Anar Restaurant is an oasis of indulgent Middle Eastern eats at Resorts World Sentosa.
Contributed By Yong Yung Shin
Deriving from the existing chain of Anar restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which boast an A-list clientele of well-known personalities and politicians, the new Anar Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa addresses the gap in fine Middle Eastern dining with a luxuriously set-up interior—think hand-assembled chandeliers, Syrian Dimashq drapes and rugs from Turkmenistan adorning a dome-shaped building with ambient lighting.
We’ll admit that Middle Eastern cuisine doesn’t exactly rank high on our favorites like Thai and Japanese (previous visits to other Middle Eastern restaurants proved decent though forgettable) but our lunch at Anar one weekday noon was a memorable one, thanks to the decadent décor and well-executed dishes.
The appetizer course is akin to Korean dining: the entire table is filled with little plates of starters called mezza as a show of Persian hospitality. It can be a little confusing, but for a start, get a dish from the cold appetizer section and one from the hot. We went for the iconic Middle Eastern staple—hummus. The Hummus With Minced Beef (S$14), made of puréed chickpeas with sesame seed paste and topped with grilled minced beef, was fragrant and buttery; for a chewy bite, spread it on the flat bread made in-house.
The Amoli Eggplant And Braised Lamb (S$14) from the hot appetizer section, made of pureed eggplant with braised tender lamb and green lentils got the thumbs up for its roasty, savory flavors. It also made a good bread spread. The star of the meal, the Kebab Shishlik (S$45), is worth the hefty price tag. It was the most succulent and tender lamb chops we’d ever had, marinated in saffron, onion and crushed black pepper.
The desserts were quite an experience as well. A rare feature on Middle Eastern menus in Singapore, the Falodeh Shirazi (S$16) is a Persian-styled noodle sorbet served in rose water; an acquired taste, Anar had a special machine brought in from Iran to make the noodle. But our top pick is the Um Ali (S$14), a bread pudding-like dessert made from sweet milk, puff pastry and cinnamon, sprinkled with pistachios, almonds and raisins and topped with sweet whipping cream; divine in a very comforting and indulgent way.
We also learned that baklawa is traditionally not meant to be as sweet as those usually found in Singapore. According to general manager Toufik Youssef, who hails from Lebanon, sugar should not constitute more than a quarter of the baklawa’s weight, and out of that, half should be honey. We’ll be sure to try Anar’s version the next time we’re back.
The meal ended with rose petal-infused earl grey tea served with sticks of sugar crystals with saffron threads—just dunk, stir and sip. At approximately S$60 per pax for lunch (S$80 for dinner), this is a good place to wine and dine your business associates, or for a special family occasion that calls for something more exotic.
26 Sentosa Gateway #01-291,