Mon - Thu: 11:30 - 14:30
Mon - Thu: 18:00 - 22:30
Fri - Sat: 11:30 - 14:30
Fri - Sat: 18:00 - 22:30
Sun: 11:30 - 14:30
Sun: 18:00 - 22:30
Harking back to a time when Beirut was the cultural epicentre of the Middle East, this award-winning restaurant serves Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine in a pleasant, light-filled setting. Expect hearty grilled fare prepared by Lebanese chefs.
[MEDIA INVITE] For the full review, click here:
Walking along the buzzing street of Lorong Mambong, it will be hard to not to notice people outside the restaurant smoking Sisha. Although it will be a common sight if you are in Bussorah Street or Arab Street neighbourhood, you will least expect this in at Holland Village.
Al- Hamra is one of the restaurants under the umbrella of Ambassador Hotel Services Pte Ltd, the group in charge of transit hotel and transit lounge in Changi Airport T2 and T3. The cuisine served here originated from Lebanese and Middle Eastern. Though the food produced are sourced from Halal products, the restaurant is not Halal Certified as it served alcoholic beverages.
My pick for the food here are Cold Mezza Platter ($35): Hummus (chickpea dip); Moutabbal (eggplant dip); Tabbouleh (Arabic Salad – tomatoes, onion and parsley); Fattoush (Middle Eastern salad dish) and Warak Areesh (Stuffed Vine Leaves). Both the dips are smooth and creamy. The Moutabbal has a smokey flavour as the eggplant was grilled before being transformed to a dip.
The Arabic salad has a refreshing flavours from the parsley compare to Middle Easter Salad. Both the salads and dips goes well with the pillow shaped pita bread. For me, I personally preferred the Warak Areesh, which is the Lebanese version of a Peranakan dish called Lemper. The stuffed rice really absorbed the flavour of the grape leaves.
Zatar Bread with Cheese ($7.50). The Middle Eastern version of pizza, topped with feta cheese. The dough is chewy and pack with olive flavour and feta cheese. It is good enough to be eaten on its own or you can spread some hummus or moutabbal on it.
Lamb Cous Cous ($26), combination of stew lamb cooked in tajine and served with flavoured cous cous. The lamb was tender and absorbs the tomato flavours from the stew. The cous cous was light and moist, together with the nuts and raisin provided a gorgeous partner to the lamb stew. If you are more a rice person, try their Arabic Rice with Dry Fruits and Nuts ($7.50). The rice is tasty and flavourful, the dry fruits provide a touch of sweetness to the rice while the texture provide a crunchy texture to rice.
For the sweet endings, Umali ($7.50) got my pick. Umali is Arabic version of bread and butter pudding. Instead of using stale bread, it uses puff pastry. The combo of milk, cream and nuts are rich and delicious.
The décor of the place will transport you to a middle eastern settings. The seating area is a combination of semi-circle couch with pillows and traditional chairs. On one side of the walls you can see the drawings of houses in Lebanon or Middle Eastern, while on the other you can actually see the traditional Sisha pipe hanging on the wall as decoration.
Overall, it was indeed an unique experience to sample Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. Thanks to HungryGoWhere and Al-Hamra for the tasting invitation.
Full Al-Hamra review here: http://ivanteh-runningman.blogspot.sg/2015/10/al-hamra-tasting-session.html
Established by the same owners behind Chutney Mary, Al-Hamra is a Lebanese, Middle Eastern / Mediterranean restaurant that has been in operation within Holland Village for over 10 years. Having outlasted many of the other restaurants in the area, Al-Hamra is still quietly plodding along, serving up tasty, authentic Lebanese cuisine.
Ambience at Al-Hamra is elegant, with a primarily Middle Eastern / Mediterranean theme. Paintings of buildings with Islamic architecture, the use of ornate framed mirrors, comfortable dark coloured furniture with plush embroidered cushions, earth coloured mosiac floor tiles, and the faux flame torch lighting overhead all contribute to the magical feeling of being whisked away on a magic carpet, to a setting straight out of Arabian nights. Really traditional!
Service at Al-Hamra is attentive and professional. Staff are polite and courteous, attending quickly to guests. I also commend their menu product knowledge, they're able to make astute recommendations, as well as introduce and describe each dish. Thumbs up for their proactiveness in clearing empty / dirty plates, and offering to change plates as well.
Food at Al-Hamra is distinctly Middle Eastern / Mediterranean, with a focus on Lebanese cuisine, which is very similar to Turkish cuisine, just with different names for dishes. Generally, I find their food to be of acceptable standard in taste, though it's much better when eaten immediately upon serving, when it's hot and fresh. Portions are designed for communal dining, and I recommend a minimum of at least 3 - 4 diners for it to be value for money. Prices are typical of most other lower-end fine dining Middle Eastern / Mediterranean restaurants, budget about SGD $32 ++ per person for a meal here.
The Manakish Bi Zaatar / Zatar Bread (SGD $6.50) is an aromatic bread, fragrant with earthy, floral, spice notes, with a taste that is fresh and savoury sweet. Texture is chewy and crunchy, rather appealing. Closely resembles a pizza, good!
The Chicken Shawarma (SGD $25) is best eaten immediately upon serving, when it's hot and fresh, as it tastes much better. Loses some of the smoky, savoury flavour when it cools off. The stuffing of sliced grilled chicken, marinated with vinegar, sesame paste, powdered cardamom, salt, garlic, lemon juice, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, all-spice, and pepper, is served in a Lebanese pita bread, presented like a boat. The thin texture of the pita bread here means the savoury gravy tends to seep through quickly, making this messy to eat with hands. Taste is decent, and this makes for a value for money, filling meal. Good!