Wider Ramadan spread

SINGAPORE - The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan starts today and families and friends keen to break fast at restaurants can now do so over a wider variety of cuisines.

Eateries offering traditional Malay and nasi padang-style offerings will continue to be perennial favourites, but there are now cafes offering everything from open-faced roast beef sandwiches to Vietnamese pho.

In the last year, there have been a handful of Muslim-owned and halal-certified restaurants that have set up shop.

These include Muslim-owned eateries such as Bluespoon in Joo Chiat Road; Rouse, a casual bistro in Dunlop Street; and I Am Cafe in North Bridge Road, which is inspired by the streets of Amsterdam; as well as cake shops operated by Muslim bakers offering cakes made from scratch.

Newly certified restaurants include 21 On Rajah at Days Hotel at Zhongshan Park and Katong Kitchen at Village Hotel Katong in Marine Parade.

They add to the growing number of halal-certified, and Muslim-owned and Muslim-run food and beverage businesses in Singapore.

During Ramadan, the day usually begins with a pre-dawn meal, or sahur, at about 5am and ends with a meal at dusk, or iftar.

The end of Ramadan is marked by celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eid ul-Fitri, which falls on July 28 this year.

At popular places such as Carousel at Royal Plaza On Scotts, Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Singapore, Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant at Furama Riverfront hotel and AquaMarine at Marina Mandarin Singapore, buffets are already between 50 and 90 per cent full, with some already fully booked on weekends.

For instance, Marina Mandarin's 220-seat halal international restaurant, AquaMarine, is already about 70 per cent full on most days, with Friday and Saturday being more popular and likely to be fully booked.

Popular 450-seat buffet restaurant 1-Market at Plaza Singapura is about 80 per cent full during the Ramadan month.

Food and beverage operators say bookings started streaming in as early as April this year, and recommend reservations if they have not already been made.

rltan@sph.com.sg

Follow Rebecca Lynne Tan on Twitter @STrebeccatan


This article was first published on June 29, 2014.
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Muslim-owned and run

Pastilla Cafe

What: The restaurant will be serving harira, a traditional Moroccan soup of tomatoes, chickpeas and lentils usually enjoyed during the month of Ramadan. It will be offering break fast or iftar set menus that will include a choice of starter and main course, and a dessert. Main courses here include chicken and prune tajine, as well as lamb tajine.

Where: 334 Changi Road, tel: 6440-0849

Open: 5 to 10.30pm (Tuesday to Friday), 5 to 11.30pm (weekends), closed on Monday. The break fast set will be available only until about 9pm, after which the a la carte menu will be available.

Price: An iftar set is priced at $28++ a person.

 

Le Steak

What: Chef-owner Amri Abdul Azim, 38, is offering wagyu beef rendang served with yellow rice ($35) for the month of Ramadan. For an additional $15, those who order a main course will also be served artisan bread, soup and dessert of the day, and tea or coffee. The restaurant also offers various types, cuts and grades of steak.

Where: 248 Jalan Kayu, tel: 6556-3588

Open: During Ramadan, the restaurant will be open from 5 to 11pm (weekdays) and 4 to 10pm (weekends). The Ramadan special ends on July 25 and the restaurant will be closed thereafter for four days. Bookings are advisable for meals between 6.30 and 8pm.

Price: Steaks range in price from $15 to $49. The Ramadan special with wagyu rendang is priced at $35.

Info: Go to lesteak.com.sg

 

Le Bistro Parisien

What: The French bistro's popular dishes include a traditional French onion soup and baked escargots bourguignon served with green pea puree. Main courses range from duck confit to rack of lamb.

It will be offering a buffet ($55 a person) on weekends.

Where: 48 Bencoolen Street, 01-02, tel: 6333-3138

Open: 7am to 10pm daily

Price: Salads are priced at $15, while main courses start at $25 a serving.

Info: Go to www.le-bistroparisien.com

 

I Am Cafe

What: Aside from its regular a la carte menu that includes sandwiches, pizzas and main courses such as fish and chips, it is also offering break fast sets that can be shared among two or four diners. The sets include popular favourites such as its burger and pasta.

Where: 674 North Bridge Road, junction of North Bridge Road and Haji Lane, tel: 6295-5509

Open: 11.30am to 11pm (Monday to Thursday), 11.30am to 1am (Friday and Saturday), 11.30am to 10pm (Sunday). The cafe will not be serving brunch on Sundays during Ramadan.

