Over the years, there have been an increasing number of options for Muslim diners, with cuisines ranging from Swedish to Vietnamese to Korean.
These days, more hipster cafes, bistros, dessert eateries and bakeries, also pepper the Muslim-dining scene.
Here’s a shortlist of halal-certified and Muslim-owned eateries that have a range of delightful offerings.
Text: The Straits Times
This cafe-restaurant serves an all-day brunch menu until 5pm which includes dishes such as a chilli crab pasta ($21); har cheong kai chicken waffle ($18); truffle scrambled eggs with smoked salmon on sourdough rye bread ($24); and an ondeh ondeh French toast served with a gula melaka drizzle and vanilla ice cream.
Dinner is available from 6pm with items such as miso salmon ($23) and a curried tempura cod fish and chips ($25). Main courses change weekly.
Where: 785 North Bridge Road, tel: 6635-5785
Open: Noon to 6 pm (Mondays), noon to 10 pm (Wednesdays to Fridays), 11 am to 10 pm (Saturdays), 11 am to 6 pm (Sundays), closed on Tuesdays
The dessert cafe offers items such as churros, waffles, shakes and cakes.
Try the Kinder Bueno waffle ($9.50) – a red velvet waffle, with flecks of blue batter – comes with generous swirls of housemade hazelnut sauce, white chocolate chips, biscuit crumble and two Kinder Bueno fingers.
Reporter Anjali Raguraman says this red velvet waffle is the most Instagram-worthy dish in the menu, which is full of sweet treats such as Milo Malt ($9.50) and Ondeh Ondeh waffles ($10.50).
Where: 200-1 Syed Alwi Road
Open: 3 to 10 pm (Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays), 3 to 10.30 pm (Fridays and Saturdays)
Info: Call 9480 7609 or visit www.facebook.com/Zulosdessertplace
Korean-style fried chicken takes centrestage at this fast-casual restaurant. Choose from three styles of fried chicken – soy garlic, the mildly spicy yangnyeom, and extra spicy monster sauce. Prices start at $7.90 for six chicken wings.
Other dishes here include dumplings, burgers and bingsu for dessert.
Where: 249 Victoria Street
When: 11 am to 10 pm (Sundays to Thursdays), 11 am to 11.30 pm (Fridays and Saturdays)
The chain of Penang-themed casual restaurants offers dishes such as premium crab meat and salted egg fried kway teow ($15.95); salmon assam laksa ($11.95); Penang lobster and scallop noodles ($16.95); spicy Penang fire wings ($6.55); and barbecued salmon with house-made spice paste ($11.95).
The Straits Times Food critic Wong Ah Yoke says the Premium Lobster & Scallop Noodles ($16.50) turns the hawker favourite into a gourmet version topped with scallops, slipper lobster, chicken pieces. fishcake, a hard-boiled egg and kangkong. He adds: “What is important is that the broth is as rich as in the original hawker version.”
Where: Three outlets at Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, #04-27; Century Square, 2 Tampines Central 5, #04-12; and Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure/ Check-in Hall, 036-087-01
Open: 11 am to 10 pm daily (Jem and Century Square), 10.30 am to 10 pm daily (Changi Airport)
Info: Visit www.facebook.com/PenangCulture
This cafe-bistro in Upper Thomson is a hipster cafe that appeals to both young and old.
Tuck into items such as Blur Like Sotong ($10), calamari rings with aioli; an Aubergine Stack ($12), a delicious vegetarian dish of panko-crumbed slices of eggplant served with grilled vegetables and addictive housemade potato crisps; brunch items; pastas and burgers.
The Straits Times Food correspondent Rebecca Lynne Tan says: “For an Instagram-worthy picture (hashtag us #stfoodtrending), order the Handsome Burg ($20). The name of the dish is a cheeky take on Malay slang for a good-looking chap. This hearty beef burger, drizzled with a punchy sambal-like peanut sauce, comes in a soft rainbow bagel.”
You might also like to try its signature drink, the Word Concoction ($7), a drink made with ice-cream soda, lemongrass, mint and sour plum, in a light bulb for a glass.
