The Dim Sum Place is one of the few Halal-certified dim sum joints in town and probably one of the rare spots you can enjoy a halal Xiao long bao. This makes the place a perfect communal dining spot if you're dining out with a diverse group of friends.
Like its namesake, you can find a wide range of dim sum and Cantonese cuisine on the menu, alongside some Malay local favourites like beef rendang ($10.90) and Indonesian curry ($15.90). Besides piling on the baskets of siew mai ($4.20/3 pieces) and crystal shrimp dumplings ($5.20/3 pieces), remember in include the fragrant garlic egg fried rice ($9.90) too.
Located in Tampines, Brothers of Fine Food is another venture of the team behind popular East-side cafe, Penny University. Influenced by the culinary travels of the founder Mouss Kamal, the menu is kept small and changes seasonally which keeps things interesting.
From blueberry-cured salmon carpaccio ($8) to dashi noodles with pulled chicken ($8.90), it's evident that he is influenced by very different cuisines. Dishes here are creative, including the dessert, Japan on a plate ($9) which is a combination of soy curds, wasabi emulsion (which you have to spritz on the dish), crispy shiso, sweetened dashi sauce and kiwi gel. If you love the coffee at Penny University, you can find it here as well.
A hot lunchtime spot, you'll notice snaking queues outside any Hjh Maimunah store before the actual lunch hour. Of course there's a reason for this: everyone wants first dibs on the food because trust us, it will run out. How it works is exactly like any other mixed rice stall where you get to choose whatever dishes you want and face the consequences at the cash register afterwards.
If you've tried the tahu telor, Sundanese grilled chicken and the beef rendang, you'll understand why so many keep coming back for more. If you're feeling adventurous, try the lemak siput sedut – sea snails in a rich coconut broth. Stick around for some traditional Malay kueh and desserts after your meal. Best part is, it won't cost you more than $20 ($10 if you're real frugal with your dish choices).
Located in the lush Singapore Botanic Gardens, aesthetically this place ticks all the boxes when it comes to lush surroundings, full-height windows for beautiful lighting and the option of tranquil terrace dining. More recently the resaturant has been certified Halal so all the better for your Muslim guests in the group.
While there are menus for all-day, breakfast and brunch dining – which include the signature dishes like paperbag oven-baked halibut ($33) and the Halia's Singapore-style chilli crab spaghettini ($26), you can also opt for their communal dining menu ($240, serves four). Don't worry, some of the all-time favourites are so available on the menu.
Experience Catalan-inspired cuisine right in Little India at The Great Mischief. Located in lobby of the very picturesque boutique hotel, The Great Madras, the restaurant offers its own rendition of Catalan dishes, tapas-style.
Sharing plates include Spanish favourites like croquetas ($9), patatas bravas ($9), and grilled padron peppers ($8). For mains, there's squid ink paella noodles ($22) and yellowfin tuna with a herbed breadcrumb crust ($24).
Fans of spicy, spicy food would appreciate taking an adventure with Sichaun cuisine. At Le Fuse in Serangoon, everything is Halal and you might even spot some rather interesting Malay-mala fusion dishes on the menu.
Get funky with the soto Sichuan ($8) or beef dendeng Sichuan ($10.80) or stick to the traditional stuff like Chong Qing diced chicken ($9.80), mala xiang guo ($12.80) and mala tang ($12.80) for the soup version of the spicy favourite.
For Halal Thai food in a lush and contemporary setting, head down to Blue Jasmine at Park Hotel Farrer Park. Dine indoors or sit by the pool outdoors to enjoy Singapore’s city skyline and the surrounding greenery.
From street food picks like the mango sticky rice to the crowd favourite tom yum soup, expect a classic Thai combination of ‘hot, sour, salty and sweet’ in the dishes. What’s more, dishes are served with four types of rice including the signature Blue Jasmine rice naturally dyed with blue pea flowers.