Price: Expect to spend $10 to $30 a person. A break fast set for two is priced at $30.90, while a set for four costs $60.90.

Info: E-mail iamathajilane@gmail.com or go to www.iam.com.sg

 

Fika

What: Head to this Swedish cafe to break fast over dishes such as Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam, savoury crepes and pastas. The Millenia Walk outlet will be serving dishes off its usual a la carte menu, while the Beach Road outlet will offer a semi-buffet on weekends.

Diners at Beach Road can help themselves to salads, drinks and desserts, and have a choice of one main course. The buffet starts next weekend.

Where: 257 Beach Road, tel: 6396-9096; and Millenia Walk, 9 Raffles Boulevard, 01-20, tel: 6336-7234

Open: 11am to 10pm (Sunday to Wednesday), 11am to 11pm (Thursday to Saturday)

Price: Expect to spend about $20 to $30 a head, depending on what you order. The weekend iftar buffet at Beach Road is priced at $36 a person.

Info: Go to www.fikacafe.com

 

Pho 4 All

What: This Vietnamese restaurant serves both chicken and beef pho - thin flat rice noodles in a broth, served with herbs such as mint.

Where: 7 Jalan Pisang, tel: 6294-0703

Open: 11am to 3pm, 6 to 9pm (Monday to Friday), 6 to 9pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday

Price: A bowl of pho starts at about $7.

 

Rouse

What: Rouse's a la carte menu includes dishes such beef wrapped asparagus and an open-faced roast beef sandwich. New items will be introduced in the coming weeks. The bistro's Ramadan special includes a choice of two soups, main course from a list of six options, assorted cakes and dessert and a drink.

Where: 36 Dunlop Street, tel: 6292-2642

Open: It will be open from noon to 10pm daily during the month of Ramadan. The break fast set menu is available from tomorrow to July 27, between 6 and 8.30pm. The a la carte menu resumes after 8.30pm.

Price: $41.90 for the set menu.

Info: Go to facebook.com/rouseondunlop

 

Bluespoon

What: The Western restaurant, which has applied for halal certification, serves dishes such as shepherd's pie and chicken stew. For the month of Ramadan, it is offering special set meals ($33.90) which are good for two to three people. You get a choice of main course such as buah keluak rendang or lamb shank stew; and a side dish of either shepherd's pie, chicken chop, turkey-ham wrap with cheese, or macaroni and cheese; and another side dish of either hummus with naan, spicy chicken wings or breaded shrimp.

Where: 325 Joo Chiat Road, tel: 6455-6455

Open: 11am to 10pm (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday.

Price: A set for two to three people is priced at $33.90.

Info: Go to bluespoon.sg to order frozen meals


Halal-certified

KOREAN

NeNe Chicken

What: The casual Korean chicken restaurant offers fried, baked and grilled chicken. Those who like their chilli should opt for the spicy Freaking Hot chicken, which is tossed in a fiery sauce.

Where: Three outlets - The Star Vista, 1 Vista Exchange Green, 01-24, tel: 6222-6363; Scape, 2 Orchard Link, 02-39, tel: 6509-0907; Bedok Mall, 311 New Upper Changi Road, 02-02, tel: 6702-4008

Open: All outlets open from 11am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 11am to 11pm (Friday and Saturday). On Sunday, the Star Vista outlet opens at 10am.

Price: From about $8 for four pieces of chicken

Info: Go to english.nenechicken.com or facebook.com/nenechickensingapore

 

Seoul Garden

What: The Korean barbecue restaurant serves a range of marinated meats which diners grill on hotplates at their tables.

Where: 11 outlets islandwide, including Ngee Ann City, 391A Orchard Road, 05-10, tel: 6836-1339; The Clementi Mall, 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, 05-18/19/20, tel: 6659-2339; and Compass Point, 1 Sengkang Square, 03-18, tel: 6385-6339

Open: 11.30am to 10.30pm daily. Dinner starts at 5pm from Monday to Thursday, and at 4pm from Friday to Sunday, public holiday and public holiday eve.

Price: $24.99++ an adult (Monday to Thursday), $27.99 an adult (Friday to Sunday), $8.99++ a child daily.

