It is difficult to walk past SanoBar without taking a second glance. This restaurant in upmarket Fullerton sports pillars and tinted windows decked with an Arabian theme – sultry bellydancers with veils, shishas and mouthwatering Lebanese dishes beckoning patrons to have a taste of a “1001 Arabian nights”. If the sight does nothing for you, then it is time to engage your sense of smell. Stationed at the entrance, is a mouth-watering slab of meat rotating on a rotisserie, expertly carved by a waiter using a very long and sharp knife.


  • The Vibe 

    The charm of SanoBar lies in its décor and ability to transform from a sedate luncheon arena to a vibrant dinner setting. Choose to be seated under the canopied gazebo and take in the scenic river view, overlooking the majestic Merlion alongside the hustle and bustle of city life. At night, the very same setting beckons one to soak in the tranquil atmosphere, listen to the whispers of the wind while taking in the night-lights from nearby buildings. Indoors, the choice of seating includes comfortable settees and divans, or pick your seat at the bar, private rooms (Hareem or Sultan) or the main dining area. When dusk falls, the lights in the restaurant will be dimmed. It is time to soak in the mystical ambience. Then, be mesmerized by the graceful entrance of the bellydancer who will entertain as you partake in your meal.


  • The Food 

    The Lebanese cuisine is considered not only as one of the healthiest but one that is pleasing to the eye. A typical meal usually starts with either hot or cold meza . At SanoBar, whet your appetite with the starter set, the Sultan Mezza ($22) which comprise of hummus, babaganoush, cheese borek and falafel. Try your hand at dipping your falafel or fried balls into traditional dips like the hummus, which is made of grounded chickpeas  or babaganoush, a dish made of eggplantsAlternatively, enjoy the crunchy ‘cheese sticks’, wrapped in popiah skin on its own. For a dose of healthy goodness, pick tabbouleh ($17), a refreshing salad with fresh tomatoes, onions sprinkled with virgin olive oil.

    For the main course, a highly recommended dish is the mixed seafood kebab ($29). Inhale the redolence of the dish, which comprise of freshly grilled tiger prawns and buttered fish. The butter fish, which is marinated with saffron, simply melts in your mouth and has a pleasing sourish aftertaste. Eat it on its own or savour the dish with a spoonful of spiced rice and dried chili.

    If you are a meat lover, then the Mixed grilled platter ($29) is the  dish for you. This platter is a combination of lamb chops, lamb kebab, shish kebab and shish taouk or char-grilled chicken breast, a perfect dish to share amongst friends. Notably, the lamb kebab is well done with a slightly saltish aftertaste. Overall, the platter is definitely one that is of an acquired taste if you are someone who is not used to a slightly pungent aftertaste. Conclude your meal on a sweet note with SanoBar’s range of desserts imported from Arabia and made in-house with the likes of baklava, maamoul namoura as well as imported dried fruits or the Lebanese rice pudding.

  • The Service 

    The SD team visited this restaurant twice. During the weekday lunch hour, patrons are served in a reasonable span of time. The weekend dinner crowd is much larger and included tourist groups. The waiting time of an hour between the appetizer and the entrée to be served seems overly long. However, the co-owner, Mr. Nydel spreads goodwill by taking time to greet diners and querying how they like the food at SanoBar.

The SD Food Advisor’s take on SanoBar 
It is clear to see from the décor that much thought has been given to charm your senses. Food-wise, the restaurant aims to recreate an authentic taste of Lebanese food, and hence may not go down well on local palates. Service-wise, as mentioned earlier, is rather slow on weekends. Go on a weekday night to enjoy a less hectic ambience. Do remember to give the restaurant a call if you like bellydancing, as performances do take place on some of the weeknights as well. 

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