Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Enjoying Halal Eats with Friends

Sampling wonderful eats in Singapore as a group can be a fun experience. It can be even better if you’re assured that what you’re eating is excellent food that suits everyone in your circle of friends. In short, it’s permissible or agreeable to you and to your Muslim friends. Good news is, Singapore’s best recipes are offered by a number of halal-certified restaurants.

My gang of friends and I discovered that there are so many delightful culinary choices that can suit everybody’s needs & requirements in Singapore. Whether we’re craving for Chinese-Singaporean foods or an Italian dish with an Asian twist, or looking for a quick bite in a fastfood restaurant, food places with halal best recipes get our nod of approval.

Some halal-certified dining destinations we’ve tried are VivItalia at the Tampines Courts Megastore (where we sampled Italian-style best recipes for pizzas, pasta, fish & chips, and chilli crab); and Golden Bay Seafood Restaurant at the West Coast Highway (when we celebrated the birthday of one of our buddies). Golden Bay’s traditional Chinese best recipes for dimsum, Peking Duck, soups like Bird’s Nest, and noodles (which were well-seasoned), made us so full we could hardly walk out of the restaurant.

Besides Tampines, we’ve also stumbled into international food stalls in food centers like those in Changi Village Road, Pasir Ris that are halal-certified. What my friends and I enjoy a lot is dining in a relaxed dining spot with mouth-watering Singapore best recipes, such a Hokkien Prawn Mee, porridge, and other palate pleasers, prepared the traditional way by local chefs.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Tasty Crabs & Other Discoveries in Balestier Road

In the old days, there seemed to be no mainstream halal food. Nowadays, it’s good to find eateries that not only bring excitement to the palate but are halal-certified, too. Got invited to a lunch birthday gathering at 10 Mouths Seafood in Balestier Road and I must say, the Italian chilli crab I ate was delicious!

If you’re wondering why I refer to the tasty crab as Italian, well, it’s mainly because it’s cooked in a rich-tasting red tomato-chili sauce. The delightful sauce harmonizes well with tender crab meat, making for one super duper tasty meal.

When I eat out, I don’t always go for traditional ethnic dishes when they dine out, though tacos, buffalo wings, thin crust vegetarian pizza and curry dishes suit me fine. The restaurant’s take on Italian chilli crab – as I prefer to call it – is actually just moderately spicy with a delightful sweetness to it. Reminded me of a halal Italian restaurant in Tampines also serving tasty Italian chilli crab.

After digesting my sumptuous meal, I walk along Balestier Road and I find a bakery shop. Hmmm. Freshly baked bread is almost as comforting as grandma’s homemade cookies. With Italian chilli crab still on my mind, I head home and wonder where my next gastronomic journey will be. Most probably a restaurant with a steamboat buffet. Or perhaps one offering mixed Italian, Western food and Asian cuisines – where there’s a mouth-watering spread of sashimi, tempura, dim sum, lobster salad, meat dishes, and of course the spicy Singapore chilli crab. How I love dining out in Singapore!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Halal Tummy Pleasers

Many people have this notion that all things healthy lack flavor. This is not totally true. Lots of restaurants in Singapore prove that healthy foods need not taste bland.

Take for instance Chinese restaurants in Singapore that offer halal dishes. Halal-certified restaurants are good to have, not only when dining out with Muslim friends or colleagues, but for personal benefit, too. It’s reassuring to know that when you’re dining in a place, the foods you are consuming support your overriding goal to live well.

Well, one of the discoveries that my friends and I made in our quest for the best halal restaurants is that they’re actually all over town. Diners just gotta be alert about and hear out tips & recommendations from foodies to find restaurants in Singapore that truly offer foods with wholesome culinary goodness.

A food trip all over the districts noted for different cuisines will unravel halal-certified restaurant options. One of them, the Tang Tea House Hong Kong Café, is one of the first halal dimsum eateries in Singapore. Beat that! This halal café that can be found in Bedok Road serves a good porridge, tasty dimsum, savory chicken rice and noodle dishes plus other tummy pleasers.

I’ve also had several lovely experience of dining with my family in halal restaurants in Tampines and Pasir Ris Close. In Tampines, we dined in a restaurant that serves authentic Italian pizza and delectable chilli crab. In Pasir Ris Close, we enjoyed a sumptuous meal in a food place that served the yummy steamboat dish. The halal food court, coffee shops, or restaurants in Singapore you’re looking for may be just around the corner, so keep your eyes wide open and find it!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Finding Healthy & Tasty Grub in Singapore

My life in Singapore has recently switched to fast mode. When you go to places buzzing with activity, you feel the frenetic pace. This is `specially felt in the hawker stalls, among the best places to eat in Singapore.

At the most popular hawker centers, I imagine people nodding to each other, as if asking “where’s the best grub?” When you’re at the heart of the hawker stalls, and an assortment of tasty-looking dishes are laid out before you, and you see long queues and satisfied looks afterwards in diners’ faces, the question is answered.

Singapore food stalls are teeming with the flavors of various countries. Local eats reflect influences of several cultures that have left their gastronomic marks on Singapore dining tables. I particularly adore delicious pasta concoctions and succulent seafoods. Need I say that I also crave for the famous Singapore chili crab once in a rare while? Who doesn’t? Maybe only those allergic to seafoods.

Being a Muslim who wants to eat right, finding good places to eat in Singapore (eateries that adhere to good sanitary conditions and use natural ingredients, too) makes me heave a huge sigh of relief. Let’s zero in for now on a specific place – Tampines. While hanging out at Tampines with classmates, we discovered Italian restaurants as well as laksa stalls, a vegetarian eatery, and noodle stalls offering delicious halal food options.

