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SINGAPORE: For Muslims, Ramadan is a time for quiet reflection and also an opportunity to spend more time with loved ones. Make a date for iftar with family and friends, and try something new together at these halal restaurants offering fresh and interesting menus special for the fasting month.
Try: A-Yum Rendang, S$9.90
Local halal sushi chain Maki-San has put its own own spin on the beloved Hari Raya dish. Available for two months, the seaweed-wrapped roll contains white rice, peanut anchovies, cucumber, boiled egg, coconut flakes, a "shiok" sambal and, of course, the rendang.
If one is not enough, there’s the spicy platter (S$42 during fasting month), which comprises five makis (choose Maki Lemak, A-Yum Rendang or both). The good folks at Maki-San are also shaving 20 per cent off the total bill for all diners who eat in from 6pm to 7.10pm. Delivery available.
Try: Rendang-A-Dang-Dang Burger, S$13
Halal burger and milkshake joint FatPapas have opened two new outlets this year: One at Waterway Point and the other at the Publika mall in Kuala Lumpur.
For Ramadan, owners Bernie Tay and Sheikh Haikel are serving up the Rendang-A-Dang-Dang burger. It’s got a grilled beef patty smothered with homemade rendang sauce, some pineapple salsa and a fried egg – all sandwiched between two honey oat buns.
In true Ramadan spirit, there’ll also be a sharing option (S$99 a platter) that includes the burger, Haikel’s favourite country fried steak, beef ribs and chicken boners (aka wings) – now available with salted egg sauce.
Try: Chick Kut Teh and Ayam Woku Belanga. Buffet starts at S$20++ for children and S$35++ for adults
Indonesian food lovers, this is for you. New this Ramadan are Rumah Rasa’s executive chef Esa’s Ayam Woku Belanga, a signature Manado spicy chicken dish; and Bebek Cabai Ijo, braised duck with homemade green chilli sauce.
For those of you looking to try "halal bak kut teh", Bay Hotel’s halal-certified restaurant is also doing a Chick Kut Teh featuring broth cooked overnight, tau pok, mushrooms and garlic.
Try: Halal Thai buffet, S$58++ per person
If you’re craving Thai flavours, check out halal Thai restaurant Blue Jasmine, which is doing a different menu every week from May 17 to Jun 13.
A Seafood Night kicks off the fasting month, which features a lobster version of northern Thai curry noodle khao soi, plus grilled seafood like crayfish, prawns and sea bass. Then, there’s Curry Night, which gets you batang fish curry; and Grill and Roast Night, with duck, lamb, ribeye and Thai chicken satay.
Finally, Herbs and Spices Night brings forth tom kar gai (chicken coconut soup), eggplant green curry, and deep-fried sea bass with lemongrass and peanuts.
For dessert, don’t forget the durian sticky rice.
Try: Satay chicken burger and chicken laksa soba, S$13.50 each
Keen for something festive but without the post-santan guilt? There’s Lean Bento's chicken laksa soba and satay chicken burger, which is available until Jun 14.
The former is a low-carb, gluten-free alternative to the usual rich laksa, paired with smoked honey chicken, sauteed mushrooms and steamed corn. Meanwhile, the burger comprises sesame buns and a smoked satay chicken patty with crunchy seaweed and an egg fried sunny side up. The burger also gets a side of air-fried sweet potato tots, mesclun salad and miso sauce. Delivery available.
Try: Barbecue platter, S$55
This year, the popular barbecue platter makes a comeback with chicken wings, stingray, sotong, prawns, and of course, siput sedut (sea snail with gulai lemak). The platter comes with rice for four people, an ulam salad and three types of dipping sauce.
Try: Lobster nasi ambeng, S$38.80++
The original sharing platter, nasi ambeng, gets a luxe twist at restaurant chain Penang Culture. The lobster nasi ambeng for two features cheese-baked lobster, ayam masak merah, mutton rendang, french beans with tempeh, sambal egg, serunding (coconut floss), achar, assam curry and crackers. The classic nasi ambeng sans lobster is also available at S$29.80. Delivery available.
Try: Iftar pop-up buffet with a view, from S$34++ per child and S$68++ per adult
The MUIS halal-certified pop-up rooftop restaurant at Level 24, Hilton Singapore returns this Ramadan from May 16 to Jun 14. On top of last year's popular dishes, such as the roast beef sirloin, roasted whole baby lamb, ayam masak merah, ikan masak asam pedas and udang balado, there will also be a Burger Ramly live station, as well as another station churning out ice cream in flavours like bandung, gula melaka and teh tarik.
581 Orchard Road. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +65 6737 2233.
Try: Chicken briyani or ayam masak merah set, S$5
Lose track of time while shopping for new furniture and decor items at IKEA? If you're at the Alexandra outlet, break fast with the halal chicken briyani set.
Meanwhile, the Tampines outlet, which has a halal line, is doing something different each week: Ayam masak merah (May 16 to 20), satay chicken (May 21 to 27), masala chicken (May 28 to Jun 3) and nasi kunyit (Jun 4 to 10).
The popular Simpang Bedok cafe has been known to offer free dates or kurma, as well as bubur lambuk, to diners during the fasting month. But this year, customers can enjoy a whole spread of nibbles, including samosas, fruit and mini cheesecakes for free. Badoque's Ramadan hours are from 6pm to 10pm, but the iftar spread is available on a first-come-first-served, while-stock-lasts basis.