Where: 906P Upper Thomson Road, near Springleaf Road
Open: Noon to 10 pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays
Info: SMS reservations to 9699 4829 / 9742 9224 or visit www.facebook.com/wordbistro.
Right across from Abdul Gaffoor Mosque in Dunlop Street is a restaurant called The Malayan Council that serves fantastic food.
The Straits Times Life Editor Tan Hsueh Yun picked the restaurant’s Roti Kirai Beef Ribs ($39) and one of the best dishes of 2016.
She says the picture-perfect dish – a bone-in rib, with two lacy pancakes folded neatly into triangles leaning on it, looks instantly appetising and not just to caveman types.
“The rendang-like gravy, nuanced and perfectly spiced, makes me go back again and again with my spoon, to try and figure out what is in it,” she adds.
It is a substantial portion that is good for two.
Also try the ondeh ondeh cake ($8) – soft, nubbly pandan cake layered with bits of gula melaka and sprinkled all over with grated coconut, served with a scoop of ice cream that compensates for the slight dryness of the cake.
Where: 22 Dunlop Street
Open: 11.30 am to 11 pm (weekdays), 11 am to 11 pm (weekends)
Info: Call 9002 4414
The halal-certified Vietnamese restaurant chain So Pho has a good range of items on its menu, including appetisers such as prawn cakes with sugar cane ($7.50), rice paper rolls filled with grilled beef and chicken ($4.80), as well as pho, and rice and noodle dishes.
The Straits Times Food Editor Tan Hsueh Yun recommends the Pho Bo Dac Biet ($10.80), topped with brisket and beef balls, at the Novena Square outlet.
Where: Seven outlets islandwide including Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, #B1-20, tel: 6235 0414; Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road, #02-43/45, tel: 6258 4220; Waterway Point, 83 Punggol Central, #01-28, tel: 6385 8378; and Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road, #03-30D, tel: 6348 9679
Open: All outlets open from 11 am to 10 pm, daily.
Info: Visit www.sopho.com.sg for the full list of outlets and menu offerings.
Go to Overrun for soft-serve ice cream to beat the heat.
You order at the counter and wait outside until your number is called. Its signature offering is chendol soft-serve topped with pandan jelly, desiccated coconut and a good drizzle of gula melaka ($6). A durian version, with a dollop of durian pulp, is priced at $7. There are plenty of toppings to choose from, from nuts to tiny marshmallow.
Flavours Of The Day ($6) have included Thai Milk Tea, Nutella, Bandung and Banana Salted Caramel.
Where: Overrun, 18 Baghdad Street
Open: Noon to 8.30pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 2 to 9.30pm (Fridays), noon to 9.30pm (weekends), or until it sells out
Info: Visit www.facebook.com/OverrunSG-223675517966833/
For some Louisiana-style Creole seafood, try Cajun On Wheels, which has outlets in Suntec City’s Pasarbella and Plaza Singapura.
Seafood is cooked in various sauces such as salted egg yolk, Cajun herbs and butter, and Thai red curry. The food is served in buckets and the best way to enjoy it is with your hands. Prices start at $7.50 a person and upwards.
Where: Two outlets – Pasarbella, Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, Level 1; and Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, #03-92
Open: 11am to 10pm (weekdays), noon to 10pm (weekends)
Visit: Go to www.facebook.com/CajunOnWheels
This cafe-bakery serves a selection of fresh cakes and scones. Some of its popular items include its moist carrot cake, sticky toffee pudding, sea salt caramel brownies and gula melaka scones.
On its savoury menu are hot sandwiches (from $11.90), rice bowls with items such as soy-glazed salmon and chicken tikka (from $16.90), salads and open-faced sanwiches.
Where: 34 Arab Street, #01-01
Open: 10 am to 9 pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 10 am to 10 pm (Fridays), 9am to 10 pm (Saturdays), 10 am to 7 pm (Sundays), closed on Mondays.
Info: Call 6291-4252or visit allthingsdelicious.sg