Info: Go to www.seoulgarden.com.sg

 

Seoul Garden HotPot

What:This Korean hot pot restaurant serves various types of Jjigae or Korean stews. Side orders include seafood pancakes, fried chicken and bibimbap or rice with condiments such as meat, vegetables, kimchi and pickles.

Where: Four outlets - Harbourfront Centre, 1 Maritime Square, 02-03/04, tel: 6275-6338; Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, 8 Grange Road, B1-08, tel: 6732-6338; IMM Building, 2 Jurong East Street 21, 01-112, tel: 6566-8339; Jurong Point, 63 Jurong West Central 3, B1-45/46, tel: 6686-3478

Open: 11.30am to 10.30pm daily except outlet at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, which is open from noon to 10.30pm daily.

Price: Jjigae starts at $10.90 a serving.

Info: Go to www.seoulgarden.com.sg

 

CHINESE

Tang Tea House Hong Kong Cafe

What: The tea house serves dim sum and other zi char delights. These include kangkong with cuttlefish, barbecued stingray, lemon chicken and Yangzhou fried rice.

Where: Simpang Bedok, 357 and 359 Bedok Road, tel: 6445-9100

Open: 10.30am to 4am daily

Price: Expect to spend about $15 to $25 a head, depending what you order.

Info: Go to www.tangtea.net

 

SINGAPORE-INSPIRED

Curry Times and Curry Times Tingkat

What: Dishes range from fish head curry to chicken curry. Non-spicy items include the curry fish cutlet rice (right) and tofu with century egg. Curry Times Tingkat is a self-service outlet of Curry Times.

Where: Curry Times - Velocity, 238 Thomson Road, 02-33/34, tel: 6354-3206; Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, 02-08, tel: 6369-9609; Curry Times Tingkat - Alexandra Retail Centre, 460 Alexandra Road, 02-36, tel: 6273-3686

Open: Curry Times - 9am to 10pm daily; Curry Times Tingkat - 8am to 9pm (weekdays), 8am to 4pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday.

Price: An individual serving of chicken curry is priced at $7.90.

Info: E-mail info@currytimes.com.sg or go to www.currytimes.com.sg

 

MONGOLIAN

Kublai Khan Mongolian BBQ Restaurant

What: The restaurant not only serves Mongolian barbecued meats, but also a selection of seafood and other Asian foods, from sashimi and Japanese teppanyaki to Sichuan chicken served in a claypot.

Where: Park Mall, 9 Penang Road, 04-01, tel: 6334-4888

Open: 6 to 10pm daily

Price: $28 an adult, $15 a child, $23.80 for students and full-time national servicemen (Monday to Thursday), $29.80 for adults, $16 for children, $25.80 for students and full-time national servicemen (Friday to Sunday, public holiday and eve).

Info: Go to kublaikhanbbq.com

 

JAPANESE

Shabu Sushi

What: The shabu shabu and sushi restaurant offers a daily buffet with assorted sushi and items including meat and vegetables for the shabu shabu.

Where: nex mall, 23 Serangoon Central, B1-38, tel: 6834-3383

Open: 11.30am to 10.30pm daily. Dinner starts at 5.30pm and last orders are taken at 9.30pm.

Price: $24.60 a person (weekdays), $29.30 a person (weekends)

 

Ramen-Ten & Shin-Tokyo Sushi

What: Each outlet offers two restaurant concepts in one space. Expect a variety of ramen and toppings to be served alongside assorted sushi and other dishes such as a Japanese-style baked rice.

Where: Two outlets - Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road, 01-22, tel: 6238-7983; and Clementi CityVibe, 3151 Commonwealth Ave West, 02-05, tel: 6775-8862

Open: 11.30am to 10pm daily

Price: A bowl of ramen starts at $9.90.

Info: Go to www.ramenten.com

 

VIETNAMESE

So Pho

What: The halal Vietnamese restaurant serves popular items such as spring rolls, Vietnamese pancakes known as banh xeo, hot pots, pho, rice dishes and banh mi or Vietnamese baguette sandwiches.

Where: Two outlets - Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, tel: 6339-0058; and nex mall, 23 Serangoon Central, B1-15, tel: 6636-8195

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Price: A bowl of beef pho starts at $8.80.

