Have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? ? You must be wondering about the filming locations at the back of your mind while watching the movie (I know I did! ?). Credit: GiphyFret not, we went into full-on Sherlock Holmes mode and identified 8 filming locations in Singapore and Malaysia! And the best part is: these places are situated near halal food. Now isn’t that something you love to hear? ?
1) Newton Food CentreCredit: @esteban_the_explorer on InstagramAs many of us know, hawker centres have evolved to become an integral part of Singapore’s culture, and Crazy Rich Asians portrayed it right. That was the first thing the main protagonists Nick Young and Rachel did on their first night in Singapore. Credit: GiphyLooks like they may have gone to the one true place that Singaporeans love - Newton Food Centre! This hawker centre has been around since the 1970s and it’s also the author Kevin Kwan’s favourite place.
Halal Food Nearby:Newton is no stranger to halal food as well. You’ll find a couple of halal-certified stalls that can satisfy your hungry tummies like:
Jian Fa Seafood BBQThe one and only thing you need to savour here is the Singapore’s signature dish – Chilli Crab and you can find a halal one at Jian Fa Seafood BBQ! It’s the perfect place if you’re coming with your families and groups to dine zi char style.Credit: Jian Fa Seafood BBQ on FacebookAmong their specialties is their flame-grilled cheesy King Prawns, which is perfect for a group feast. Other specials you cannot miss out on are their Prawn Paste Chicken and Cereal Prawns.Credit: @opiewaan on Instagram#HHWT Tip: We recommend heading to Stall No. 43 and for other alternatives, you may head over to Pirate’s Seafood (Stall No. 56) or Takara Grilled Seafood (Stall No. 74)! These three stalls are all halal-certified.
2) Gardens By The BayAnother prominent landmark that can be found in the film is the spectacular Gardens By The Bay. If you can’t recall, the Supertree Grove is the place where two of the main characters’ friends, Colin Khoo and Araminta Lee had their wedding reception.Credit: Giphy The entire setting is adorned with glamorous Oriental theme with fireworks and beautiful lights - it’s not hard to fall in love with that particular scene ? Credit: Alexander Waltner on Flickr#HHWT Tip: Admission to Supertree Grove is free but admission charge to OCBC Skyway applies. If you want to check out the light and music show, it happens every evening so plan wisely!
Halal Food Nearby:
Texas Chicken After all that stroll around the gorgeous oasis, head over to Supertree Dining and halal fast food awaits! You can never go wrong with Texas Chicken - the crispy, succulent chickens are to die for. Credit: @texaschickensg on InstagramFinish your meal with one (or two!) of its delicious Honey Butter Biscuits!Credit: Texas Chicken Singapore on Facebook#HHWT Tip: You can also find McDonald’s around the premise, so if you’re not into chicken, you can always go for the classic burgers at McDonald’s. After all, who can ever resist this popular fast food chain? ?
Sri Geylang Sate @ Satay By The BayYou might need to walk a little bit to get here but we can assure that it’s all worth it! Situated inside a food court nearby Gardens By The Bay, Satay By The Bay houses several popular satay stalls like Sri Geylang Sate.Credit: Nina Natalie on Facebook This Muslim-owned stall serves some of the best beef and mutton satays in town! Top the satays with the traditional peanut sauce, and you’re in for a good meal. Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-19, Singapore 018953Opening Hours: Daily, 11:00am - 1:00am.
3) Merlion ParkWe have to admit that we almost missed this place! This iconic landmark made its debut in the movie where Nick and Rachel were having a conversation about their relationship! Fun fact about this place: it symbolises Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek. The lion head represents Singapore’s original name - Singapura or the ‘lion city’ in Old Javanese. Introduced by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in the 70s, this icon has been welcoming visitors from all over the world.
Halal Food Nearby:
Aqua MarineIf you’re around the area and able to stretch lunchtime a bit longer (perhaps on Fridays), make a trip to Marina Square and have a buffet lunch! AquaMarine boasts a vast selection of Asian and international cuisines, with a specialty in serving a wide variety of juicy fresh seafood like crabs, mussels, clams and prawns. Seafood lovers, dig in!Credit: Marina Mandarin Singapore on FacebookBesides the seafood galore, you can also feast on top-notch Asian must-haves like Hainanese chicken rice, lobster laksa and of course, desserts. For a slightly hefty price tag, make sure you come with empty stomachs at this lavish buffet so that you can eat to your heart’s content.Credit: Marina Mandarin Singapore on FacebookAddress: 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina SquareOperating hours:Lunch – 12pm to 2.30pm (Mon to Fri), 12pm to 3pm (Sat – Sun, Public Holidays)Dinner – 6.30pm to 10pmWebsite
4) Raffles HotelUPDATE: Raffles Hotel is undergoing restoration works at the moment and is slated to reopen in the first quarter of 2019
This stunning colonial-style hotel plays the part of the fictional Khoo-owned Kingsford Hotel! In reality, it’s Singapore’s most exclusive that has played host to many VIPs including international celebrities like the late Michael Jackson.
