Middle Eastern restaurants are real carnivore crowd pleasers. So meat eaters, don’t miss out on the wonderful flavors in those places.
Being the cuisine of various countries, but Middle Eastern cuisine, to many people, is about Levantine, Persian and Turkish food. And charcoal-grilled meat is the soul of a Middle Eastern meal.
Locals who wish to explore new viands and visitors who want a quick fix of kebab can channel your inner cavemen with the large meat platters at these recommended Middle Eastern restaurants. For a taste of Lebanese, visit Kazbar or Beirut Grill. Food at Shiraz and Shabestan will show you the best of Persian cuisine. And Artichoke is the place to have Middle Eastern’s flavours with a twist.
You can expect giant food portions, designed for sharing, great shisha, and fascinating belly dance performances in most of the restaurants introduced in this list.
You probably have not heard of Kazbar yet, but you’ve most likely passed by it during your quiet walks at the heart of Singapore’s CBD. Tucked amongst an array of restaurants and bars along Church Street, Kazbar is a good Middle Eastern restaurant specializing in authentic Lebanese cuisine. An affordable go-to place for brunch-goers by day but when the night takes over, time to dance to Arabian music and marvel at the belly dancers.
- Tasty and authentic Lebanese cuisine: When it comes to knowing which country has the best Middle Eastern cuisine, the consensus says it’s Lebanon. If you do agree, then look no further than Kazbar! They have a set lunch menu for S$19.50 and an extensive a la carte menu. From Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Falafel, Kebabs, Shawarma to Um Ali, the restaurant has got them covered and all taste authentic as they come.
- Copious food choices for both vegans and meat eaters: One of the reasons why vegans will not walk out of the restaurant hungry! Plant-based eaters can order salads in large servings such as the best-seller Tabouleh, Fattoush, and Feta Cheese Salad and then opt Mousaka or Couscous Khothar or Potato & Cawliflower Stew for the main. Carnivores can start with cold mezze platter (hummus, moutabel, mohammarah, babaganoush, tabouleh, pita bread) or hot mezze platter (falafel, cheese borek, spinach borek, sambousek and kibbeh) for only S$24 and indulge in the large selection of charcoal-grilled foods.
- Best Tabouleh outside of Lebanon: First-timers must order this if you want to have a complete Middle Eastern culinary journey. At Kazbar, this salad demonstrates perfect balance between the tanginess of lemon zest, mint, and tomatoes and the aroma of onion and parsley. Vegetarians will surely find it a perfect salad dish to add in to your daily food-list!
- Mint-flavoured drinks: Middle East natives understand how minty drinks have earned its spot in their local cuisine. Imagine dealing with extreme heat most days of your life in Middle East? With that, a glass of mint tea or Kazbar Mint (S$14) can serve as a refreshment. So for the natives, foreigners must try this beverage.
- Lively bar at night: Listening to loud Arabian music in the background can get you in the mood for a TGIF party with friends. Swing by Kazbar for kebabs, a wide variety of liqueur concoctions, and entertainment. Belly dancers perform live at the restaurant from 21:30 to 22:30 every Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
MENU: Kazbar’s menus are designed for sharing. Diners can always find delicious options of shobrat, hot & cold starters, salads, dips, pita bread wraps, side dishes, charcoal-grilled meat, seafood, and desserts on the restaurant’s menu.
- Roast Ouzi Lamb
- Kofta Kebab
- Shish Taouk
- Baba Ganoush
- Hummus Beiruty
AMBIANCE: At first glance, Kazbar looks like your typical bar and restaurant along Church street arranged with a spacious outdoor dining area and bar tables. But you’ll be surprised to know how it pretty much embody Middle Eastern décor through its Souk-inspired motifs and subdued lighting, making you feel like being transported to the Middle East. Kazbar has a pleasant ambiance ideal for casual meetings with clients during the day but can be a buzzing place at night.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$40
NOTE: Delivery service is available. Diners can order online via Kazbar’s website.
Aptly named after the ancient Persian city, Shiraz is a casual restaurant serving authentic Persian cuisine – a delicious blend of fresh ingredients, aromatic herbs and exotic spices. This restaurant is an ideal after-work place to relax and unwind with friends.
