Travel Report of Singapore (3) – Arab Street

We went to Sultan Mosque using a bus early in the evening to avoid sunshine in the daytime. The route bus traffic system in Singapore is quite different from that in Japan. First of all, they have no bus schedules. You (a passenger) investigate a route from the bus stop where you stand to your destination using Google Maps to confirm what the number of the bus that you should use is. Then you check an estimated time of arrival of the bus using a bus application (BusRouter SG), and you get on the bus when the bus arrives. In the bus, there are no direction boards or announcements, and so you confirm an estimated time of arrival at the bus stop where you will get off, and you get off at the bus stop when the bus arrives at that time. It is a little complicated for tourists to use buses, but the bus fare is cheap (2.21S$, 221 yen, at the highest), you can get any place in Singapore, the operation frequency is quite high, and many double-deckers run. There are no transportation systems more convenient and cheaper than the bus system.

A black big building appeared before us when we got off the bus. I was like, “The building must be a university!” but it is a famous multi-story building, named “Parkview Square.”

We soon saw the roof of Sultan Mosque which we wanted to go to.

This mosque is the biggest and oldest Muslim temple in Singapore, built in 1824 and remodeled in 1928 to show the current style. When we walked down the road, we heard sutra chanting of the Koran, which made us imagine an Arabic atmosphere.

I thought that the area where Sultan Mosque stands is called “Arab Street,” but that area is called “Kampong Glam” and Arab street is one street in that area. Narrow alleyways run here and there around the mosque and we saw many colorful Peranakan houses along the ways. There are stores selling various Middle Eastern things such as silk textiles, silk dresses, carpets, rugs, Turkish lamps, and Moroccan notions. Recently, unique boutiques and restaurants have opened one after another and activities including wall art have spread out.

Since it became dark, we went to have evening meal. We had Malaysian cuisine that night, the restaurant’s name being “The Coconut Club. Our party consisted of five members and so we could enjoy various dishes.

In the photo below, the dish at the upper left is Beef Shank Gulai (beef shank stew), which is a little spicy hot. The dish at the bottom left is GadoGado (salad with fried tempeh). The tempeh is a fermented food of soybean with tempeh fungus. The fried tempeh is quite crisp and gave a good accent to the salad. The dish at the upper right is Ayam Goreng Berempah (coconut oil fried chicken) with a special hot sauce. The term “Ayam” means chicken and “Goreng” means a fried food. The dish at the bottom right is Sate (satay, charcoal-grilled chicken) with peanut sauce.

This is Nasi Lemak, which means rich rice. It’s coconut rice cooked with coconut oil and herbs, having a fried egg on it. Usually, it is served together with peanut, fried anchovies, sambal (one kind of chili sauce), and cucumber.

Our drinks were calamansi juice, plum juice, and lemon grass juice. All of them were tasty, and we were all well-satisfied. If you want, you can order Japanese beer, Asahi SuperDry in Singapore.

We went to see Sultan Mosque again after we were full. The mosque was illuminated at night and so was very mystical.

The buildings along the streets were lit up in the night and the streets were crowded with people more than the daytime.

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