This 130-year-old hotel is also conveniently located next to Bugis, an area that houses a large Malay Muslim community, hence you’ll find plenty of halal food around.
Halal Food Nearby:
KraveNestled in the line of shops along Bali Lane, Krave is a famous café offering a fusion menu of Malay-Western food and desserts. Located just a walking distance away from Bugis MRT station, this ambient café has both alfresco and indoor dining for a scrumptious meal.Credit: @xd_nat_t on InstagramTry their juicy Steak ‘N’ Chips served with salad! It will surely leave you kraving for more. Credit: @i.m.noel on InstagramBe sure to end off your meal with their famous, mouth-watering Cempedak Creme Brûlée – it’s sure to please those of you who have a sweet tooth! #HHWT Tip: Do make your reservations before coming, as walk-ins are often unsuccessful!Opening hours: 11.30AM-11.00PMContact number: +65 9856 4249Facebook | Instagram
Jinjja ChickenIn need of a fast Korean fix? Jinjja Chicken has what you desire. Tucked within the busy streets of Bugis Village, this Korean fast-food serves up fried chicken drenched in savoury sauces and fries that are deliciously paired with tteokbokki. Forget about the traditional Western fried chicken, burgers and fries because Jinjja will definitely steal your heart! ?Credit: Jinjja ChickenComplete your meal with a refreshing bowl of Patbingsu while being entertained by K-pop music videos that are constantly played throughout the day. Credit: Jinjja Chicken on FacebookAddress: 249 Victoria Street, Singapore 188034Opening Hours: Sun - Thu: 11:00AM - 10:00PM, Fri - Sat: 11:00AM - 10:30PM.Website | Facebook
5) ChijmesIf you’ve read the book, you may have remembered that the wedding of Colin and Araminta occurred at the fictional Methodist Church, but the one in the film took place at
Chijmes(pronounced as ‘chimes’). Credit: @jordashmore1 on InstagramThe 19th-century former chapel was converted into a Catholic girls’ school for many years until 2004 where Chijmes became an event space for many occasions. While there is no halal food in the building, there’s a few that you can find just around the block.Credit: Giphy
Halal Food Nearby:
Mackenzie RexLocated along Prinsep Street (11-minutes away from Chijmes by foot), the family-run restaurant is widely known for serving its’ famous steamed chicken – with a halal twist! Another variation of what we’d basically call Singapore’s national dish, the Hainanese Chicken Rice is a plateful of fragrant rice with slices of ever so tender, moist chicken breast.Credit: Mackenzie Rex Restaurant on FacebookOther lip-smacking dishes include the Crispy Cereal Prawns; succulent prawns coated and fried with a batter of sweet cereal bits. Another crowd favourite is the fiery Black Pepper Crab, a delectable dish loaded with pieces of garlic and crushed black peppercorns. You’d be guaranteed a mini explosion of flavors with every bite!Credit: @khalisnb on InstagramAddress: 66 Prinsep Street #01-01, Singapore 188668Contact: +65 6336 1702Opening Hours: Open daily, 11.30am – 10pm
6) Changi AirportFrom movie theatres to swimming pools, Changi Airport is no doubt the world’s best airport, and it’s no surprise that it made an appearance in the film when Nick and Rachel just arrived in Singapore and met up with Colin and Araminta!Credit: @changiairport on InstagramBesides the entertainment deck that travellers can treat themselves to, Changi Airport also houses world-class facilities and a plethora of culinary options including halal food!Credit: Changi Airport on Facebook
Halal Food Nearby:
a) 1983 Cafe NanyangTake a walk down 80s memory lane, starting with the classic nanyang coffee and kaya toast ? With the vibrant pop of yellow decor spotted from a mile away and favorites’ like Mee Rebus, Laksa and Rojak, the place invites patrons in like honey to bees.Credit: s.supershe on InstagramEven if you’re looking for finger foods such as popiah and kueh pie tee, nothing beats a hearty meal that our parents grow up with ? For those who enjoy visiting the airport, head down to this nostalgic location with your parents and grandparents as it’s a good way to bond! Travellers here will also have a taste of the olden day Singapore ?Credit: Changi Airport on Facebook On a quest for food with a twist? Switch your ordinary toasts for charcoal buns ? With the common sight of kaya oozing out of the bread, dipped into the yolk of the soft boiled egg, it’s oh-so-delicious!Address:
T2, Level 2, Public Area
b) Central ThaiYou don’t have to travel far to the land of Thai Milk Tea for your fix on tom yum and pad thai! Right here at Changi Airport, sweet, sour and spicy are served on a single platter, from the classic Tom Yum noodle set, green curry chicken set to other extravagant delights!Credit: Central Thai on Facebook Up for trying the Thai Spicy Minced Chicken Salad? Whatever you choose, just make sure that your tastebuds are up for a spicy challenge ?Credit: Central Thai on Facebook Tourists coming to the little red dot are usually asked with “Have you tried the chilli crab?” Guess what? Central Thai ups the chilli crab game by having crab with glass noodle on its menu. Yes, you read that right ? Combining Singaporean’s love for Chilli Crab and Thailand’s staple carbohydrate, they’re uniting two cultures with the love for food. Address: T2, Level 3, Public AreaOpening Hours: 09:00 AM – 11:00 PM (Monday to Friday & PH), 09:00 AM – 12:00 AM (Saturday to Sunday & Eve of PH)For more halal eateries, check out our article on Changi Airport.