Set aside your utensils and put on a plastic bib, because it only gets messy from here on. The Halal Louisiana-style seafood restaurant’s second outlet at Plaza Singapura is here to satisfy all your crustacean cravings, offering an expanded menu alongside its classic seafood buckets.
Go for its platter for two if you’re dining with a friend and order The Naughty Platter ($31.90), which serves sea bass, fried squid, tiger prawns with either pilaf rice or aglio olio pasta. But it’s not just about seafood here. Try one of its premium beef burgers such as the Crusty Burger ($39.90), which features a juicy patty sandwiched between tomatoes, lettuce and grilled lobster. There are also additional à la carte and ocean box options, including lobster bisque ($6.90) and deep fried soft shell crab ($16.50). Don't forget to pair them with the restaurant's signature creamy sauces like Thai red curry and salted egg yolk to make the experience extra tasty.
Opened by Haji Isrin at the corner of Kandahar Street in 1948 – where it remains today – and now run by third-generation owners, the stall continues to churn out homely platters of authentic Malay dishes to a throng of people, including celebrities like former sports personality Fandi Ahmad and also us, simple, hungry people.
'Generous' is Nasi Pariaman's middle name. Plates are packed with rice covered in gravy of your choice – there’s gulai ayam (a chicken curry) and lodeh – and an assortment of side dishes such as sambal goreng, bagedil, ikan bilis, tofu and long beans. But the star here is the beef rendang ($3.50), a tender hunk of meat that’s drenched in spices, chilli and gravy. Pair this dish with a steaming cup of teh tarik ($1.30) to complete your meal.
Halal Swedish food on Arab Street is a rare sight, and modern bostro Fika certainly stands out in the mostly traditional area dominated by shophouses and heritage businesses.
Although many come for the halal Swedish meatballs that are served with roast potatoes and a dollop of lingonberry jam ($19), the desserts are the clear winner here, while the mains are only so-so; tea-lovers will appreciate the personal pot service and eclectic selection of Gryphon teas. Avoid the unwieldy, open-faced sandwiches and stick with the sweet stuff: a just-right Swedish chocolate cake, Kladdkaka ($8) and Swedish pancakes with fresh berries ($13) go down a treat.
The food court is given a facelift at this hotel restaurant. Designed by Tokyo-based restaurant design mavens Super Potato, the space is trimmed with steel, timber and marble finishes.
The fully halal buffet spread runs the gamut from laksa, sticks of satay and char-grilled stingray to chicken rice, naan, tandoori meats and Peranakan desserts. Lunch prices are at $52 for adults and $28 for the kids, and dinners are steeper at $62 and $35, respectively.
Located at Royal Plaza Hotel’s lobby, this popular buffet restaurant consists of four dining sections: The Living Room, The State Rooms, The Verandah and The Terrace.
On the buffet line’s an impressive international menu that spans Asian and Western cuisine, featuring dishes such as sushi and traditional rotisseries, while live food stations whip up hot dishes like laksa and pasta. Children dine from $20 to $56 and adults from $32 to $86, depending on whether you’re heading down for breakfast, brunch, tea or dinner. Remember to save some space for dessert(s)!
This never-tiring after-hours joint at River Valley is a Mecca for night owls hoping to fill up their bellies. Serving the post-clubbing and supper-hunting young crowd, Spize continues to be a favourite among locals.
Its menu covers the greasier end of the supper scale, with classic Indian-Muslim orders like fried rice with assorted sides ($7.50), cone-shaped tissue prata ($3.80) and roti john ($6). Western fare such as burgers ($7.50-$8.90) and cheese-drenched fries ($6.90) are also available, and anything you order should go down well with a tall glass of Milo Dinosaur ($3.90).
The decor of Islamic Restaurant is grander than you’d expect of a 95-year-old briyani shop. Then again, its regular patrons included the late presidents Yusoff Ishak and SR Nathan, and even the sultans of Brunei, Johor and Perak – literally providing meals fit for a king. Owner Abdul Rahiman was once the head chef for the wealthy Alsagoff family and his briyani was especially well-loved. Today, Islamic Restaurant is run by Rahiman's grandson, who still keeps the briyani recipe a secret.
