Whether you’re a Halal eater or dining with Muslim friends, the newly opened Santap at Little India’s Daulat Hotel is perfect for kicking back over brunch or a healthy lunch
We’ve said it over and over again: the Halal cafe scene in Singapore is seriously thriving. Where the industry was once limited to chain restaurants, there are now countless Halal-certified (or Muslim owned) brunch spots and cafes located all over Singapore. Relatively new to the scene is Santap. While most Halal cafes in Singapore offer standard cafe fare (think egg dishes, burgers and pastas), Santap’s biggest selling point are its rice bowls, made with fresh produce sourced from the local market.
Founded by the same people behind other popular Halal cafes like Working Title and Afterwit, Santap is located at Daulat Hotel, a quaint boutique property tucked away in Little India.
I’ve made two visits here – once was for dinner and the other for lunch – and both times, I was struck by how charming the cafe’s decor was. It’s rich in greenery, with standing and hanging plants dotting its vicinity. Inside, seats are limited with only one long communal table available. Dining outside is far more preferable – here, wooden tables flanked by colourful chairs await with pendant lighting, giving your evening meal a touch of cosiness and warmth.
The food is no letdown either. The rice bowls are perfect if you’re looking for a hearty yet healthy meal. Whether you choose lamb, chicken, salmon or shrimp, all of them are served with cauliflower florets and brown rice, as well as alfalfa, red daikon and spinach. Toppings will vary with each dish – the beef rendition comes served with a delicate poached egg, while salmon is heaped with avocado and a citrus vinaigrette for a refreshing tartness.
Rice bowls aside, my unanimous favourite was the salmon pizza. Served on a naan bread (Indian oven-baked flatbread), it’s slathered with a flavour-packed garlic butter sauce, shavings of mild cheddar, and salmon chunks.
But if sweet treats are more up your alley, you’re better off with the brunch menu. Two of us on the team had the Banana Nut Crunch with P&J, as well as the Challah French Toast, which taste like variations of each other. I’m more partial to the former, as it features a crunch factor with the cereal, while the other boasts a thicker and creamier texture thanks to its combination of ricotta with caramelised banana.
At mostly below $15 each per dish, I’d give top marks for affordability with maximum flavour. Pro tip: Swing by around 6pm to catch the precious golden hour for gorgeous sunlit photos and take your time over several courses to watch the sun go down. Plus, if you’re staying past dusk, your meal will probably come with a side of live music as the famed Prince of Wales pub is ‘round the corner. Perfect for a chilled-out evening.
Santap, The Daulat Hotel, 16 Madras Street, Singapore 208413