Ah, Ramadan. The sacred Muslim holy month in which the world’s population of Muslims are encouraged to be humble (reference), strengthen their faith, and spend time in reflection and repentance. For the millennial non-Muslim, it’ll mean the advent of a once-tranquil annual bazaar in Geylang that has been overtaken by overhyped, overpriced food and beverages. But I digress.
The entire month will see devotees fast every day from dawn to sunset to empathize with the needy, and each night is meant to be spent with loved ones to iftar (break the fast) when the evening call to prayer is made. The iftar is something that hungry and thirsty devotees will look forward to each day (obviously), and on some days, they’ll make an event out of it with big meals — and what bigger meal is out there than buffets?
Here are some spots across Singapore where you can gorge yourself on (with moderation!) throughout the whole Ramadan month. Happy fasting, happy feasting, people.
The restaurant at Park Hotel Farrer Park will have a revolving buffet menu every week to showcase Thai and other regional flavors, so you won’t get bored if you’re coming on the reg. Complimentary Medjool dates will accompany fiery Thai dishes such as Lobster Khao Soi, Pineapple and Crabmeat Fried Rice and of course, Tom Kar Gai. Calm spiced-up stomachs with both traditional Malay and Thai desserts, including the Kueh Dadar and Thai Coconut Ice Cream.
$58++ per person, available from May 17 to June 13, 6:30pm-10pm. Reservations at 6824 8851.
With the Bay Hotel restaurant located next to Masjid Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim mosque, this is an ideal spot to break fast after prayers. With a strong emphasis on Indonesian cuisine, patrons will get to enjoy hearty dishes like Ayam Woku Belanga (spiced marinated chicken that’s a Manado specialty) and the Bebek Cabai Ijio (braised duck in green chili sauce). Come Fridays, Saturdays and eve of Public Holidays, Rumah Rasa will also have live BBQ stations that will offer grilled squid, fish, beef, prawn, satay and more.
$35++ for adults, $20++ for children (with live stations); $42++ for adults, $25++ for children (with live BBQ stations). Available from May 16 to June 14, 6:30pm-9:30pm. Reservations at 6818 6681.
Chef Wan’s Kitchen
For the first time ever, the Esplanade mall eatery is hosting a buffet, and that means unlimited portions of the Malaysian celebrity chef’s signature dishes. The array of Malay dishes includes Chef Wan classics such as the tender Selangor Beef Rendang, Ayam Lemak Chili Padi (chicken in spicy yellow coconut gravy) and Sotong Masak Hitam (calamari in squid ink). If all that ain’t rich enough, wash it all down with homemade bandung.
$35.50++ for adults, $15.50++ for children (Weekdays); $40.50++ for adults, $17.50++ for children (Weekends). Available from May 16 to June 13, 5pm-10pm. Reservations at 6397 4911.
For a taste of Peranakan-inspired cuisine, Katong Kitchen at Village Hotel Katong will sort you out after a long day of fasting. Ramadan specials such as Ayam Masak Merah (spicy tomato chicken), Sayur Lodeh Lemak (vegetable curry) and Sup Kambing (Lamb broth) will make an appearance alongside Nyonya classics and other options from the intercontinental array.
$48++ per person (Mon to Thurs); $58++ per person (Fri, Sat, Sun, eve of Public Holidays). Available from May 14 to June 15, 6.30pm-10pm. Reservations at 6551 2141.
Hilton Singapore (Pop Up Iftar Buffet)
Forget about Carousel; Hilton Singapore is where you’ll want to treat yo’self this Ramadan. After an overwhelming response last year, the upscale hotel in Orchard Road is returning with another pop-up Ramadan menu that’ll feature Halal-certified meats, sweets and treats at their newly renovated space on the 24th floor. It’s Hilton and all, so expect to eat as the fancy folk do: There will be six live carving stations, a live Penang Assam Laksa booth and lots of upscale international dishes to choose from — meaning you won’t go hungry after all the next fasting day.
$68 for adults, $34 for children (Mon to Thurs); $78 for adults, $39 for children (Fri to Sun). Available from May 16 to June 14, 6:30pm-10.30pm. Reservations at 6737 2233.
Honorable mention: IKEA
Well, it’s not a buffet at all, but it’s good to know that the beloved Swedish home furnishing retailers are catering to Muslim customers, who may want to get a Billy bookcase after breaking their fast. For a limited time only, IKEA Singapore is offering $5 festive specials at both their Alexandra and Tampines outlets, with a revolving menu as well. Aside from the usual meatballs and chicken wings, patrons can nosh on Ayam Masak Merah, Masala Chicken, Chicken Briyani and more.