☪️ Halal • Sedap

☪️ Halal • Sedap

My experience in Halal-certified establishments.
Siming T
Siming T

Taking over the KFC that was within the driving range premise, Tenderbest Makcik Tuckshop brought a new lease of life to the almost forgotten part of Punggol. While the price point might be higher than their coffee shop counterparts, the restaurant offered some additional items such as the Onion Blossom (S$6.90) and some special desserts.

The Onion Blossom was beautifully cut and coated with batter before being dropped into the fryer, to make a “flower” out of the onion. Apart from its natural sweetness, the spiced batter also made this item a wonderful appetiser, probably good for two persons to share.

This restaurant building was also currently housing a stall that sold Cat and The Fiddle cheesecakes, and they also offered their in-house weblink to pre-order for drive-through and walk-in takeaway orders.

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Feeling a craving the other day for fried rice, I was at Bali Thai to have their Nasi Goreng Istimewa (S$15.50) for dinner. The fried rice dish also included two sticks of Satay, a stuffed winglet, a fried egg, and some Keropok and condiments by the side.

The dish did promise quite a well-rounded variety of items, thus making it a bit more special than conventional Nasi Goreng. Unfortunately, the taste of the fried rice was just not “power” enough to make this worth coming back for. If that was how it was even without the chilli padi added into the fried rice during the cooking process, it could have also been the case when the spice was thrown in.

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Teck Ghee Court had a congregation of some really awesome hawker food. Ren Ren Chicken Rice and Snacks, might be one of those Halal-certified places that was located at the car park entrance, away from the Food Centre. Being a stand-alone restaurant, they also sold other items like Wanton Noodles and Chicken Porridge, but it probably did not make sense if I did not want to try their Chicken Rice (S$3.50) at all.

I would say that their rice was done pretty average. While it captured most of the essentials that fragrant rice should have, it might still be a familiar taste like what one could normally get. Their roasted chicken had juicy meats, but I thought the skin was towards the dry side.

With a top-up of 50 cents, the restaurant would throw in a cup of iced calamansi juice. Service was quite fast on the whole, so especially if you would want a quick meal, this place could get you covered.

Mainly the combination of Korean Ramyeon and Tteokbokki, Jinjja Chicken also had their take on the Rabokki. At S$7.90, the bowl of noodles was pretty quickly served. I quite liked the thickness of the soup because, which was further thickened by the cheese that came with it. This could be an alternative to fried chicken, especially for those who needed a bit more carbohydrates to last through to the next meal.

During peak hours, it would be good to find a seat before placing orders. But what was most interesting for me was the two times of power tripping that happened during the visit, which I almost thought they were doing some birthday surprises.

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On a weekday lunch hour whereby the restaurants and public food courts were filled with diners, I was surprised to see that there were lots of seats available at Terminal M, a gourmet foodcourt run by Ministry of Food.

Through the ordering kiosk, I got myself a Mixed Tendon (S$11.90) that basically comprised prawns, dory, long beans, a Shiitake mushroom, eggplant and a fried egg. Comprehensive as it might have seemed, I had an uneasy feeling when I saw that there was little trace of sauce. True enough, the Donburi was presented in a dry manner, and that while the meal was substantially filling, the satisfaction was far from my ideal Tendon with crispy Tempura and a fluffy bed of rice.

Maybe, their Korean fare or Western food might stand a better chance for more thumbs up? I don’t know.

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One has to constantly innovate to keep up with the competitive industry, but innovation need not refer to fancy fusion or absurd new creations with confusing palates.

By paying a little more, I tried their Satay Chicken Chop (S$10.90) which I enjoyed very much. Firstly, the sauce that was layered atop the grilled chicken was thick with a rich nutty flavour and mildly spicy. Secondly, familiar ingredients such as the diced cucumber and raw onion rings helped in balancing the Satay flavours, just like what we would have in their skewered forms (thankfully, no Ketupats here!). Lastly, the usual sidekicks — fries and coleslaw — helped remind me that this was still a Western meal, with the coleslaw especially maintaining its usual creamy consistency. Overall, it’s tasty and balanced, yet rich enough before it became an overkill.

