There’s been an uptick in the halal dining scene and we’ve sussed out some of the chicest joints that’ll make for fodder for your feed. Whether you’re Muslim or dining with Muslim friends, you won’t be stumped when it comes to finding a stylish halal cafe to while away the afternoon or hang out for a relaxing brunch.
Head to bakery-cafe La Fez at East Coast Road, and it’ll feel like you’ve been transported across the globe.
Recently making waves in the local cafe scene is Orange & Teal, opened by veteran politician Chee Soon Juan together with his wife. Walls covered in a lush forest green create an intimate and moody vibe that’s given an airiness thanks to floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
It dishes up mainly Western fare, including chicken and potatoes, pasta, oven-baked beef brisket and jambalaya. You can also order finger food, cakes, and coffee.
There’s even a reading nook with shelves of books that you can choose from and settle down together with a cuppa, inspired by Mr Chee’s love for reading. While currently not yet halal-certified, it does not serve pork, lard, or pork-related items. Wine and beer are also served on the premises but the glassware for alcohol will be kept separate.
Read more about it here.
Orange & Teal is at #02-12 Rochester Mall, Buona Vista 138639.
A mural of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty, a yellow and black theme, a neon pink sign, and an industrial vibe – you might almost think you’re in a casual Manhattan eatery. Almost.
That’s the vibe that Overrice, a Muslim-owned establishment at Arab Street, is gunning for. Food-wise, it also draws inspiration from NYC’s The Halal Guys restaurant, serving up the Middle Eastern-style fare the likes of spiced rice bowls generously drizzled with sauces, pita pockets, falafel bites and the popular Yawn Balls, a side made with yam and prawns that are battered and fried.
Overrice is at 48 Arab Street, Singapore 199745.
If you’re in the North of the island, you’d want to drop by Citrus by the Pool, a halal Western fusion cafe nestled in Woodlands.
It underwent a revamp at the start of the year, and has since opened to boast chirpy, eclectic interiors decked with neon lights splashed across mint walls and a botanical wall feature.
You can expect fusion fare here, from tom yum seafood pasta to fried chicken and waffles, Thai dishes and burgers.
Citrus by the Pool is at 3 Woodlands Street 13, Woodlands Swimming Complex, Singapore 738600.
After closing its Fort Canning venue due to Covid-19, The Fabulous Baker Boy has reopened its doors with a 70-seater space at Aliwal Arts Centre.
It also announced that it is in the midst of applying to be Halal-certified as it takes a while to be approved, and uses only 100 per cent halal ingredients, including its cakes, which contain no form of alcohol.
It’s best known for its repertoire of artisanal cakes, including the signature Blueberry Lemon Yoghurt, and also does a mean rendition of waffles and chicken. But there are new additions to the menu, too, like sourdough bread, Hasselback potatoes, ravioli, as well as new tart flavours.
The Fabulous Baker Boy is at 28 Aliwal St, #01-01, Singapore 199918.
With its first cafe located in Tampines, Three’s A Crowd has opened a new outlet in the Little India area. All raw concrete walls and industrial-minimalist vibes, the ice cream cafe is a cool dessert spot for freshly churned handcrafted ice cream, homemade waffles (like its ondeh waffles with coconut ice-cream), and acai and coffee.
For the ice cream flavours, tantalise your tastebuds with scrumptious treats like Dark Gianduja, Speculoos, Espresso, Oreo Mint, Mango Passion and Coconut.
Three’s A Crowd is at 50 Race Course Road, Singapore 218562.
This Western fusion cafe certainly dishes up, as its name and neon sign proclaims, good bites and good vibes. Just check out its pretty gram-worthy decor, which sees neon-lit green wall, strings of lights that illuminate its outdoor space, a retro electric toy car, and retro lounge chairs and booth seats.
Sink your teeth into the likes of the popular Egg-ploding Burger, with crispy chicken thigh and egg nacho mayo, Laksa Pasta, and Baked Salmon, all at affordable prices. If you’re after a sweet treat, order the molten chocolate lava cake,and waffles with ice cream.
Good Bites is at 5 Bishan Street 14, Bishan Sports Hall, #03-01, Singapore 579783.
While not new, The Bravery Cafe has relocated from its original Lavender Street home to Amoy Street. Its new premise boasts a chic contemporary aesthetic of brass, rattan, and wood to offer a respite from the busy CBD area.
Tuck into the hearty Big Brekkie or Steak N Eggs, or the tempting Pancake Stack or caramelised brioche toast if you’re craving something sweet. There’s also a Keto Bowl, pasta, and other mains.
Feeling peckish in the afternoon? Treat yourself to its burnt cheesecake or brownies and order a cup of its signature Lavender Latte or Matcha Latte to go along.
The Bravery Cafe is at 50 Amoy St, Singapore 069876.
For tacos, burritos, ceviche other Mexican favourites, head to Afterwit to get your fix.
After a revamp last year, the halal Muslim-owned Mexican taqueria reopened to unveil vibrant exteriors and equally snazzy interiors. You’ll find neon-lit signs, a wall plastered with Mexican posters and a raw, urban aesthetic.
Apart from classics like pulled meat, interesting options for its tacos include fried octopus and coffee braised beef cheeks with truffle mayo. Or get sipping on beverages such as the alcohol-free Berry Mojito, Pina Cilantro, and Margarita Zero.
Afterwit is at 778 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198786.
If you’re hankering for French cuisine, make a beeline for The White Label, a new halal French restaurant located at Beach Road. Here, you’ll find French-Malayan fusion cuisine, with halal dishes infused with a local flavour.
