Pictured above: Back view of woman in Chinatown, Singapore | Credit: Travel Triangle
Chinatown is a bustling street filled with historic sites, cultural gems, indie boutiques and modern shops. It is widely known as a melting pot of diverse ethnicities – both locals and tourists alike. When it comes to food, Chinatown takes the crown as a food haven, serving up a whole lot of various cuisines, catered to all taste buds.
Halal finds may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about Chinatown. Sure enough, most of the restaurants and cafes offer more of an oriental menu and not many are Halal-certified. However, this shouldn’t stop you or your friends from cutting short your walking trails in Chinatown, nor surrendering to a familiar fast-food chain instead.
Here are some Halal local food places to explore the next time you head to Chinatown!
Pictured above: A bowl of ramen with seafood
Perfect for Japanese food lovers! Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen serves a range of flavoured ramen soup bases – from its famous chicken broth, to seafood, daichi tomato and even spicy miso, this place is always packed with hungry customers. The noodles are made with a special blend of flour that includes Hokkaido wheat, which gives that richly textured and firmness in every bite.
We recommend the Ichi-Ramen Gifts From The Sea (pictured above, $19.90) – a bowl fit for the king or queen, with its overflowing seafood-y goodies! We’re talking about crabs, shrimps, scallops and seaweed! We also tried the Ichikokudo Ramen ($13.90), which had 3 richness levels. We opted for the ‘extra rich’ option just to get a kick out of its flavour, but felt that it was a tad salty.
Pictured above: Chocolate drink topped with ice cream
For beverages, who can resist the iced Hokkaido Milk Godzilla ($5.50)? This is the perfect drink on a hot day in Singapore. The ice cream was rich and the portion was good enough to share.
Average price per pax: $35
Ichikokudo Hokaido Ramen @ Cross Street Exchange
Address: #01-02/K1, 181 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058743
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am to 10pm (Last order 9pm)
Pictured above: Hand-pulled beef noodles with chili
This is one rare fine that we couldn’t stop talking even hours after digesting our hearty meal. Chinese cuisine in a Halal eatery? Ok., I’ve seen that before. But authentic hand-pulled Chinese noddles? Get out! Made from 15-spice blend premium stock and cooked for at least 10 hours every day, it is no wonder the soup is the main reason we keep going back for more. Shiok (Singlish for ultimate enjoyment) is an understatement.
What’s great about this place is that you can customise your bowl – from the type of noodles to its thickness; soup base options, to the spicy levels.
Pictured above: Piece of beef from a bowl of noodles
The meat was succulent and flavourful, and the accompaniment of rich soup makes the whole meal extremely fulfilling without that greasy feeling. It it’s your first time trying Lanzhou’s lamian (hand-pulled noddles), then we would ask you to go for the original Signature Beef Noodles (S: $8.90, L: $10.90) to taste the authentic flavours of this popular cuisine.
Tip: For spice lovers, Chinese lamian will not be complete without heaps of the signature chili!
Average price per pax: $10
Tongue Tip Lanzhou Beef Noodles @ Chinatown Point
Address: 133 New Bridge Rd, Chinatown Point, #01-43, Singapore 059413
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm
Pictured above: Poké bowls
Poke Theory needs no introduction, but we feel that is deserves a mention by itself! Before you go about grumbling about how this is categorised under ‘healthy foods’, hear us out. Healthy meals can, in fact, taste good, fill your tummy and not burn a hole in your pocket. Poke Theory fulfils just that. The spread of choices was great and fresh. So even for a picky eater like myself, there are enough selections for me to choose from.
Pictured above: Acai bowl with a spoon
For salmon lovers, you may be delighted to know that there are a whopping 4 types of poké salmon for you to choose from such as avocado miso and spicy mayo! Most places only offer the same old plain poké salmon – nice, but more flavours are always welcomed! But poké bowls aside, the acai bowl is to-die-for. It is generously heaped with toppings, but the chia seeds soaked in coconut milk stole the show as it tasted sooooo gooood. We had a great time mixing the sauce toppings from the condiments counter as well!
Average price per pax: $13
Poke Theory @ Telok Ayer
Address: 27 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069623
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri, 11Aam – 8pm; Sat, 10am – 3pm. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Pictured above: Indonesian mixed rice platters
Housed in a conservation shophouse unit, Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House prides itself as being the first Indonesian warong (Bahasa Indonesian for small family-owned business) in Singapore that serves a variety of authentic Indonesian dishes. And oh boy, are they spot on.
This place is also a nice little spot for some Instagramming. Do it for the ‘gram, eh?
Pictured above: Close-up of skewered meat and sambal (chili paste) on rice
We ordered the Nasi Campur Bali ($10.90), a generous plate that is perfect for sharing. It comes with an assortment of dishes that includes beef rendang, sambal shredded chicken, fried tempeh, long beans and of course, the homemade sambal chili that has a strong kick but not too overwhelming. Another must-try dish is their Soto Madura (Madura Beef Soup) ($8.90). The experience is super authentic and you will feel like you are eating in an Indonesian kampung, no less.
Average price per pax: $9
Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House @ Ann Siang Rd
Address: 18 Ann Siang Road #01-01 Singapore 069698
Opening Hours: Daily, 11am – 9pm
Pictured above: Singapore-style poké bowl
This is a bonus spot and while it is technically not Halal, we felt that it should be on the list because the food is just TOO DAMN GOOD! Beng Who Cooks is co-owned by Muslim owners and uses only Halal-sourced ingredients – so no pork, no lard and Halal-compliant practices only.
This hawker stall is known for its do-it-yourself poké bowls, and in comparison with Poke Theory, their bowls have a more localised flavour suitable for Asian palates. Salted egg yolk sauce, anyone? The menu also changes at the start of every quarter so customers won’t get bored with the selections. Talk about dedication! And who doesn’t love the hawker pricing?
Pictured above: Beng in action
Average price per pax: $6
Beng Who Cooks @ Hong Lim Complex Market & Food Centre
Address: #01-44, Hong Lim Complex Market & Food Centre
Opening Hours: 10am to 5.30pm (Monday to Friday). Closed on Saturdays and Sundays
Don’t forget to jalan-jalan (Singlish for stroll, walk about) around the streets of Chinatown after your meal. Pop by a temple or snap some pictures of the traditional Peranakan terrace houses along the way. If you are looking for some perk-me-up in case of a food coma, Everton Park houses some of the best and quaintest coffee places!
Singaporeans are foodies, or at least most of us claim to be one. If you have a favourite cafe or restaurant you can’t stop talking about, let us know via Facebook or Instagram. We want to hear from you!