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This takeaway concept had recently attained their Halal certification, which means that they had extended their reach to a larger customer base.

From S$5.00, one could get a box of Egg Fried Rice that was cooked “a la minute”. The chefs stood behind a glass window, showing the whole process of cooking the fried rice in front of customers. As the short-grain Japanese rice was tossed in the wok with hot oil and egg, I could not help but marvel at how these chefs could stand there all day, frying rice and noodles non-stop.

Apparently, their fried rice was quite an impressive product, with television viewers voting Wok Hey as the best among hawkers in conjunction with the premiere of Fried Rice Paradise serial drama. While I must admit that the fried rice was not as consistently cooked over my few orders, the flavours of their Egg Fried Rice was on point and outstanding from most hawker stalls. To mark the double celebration with their certifiation, Wok Hey offered a free Tobiko (flying fish roe) topping for every pack of fried rice purchased on 6, 13 and 20 Sep. Very premium, I must say, but somehow I still preferred my fried rice as-is — it’s good enough!

#BurppleTakeaways

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The US brand Fatburger had landed on our shores for some time now. At dinner time, the crowd was still coming in, partially because they have earned their Halal certification.

So the Double (XXL) Burger, which costed S$10.90 ala carte, or S$14.90 by “making it ‘Fat’”, turned out to be a really petite set, with the burger almost covering my whole palm from top view. I was actually quite pleased with their beef patty, because the meat was coarsely grounded and not thoroughly minced, resulting in some chunky bites here and there. Sadly, a XXL set might have sounded big, but in reality it could not even barely satiate my hunger, and I was not very hungry to begin with.

Maybe, the way to go to ensure a full tank was to overdose myself with the refillable soft drinks, but given my desire for good burgers, I would opt for other burger joints to answer that call for burgers.

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I loved ordering Naan when I had a chance to, preferring them over Roti Prata. And every time I visit Al-Azhar Eating Restaurant, I would not fail to order a Kashmiri Naan (S$4.50), which contained candied fruit and chopped almonds.

The uniqueness of this dish was that the Naan bread were usually doughy and dry, and the ingredients added surprises of sweetness and crunch. Not sure if anyone else would eat this with curry or butter chicken, but kids and people with sweet tooth should give this a try.

Anyone knows where else would sell Kashmiri Naan in Singapore?

Over at Stall 2 (#01-02) of Dunman Food Centre, there is this Muslim food stall that sells a number of commonly found Malay dishes, and one of them is this Mee Rebus. The “kakak” was very friendly and nice to help me to make the last plate of Mee Rebus of the day, because she initially told me that it was already sold out.

What I liked about my S$3.00 breakfast was that the Mee Rebus gravy was peanuty and sweet enough for me, and it was quite filling too. Those who want more out of their meal can also order the additional side dishes to add on.

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The Mussels with GLBS (S$12.90) is my recommended starters for sharing, especially when it comes to wanting something saucy. Other than being served with four slices of “warm” bread, the pan is filled with blue mussels, and so I think that the portion is pretty generous.

The sauce, though creamy, tends to be on the salty side. However, it can also serve as a secondary dip for other items, such as fries, calamari or grilled prawns. For the best zing, try squeezing a wedge of lemon into the sauce and stir well before consumption.

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From Stall 2 of Plaza Singapura’s Kopitiam is this stalls that sells really economical Indonesian BBQ stuff. Though fascinating to watch how they dip the grilled chicken legs into the tub of Kecap sauce, I still preferred to buy their Ayam Goreng Set (S$5.50) instead, which comes in the deep fried variant of the chicken leg.

The curry they use are relatively bland and mild, but turn out to be a good companion with their steamed rice. Those who like it more spicy can get their sambal chilli sauce at no extra cost.

Given the portion versus the price, I believe this will be one of the shortlisted choices when I am at the Plaza Singapura region during meal times.

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First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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