October 22, 2004

Article at Wall Street Journal

3 Hours In ... Singapore (with Dawn Teo)

Sensory Overload

Your Guide: Dawn Teo, director of Objectifs, a photography and filmmaking educational center in Singapore. 

Where She'd Go: To the Arab Street area. Take a taxi to the junction of Arab Street and North Bridge Road.

What She'd Do There: First, fuel up with a murtabak at Singapore Zam Zam Restaurant (697 North Bridge Rd.; closed Friday). Watch the murtabak man in action as he whips a dough ball into a crisp Indian crepe and fills it with your choice of sizzling chicken, beef, or mutton. Wash your meal down with a cup of local java laced with condensed milk. Next, cross North Bridge Road into Arab Street and start shopping. The street is lined with stores selling a wide range of textiles, jewelry and handicrafts.

A must-see in this area is the nearby Grandfather's Collections (42 Bussorah St.), which houses an impressive collection of curios and antiques, including a complete replica of an old barber's workstation. Finally, round up your excursion at Cafe Samar (19 Baghdad St.), where you can leaf through a magazine while smoking shisha (flavored tobacco) through a hookah (water pipe). Oh, by the way: that large, golden-domed building in this neighborhood is Sultan Mosque, the biggest Islamic place of worship in Singapore.

Why You Should Go: The area is an exotic treat for all your senses. 

-- as told to Steve Mollman