7) Cheong Fatt Tze MansionThe mahjong scene between Eleanor Young and Rachel was shot right at this heritage site. Believe it or not, it’s actually in Penang, Malaysia! Known as Blue Mansion by the locals, this mansion belonged to Cheong Fatt Tze, a Chinese merchant who aspired to preserve his heritage and share his love of culture and tradition through architecture.At the height of its glory, this mansion was the pivotal heart of the city. However, it fell into disrepair. Thanks to a group of conservationists, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion was restored and eventually earned the prestigious UNESCO Heritage 2000 Award. Today, the mansion is now a museum and a boutique hotel in Georgetown where some of the best halal food can be found.Credit: Giphy
Halal Food Nearby:
a) Nasi Kandar BeraturNasi kandar is one of Penangite’s favourite comfort food. With steamed rice drenched with your choice of curries, fill up your plate with side dishes such as fish, vegetable, mutton, or chicken! There’s a legit reason why this restaurant is called Nasi Kandar Beratur! ‘Beratur’ means queuing up in Bahasa Malaysia, so consider your supper incomplete without the classic nasi kandar from this local gem ?Address: 98, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10300 George Town, Penang.Operating hours: Open daily; 10PM-3AM
b) Hameed Pata Mee KosongKeep your eyes peeled for a nearby food court that is home to the famous Hameed Pata Special Mee Sotong. This local stall is popular for two things: mee rebus and mee goreng.Credit: @syafiq_261094 on InstagramTypically cooked in large batches to accommodate the long queues, we recommend going for the mee goreng that is deliciously stir-fried and topped with their signature sambal sotong. Just as yummy, the mee rebus comes with really thick gravy for foodies who prefer something sweet to match with the fiery sambal sotong.Credit: @missliyanajamil on Instagram#HHWT Tip: Can’t handle the sambal sotong? Pick up a coconut shake or cendol from the beverage stall next to Hameed.Address: 6, Kota Selera Padang Kota Lama (Fort Cornwallis Food Court), Jalan Tun Syed Shah Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Penang.Operating hours: Mon-Sat; 11:30AM-8PM (Closed on Sun)
8) Carcosa Seri NegaraWe’re saving the best for last ;) This majestic mansion was featured as the official of the Young family. In reality, the colonial-style building was first built by British resident Frank Swettenham and it was gradually turned into a luxury hotel which once hosted Queen Elizabeth II.Credit: @aoemame on InstagramLocated on the hill near the popular Perdana Botanical Garden, Carcosa Seri Negara is now a museum that features 500 historical artefacts and archive materials of Malaysia’s journey to independence. Credit: Giphy
Halal Food Nearby:
Nasi Lemak Tanglin Founded in the 1948, this small stall located around Kuala Lumpur’s historical garden not only attracts the locals but also the foreigners! Credit: Lyrical Lemongrass on FacebookThe rice gives out hints of coconut milk and herbs, exuding a sweet aroma ? The fragrant rice is then topped with fried anchovies. The portion is a little small, however you can always request for extra rice and anchovies. Some of the famous side dishes are beef rendang and fried cow lungs.Credit: Li Tsin Soon on FlickrIt’s best to come early in the morning as parking is limited. Once you’re done feasting on the nasi lemak, you can talk a walk around the Lake Garden as you can visit some of KL’s famous tourist spots like The Bird Park or The Butterfly Park.Address: 5, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, SelangorOperating Hours: Daily, 8AM – 11AM.Credit: GiphyThere you have it - 8 filming locations that we managed to identify from the box-office film! Rumour has it that Malaysia’s gorgeous islands Langkawi and Rawa were also featured in the film, but we let you discover that yourself ? Ready to live your Crazy Rich Asians dream? ? Time to check out these places!