- One of the best places to enjoy authentic Persian cuisine in Singapore: Enjoy the real flavors from Iran with traditional hummus, selection of mezzes, char-grilled kebabs and kubideh, succulent shwarmas, fragrant rice dishes and Persian stews. Surely a riot of flavours, colors and textures that is nothing less than a feast for senses!
- Serving best Kebabs in Singapore: Served with saffron-flavoured Basmati rice, grilled tomatoes and fresh vegetables, the succulent Halal kebabs here are to die for. Meat eaters will get excited with the restaurant’s extensive selection of charcoal-grilled kebab. Go with the Shiraz Special Platter Combo (for four persons) if you wish to taste as much varieties as possible.
- A little Middle Eastern world right at Clarke Quay: Situated in the vibrant Clarke Quay, Shiraz is a great choice if you want to explore some great middle-eastern food together with regal Iranian hospitality, shishas, Persian music beats and belly dance.
MENU: The middle-eastern menu features a wide array of soups, salads, appetizers, kebabs, rice dishes, Persian stews, platter combos and desserts. It also serves a reasonably priced three-course set lunch. The restaurant has an exhaustive list of wines to complement the food.
- Soltani Kebab
- Shah Kebab
- Chicken Shwarma
- Lamb Shwarma
- Lamb Kurbideh
- Lamb Stew
- Chicken Stew
- Halim Badenjan
- Zeytoon parvardeh salad
- Persian Ice-cream
ATMOSPHERE: The simple, yet elegant décor keeps up with the Persian theme with peaked archways, floral tiles and vintage photographs of “Shahs” of Iran. The line of colourful shishas at the entrance adds to the middle-eastern charm.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$50
- Reservation is recommended.
- Belly dance performance available
Shabestan treats your taste buds with a real taste of Persian cuisine – grilled, appetizing dishes of meat, chicken and seafood cooked with delicate Iranian spices and fresh herbs. This halal restaurant, tucked in the heart of Robertson Quay, attracts both locals and visitors who want to sink their teeth into some of the best Middle Eastern food by the lovely riverside.
- An extensive menu of authentic Persian cuisine: Shabestan’s menu presents the best of Persian cuisine. Whether you try their traditional charcoal-grilled Lamb Kubeideh (ground lamb kebab) or classic Persian rice dishes cooked with saffron, nuts and berries, every dish unveils the goodness of scrumptious Persian food right in the heart of Singapore.
- Wholesome, flavoursome Shabestan Platter: If you want to know the best-seller item at this restaurant, then Shabestan Platter is the answer. The succulent charcoal-grilled lamb, chicken, beef and jumbo prawns beautifully presented on the plate will satisfy the craving of any meat eater. The food is Halal while food portions are generous.
- Persian saffron ice cream: This dessert (S$8) is a must try to complete your culinary experience at Shabestan. The combination of pistachio, cream and saffron in a special recipe will give you one of the best scoops of ice cream in your life.
- A memorable culinary experience by the riverside: Go for an alfresco dining to get an exciting dining experience. It is a perfect setting for a romantic date or to spend a leisurely evening with family and friends while relishing authentic Persian kebabs and some great wine.
- An exclusive private dining room for business meetings with a capacity to accommodate up to 26 persons. The luxurious room is fully equipped with free and unlimited Wi-Fi access and conference facilities to hold presentations and business meet-ups.
MENU: The menu at Shabestan unfolds the full glory of traditional Persian cuisine with soups, starters, grilled kebab delicacies, fragrant rice specialties and Persian stews. You can end your exotic meal with a rich selection of traditional desserts. The place also offers a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to go with your Iranian treats.
- Kufte Parsi
- Kashk Bademjan
- Borani Esfanaj
- Shah Pasand Chicken
- Tiger Prawn Kebab
- Chen Jeh Kebab
- Lamb Kubideh
- Faludeh Shirazi
ATMOSPHERE: The location by the riverside lends this place a lively, vivacious air. You can either enjoy the delicious Persian spread in elegant, stylish décor while seating indoors or dine outdoors on mosaic-topped tables by the bustling riverside. The staff is extremely helpful with recommendations and service is efficient.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: S$60
- Reservation is recommended.
