Ramadan buffets, set menus, takeaways and deliveries for breaking fast

Buffet dining is picking up after a slow start.
Buffet dining is picking up after a slow start.PHOTO: HILTON SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - Unlike last year's Ramadan, which fell during the circuit breaker, Muslims can now dine out at hotels and restaurants during the fasting month, which ends on May 12 and is followed by Hari Raya Puasa.

With buffet lines resuming on the first day of Ramadan last Monday (April 12), halal eateries are coming back strong with special themes for iftar, the break fast meal at sunset.

Although diners still cannot help themselves to the food, they can pick and choose the offerings before being served at the various stations.

Hotels have wasted no time in expanding their offerings.

Atrium Restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, for example, features Korean highlights in its spread, while StraitsKitchen at Grand Hyatt Singapore is laying out a selection of Western, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian dishes.

There are new places to check out too, like Peppermint at the newly rebranded Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay. Its first iftar buffet features an international selection.

Smaller restaurants like Sama Sama at Jewel Changi Airport offer more intimate set meals for families of four instead.

Other eateries are also pushing takeaway and delivery sets, continuing a trend that started after circuit breaker restrictions kicked in. It is one that is likely to continue this year as dine-in is still restricted to eight people a table.

Response has been mixed so far.

Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium says orders for deliveries were lukewarm in the first week, as this is the first time the hotel is offering the service.

Buffet dining, however, is picking up after a slow start. First-week bookings began at about 50 per cent capacity before inching up to 70 per cent.

Based on past trends, Mr Shreyas Ladde, the hotel's manager, expects bookings to increase further this week.

Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant at Furama RiverFront hotel and Tiffany Cafe & Restaurant at Furama City Centre hotel, on the other hand, have seen an uptick in online orders and deliveries, with sharing sets and family bundles being top sellers, says Mr Eugene Ng, marketing and communications manager for the hotels.

"In the lead-up to Ramadan, the reservation momentum for Kintamani's a la carte iftar buffet picked up significantly. We expect a steady stream of bookings in the coming weeks," he adds.

Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts is also seeing a steady crowd.

The hotel's general manager, Mr Patrick Fiat, says the restaurant is 75 per cent full for Ramadan and continues to receive a steady flow of reservations. He expects it to fill up soon, like in previous years.

"The pace of bookings is faster compared with pre-Covid-19 times, when guests used to book more (at the) last minute," he notes.

Buffets

Atrium Restaurant


K-pop and K-drama fans can experience the country's food culture here. PHOTO: HOLIDAY INN SINGAPORE ATRIUM

Where: Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, 317 Outram Road, tel: 3138-2530

Availability: Till May 13, 5.30 to 9.30pm daily

Price: $80 (Sundays to Thursdays), $90 (Fridays and Saturdays)

K-pop and K-drama fans can experience the country's food culture here, where the highlight is a selection of classic Korean dishes such as beef bulgogi, kimchi fried rice, pajeon and squid cooked in tteokbokki sauce. All are halal-certified.

If you are unsure if you will take to the cuisine, there are familiar Malay and Indonesian favourites to fall back on. They include beef rendang, gado gado, ayam masak merah and assam fish.

Carousel


With more than 100 items to choose from, there is no lack of variety. PHOTO: ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS

Where: Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts Road, tel: 6219-3780

Availability: Till May 12, 6.30 to 9.30pm daily

Price: $75 (Sundays to Thursdays), $85 (Fridays and Saturdays)

Popular for its international buffet during the rest of the year, Carousel goes local for the fasting month.

With more than 100 items to choose from, there is no lack of variety. Look out for nasi ambeng, an all-in-one meal comprising beef rendang, deep-fried turmeric chicken, begedil, chilli ikan cantik, sambal goreng and butterfly pea rice. Also, make a beeline for lobster mee soto, a luxe version of the popular noodle soup.

Interesting desserts include chendol delice, durian chocolate fudge, gula melaka creme brulee, ondeh ondeh chocolate pralines and bandung ice cream with selasih.

Iftar Buffet Pop-up Restaurant


Must-tries are spicy chermoula baked seabass and egg shakshuka, both hits from last year's pop-up. 
PHOTO: HILTON SINGAPORE

Where: Level 24 Hilton Singapore, 581 Orchard Road, tel: 6737-2233

Availability: Till May 9, 6.30 to 10.30pm daily

Price: $74 (Sundays to Thursdays), $80 (Fridays and Saturdays)

This is specially set up for the fasting period to give diners a sunset view as well as halal-certified food from the hotel's rooftop.

The meal is served to the table, so start light with bubur lambuk daging (spiced porridge with beef) before moving on to heavier fare like beef rendang, sambal chilli lala with petai, ayam masak merah and spicy chicken liver.

Must-tries are spicy chermoula baked seabass and egg shakshuka, both hits from last year's pop-up.

The hotel also offers a $256 staycation package for two people that includes the iftar buffet as well as sahur, a pre-dawn breakfast set served to the room.

Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant


Indonesian restaurant Kintamani's Ramadan specials include themed family sets with local cuisines from different parts of Indonesia like Yogyakarta, Manado, Minang Kabau and Palembang. PHOTO: KINTAMANI

Where: Level 3 Furama RiverFront, 405 Havelock Road, tel: 6739-6463

Availability: Till May 16, 6 to 10.30pm daily

Price: $38.80

The spread at this restaurant features a roasted leg of lamb as a highlight. Each table will also get a serving of ikan bakar dabu dabu (grilled golden pomfret with Kintamani sauce) and ketam sambal (chilli crab).

There will be unlimited servings of dishes like rendang daging sapi (beef simmered in spices and coconut), udang bijirin (deep-fried cereal butter tiger prawns) and gado gado.

