32 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198480
Tel: 6291 1190
Identifiable by the giant white balloon stationed at the "main gate", is Nabins Restaurant, restaurant serving Mediterranean / Arabian food - I was here 3 years back for drinks and sisha, and yearn for that experience again, together with dinner.
So I had with me *Katherine and *Myra this evening, all excited for dinner in Nabins', with its beautiful, initimate settings with deep maroon cushions and gold drapes. Service was a little slow, but otherwise, the ambience was great for hanging out.
The Iced Mint Tea (SGD$6.90) was refreshing and cooling, soothing the soul immensely and quenching our thirst, especially when the food items we would be consuming were mainly meaty. It would be perfect if the minty hints were stronger though.
*Myra tried the Bin Laban (SGD$5.90), a cold yogurt drink with smooth texture.
We shared a starter of Seafood in a Basket (SGD$13.90), a lovely basket of deep-fried calamari rings, shrimps, fishcake etc. As far as deep-fried items go, these battered seafood were delicious - lightly battered with crusty exterior and plenty of flesh within.
Then we had the Shish Kebab (SGD$22.90), for how could one visit an Arabian restaurant and not try their kebabs (skewered meat)? We chose the lamb kebab - the best, utterly tender lamb on a stick I have ever came across; well-marinated so that there was no gamey taste at all, only palatable sweetness throughout. Paired with the fragrant rice, this dish was a keeper for sure.
We also tried the Roasted Chicken with Apricot (SGD$13.90), served with the aromatic rice to accentuate the overall flavour. The chicken was succulent and had a good apricot-infused flavour to it - saccharine and savoury combined beautifully. The dried apricots and cashew nuts added bites to the dish.
Having satiated our tummies with a great dinner enjoyed on the low seats with drapes overhead, we proceeded to the great outdoors for drinks and Sisha (also spelt as "shisha") - water pipe smoke in fruity flavours. It was a disappointment that the courtyard- which used to be spacious because there were only a few huge couches for chilling out, has been compacted with lots of square, metal tables.
The Mango Beer that I'd enjoyed was no more, so I settled for a Grape Beer (SGD$9.90), *Myra had the Lychee Beer (SGD$9.90) and *Katherine chose the Tiger Beer (SGD$12.90). The fruit beers were still good - fruity, sparkling, and tasty.
The Mojito (SGD$12.90) was pretty all right - sweet, a little sour with lime and minty.
With the Sisha (or "shisha"), it would be banned in Singapore come July 2016, because of its supposedly harmful chemicals when inhaled. Needless to say, many flavours were unavailable, including the water-melon one that I usually choose. *Katherine and I had been having craving for this for a while! Unfortunately, there was no "kick" because it was very diluted for some reason - most times we barely tasted the substance, easily forgetting what flavour we'd chosen - was it strawberry? Anyway, the Sisha (or "shisha") was SGD$21.36.
Overall, the dining experience here was fabulous, and food was good. I wouldn't mind returning for more Mediterranean food. For more reviews on Mediterranean food in the vicinity, check out my review on Beirut Grill here.