Singapore

More eateries offering Halal food options

Growing number of innovative eateries catering to Muslim diners here

At first glance, The Great Mischief, which opened in February, looks like a traditional Spanish tapas bar.

On closer look though, diners will notice that dry-cured ham and sangria - which contains alcohol - are missing from the menu.

The restaurant in Little India is among a growing number of new and innovative eateries catering to Muslim diners here.

According to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), there has been an upward trend in the number of halal certificates issued over the past three years, with an average annual increase in requests of 10 per cent.

Muis certified 4,456 premises and 54,378 food products manufactured in Singapore last year.

The Great Mischief is one of five restaurants operated by The Black Hole Group, a lifestyle group with a focus on halal food and beverage concepts. Among them, burger bar Working Title in Arab Street and Mexican taqueria Afterwit in North Bridge Road are halal-certified.

The group's co-founder Mustaffa Kamal said: "If you go back a decade, the only halal options in Singapore were Indian or Malay food."

Mr Mustaffa and his former schoolmate Calvin Seah, both 33, have spent the past five years bringing more variety to Muslim diners in the form of trendy eateries.

The duo also hope their eateries can change the perception among non-Muslims that halal Western food is subpar.

AUTHENTIC

"We want to make it as authentic as possible... (At Afterwit) we serve Mexican food first, we just happen to be halal so we don't serve Corona (beer) and pork tacos," said Mr Mustaffa.

Another unusual halal dining concept, Hararu Izakaya, in Bussorah Street, serves up Japanese pub grub alongside non-alcoholic lager.

Ms Wahida Wahid and her husband, who had both previously worked at an izakaya, or Japanese pub, decided to start their own Muslim-friendly version in April last year.

"We do have some, especially tourists, asking where is the booze... Alcohol sales play a big part in many F&B establishments, but for us, sales have still been good," said Ms Wahida, 28.

Food & Drink