Info: Go to www.katrinahldgs.com/sopho.html

 

SEAFOOD AND WESTERN

Fish & Co.

What: Popular dishes here include mussels served in a garlic lemon butter sauce; grilled white fish with ebiko; grilled peri-peri prawns; and fish and chips done in different styles. It is also serving a break fast meal for two at $42.95.

Where: 15 outlets islandwide including VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk, 02-116, tel: 6224-3176; Sembawang Shopping Centre, 6604A Sembawang Road, 01-01/02, tel: 6481-9192; Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road, B1-35/36, tel: 6733-0938; and Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, 01-90, tel: 6338-2836

Open: Various opening hours, but most open between 11.30am and 11pm daily.

Price: Expect to spend about $25 a person, depending on what you order.

Info: Go to www.fish-co.com

 

The Manhattan Fish Market

What: Highlights for Ramadan include new dishes such as Lamb Stew And Grilled Dory, served with garlic herb rice, fried calamari rings and vegetables; and a Lamb Stew And Fish Rendang Platter. Other offerings here include pasta, soups and chowders, and seafood done in a variety of ways.

Where: 16 outlets islandwide including Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1, 01-39/40, tel: 6636-1566; United Square, 101 Thomson Road, B1-32/33, tel: 6352-6008; JCube, 2 Jurong East Central 1, 04-10/21, tel: 6684-4208; and Plaza Singapura,

68 Orchard Road, 06-07, tel: 6835-9300

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Price: Expect to spend about $20 a head.

Info: Go to www.manhattanfishmarket.com

 

J's Restaurant

What: The Latin American-inspired restaurant offers dishes such as tostadas, fajitas and quesadillas. Starters include chipotle meatballs ($17) and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon ($19). Feast on main courses such as adobo chicken ($31) and braised lamb shank ($33).

Where: 7 Purvis Street, tel: 6887-4787

Open: Noon to 2.30pm (weekdays), 6.30 to 10.30pm (Monday to Thursday), 6 to 10.30pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday.

Info: Go to www.dineatjs.com


New halal hotel buffets

Cafe Brio's, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore

What: The hotel has engaged Muis to cleanse its kitchen and equipment, and will be sourcing halal ingredients for its upcoming Ramadan promotion. Expect a halal spread of local and international delights from sambal stingray to bread and butter pudding. Dishes also include spicy white clams with chilli padi, assorted seafood cocktail salad, slipper lobsters and tom yum soup.

Where: The Promenade at Cafe Brio's, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore, 392 Havelock Road, tel: 6233-1100

Open: The Ramadan promotion is available on July 18, 19 and 20 only, 6 to 10pm daily.

Price: $55++ a person

Info: E-mail dining.gcw@millenniumhotels.com or go to www.millenniumhotels.com.sg/grandcopthorne- waterfront/dining/cafe-brios.html

 

21 On Rajah, Days Hotel

What: Tuck into seafood including tiger prawns, green mussels and snow crab, as well as Mediterranean- inspired dishes of hummus, Moroccan lamb shank, and baked rice with sultanas and nuts. Asian offerings range from satay to laksa. End the meal with Nonya kueh, pastries and durian mousse.

Where: Days Hotel At Zhongshan Park, 1 Jalan Rajah, tel: 6847-6808

Open: 6 to 10.30pm (until July 27). Brunch is served on Hari Raya Puasa from noon to 3pm.

Price: $48++ an adult and $24++ a child daily. On Hari Raya Puasa, brunch is priced at $42++ an adult and $21++ a child.

Info: E-mail 21@dayshotelsingapore.com or go to www.21onrajah.com

 

Katong Kitchen, Village Hotel Katong

What: The newly halal-certified restaurant at Village Hotel Katong is offering a Ramadan promotion from now until July 27: a fourth adult dines for free with every three paying adults. The international buffet spread includes seafood such as snow crab and prawns on ice, with oysters available only on weekends, as well as a spread of Malay and Western fare.

Where: Village Hotel Katong, 25 Marine Parade, tel: 6551-2141

Open: 6.30 to 10.30pm daily (until July 27)

Price: $48++ an adult, $24++ a child (Monday to Thursday), $58++ an adult, $29++ a child (Friday to Sunday).

Info: Go to www.stayfareast.com/en/hotels/village- hotel-katong/dining.aspx