Expect to dine on French classics like Short Ribs Bourguignon and Herb Crusted Lamb Rack, as well as fusion fare like Squid Ink Spaghetti (made with ‘sotong masak hitam’ sauce), and Ondeh-Ondeh gateau.
Its interiors are gorgeous, too, with elegant light fixtures, green velvet seats and gold-toned accents.
The White Label is at 734 North Bridge Rd, #01-01, Singapore 198702.
Easties, there’s yet another cafe to hit up in the neighbourhood.
Bayshore Park Condominium at Siglap is now also home to Alto Cafe, a chic . And you don’t have to live there to visit the cafe; all you have to do is inform the security guard, and bring along your personal identification documents for registration.
It’s opened by two friends, Ross and Rash, with an aim to offer good, fresh food at pocket-friendly prices. There are the usual brunch suspects of avo smash and eggs benny, but also items like croissantwiches, pesto sourdough sandwiches, and savoury waffles, which you can enjoy amidst a chill, airy environment with lots of plants and calming wood elements.
Alto Cafe is at 54 Bayshore Road, #01-01, Singapore 469979.
As its name suggests, this French-inspired two-storey brasserie in Kampong Glam is dressed to resemble a garden in bloom. While the first level is all clean lines and simple elegance, the second level is decked with lush floral arrangements, a botanical-themed wall and lamps covered in greenery.
There’s even a floral concierge where you can shop for or customise a flower bouquet or centrepiece.
On the menu: French and European classics like French onion soup, bouillabaisse, herb-crusted lamb rack, and steak fries as well as pasta and salads.
The Secret Garden by Zeekri is at 19 Baghdad Street, Singapore 199658.
Doused in pink and dark mint hues, neon signs and string lights, this ice cream cafe is a hidden gem in Choa Chu Kang that’ll get you snap-happy.
Its lip-smacking ice-cream flavours include Bubblegum, Cookie Monster, Chocolate Rocky Road and Strawberry Cheesecake. Definitely order the waffles to go along with your icy treat, or the brownie.
Hey Sugar is at 818 Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1, #01-06 Singapore 680818.
Often translated as “taking a break, and with coffee especially, and with a baked good, the Swedish concept of Fika gave this double-storey cafe its name. Owned by a Swedish and Singaporean couple, its interiors of white and wood are reminiscent of the minimalist Scandi aesthetic.
Here, you’ll find Swedish fare including pytt i panna, Toast Skagen (toast and shrimp), meatballs, lamb stew, and a herring platter. You don’t want to miss its desserts too, including Swedish pancakes and Kladdkaka (chocolate cake).
Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro is at 257 Beach Road, Singapore
Easties will definitely know of Penny University, which has been in the local cafe scene for a long while. You’ll find unique takes on usual brunch suspects at this cosy cafe, like Baked Moroccan Eggs with beef chorizo, Full English shakshuka, Turkish Eggs with Greek yoghurt and spicy Moroccan harissa, as well as Chicken Karage Waffles.
The coffee here is top-notch with specialty beans sourced from local roasters, and you don’t want to pass up its fresh bakes and artisanal cakes as well.
The ambience here is cosy, with dimly-lit interiors, red-bricked walls, and black and wood furnishings.
Penny University is at 402 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428997.
If pasta is your carb of choice, this two-year-old pasta joint is the place for you. This cosy cafe with plenty of wooden accents and muted hues makes for a perfect spot to enjoy a quiet afternoon lunch. Plus, it makes its pasta in-house and from scratch, too.
It also offers customisable options so you can create your own winning combination. But if you don’t trust yourself, there are cafe specialities like Seafood Pomodoro, Prawn Aglio and Creamy Chicken Mushroom to get your pasta fix.
Tipo Pasta Bar is at 785 North Bridge Road Singapore 198753.
It’s hard to miss this cafe at Haji Lane with its oversized 3-D block letter sign in a bright tangerine hue when you stroll by.
I am… is an ode to Amsterdam with its name (its name nods to the city’s iconic I Amsterdam sign), decor, and even a menu with a line-up of Dutch-inspired bites like burgers, ribs, Fries & Mayo as well as the popular snack meatball snack Bitterballen – all tweaked to adhere to Halal requirements.
Other decorative elements, like the black-and-white mural of one of the many bridges and canals in bicycle-friendly Amsterdam, will transport you to the popular Netherlands city.
I am… is at 674 North Bridge Rd (Haji Lane), Singapore 188804.
For a chill night out sans the hangover, head to Wanderlost Lounge.
This halal rooftop bar’s unique mocktails drinks are inspired by and named after the books its owner grew up reading, from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to The Little Prince and Harry Potter, and its whimsical decor reflects that, too.
The indoor space boasts a cosy and eclectic vibe, with lots of story books on display. There’s also an alfresco rooftop space with string light that gazes out to the surrouding skyscrapers. But being the hidden gem it is, you’ll need some navigating to get there, and thankfully, its website’s got handy directions.
Wanderlost Lounge is at #12-01 Realty Centre, 15 Enggor Road, Singapore 079716.
You’ll likely know of the Tenderfresh group, which has several brands under its name like Tenderfresh Classic, Hawkerman and Good Chance Restaurant. There’s also Tenderbest Makcik Tuckshop, which doles out what it bills ‘nostalgic tuckshop’ fare amidst casual-chic surroundings.
There are two outlets at Woodlands and Jalan Kayu, and both are equally stylish, with the latter being the newer outlet. The food here’s pocket-friendly too, and includes Western classics like spring chicken, burgers, chicken cutlets and grilled fish, as well as Asian fusion pastas.
Tenderbest Makcik Tuckshop is at 246 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799470, and No.39 #01-68, Mega @ Woodlands, Singapore 737856.