Restaurants in Singapore, Reviews

Habibi-san Review: Omakase at a Middle-Eastern Fusion Izakaya on Haji Lane

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I’m no stranger to Bar Stories. They’re a veteran of Singapore’s nightlife scene for as long as I can remember. For a long time, they’re known for their unique cocktail concept – they don’t have any menu, you simply tell your server what alcohol you’re in the mood for that night, what flavor profile you want, and they’ll serve something up for you. You could say it was an “omakase” cocktail bar. In Japanese, omakase means “I’ll leave it up to you”.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore

Bar Stories occupies two shophouses on Haji Lane, side by side. Sometime during the pandemic, around December 2020 to be exact, they converted the other half of the shophouse to Habibi-san, a small middle-eastern izakaya focusing on cooking over charcoal.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
The space is not big, there are only about 5 tables that can seat maybe 25 people at a time

Looking at their menu, you’ll find familiar Middle-Eastern concepts with a Japanese twist to it.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Menu at Habibi-san in 2024

I’ve been to Habibi-san once before, for a late-night grub while waiting for a table to open up at Atlas Bar nearby. I liked what I tasted then, so I decided to bring my husband back to Habibi-san to try their omakase menu.

I asked our waiter what the omakase includes, and he listed a bunch of dishes – 5 appetizers, 2 skewers, 2 seafood items, 3 meat items, and a dessert. At $88 / person, it seemed like a great deal. I was sold!

Here are the dishes we tasted for our omakase at Habibi-san:

Round 1: Appetizers

For the first round, all the dishes came out altogether. I noticed that the dishes came from the Mezze, Smallish, and Kushiyaki sections of the menu.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Round 1 of our Omakase – Mezze and Smallish plates

Our waiter noted that I am pregnant and kindly offered to separate all the raw bits (mostly the ikura and tobiko) from the cooked bits, so take note that it normally does not come separated like this.


Mabutcha (Roma tomatoes, brown butter, kombu dashi, peppers, kizami) – This tomato salad was an umami bomb. I actually thought it was babaganoush at first. Somehow, I mistook the tomatoes for grilled eggplant?

Chickpea Hummus (with Macadamia tahini) – For the Japanese twist, it comes topped with ikura. But as ours were separated, I only got to try the hummus with the tahini. It was also delicious, the texture is a bit more runny than hummus that I’m used to, but not in a bad way at all.

Mentaiko Taramasalata – Again for the japanese twist, this taramasalata is made with mentaiko and topped with tobiko. I did not have the tobiko, but the taramasalata on its own was my favorite out of the three mezze menu.

Pita (4 pieces) – The pita was great, but really could do with more as it wasn’t enough to eat all the mezze items with.


Burrata di Puglia with charred milk cabbage – the charred milk cabbage was out of this world.

Roasted Brussels sprouts – comes with a heaping serving of bonito on top. I enjoyed the brussel sprouts very much (it’s one of my favorite veggies) but I thought they could calm down with the bonito flakes. I had to fish around for the brussel sprout underneath all the bonito.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Skewers: Tsukune and Chicken Hearts

Kushiyaki (Skewers)

We were given a choice for the skewers, and decided to take one of each.

Seaweed Chicken Tsukune with Yuzu mayo – Juicy piece of skewers. I enjoyed it very much.

Chicken Hearts with Lemon Kosho – The chicken hearts were very tender. I normally don’t like hearts as the texture could be quite gritty if not cooked correctly, but I enjoyed this one! The lemon kosho on the top was a nice touch too.

Round 2: Mains

Fresh Seafood

Grilled Octopus with miso – We were supposed to have charcoal prawns, but I’m not a fan of prawns so I asked for a substitution. They gave us this grilled octopus with miso. This octopus was well done – perfectly charred yet tender, it goes really well with the miso sauce and the lime wedge.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Grilled Octopus

Seabass with Ponzu sauce (not pictured) – I could have sworn I took photos, but apparently I did not. The seabass was nicely cooked – very crispy skin and soft flaky meat and goes well with the white creamy sauce.

Large Meat

Pork Collar with smoked kabocha – This was my favorite of the mains. The pork collar was well cooked, very tender and nicely glazed. The accompanying smoked pumpkin was amazing too. It’s carmelized on the outside and tender on the inside.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Pork Collar with Smoked Kabocha

Duck breast with carrot puree – I’m not a huge fan of duck breast, though I’d still eat it. It’s just not my first choice of protein. That said, I thought this dish was still okay.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Grilled Duck Breast with Carrot Puree

Round 3: Dessert

Grape Tart with Sumac cream – Yummy tart. I’ve never had sumac in a dessert, but I think it works! The pastry crust was amazing too. Their menu had the peach version of this, which I think would be delicious as well.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Grape Sumac Tart

My husband and I were somewhat full by this round, but given how well everything had gone by this point, I was starting to eye the menu again to see if there was anything else I could add. That’s when our waiter came up to our table and asked if we were already full or if we’d like to try their pistachio basque cheesecake, on the house. It’s as if she read my mind, because that was the ONE thing that caught my eye on the menu! I was suuuper happy 😀

Pistachio Basque Cheesecake (half-portion, on the house!) – This was just excellent. The pistachio flavor really came through well. The chips they have on the top were interesting as well – I’m not sure what they are exactly, but it has subtle hints of what I think is cardamom? It reminded me of a nice cup of Chai.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Pistachio Basque Cheesecake


Even if you’re dining at Habibi-san, you can still order Bar Stories famous cocktails! And I do recommend you do this. Even after all these years, I still think they’re one of the best cocktail bars in Singapore. Here is one of my husband’s cocktails. He had asked for something sour and gin-based.

Habibi-san at Haji Lane in Singapore
Sour gin with ginger and coffee(?) leaves ($25 per cocktail)

Each cocktail will cost you a pretty penny at $25++ per cocktail, but if you know Singapore, that’s a pretty average price for alcohol.

My conclusion? I loved the omakase at Habibi-san. As you can see from my review above, every dish was a hit. The standouts for me were the pork collar, the pistachio cheesecake, and Burrata with charred milk cabbage. Habibi-san lived up to their claim of focusing on cooking over charcoal. Their technique shines through all the dishes we had in this omakase course.

This omakase course was $88 per person. We had two cocktails at $25 each, and the bill came out to be $272 after service and tax charge. A little pricey, but quite worth it, I think! I definitely recommend this place for special occassion and date nights.

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Filed under: Restaurants in Singapore, Reviews

Written by Melissa

Hi there! 👋🏻 I'm the "Girl" in Girl Eat World. I love eating, traveling and sharing my travel experiences in this blog. During the day, I work as a designer in tech. More about me →

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