This Ramadan, we decided to shake things up a little and travel the unconventional way – with our taste buds 😛
1. The Lab (Muslim-owned) – Western Fusion Cuisine
Earlier this week, we visited The Lab to preview a few dishes from their special Ramadan set menu. Just for the month of Ramadan, you can break fast with a choice of appetiser, main course, dessert and drink at $38 nett!
We tried all 3 starters and we couldn’t agree on a favourite because they were all so good! But the dish that stood out was the Ayam Karat – grilled chicken mid-joints marinated with honey and dates, served with lychee sweet chilli dip. (Warning: The dip is spicy!) The marinate was as unique as it sounds and we’ve honestly never tasted anything like this before. You can taste the different layers of the marinate with every bite, especially if you eat it with the dip! The chicken was also grilled perfectly and the meat was very tender.
Our advice? Make sure you’re dining with at least 2 others so that you can try all 3 starters 😛
As for the mains, we tried the Oven Baked Salmon with Butter Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce and the Burgerlab (pronounced as Bergelap) with beef patty.
The Lab really nailed their local fusion dish – Burgerlab, a burger with grilled beef patty topped with spicy rendang sauce, diced onions and fried leek on toasted focaccia bun. Yes, you heard us right. It’s a burger with rendang sauce! We absolutely loved the sauce as it complemented the tender beef patty really well. The focaccia bun was also the perfect choice of bread as it was toasted to the right crisp. The burger was served with sweet potato fries as well, which we think tastes healthier without compromising on the taste.
#HHWT Tip: Do finish your sweet potato fries while it’s still hot as it was a little hard when it was cold.
It is an understatement to say that The Lab serves really good drinks, because they aren’t just good. They’re amazing. We tried 4 of their drinks – Watermelon Katira, Coconut Dates Sea Salt Caramel Katira, Kiwi Cucumber Spritzer and Lychee Elderflower Citrus Spritzer. All we have to say is that you’re in for a treat!
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink to quench your thirst, go for the Kiwi Cucumber Spritzer or the Lychee Elderflower Citrus Spritzer. We really liked the Lychee Elderflower Citrus Spritzer which started off as very citrusy but we got a pleasant surprise when the elderflower kicked in, followed by the sweetness of the Lychee.
The Watermelon Katira and the Coconut Dates Sea Salt Caramel Katira felt more like post-meal dessert drinks but both were also delicious and an interesting twist on the traditional katira drink.
The Lab’s Ramadan set comprises of the following items:
Choice of 1 starter:
- Spicy Marinara Mussels
- Ayam Karat
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta
Choice of 1 Main Course:
- Pilaf Rice with grilled rosemary lamb chop or Cajun chicken or grilled vegetables (select one)
- Oven-baked salmon with butter lemon garlic cream sauce
- Burgerlab with a choice of beef or cajun chicken or portobello mushrooms with spicy rendang gravy
- Heisenberger – Beef burger with tomato coulis, caramelised onions, blue cheese and turkey bacon
- Porta Huerta- Portobello mushroom burger with Caramelised onions and tomato coulis.
Choice of 1 Beverage:
- Watermelon katira
- Coconut dates sea salt caramel katira
- Kiwi cucumber spritzer
- Lychee elderflower citrus spritzer
- Hot/ice white or black coffee
- Hot tea (only base tea)
Choice of 1 Dessert:
- Sticky date Pudding with caramel topped with Pistachio Ice Cream
- Putri Salat (pandan & sticky rice dessert served with coconut milk and gula melaka)
The dishes are also available Ala-Carte at $7-$18.
Where: 1 Jalan Pisang #01-01 Singapore
Open: 12.30 to 10pm (Monday to Saturday), last order at 9.15pm; 1 to 9.30pm (Sunday), last order at 8.45pm
Info: You can send a whatsapp or SMS to 98757232 or 91112952 to make a reservation (minimum 2 pax) from 630pm onwards or check The Lab’s Facebook page for more info
In case you’re wondering, we’ve already made a reservation to break fast at The Lab and try the other main courses and desserts 😛
2. Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro – Swedish Cruisine
When we say Swedish food, you’d probably think of meatballs and Ikea. Well, forget about that because Fika’s homemade halal Swedish dishes will make you fall in love with the country and its cuisine!
One of the things we love about Fika is that their food is all homemade with love and contains absolutely no MSG. In fact, most of their dishes even come with vegetarian and gluten-free options, emphasizing their goal to be inclusive for all types of diners.
We started off our meal with a light Fika salad, with fresh mixed greens, beetroot, roasted tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, topped with their signature honey lemon mustard dressing.
As for the mains, we tried a few of Fika’s bestsellers including the Toast Skagen (Swedish openface sandwich), the signature Swedish Meatballs, Pytt I Panna (also known as Swedish Hash), Grilled Chicken with Potatoes and Vegetables and Grilled Salmon (herb crusted salmon with lemon butter sauce).
We highly recommend getting the Toast Skagen. Don’t be deceived by the name as it’s really light and can easily be shared as an appetizer! It’s also one of the more traditional Swedish openface sandwiches – toast with freshwater shrimp mixed with smoked salmon in mayonnaise. The mayonnaise was suprisingly light and very refreshing as there was fresh dill in the mayonnaise with a touch of lemon juice. The Swedish roe added a tinge of saltiness to the overall flavour of the sandwich.
