Muslim Food

A few weeks ago I posted an article about some Muslim food we’d tried. It was called Chicken Murtabak and it was pretty good. It took me almost a year to get up the courage to try out Muslim food. I think it was mostly because of paranoid fear over being poisoned or having my food spit on by Muslims because of where I’m from.  Not to mention I spent some time in Iraq.  Ya, sounds kinda silly and stupid right?  But, for years the US media has been pushing it down our throats that all Arabs/Muslims could potentially be dangerous, and I spent a long time in Iraq and Kuwait, worrying about whether a guy was going to say hello or blow himself (and me) up at any moment.  So, maybe the fear wasn’t so unfounded after all, but then again most people here ask me where I’m from.  They don’t seem to recognize the accent.

Anyhow, we enjoyed the murtabak and had decided we would go back for more, but we put it off because it messed up our stomachs a bit. Tonight we finally decided to eat there again. The stuff tasted so good we were willing to risk stomach problems! Plus, we think it was the curry that’s served with the dish that caused the problem, so we were careful about how much of it we ate this time around.

As we walked up to the “Indian Muslim” stall, the guy behind the counter had an amused look on his face. Maybe there aren’t too many white guys that order Muslim food in this area? Well, that probably goes without saying. Anyhow, we got another order of murtabak, mutton this time, and a cheese roti prata. I also went to the next stall called “Muslim Food” and got an order of chicken rice. It had another name in front of that, but I can’t remember what it was. So, we had a pretty good spread of food between the two of us.

The mutton murtabak was good, but my wife says she likes the chicken version better. The cheese roti prata was fantastic. I’m going to get more of those tomorrow at lunch time. They remind me of cheese sticks from the US, or like a slice of New York cheese pizza without tomato sauce. It’s not that big, but they’re only 1.50 apiece so it’s not too bad a deal. Plus, I think I can get them cheaper around the corner from there. As for the muslim version of chicken rice, it was surprisingly good. It tasted as if it had been grilled over a real fire, which is a plus for me. I love grilled food! It also had a nice sauce poured over it. The rice was seasoned with garlic, which I enjoyed. Plain rice usually doesn’t do it for me. There was also a cup of a clear broth. That’s typical with meals purchased from hawkers here in Singapore. I wasn’t expecting much from it. Usually it’s just a chicken broth. Again, I was surprised. It had been seasoned with onion and garlic and tasted great!

It’s hard to get over cultural stereotypes, but in this case it was a good thing I did because I’d have missed out on a lot of good food.

11 thoughts on “Muslim Food”

  1. Desker and Serangoon? I'll keep that in mind.Living abroad has definitely given me a broader perspective on the world. That's for sure.And as for US news, I don't think I'll be watching it anymore. I'll stick with Al Jazeera English for now. It seems to have some pretty balanced reporting.


  2. Leave Hannity, Glenn Beck and Foxnews behind when it comes to this island and inter-religious relations. People are friendly, enjoying the good weather and good food. Glad you like the muslim food, and if you're really adventurous, I recommend the pakistani spot on the corner of desker and seerangoon. Great stuff there 😛


  3. Thanks for the tip. You're absolutely right. It's just a matter of kicking off old paranoia. ^_^I've been in Singapore for just over a year now and at first I even wanted to avoid the women that wear the head coverings. Thinking about that now I want to laugh!Also, what you said about feeling like a local… It's odd right? It doesn't take long for a person to gain a sense of fitting in or belonging here.


  4. Blame THAT one on the media… Just because there are a few crazy muslims doesn't mean they're all nuts. Same goes for americans — has everyone forgotten about Oklahoma City? I was so embarrassed to be american when that broke out. In Italy it's the Romanians…there are, as there will be anywhere in the world, a few bad apples that make the rest of the lot look bad as well. But it's the flippin' media that creates the hype, thus making a vast majority afraid or resentful of people from Romania. Racist b*s* is what it all is…


  5. You wanted to avoid the women wearing burkah? Heck I would follow them around to try and snap a photo if I had the nerve. I love the female african immigrants that wear such colorful, authentic clothing here. It's like, they don't give a damn if they stand out. And they look so cool with their headcloths wrapped around, head held high wherever they go.


  6. [the guy behind the counter had an amused look on his face] ??Food is food, I still don't get why anyone would care if someone obviously not of their culture wants to try their cuisine. Apparently they have not heard of New York, the city of a million tastes (I just made that up but I do know that there's everything under the sun in ethnic cooking when it comes to the big Apple.)What a score on food….I just don't get that kind of stuff where I live (other than the fastfood type and it ain't real). Milan has more offerings but then I dread going into the city.


  7. Hey mate, nice entry. Us Muzzies aren't that scary, really. :)I don't think the local Muslim prata man will recognise you as the soldier that fought in the war in the Middle East, so I think you're safe. He just wants to make the prata and serve it up hot!Singapore is much more tolerant with the expats, there's so many here! I've lived here for 3 years and a bit and I totally feel like a local. Just chill, take it easy and ENJOY THE FOOD where ever you are in Singapore.Happy eating!


  8. Yeah, as Teeshah said!The nearest MRT station from there is Bugis. Just walk out past the hospital and I think that you can spot the Sultan Mosque dome from there.Its a nice place to walk about for sightseeing and nice food of course :)Ok, now I'm craving for Malay food … LOL!


  9. Sultan Mosque is in Arab Street! The restaurants around Arab Street mostly serve Arab cuisine. And shisha! Anyway, you shouldn't eat hawker food very often! They're known to add MSG (Monosodium glutamate) into your soup. Which is why food taste so nice and you end up so thirsty.


  10. That's an interesting perspective from a foreigner. As a Muslim Malay, I don't really think twice about eating Muslim food since it all comes naturally to me.In fact, I enjoy eating Chinese, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Arabian, or other nationality food – there are so much choices in Singapore – that's the nice thing about being in a multinational country :)If you like Malay food, I would recommend Hajah Maimunah which is very near the Sultan Mosque or the murtabak at Zam zam which is nearby too 🙂


  11. Hey. Nothing will happen because you're white or American. I lived among Muslims in Malaysia, ate their food for few months and never had problems. They are all very friendly and don't have negative prejudice towards foreigners. That's why you also shouldn't have. Muslim food is same as other food, just there's no pork. That's all… And it's very delicious. You should try more Malay food. It's very spicy.


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