Habibi-San – Middle Eastern Izakaya with Bespoke Cocktails at Haji Lane

The friend wanted to check out this place after seeing it on social media and asked if I’m interested to go. Upon seeing it is a bespoke cocktail bar, I agreed wholeheartedly. The place was crowded despite a light rain outside and reservations are a must. Else you can try your luck in walking-in to see if there’s any tables available. Habibi-San is a middle-eastern izayaka which I find it quite interesting cos I’ve only been to Japanese’s so I was looking at what kind of menu it serves


They share the same space at Bar Stories, and entrance is on the second floor of the shophouse


We were excited by the amount of liquor they have



Since it is a bespoke cocktail bar, there is no drinks menu. Each cocktail is concocted to your taste/preference/mood. So we started with something light, fruity, sweet and both of us had gin as their base. First taste, mine was refreshing though a little on the sour side. I found the friend’s cocktail much better


Fremantle Octopus, Macadamia Tahini $26

And came the food. I told the friend lets start with 3 items. I don’t think the table had space for all. So first up, octopus. I say the octopus was not bad. I liked the slight smokiness of it though the texture could be a tad softer.  And the macadamia tahini sauce was good too


Charcoal Prawns, Saffron & Seaweed Butter $35

There was a distinct buttery taste in the sauce and it actually went pretty well with the prawns. The prawns itself, I wished they were a little more firm in texture. I mean it’s not bad overall, but it could be better


We wanted to order the Kagoshima Wagyu Striploin but it wasn’t available so we had a A5 replacement. We asked for medium rare, but after 2 pieces we realised it was too rare so we sent it back to the kitchen. I enjoyed the grilled and charred parts of the steak but otherwise it wasn’t a dish I would order again. It definitely looked better than it tasted



And came our second drink. I asked for smoky whisky but somehow it wasn’t really smoky. And comparing it with the first drink, it tasted somewhat similar. The friend’s drink somewhat was better though interestingly, it was still a gin-based cocktail


Seaweed Chicken Tsukune $14

Shawarma, Tare, Yuzu Mayo, Roasted Seaweed


Jujeh Chicken Wings $12

I didn’t like the chicken wings, from the execution of the protein to the flavour of it. It was meh, not very memorable


Chicken Heart, Preserved Lemon Kosho $9

The chicken heart on the other hand was good. It was well cooked and the flavour came across nicely. For fans of the heart, you could give this a try



And so we had our third round. We changed the bartender and I requested for something fun. Well, it was only fun for a short while when I blew the flame and they dipped the cup into the drink and that was it. Taste-wise, it was very forgettable. So we changed back the bartender once again. lol


Roasted Brussel Sprouts $20

Kinnogomadare, Red Cabbage Pickles, Jalepenos, Bonito

Best dish of the house, a must-order. It was the cook on the brussel sprouts and the sauce and how everything just came together really well. Appetising and really just a good snack or appetiser. If you are no fan of brussel sprouts, maybe this will change your mind

And so ending with a birthday cocktail which was baileys, chocolate and marshmallow

Personally, I found the cocktails pretty flat and I definitely had better elsewhere. The drinks were all similar to one another even though my request was different each time. I felt like it was just somewhat there but not there yet. Food-wise, it was above average though I’m really curious why was this place so popular. They had a constant human traffic flow while we were there. I thought the cuisine was interesting and if you had wanted something different in the area, probably you could give this a try but I doubt I would go back anytime soon


55 Haji Lane, Singapore 189248

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