One of our favourite mains was the grilled chicken with homemade creamy whole grain mustard sauce. The chicken is grilled to tender perfection and despite the sauce being a creamy mustard sauce, it’s very light and complements the chicken amazingly well. The steamed vegetables are also cooked to the right consistency so you don’t have to worry about overcooked hard broccoli!
And of course, no Swedish meal is complete without Swedish meatballs! The meatballs at Fika are well minced and they don’t disintegrate when you bite into it. Topped with their homemade cream sauce and served with a side of lingonberry jam, Fika’s meatballs will have you craving for more!
#HHWT Tip: Forget Instagram and dig in to your meatballs as soon as they arrive as it’s best eaten hot!
Want to add that final touch to your meal? Order one of Fika’s specially imported traditional Swedish sodas! We highly recommend trying the pear cider. It’s bubbly with a light taste of pears, just the thing to freshen your taste buds!
Their Ramadan menu consists of their bestsellers including the dishes mentioned above. The restaurant is also having an Iftar special – a different special priced dish will be available everyday from 5-6.30pm exclusively for customers who would like to order a takeaway!
Where: 3 outlets – 257 Beach Road / Arab Street (on the corner of Beach Road and Arab Street), OneKM (Unit: 02-K3), Millenia Work (Unit: 01-20)
Open: Mon – Wed: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm, Thu – Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sun: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Info: For reservations, please call 6396 9096 (Beach Rd outlet) / 6336 7234 (Millenia Walk outlet) / 6702 2456 (OneKM outlet)
3. J’s – Latin American Cuisine
If you’re looking for a restaurant that provides a hearty meal for Iftar, J’s is the place you’ll want to be at! Focusing on Latin American cuisine with a slight local touch to it, J’s also provides vegetarian options with the hope of being a place that caters to people with different dietary requirements.
Similar to Fika, the food at J’s are all made from scratch including their tacos and different sauces served with each dish. As mentioned by Suraj (one of the owners of the restaurant), “the only thing that’s not homemade is the tomatoes and chili sauce”! Trust us when we say that you CAN taste the difference!
During our visit, we tried a number of different starters – Chef’s Salad, Chipotle Meatballs (Braised beef meatballs in spicy chipotle & tomato sauce with crispy corn tortillas), Poppers (Breaded “Jalapeno” peppers stuffed with mozzarella) and main courses – Scrambled Eggs With Salmon, Quesadillas (Tortilla with chicken breast, cheese, onions, green peppers & guacamole), Fajitas (Grilled beef, sautéed onions, bell peppers with warm tortillas) and Braised Lamb Shank. We even had a go at their desserts – Churros with Bananas & Mangoes and Bocas Negras (chocolate lava cake)!
Even though we only tried a few starters, we fell in love with both the Chipotle Meatballs and Poppers. The meatballs were very well minced and the salsa sauce went amazingly well with their homemade corn wheat tortilla chips! The tortilla chips were baked and served warm. We wished we could buy a pack of tortilla chips home.
If you’re a fan of cheese, the poppers are an appetizer that you won’t want to miss out on. One bite into the breaded peppers and you’re treated to a mozzarella explosion! It might be a little spicy for those who’re not able to take chillis though.
For the main course, we highly recommend the Braised Lamb Shank and Fajitas. The Lamb Shack is extremely tender with a very mild fragrance of mutton. It also comes with mashed potatoes that’s extremely creamy and smooth. It’s almost like eating mashed potatoes ice cream. Not kidding.
The Fajitas was an exciting dish because it comes sizzling on a hot plate and you get to wrap your own tortilla! You can choose between grilled beef and chicken breast for your fajita and we went with the beef. Imagine a warm tortille wrapped with grilled beef, sautéed onions, bell peppers, cabbage, mushrooms and topped with a dollop of salsa and gaucamole. It’s really not hard to guess why this made it to one of our favourite dishes.
Have a sweet tooth? Finish off your meal with churros like you’ve never tasted before! The flour used for the churros at J’s are infused with cinnamon and served with homemade chocolate ganauche on top. And the best thing about this dessert? You get to enjoy the freshly baked churros WITH marscarpone cheese! Not only does the marscarpone cheese go well with the churros, it’s also really good on it’s own. Two desserts for the price of one? So worth it.
The things we love most about J’s is the welcoming atmosphere, friendly staff and the amazing food. Every dish at J’s has many different layers to it and it gives you an explosion of flavours as you savour each and every bite. Needless to say, this isn’t our first visit and it won’t be our last.
#HHWT Tip: Visit J’s with your family or group of friends as their food is best enjoyed with a larger group of people! Instead of ordering a dish each, you can order some of your favourites to share. That way you can try more food too!
Where: 7, Purvis Street, #01-01 (Look out for the purple signboard!)
|Mon – Thu:||
12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
6:30 pm – 10:00 pm
12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
12:00 pm – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Info: Make a reservation here
*Our meals were sponsored by the respective restaurants/eateries but our opinions are entirely our own, as always 🙂