Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, local—name a cuisine and you’ll find Halal-certified eateries that will satisfy your cravings. As you make your way around the idyllic eastern region of Singapore, fuel up at these Muslim-friendly restaurants and cafés.
Fun fact: The Tampines neighbourhood is actually named after the tempinis (Malay for riau ironwood) tree, which was largely found in the area. Formerly populated by swamps, forests and quarries, the estate is known for its green spaces such as Tampines Eco Green and Sun Plaza Park.
East-meets-West at this charming eatery in the neighbourhood mall of Century Square. As its name suggests (Hana means one in Korean), Two Hana blends two individual cuisines together and serves up a medley of Western and Korean comfort food.
Whet your appetite with starters like the Kimchi Mac and Cheese, or chow down on the Spicy Haebi Seaweed Prawn Aglio Olio—a classic Italian pasta with Korean chilli paste and haebi (dried shrimp floss).
Some other popular mains here include the Spicy Chicken Bulgogi Bap and the Salmon Green Laksa—The restaurant’s take on one of Singapore’s most beloved dishes.
Century Square. 2 Tampines Central 5 #01-21, Singapore 529509. +65 6260 4321.
Mon-Wed 11am-10pm; Thu & Fri 11am-10.30pm; Sat 9am-10.30pm; Sun 9am-10pm.
Big flavour meets generous portions at Craze Kitchen, a halal café that specialises in no-frills comfort food.
Expect to indulge in mammoth-sized mains and Western classics at this cosy café, including fish and chips and aglio olio. If you’re hankering for local flavours, you should certainly sample their Sambal Chicken Paella, which adds a spicy kick to the Spanish rice staple.
Craze Kitchen. 201D Tampines Street 21 #01-1171, Singapore 524201. +65 6970 0287.
Mon 9am-5pm; Tue-Thu 11.30am-11pm; Fri & Sat 11.30-2am; Sun 11.30am-11pm.
Home to more than 250,000 residents, Bedok is one of our largest residential areas. Thanks to the cycling paths network that runs through the neighbourhood, you can easily cycle to scenic East Coast Park by using a bike-sharing app like SG Bike.
It’s easy to get lost in Badoque Café’s menu. The cuisines served here range from Italian to Mediterranean to American, but the beef ribs are a good place to start. This generous slab of meat is drenched in home-made barbecue sauce, and served with a side of potato wedges and corn on the cob (S$24). Other highlights include the lamb shank that’s slathered with a sweet and spicy soya sauce, and a classic shakshuka (poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce).
Looking for a venue to perform your daily prayers after? Take a short stroll to Al-Taqua mosque. The Muslim place of worship has been around since the 1960s, when it was a prominent landmark for residents of the Bedok kampong (Malay village).
Simpang Bedok. 298 Bedok Road, Singapore 496454. +65 6446 6928.
A hidden gem in the east of Singapore, Kembangan is chock-a-block with cosy cafés—perfect for a café hopping adventure for all you foodies.
The Royals Café
Malay food is a bedrock of our local cuisine, loved for its satisfying spiciness and heartiness. At The Royals Café, indulge in traditional Malay fare such as nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, accompanied with an array of side dishes like omelette, fried fish and anchovies, S$6.90), beef rendang (braised meat cooked in coconut milk and spices, S$12.90) and ayam masak merah (chicken in spicy tomato sauce, S$8.90).
Consider yourself a spice fiend? Then try the café’s signature dish, nonya mee siam (S$5.90). The rice vermicelli noodle soup is equal parts sweet, tangy and savoury; with a lethal dose of chilli that will have you wiping sweat off your brow.
Walk off those calories by heading over to East Coast Park. It’s a long stretch that overlooks the Straits of Singapore, and is typically crowded with cyclists and families huddling around barbecue pits.
Crescendo Building. 19 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 455209. +65 8481 0080.
Take a walk through Paya Lebar and you’ll uncover the best of what the old Malay village has to offer, including food, traditional Malay clothing and heritage architecture.
99 Food Bazaar
The fragrant aroma of 99 Food Bazaar’s briyani (an Indian spiced rice dish with meat or vegetables, S$24) will linger on your clothes, but take it as a souvenir of the hearty meal you’ll have here. Helmed by celebrity chef Syed Shah, the restaurant doesn’t just hawk your average briyani. Its version features fork-tender Australian lamb shank flavoured with spices from Karachi, and cooked in a bamboo trunk imported from India.
Travel southwards and you’ll hit the Geylang precinct: Historic architecture, colourful shophouses and mosques await in the former Malay settlement.
Lifelong Learning Institute. 11 Eunos Road 8 #01-02, Singapore 408601. +65 8319 9938.