Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arab Street

Little India, next to Arab Street, will one day be Big India

I don’t really know why people keep calling the Indian quarter little, because for me, it’s a lot bigger than a block of shops on one side, 2 food stools opposite to it and a nice Dosa of Cheese Nan.

The Singaporean one is no exception. One of the largest and most authentic quarters of the city state, Little India is a place of narrow streets with many shops selling Indians products, but also some nice houses decorated in Muslims style.

The Mosque at the end of the street does give a more dignifying outlook than most of the Little Indian I have been to. I know not so many though …

The area is full of web and digital agencies trying to be cool and fancy, rivalry with their web 2.0 versioning names (I never saw for example a MyWebCompanyIsCool.com -0.1). The low rent and old wooden houses might actually attract the latest web and fashion designers of the planet Singapore.

Food is also a specialty of the sub region. You can find everything you want in the side shops, from your hometown homemade Dosai (Pancakes), or Thali (Curry) wrap in a paper, to your sweet Barfi (Milk) in a plastic bag.

The beauty of the place is narrow streets and the feeling that everything is just one arm away from you. Shops are everywhere, people are exploring them and smells are helping to draw the map within each other. At the end of the journey, one must go to see the famous Mustafa Center. A giant mall selling everything and anything, where prices are not tag and if there are, they are just a starting point for a long and time consuming discussion.

On your way out, I highly recommend to stop the very famous Zam Zam restaurant (699 North Bridge Road), a Muslim Malay food place where the Chicken Murtabak is served to your tale at no more than S$5. Expect to be seated within other people. Everything in this place is close to a real Muslim Malay experience, especially the washroom.

Don’t miss the Blu Jaz Café on your way out of Little India. The 2 storey place is home for live Jazz and Blues on the main floor, while locals DJ fighting the set on the first floor.

Little India is big enough already and it can walk by itself. This is a good place to envision a home based for your strategic living experience in Singapore. Not the best place though but a solid area to investigate on several occasions.