There is no dearth of hangout places in Singapore. For people in Singapore do not like going back to home on Friday/weekend evening. Clarke, Boat Quay, Holland Village, Upper East Coast road, Arab Street, China town is full of watering holes and Cafes. There is no cuisine, hard to find here. Multiple options catering to different taste buds are amply available.
Out of all these places Arab Street is my favorite hangout place. The place is just perfect in regard to my definition of a relaxing hangout place for a weekend evening with friends. Option for open air seating, laid back construction oozing old world charm, colorful graffiti walls, Light/Live music, availability of multiple cuisines (including vegetarian food), and pocket friendly drinks and shisha parlour (Hookah or water-pipe) makes Arab Street numero uno hang out place for me.
Best places to relax in Arab Street (in order of my preference)
Tucked away in a corner on Bali lane, Piedra Negra is a amazing place and is best know for artistic graffiti, eclectic setup, groovy music and Mexican food. Menu is pocket friendly and option of vegetarian food is also available, vegetarian quesadilla and guacamole being my favorite.
The place is normally packed on weekends and has a waiting time most of times.
Blu Jaz Cafe
A cozy, casual and intimate seating arrangement, live music, Funk and Oldies on track, lip smacking munchies draws me to Blu Jaz every-time I visit Arab Street. You have an option to seat out in open air or inside where a small stage is occupied by seasoned artist playing old classical. First floor is a lounge which may be used for private celebrations. The place is normally packed on weekends and has a waiting time most of times. Overall a wonderful place.
Head to Nabin’s for middle eastern theme. Option for down seating arrangement, Mediterranean / Arabian food, amazing vegetarian and kebab platters, Arabian music, Belly dance and open air Shisha parlor makes Nabin’s a preferred choice for a large chunk of folks. The service however is a bit poor and time taken to serve a order is rather irritating. Ambiance wise this place is perfect.
I like everything about Going Om. In fact Going Om was the first place I went in Arab Street. Tastefully done interiors will be the first thing any visitor will notice.With hand written message all over the walls, this place has a soul. Every murals has drawn inspiration from Hinduism. It is said Barry Tan and Oliver Pang (owners) were in the Himalayas, when they made the conscious decision to transport their peace-loving and free-spirited experiences back here. If you have a penchant for spirituality, this place is the must visit in Arab Street. Needless to less all drinks and eatables are pocket friendly.
Update — 26 March 2016 — posting from Going Om itself.
Somehow I am did not like the mushroom and garlic spaghetti, as it is too oily. A small puppy barking (on table in front of me) has been barking a lot and total turn off. Guess he wants to go out for a walk. Over all not a great experience I once has here.
Some more images from 26 March 2016 photo-walk
** Do you have any other recommendations? Feel free to drop in comments. **