A new crop of savvy business owners are opening cafes serving halal food. Instead of Malay cuisine though, these places offer such treats as pancakes, crepes, carrot cake and sandwiches made with naan bread. Customers are flocking to them too, and want even more options. Eunice Quek visits seven cafes which opened in the last six months:
SARAH'S THE PANCAKE CAFE
-- ST PHOTO: RUDY WONG
What: The menu makes it possible to have pancakes and crepes for both main course and dessert. One of the sweet options is Ala Dol ($12), a twist on the much-loved chendol. Crepes spread with red bean paste are topped with sweet corn kernels, pandan chendol and drizzled with palm sugar. Other sweet treats include The MJ ($14), which are white and dark chocolate chip pancakes served with caramelised bananas and whipped cream; and Fruitti D'Foresta ($14), blueberry pancakes with mixed berry compote topped with caramel whipped cream.
Savoury options include The Benedict ($15), which is smoked salmon slices and poached eggs on pancakes served with housemade Hollandaise and mixed greens; Smoked Pepper Flapjacks ($13), which are pancakes spiced with smoked pepper and served with turkey bacon and sauteed mushrooms; Al Istanbul ($14), which are grated potato pancakes served with smoked turkey ham and mixed greens. The 30-seat cafe also has a small selection of pastas and appetisers, as well as coffee, tea and smoothies.
Where: East Village, 430 Upper Changi Road, 01-62, open: 9am to 10pm (Sunday to Thursday), 9am to 11.30pm (Friday and Saturday)
-- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
What: If pretty in pink is your thing, head to Cake Delights. Seating is limited to about 12 diners, and was only added a month ago due to customer demand. The menu features an affordable selection of cupcakes ($4 each) with flavours such as Milo, salted caramel and Nutella; sliced cakes ($6 to $7), tarts ($1 to $2), brownies ($2.80, $3.80 with ice cream), and waffles with ice cream ($6.90).
The team behind the shop - sisters Nur Himayah Abdul Haleem and Ruqoiyah Abdul Haleem, along with their mother and aunt - also take cake orders. Order two weeks in advance. Next month, there are plans to open earlier to cater to the breakfast crowd, as well as open on Sundays for brunch.
Where: 664 North Bridge Road, open: 11am to 8pm (Tuesday to Thursday), 11am to 9.30pm (Friday and Saturday), closed on Sunday and Monday
Info: Call 6341-5059 or go to https://www.facebook.com/cake.delights.5
-- ST PHOTO: RUDY WONG
What: By the team behind the popular Grub cafe in Bishan Park, Fix is shaping up to be another hot spot for cafe-hunters. Menu highlights include Brunch Fix ($12); beef and kimchi naanwich ($10), a play on the naan and a sandwich; and chicken tikka naanwich ($10).
Save space for desserts such as passionfruit, mango and coconut chiffon cake ($7); strawberry pistachio rose tart ($6) and butterscotch Arabica choux ($6). The 80-seat cafe is currently in the midst of getting halal certification, and uses halal-certified ingredients.
Where: HomeTeamNS - JOM Clubhouse, 31 Ah Hood Road, open: 9.30am to 10.30pm daily
Info: Call 6256-1484 or go to https://www.facebook.com/FIXsg
-- PHOTO: ROUSE
What: Best-selling items at six-month-old casual bistro Rouse include beef-wrapped asparagus with pumpkin mash ($16.90), and Crabby Patty ($17.90) with mango salsa and a side salad.The newest menu item is the Krusty Kari Burger with soft shell crab and a side of sweet potato fries.
Where: 36 Dunlop Street, open: Noon to 10pm (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) Noon to 11pm (Friday and Saturday), 11am to 7pm (Sunday), closed on Tuesday
Info: Call 6292-2642
AND ALL THINGS DELICIOUS
-- PHOTO: AND ALL THINGS DELICIOUS
What: Previously an online cake business, this six-month-old bakery still showcases its best bakes using halal ingredients. Highlights include carrot cake ($6.20), sticky toffee pudding ($5.50), orange cranberry scones ($3) and gula melaka scones.
Pair the cakes with drinks such as raspberry mint lassi (5.80), and lemongrass iced tea ($4.50). The takeaway bakery can seat about six people. Seasonal cakes are also available for order. Owner Dewi Imelda Wadhwa just launched her Christmas range last Friday (Oct 17).
Where: 462 Crawford Lane, 01-61, open: 11am to 7pm (weekdays), 10am to 5pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday
Info: Call 9382-4767 or go to http://andallthingsdelicious.com/
-- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
What: This sandwich shop - similar in style to the Subway chain - serves a variety of six-inch or foot-long toasted sandwiches. Options include chicken bacon ($6.90), smoked chicken breast ($5.90) and tuna mayo ($5.40). Add $2.90 for clam chowder or mushroom soup. Nachos, soft drinks and coffee are also available. The shop is in the midst of getting halal certification.
Where: Block 201D Tampines Street 21, 01-1171, open: 8am to 11.30pm daily
ROYZ ET VOUS
-- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
What: French-inspired bistro Royz et Vous features a variety of dishes such as smoked duck breast ($24) with Thai coriander sauce dressing and roasted honey potatoes; lamb shank ($26), with carrots, beans, chickpeas and mashed potatoes; and chicken rendang ($14) with a choice of jasmine rice or Turkish bread served with achar.
Or have a cup of freshly brewed coffee (from $3.50) with desserts such as Royz bread pudding ($7), creme brulee ($6.50) and a selection of cakes. Single origin coffee brewed with the V60 coffee dripper and Aeropress ($6.50 each) are also available.
Where: 17 Bali Lane, open: 8am to 9pm (Sunday to Thursday and Public Holidays), 8am to 11pm (Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holiday)
Info: Call 6293-0270 or go to https://www.facebook.com/www.royzetvous.com.sg