One of the few halal fine-dining restaurants, and the most atas, Anar is one of the restaurants that are misfortunately named. Singaporeans tend to pronounce “r” as “l” so… Anyway, it won’t get any halal certification because it serves alcohol but everything else seems legit. There were Muslim diners when we were there.
Hard to find–best to go on foot from the walkway from Vivocity–the decor of the Middle-Eastern restaurant is extremely gorgeous and opulent with velvet curtains, arabesque carpets and hanging lamps. We were very impressed.
For pre-prandial drinks, The Ex got a red wine ($14) while I had a black butterscotch ($18), Johnnie Walker black mixed with butterscotch schnapps, custard cream, custard apple juice and fresh lime juice. Not a bad cocktail, it’s intoxicating and fruity.
There is complimentary pita-bread, made freshly on the spot (the oven is just beside us). For starters, we had vegetarian grilled halloumi (cheese with spiced olives, pictured above, $13) and caspian prawns (pictured above, $18), which is like breaded tiger prawns.
Not the best choice in starters. The cheese is a little rubbery with a savory bite–delicious but heavy–while the caspian prawns are tough. We had to hack it with a knife. And by this time, we were already full!
For mains, we ordered lamb chops kebab shishlik ($45) and kebab bakhtiyari (black angus fillet, $45) that come with a choice of fries or saffron rice. We tried both the fries and saffron rice. For a fine-dining restaurant, it is quite unacceptable to use those generic fries you can buy from supermarkets. Go for the rice.
For the meat, they are served on a hot grill, very pretty but the grill may dry up the meat. So remember to remove the meat from heat. The meats are not bad, nicely spiced, and succulent, but nothing extraordinary.
Um Ali ($14) is an Arabic dessert traditionally prepared for festive occasions. Made from sweet milk, puff pastry and cinnamon, topped with pistachio, almond, raisin, it tastes like a milk pudding. Nothing unique but fun to eat and experience.
Overall, the food doesn’t disappoint but there is nothing spectacular; the main draw is really the ambience. Perhaps $197 for two is a high price to pay?
26 Sentosa Gateway
#09-291 Resort World Sentosa
T: 6884 6989
Rating: 3.250/5 stars