- Belly dance performances are available at weekends.
With scrumptious dishes by the talented Bjorn Shen, Artichoke boasts a strong personality like no other. Making its way up the list of Middle-Eastern cuisine since opening its doors in 2010, Artichoke is a fun, feisty and flavorful kitchen that is definitely worth visiting.
- Funky Middle-Eastern inspired menu: Cleverly mixing flavours from the East and West, Bjorn has excelled with creating the ultimate menu that will surprise your taste-buds. Featuring finger-licking wings, fall-off-the-bone succulent pieces of lamb, along with some Lebanese favorites such as Baba Ganoush, the selection at Artichoke fails to disappoint even the fussiest of eaters. If you’re tired of the usual Middle-Eastern standard cuisine, Artichoke’s menu will spice it up with all the right twists to leave you hungry for more.
- Artichoke cookbook available to recreate your favorites: Drooling over the Hot Skillet Prawns? Get your hands on Artichoke’s own cookbook to make all of their top-dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen. Featuring 267 pages of recipes, this book is the ultimate treat for your foodie friends.
MENU: From wings and drinks, to family mezzes and pizzas, this place caters for everyone’s taste. Finish off with gorgeous sweets to hit the spot, after nibbling on bites or indulging with their cheese supreme pizza.
- Lebanese Fried Chicken
- Baba Ganoush
- Hot Skillet Prawns
- Iraqi Spiced Mushrooms
- Turkish Bread
- Iberico Pork
ATMOSPHERE: Delicate but loud colors paint the walls of Artichoke’s eclectic venue, where beautifully patterned vibrant high chairs and sleek white tables cover the floors. Bursting with artsy vibes and creativity, Artichoke is not your typical Middle Eastern restaurant – but the food will take you on a cultural ride, regardless of the setting.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: $40++ brunch, $60++ dinner
Established in 2009, this delicious Middle-Eastern joint offers some of the best Lebanese dishes at very affordable prices. Highly recommended by an array of media pages such as Eight Days Magazine, Expat Living and City Nomads, Beirut Grill is undoubtedly a must-visit if you are seeking a finger-licking meal.
- An exhaustive menu oozing with culture: A delight to the senses, Beirut Grill’s menu caters for all customers, from picky eaters to vegetarians and children. With small plates and large portion sizes big enough to share, Beirut Grill is ideal for a comforting meal, or a couple of nibbles if you’re feeling peckish.
- Live drumming and belly-dancing on weekends: Get ready for a hip-shaking bass-blasing night, with a stunning performance of hypnotizing belly dancing to the sounds of traditional drumming rhythms. Fine food accompanied by live entertainment at an affordable price is what Beirut Grill strives to offer.
- Imported authentic Lebanese spices for zero loss of flavor: Selectively importing the freshest spices from the heart of Lebanon, Beirut Grill ensures that you get the most close-to-home flavors, for you to truly experience an ethnic meal.
- Cater for all events and special occasions: Experienced in the catering industry, Beirut Grill are exceptional at delivering and serving their delicious dishes to parties of any size. For an extra-authentic experience, book a spot in their hidden gem – the Arabian-themed lounge on the second floor.
MENU: Beirut Grill’s menu is bursting with fragrant dishes, with shareable options and personal sizes incase you are feeling selfish. From soup starters, to pastries and mezza options, make your pick from the extensive list of tantalizing appetisers. Once you’re ready for the main event, enjoy a wide selection of kebab meats and vegetarian options, and finish off on a sweet note with the scrumptiously traditional dessert menu.
- Beirut Mezza Platter
- Mixed Grill
- Beef Meshwi
- Chicken shawarma
ATMOSPHERE: Ideal for a casual dining experience, Beirut Grill sets the scene with a cozy ambience, offering majestic oriental decor and traditional lounge areas to transport you to the heart of Beirut.
AVERAGE PRICE/PAX: $30
NOTES: Recommended reserving a table prior to attending.