Singapore‘s halal dining scene has been flourishing in recent years, with many halal eateries opening up and several restaurant owners aiming for halal certification. A recent report on Muslim consumer behaviour and halal food trends stated that the halal dining market in Singapore is estimated at S$1 billion in 2019, with S$700 million spent by local Muslims.
The report was released by Muslim lifestyle and travel consultancy CrescentRating and global payment technology solutions company Mastercard who surveyed 500 Muslims, researched studies on halal food here and conducted interviews with experts and academics on halal food.
The scene might be thriving now, but this was not the case in the past.
Adam Shah started The Halal Food Blog together with his wife, Maryah, in June 2012, after they realised there was a dearth of information when it came to halal food options. They didn’t have a lot of places to go when they were dating, he shares. Adam started documenting his eats, handling everything from photography to content creation. Eight years later, he still does the bulk of the work, while juggling a full-time job in the telecommunications industry and a part-time job as a Grab driver. “I do my blogging at 2am when I get home from work and everyone is asleep,” he quips.
The site has since grown to be a reputable and popular source of information for halal food places in the city-state. Its Instagram page, filled with gorgeous photos of mouthwatering cuisine, now has 81.7k followers while its Facebook page has more than 39k likes. The Halal Food Blog has also been named one of Singapore’s top food blogs in 2021 by local website Best in Singapore.
Naturally, if you want the best halal food offerings Singapore has to offer, there’s no better foodie to ask then the people behind the The Halal Food Blog. Here are five delicious halal spots you have to try, as recommended by Adam.
1. Ayam Penyet from Pondok Pantai Timur
Ayam Penyet, a famous dish of East Javanese origin comprising smashed fried chicken served with vegetables sambal, tofu and tempeh, is high on the list for many when it comes to tasty hawker fare. “While there are quite a few variations (rice served with different types of meat such as beef and fish), few come close to Pondok Pantai Timur in checking all the boxes,” says Adam. “Flavourful rice, a spicy (and shiok!) sambal spread across a wooden plate, plus a crisp fried chicken that’s crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside – all of the above result in heaven on a plate and a hawker experience that’s hard to resist.”
Address: Blk 301 Ubi Avenue 1 (within Yummy Food Point) Singapore 400301
2. Satay from Satay Haron 55
Located at East Coast Lagoon Food Village, Satay Haron 55 has been grilling satays since the 1980s and its offerings have consistently gotten the thumbs up from foodies. It’s no surprise why – they have been using the same recipe and techniques for over 40 years, even though the business is now managed by the founder’s daughters. The meats are first marinated before they are charcoal grilled, producing a nice charred finish. The result: Succulent and delicious grilled meats paired with a peanut gravy that packs a punch. “We think this is one of the best satays you’ll ever have,” he adds.
Address: Stall 55, East Coast Lagoon Food Village
3. Mee Goreng from Rabia Muslim Food
Mee Goreng, or fried noodles, is a quintessential dish served in most halal food stalls. There are many different variations of this humble plate of fried noodles but a top hawker favourite is the Mee Goreng Mamak – an Indian-Muslim version distinct for its bright red stir-fried noodles. Rabia Muslim Food, a hidden gem in Circuit Road Food Centre, serves one of the best renditions of the dish. “Each order is cooked fresh, presented piping hot, and is awesome on so many levels,” he shares. “It’s flavourful and just the right amount of spicy – plus you can even tweak it with your choice of noodles and meat. Whatever you go for, you’re guaranteed a great meal.”
Address: #01-96 Circuit Road Food Centre, 79A Circuit Road Singapore 371079
4. Soup Kambing from Haji M. Abdul Razak
When it comes to soup kambing (rich mutton soup), most insiders will point you towards Haji M. Abdul Razak, a stall in Upper Boon Keng Road Market and Food Centre. It’s nondescript, until you spot the long queues during lunch hour. Around since 1955, Haji M. Abdul Razak only sells soup kambing, although they offer a variety of parts for your choosing – meat cubes, shank, ribs, tongue and brains – with a side of bread. “The folks helming it brew the soup for hours, resulting in a rich and tasty dish comprising oh-so-tender meats and a rich broth that brings warmth to your tummy. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the mutton brain or mutton tongue soup. You just might like it!”
Address: #01-03 Upper Boon Keng Road Market and Food Centre, Blk 17 Upper Boon Keng Road
5. Nasi Ayam from Mat Noh & Rose
Mat Noh & Rose is legendary among the Muslim community (and even outside of it). “They have operated at several locations over the decades but true fans will always know where and how to find them,” says Adam. Known for their Nasi Ayam, or Ginger-Fried Chicken Rice, this dish might sound unimpressive but their version is phenomenal. “Their fried chicken is aromatic, with a crispy skin enveloping tender and juicy meat within that boasts hints of ginger. It’s paired with fragrant basmati chicken rice and a delicious chili sauce that has just the right kick. It’s so delicious, you’ll want to order a second serving. Bonus tip: be sure to add on a serving of their crispy chicken skin and chicken giblets. You will not regret it.”
Address: #01-27 Whampoa Drive Food Centre, 91 Whampoa Drive
All photos courtesy of The Halal Food Blog.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.