Singapore rapper’s halal burger joint FatPapas to close

Entrance of FatPapas on Bali Lane, at left, and Sheikh Haikel, at right. Photos: FatPapas/Facebook
Entrance of FatPapas on Bali Lane, at left, and Sheikh Haikel, at right. Photos: FatPapas/Facebook

Sheikh Haikel Sheikh Salim went from being a rapper, TV host, and actor to the owner of what was thought to be a successful halal burger franchise. This week, the 45-year-old entertainer is bidding farewell to his restaurants. 

FatPapas announced that it will close for good after this week, with last orders set to go out of the first – and now last – outlet on Sunday. But the food entrepreneur hinted that he was not exactly calling it quits on the industry just yet, and was simply heading toward a “next adventure.” 

“To bigger and better things. But right now, all I have to say is come on down to FatPapas 17 Bali Lane,” Sheikh Haikel said in a video posted yesterday. FatPapas is located in the Kampong Glam precinct. 

The Witulah rapper, who won the Asia Bagus talent competition in 1991, launched the halal spinoff of the FatBoys franchise to long queues in 2017, with subsequent openings in Tampines, Yishun, and Katong, before they all closed. 

He never mentioned the reason for closing FatPapas, but his wife, former MTV Asia host Anna Belle Francis, gave some clues on her Instagram page. 

“For people who have grown up watching us on TV and now have families like us to share laughter, meaningful conversations and take selfies together, will always mean the world to me and @sheikhhaikel. However, due to the many circumstances and the heavy construction, we have to leave and Insyah Allah to bigger and better plans!” she wrote yesterday. 

“Stay close, we can’t wait to share plans with you. And to other small-time business owners, stay strong and keep pushing. Even if it takes to reset and recreate. We got this!” she added. 

FatPapas is the closest you can get to the taste of American burgers catering to Muslim eaters. Signature meals include the country fried steak topped with bechamel sauce, and specialty burgers like the black peppercorn burger made with Australian chuck tender. 

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