Milk Tea, Gula Melaka Milk Tea, Taro Milk Tea, and more. Want to try their premium drinks? Claim a coupon to score yourself a drink from their Premium range at 50% off (usual price: $6.50). You can also get a Peach Cooler for $4 when you claim and present the coupon at Broti.

Halal status: Muslim-owned

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs; 1pm-9pm, Fri-Sun; 1pm-10pm

Address: 21 Baghdad Street, Singapore 199660

Facebook  | Instagram

4. MILK 

Credit: MILK

If you’re a huge fan of bubble teas, look no further than MILK, a Muslim-owned bubble tea store in Kampong Gelam. Brimming with unique flavours, make sure to try their Matcha Mascarpone, Grape Cream Cheese, and Ice Kachang. Planning to treat a friend? Claim a FREE coupon to enjoy a 1 for 1 drink at Milk- and there’s more! Priced at $5 each, customise your waffle toppings to make your own delicious one-ffle on stick.

Halal status: Muslim-owned

Opening hours: Mon-Thurs; 12pm-9pm; Fri-Sun; 12pm-11pm

Address: 27 Arab St, Singapore 199726

5. Koh Nangkam 

Credit: @kohnangkam on Instagram

Located in a street off North Bridge Rd is a halal Southern Thai restaurant that's another hidden gem in the area. Kohnangkam's fried Hatyai ChickenPahd Si'yuTom Yum Soup and more will leave you surprised at just how authentic and delicious they taste. Plus the dishes come in various serving sizes, making it perfect for splitting a meal with friends! We would also recommend their Pandan-wrapped Chicken which is an office favourite ? It can get very crowded here even during weekdays, so we recommend booking a table ahead of time if you're planning to visit in a big group!

Here's one more reason why you should visit Koh Nangkam. If you love discounts, claim a FREE voucher to enjoy $5 off on all Sea Bass Family Set Meals! To impress your loved ones, ask the staff for their secret menu to enjoy Yam Khai Sep (Crispy Chicken Salad) worth $10!

Halal Status: Muslim-Owned

Opening Hours: 11:30am–3:30pm, 4:30–7:30pm (Sun-Fri); 12:30–3:30pm, 5–7:30pm (Sat)

Address: 4-6 Jln Kledek, Singapore 199261

Website | Instagram

6. The Min List

Credit: @theminlist for Instagram

The Min List has made it easy for Singaporean Muslimahs to shop for halal, vegan and organic beauty products. Whether you’re looking for foundation primer or organic shampoo, head over to this local store to stock up your beauty essentials. Since there are many halal beauty products to choose from,  claim a FREE coupon to enjoy 10% off storewide or redeem a free Ayn Skin JetPack (worth $18.90) . Perfect for gifts, you also can create a self-care box and fill it up with essential oil candles, organic botanical mist, dry shampoo, and more for just $49!

Opening Hours: 12pm-6pm (Sun, Tues-Fri); 11am-5pm (Sat); closed on Mondays

Address: 720 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198688

Website | Facebook | Instagram

7. Ozel

Credit: Ozel

Singapore’s homegrown brand, Ozel is a great place to experience a newfound appreciation for unique batik pieces. Whether you're looking rare, versatile batik wear, or you'd like to learn how to make your own tote bags and patchworks, Ozel has it all!

Credit: Ozel

To learn how batik is made, claim a FREE coupon to enjoy $5 off for the Batik Tulis Workshop - and that’s not all! You can also redeem a FREE Ozel Batik Tulis Experience, a 15-minute introduction to the history of batik, how it is made and the meaning behind different batik motifs (advance reservation is required) as well as 10% off for any apparel in store.

8. Wakuwaku Yakiniku 

Credit: @noahbourgeoisie on Instagram

It's difficult to find authentic halal Japanese cuisine in Singapore but Wakuwaku is one of the latest additions serving up authentic halal yakiniku! Their Beef Platter is loaded with different cuts of mouth-watering wagyu you can grill to perfection. They also have various Donburi with toppings such as Karaage Chicken that will leave you feeling satisfied by the end of your meal!

Halal Status: Halal-certified

Opening Hours: 5pm - 10pm daily

Address: 27 Bali Lane, Singapore 189863

Facebook | Instagram

Other halal hidden food gems in Bugis:

9. Soulfood Catering

Credit: @soulfood.catering on Instagram

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: 12pm - 8pm (Tues-Thurs), 12pm-9pm (Fri-Sun); closed on Mondays

Address: 13 Pahang St, Singapore 198614

Website | Facebook | Instagram

10. Dahlia Cafe and Sinaran Suria

Credit: @noribsham on Instagram

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 - 9.30am-4pm (Mon-Fri); closed on weekends

Sinaran Suria - 11.30am-8pm (Sun & Mon); 11.30am-9pm (Tues-Sat)

Addresses: Golden Landmark Hotel, 390 Victoria St #02-21/22, Singapore 228213 (Dahlia Cafe); Golden Landmark Hotel, 390 Victoria St #02-20, Singapore 188061 (Sinaran)

Instagram (Dahlia Cafe)

11. 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 40 eateries!

Things to see and do:

12. Sultan Arts Village

Credit: @wafiaziminmohamed for Instagram

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!

13. Vintage Camera Museum

Credit: @iamkeithrandall for Instagram

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-9.30PM

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!

14. Sifr Aromatics

Credit: @theayakainami for Instagram

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

15. Xcape Singapore

Credit: @xcapesg for Instagram

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

16. Basheer Graphic Books

Credit: @shopkeeperstories for Instagram

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 1917

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 ?