Peppermint


Peppermint opened late last year, so this is its first iftar buffet. 
PHOTO: PARKROYAL COLLECTION MARINA BAY

Where: Level 4 Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay, 6 Raffles Boulevard, tel: 6845-1111

Availability: Till May 12, 6.30 to 11pm daily

Price: $88

Peppermint opened late last year, so this is its first iftar buffet.

Its maiden offering is a menu of upgraded classics like Black Angus beef sliders, braised lamb shank "tulang" casserole and baby rock lobster Indonesia kalio.

Desserts stick to tried-and-tested items like goreng pisang and coconut ice cream.

StraitsKitchen


This halal buffet eatery specialising in Malay, Indian and Chinese cooking features a smorgasbord of Arabic dishes for Ramadan. 
PHOTO: GRAND HYATT SINGAPORE

Where: Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, tel: 6732-1234

Availability: Till May 13, 6.30 to 9.30pm daily

Price: $88

This halal buffet eatery specialising in Malay, Indian and Chinese cooking features a smorgasbord of Arabic dishes for Ramadan.

Its selection of dates from the Middle East and North Africa is impressive, with varieties like Falastine Medjoul from Jericho and Medjoul Kalahari.

If you have been to its Ramadan buffet in recent years, you will recognise Middle Eastern starters like fattoush (Lebanese salad made with toasted pieces of pita bread, pomegranate and mixed greens) and hummus (chickpea dip eaten with pita bread).

Hot dishes include slow-braised Australian lamb shank with nut rice, chilli crab, Sichuan chicken, poached black tiger prawns and butter chicken.

Set menus

Penang Culture

Where: Five locations, at B1-76 Nex, 23 Serangoon Central, tel: 6634-0667; 03-13 Compass One, 1 Sengkang Square, tel: 6385-2820; 03-21 White Sands, 1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3, tel: 6585-4877; 04-27 Jem, 50 Jurong Gateway Road, tel: 6734-8006; B2-23E VivoCity, 1 HarbourFront Walk, tel: 6962-7172

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Availability: Till May 13

This halal Penang restaurant chain has put together a great-value $55 Ramadan set comprising four dishes from its a la carte menu for families.

The dishes - Malacca king prawn seafood cheese beehoon, Penang kam heong clams, KL crispy breaded chicken cutlet with curry mayo and premium nasi lemak - cost $102 in total, if ordered a la carte.

The set is also available for takeaway and islandwide delivery via this website.

Sama Sama Restaurant


The Indonesian restaurant, which opened in the middle of 2019, has curated its first Ramadan set menu after having to sit out last year's festivities. PHOTO: SAMA SAMA

Where: 03-225/226 Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, tel: 6904-3971

Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Availability: Till May 16

Price: $32 a person (minimum four people)

The Indonesian restaurant, which opened in the middle of 2019, has curated its first Ramadan set menu after having to sit out last year's festivities.

The Central Java dishes come as an appetiser, six mains and a dessert. The meal starts with bakwan udang, a prawn and vegetable fritter; followed by an array of dishes like opor ayam (chicken thigh braised in spicy coconut gravy); sate kambing betwai (lamb satay); and semur Jawa daging (beef stew cooked with tomatoes, shallots, garlic, chilli and sweet sauce).

The more unusual dishes are sambal goreng krecek, which is beef skin cooked with chillies and petai; and gudeg nangka, a curry made with jackfruit, tofu and hard-boiled eggs.

Dessert is a more familiar kolak pisang, which is banana and sago pearls cooked in coconut milk with Javanese palm sugar.

Takeaways and deliveries

Holiday Inn, Singapore Atrium


The top draw is a nasi ambeng set for two people. PHOTO: HOLIDAY INN SINGAPORE ATRIUM

To order: Go to this website

Availability: Till May 16

The top draw is a nasi ambeng set for two people, which includes nasi kuning, mutton rendang, sambal long beans, masam manis fish fillet, sotong bakar, ayam goreng kunyit and pisang pengat. Nasi ambeng is similar to nasi tumpeng, but the rice is not shaped into a cone.

You can also choose from the a la carte menu, which has dishes like ayam pongteh, mutton kebab and tahu goreng.

Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant

To order: Go to this website

Availability: Till May 16

The restaurant has come up with two sets priced at $98 (for four people) and $138 (for six).

The Minangkabau set comes with dishes like ayam gulai (traditional Minang curry), ikan goreng balado (fried fish with sambal balado) and durian pengat. The Nusantara set includes ayam panggang taliwang (grilled chicken with sambal), daging balado (dried beef with sambal balado) and ikan dabu dabu (grilled pomfret with manado sauce).

Tiffany Cafe & Restaurant

To order:  Go to this website

Availability: Till May 16

There are four Asian and Western family bundles to choose from that are good for two ($58) to four people ($98).

Asian dishes include beef rendang, turmeric baked bone-in chicken and durian pengat, while Western sets include braised lamb shank, half-shell mussels with herbed crumbs and grilled salmon fillet with garlic butter sauce.

Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House


The casual Indonesian chain has put together a five-person ($99) and 10-person ($195) nasi tumpeng for takeaway and delivery. 
PHOTO: TOKTOK

To order: Call 6904-3171 (Paya Lebar Square) or 6634-1501 (313 Somerset) or e-mail info@toktok.com.sg three days in advance

Availability: Till May 16

The casual Indonesian chain has put together a five-person ($99) and 10-person ($195) nasi tumpeng for takeaway and delivery.

It comes on a woven bamboo platter with a cone-shaped mound of turmeric rice surrounded by galangal fried chicken, beef satay, fried vermicelli, sliced omelette, sweet corn fritters, fried potato cakes, fried tempeh and sambal Bali.