We went to Tampines to trade in old gadgets for better ones, and we got more than we bargained for. We ended up savoring good eats that the locals are just crazy about. Wending one’s way into the hawker stalls, the best places to eat in Singapore, is not for the faint-hearted (the heat, the crowd, and the pulsating atmosphere can smother you), but for me, it’s a nice adventure!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Trying Singaporean dishes with a healthy twist

My life in Singapore has been smooth-sailing and easygoing, so far. Since I decided to work in the Lion City, I’ve almost always eaten out and chosen Singapore food options depending on my mood. While my first few months in the country have mostly been mindless eating – going wherever co-workers wanted to eat and choosing whatever suited my fancy – lately I’ve been more conscious about what I eat, so I choose halal eateries.

Discovering good Singapore restaurants serving halal foods can happen by chance. You never know what you’re gonna get in terms of food and service, unless you’ve actually tried visiting them. Some halal-certified Singapore restaurants really debunk the notion that healthy food is plain and bland tasting. Others are just so-so.

Take for instance this halal Chinese seafood restaurant that my friends and I discovered while cruising Changi Road. I must say, Singaporean food always tickles my tastebuds. Our meal at Chai Chee Seafood Restaurant pleased our palates, but we really weren’t the finicky type.

We had cereal prawns that looked crunchy on the outside and succulent inside. If you like experimenting in the kitchen, you’ll wonder how cereal prawn is made. To cook this Singapore food, you need to have at hand some curry leaves, chopped chillies, a couple of egg yolks, evaporated milk and the cereal prawn mix.

The menu offerings at Chai Chee Seafood Restaurant are nothing to crow about, but they’re good enough to ease hunger pangs and satisfy both Muslim and non-Muslim customers. My friends and I tried other Singapore food like fried sea bass with sweet-sour & spicy sauce, crispy noodles, and baby squids in oyster sauce, plus the Kangkong kembal. Overall, the meal was good. T’was okay but lacked the “wow” factor. We weren’t brought to gastronomic heaven, but we nonetheless enjoyed eating Singaporean food amidst a relaxing ambience with friendly dining staff.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Yummy, Satisfying Foods in Halal-Certified Restaurants

I love partaking of authentic cuisine in a restaurant that not only brings nostalgic feelings to the fore, but also adheres to strict hygienic standards. Halal restaurants in Singapore hit the spot as far as offering eats for people who want to live life well. Thank goodness there are now many of these in Singapore. Beyond the halal food courts and coffee shops, there are family dining establishments smack in the busiest neighborhoods or retail complexes like Tampines that are halal certified.

A good place to hie off with friends or family members is Seoul Garden Korean BBQ. My best friend’s family visited Singapore recently and we enjoyed the Korean-style barbecue buffet of Seoul Garden. Among various places to eat in Singapore, Tampines mall dining establishments have become rising stars. An example is Seoul Garden. We liked the coffee-marinated bulggogi. It was a winner! Other menu offerings that diners around us seemed to enjoy were the deep-fried chicken wings and pizzas. Diners in this halal restaurant went away full, happy, and willing to return again. At the end of the day, I guess the large number of repeat customers is one indication of whether restaurants in Singapore will thrive.

The atmosphere at the halal restaurant in Tampines is festive. The food offerings offered good value for money. After dining at Seoul Garden, it dawned on me that there’s more to Korean cuisine than kimchis. After my authentic Korean dining experience, I intend to venture next into an authentic Italian gastronomic journey. I spotted a family-friendly halal restaurant in Tampines, and I’ve marked it down as my next stopover among the many promising restaurants in Singapore.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Enjoying Halal in Singapore

Entertaining friends or clients in Singapore and looking for a halal restaurant? There are several restaurants serving halal food in Singapore. Seafoods, vegetable dishes, even meats that are butchered correctly, and delicacies made of natural ingredients can be classified as halal. Among the recognized halal restaurants in Singapore is Fig & Olive in Pasir Ris. This restarant, which passed the halal standards set by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, offers Mediterranean cuisine like chicken BBQ pasta and veggie dishes. The upscale bistro café also serves western, European and Asian foods.

Another option if you’re in East Pasir Ris is BBQ Chicken Restaurant which serves healthy foods cooked in olive oil (for a healthy kick) or barbecued. Discerning diners notice when quality takes a dip in restaurants they’ve been visiting, and they choose to explore better options elsewhere in Singapore. A good example of a must-visit food place for delectable eats is Rajah Mas Café located at the Orchid Country Club, 1 Orchid Club Road, Yishun. The restaurant’s black pepper chilli crab, big butter prawns and other succulent entrees are worth checking out.

Another must-visit dining destination is the award-winning Amirah's Grill Restaurant & Café, which serves exotic food fare like Turkish mixed kebab served with fragrant Arabic rice, mixed seafoods consisting of fresh mussels, squids, sea bass and king prawns, plus yummy desserts like the Basbousa originating from Egypt.

If you and your family or friends want to alternate your pizza and chilli crab food adventures with halal eating, hie off to the food courts for healthy picks. Foodies in search for good-tasting food options can also get to sample Singaporean halal dishes not just in coffee shops or fine dining Mediterranean restaurants but also at hawker stalls. Indeed, halal restaurants in Singapore that serve tasty and healthy cuisine are a welcome sight, both for Muslim diners and regular customers who are accustomed to non halal eats but looking for wholesome food options.