While there are six versions of the dish, including chicken, prawn and vegetable ($10-13), the mutton briyani ($10) – with generous chunks of fork-tender meat buried under a mountain of fragrant basmati rice – is the indisputable star. The chicken tikka masala ($8) is just as sublime: the aromatic curry is thick enough to scoop onto warm garlic naan ($2.20), without compromising its crispy texture and you’ll be dreaming of it long after you’ve finished the meal. Thankfully, Islamic Restaurant does home delivery, too.
Opened by three brothers with a serious case of wanderlust, I AM Cafe is inspired by the city of Amsterdam. This prime people-watching spot sits on the corner of Haji Lane and North Bridge Road is probably the hippest on this list.
In-house specials include charcoal-grilled beef burgers ($14.90) and lightly battered fried dory ($15.90), which comes with your choice of lemon or malt vinegar to douse on the accompanying thick-cut French fries. The one downside to I AM is its sheer popularity – you’ll have to wait for a seat and deal with the slightly frazzled service.
At this bakery-slash-café, rustic cakes are whipped up using recipes tried and tested by owner Shannon Lua's grandmother. If well-made cakes are your ultimate comfort food, then invest in one of their homemade offerings.
The bakers here are quick to hop onto the minimally frosted cake trend with slices of salted caramel and red velvet ($7.90), and lychee rose ($7.90). Add on ice-cream at $4 a scoop, or pair dessert with Dutch Colony-brewed coffees ($3.50-$6.50). Standard café-issue fare takes fusion turns here: crab cakes are dressed with hollandaise and topped with poached eggs ($15), and chicken burgers ($14) are spiked with tandoori spices.
Eclectic decor and mismatched furniture dominate this casual chill-out spot along Arab Street. Head to the back of the cafe where you can dine under a sun roof (but still enjoy the comfort of air conditioning) where there's loads of natural light, should you need to indulge in the mandatory Instagram shot.
It does a mean double beef burger that’s topped with caramelised onions and veg ($22). Have it with a side of truffle tater tots ($5), seasoned with truffle oil and grated Parmesan. For a more localised spin, try the beef dendeng version of a burger, its patty dripping with satay sauce ($18). For drinks, sip on coffees from $3.50 or try the café’s bandung latte ($5) or dirt chai ($6.50) and for dessert, order a plate of its fancy goreng pisang ($11).
Located in a bustling food precinct in the CBD area, Royz et Vous holds its own, serving a straightforward Western menu - complete with Halal wine.
Dine in and order sweet potato fries ($11.90), Buffalo wings ($14.90), eggs Benedict ($18.90) and smoked duck ($26.90). What Royz et Vous specialises in is coffee – try its cold brew ($8) made from freshly roasted beans, or choose from an extensive selection of Italian La Marzocco coffee, also available as a macchiato ($4.50) and piccolo latte ($4.50).
Baked goods are the order of the day at All Things Delicious with various sweet offerings or opt for a hearty brunch at this Arab Street joint.
Go straight for the sticky toffee puddings ($6.90), carrot cakes ($6.90) and gula Melaka scones ($3), to name a few. For heartier offerings, try the colourfully plated wholesome breakfast ($16.90) that comes with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, Moroccan-spiced tomato relish and smoked salmon. On weekends, opt for the shakshuka – a Middle Eastern dish of eggs poached in tomatoes, capsicums and onions – topped with a dollop of sour cream and accompanied by slices of bread for dipping.
The East side is chock-full of quality halal cafes. Located along Bedok Road is Badoque Café, a restaurant that serves up a mishmash of Asian fusion, Greek and Mediterranean fare to keep things interesting.
To try on its menu is the beef ribs ($36) that come in generous portions and are served with homemade barbecue sauce. Other dish highlights include the pan-fried salmon with mashed potatoes ($24) and spaghetti with chunks of salmon belly ($22).