Banquet is the first halal foodcourt in Singapore and can be found in many major shopping centres.
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User rating summary from: 13 user(s)
There are a few things that set Banquet apart from other foodcourts.
For one, the food seems to taste... healthier? I don't really know how to explain it but, the food at Banquet tastes more wholesome and is usually less oily than the food at the other foodcourts.
Secondly, the ambience at Banquet is much more peaceful compared to other foodcourts. Here, you don't really see aunties and uncles constantly milling about collecting dishes and wheeling their clearing trolleys around. This means less distractions and a more enjoyable meal.
Lastly, every stall at Banquet is halal! This is great as it offers more food choices for our Muslim friends. With already so many eating places in Singapore not being halal, Banquet is a place that they can fall back on. Also, at Banquet, groups consisting of Muslims and non-Muslims can enjoy a nice meal together with no worries!
Not a big deal
What I like most about Banquet is that it is easily available wherever I go, especially being a Muslim I have less options than other people. It's somewhere I go to when I am sick of fast food and prefer more filling meals and the price while being slightly more expensive than hawker centres, it is still easily affordable even for students.
I frequent the one at Simei and my favourites are the chicken chop from the western stall and the sliced fish soup. The chicken rice is also pretty good, much better than other Banquet outlets, but they seemed to have closed down. What irks me the most is probably the price of the drinks there such as the fruit juice and bandung which is total daylight robbery.
Slightly better atmosphere, and more hygienic/clean than your normal hawker centre. But other than that, when it comes to food courts, Banquet isn't the best.
The only thing I go for at Banquet is their Yong Tau Fu. I've had better ones, but my love affair with Yong Tau Fu starts with Banquet, actually. There used to be an outlet at Bugis which has since closed down.. they make awesome Yong Tau Fus.
The price is slightly higher than what you would normally pair at hawker centres, but then again, it's still relatively cheap. The service is average, sometimes some of the aunties would give you a warm smile, most times they do their work sort of begrudgingly?
Go to Banquet if you're looking for something inexpensive, and there's not much other food options around.
Caters to our fellow Muslims
The word 'Banquet' itself sounds very classy and it sounds like a high-end restaurant. Well, it is actually a normal food court that sells Halal food. Nevertheless, I must compliment the creation of Banquet as it specifically caters to our Muslim friends.
The only Banquet outlet that I've visited was at Causeway Point. I remembered savouring the Cha Kuay Teow. It was surprisingly the best I've ever had. Not too dry, sweet yet salty and fragrant. Our Muslim friends can now try the local favourite which they are forbidden to do so at the other food courts.
Moreover, tourists who are Muslims do not have to worry about not trying our local favourites such as Laksa, Chicken Rice and Yong Tau Fu. They now have more variety and alternatives to choose from. Even though it may be slightly expensive, I don't mind eating at Banquet at all! You will never know that the best Cha Kuay Teow you've ever had is at Banquet until you've tried it.
I'd much rather a hawker centre.
I love hawker food. Like I really love hawker food. When I first heard of Banquet, I thought that the food would be spectacular, like the name suggests. I was really disappointed. I had gone to the outlet at Eastpoint to get some lunch with a couple of friends. The food really lacked the authentic hawker flavour and was rather bland.
Don't even get me started on the service. I went to the drink stall to get a bottled water, and the lady at the counter wouldn't stop talking to her colleague and even after I waited for 5 minutes she was oblivious to the fact that I was standing there waiting to order and pay even though I had said 'aunty' several times in a bid to get her attention. It appeared to me that the staff were more focused on personal enjoyment than doing their job. Well, mediocre food and poor service, that about sums it up. Never going there again.
Where are all the Banquets?
At one time, you would be able to find a Banquet almost everywhere you went. With the recent troubles that was reported in the newspapers, many of their outlets have closed down and together with it some gems of local food fare.
At their peak you can find good halal chicken rice, laksa or even char kway teow with cockles. Price wise the food is reasonable, though in some popular outlets, getting seats during meal times can be difficult.
I am not too sure which outlets are still operating, though I believe that the one at Jurong Point is still open.
Better than Ko
In my opinion, the quantity and the variety of the food sold here is much better than that of Kopitiam. At a particular outlet, I bought a bowl of handmade noodles for just $3.50, and they gave loads of ingredients and the crispy ikan bilis, which would never happen in other places. Having been to kopitiam many times, very hardly do i get a whole bowl of noodles filled with ingredients and topped with whole load of crispy large ikan billis. I was pleasantly surprised.
Also, their western food served was great and came in huge portions too. Seems like the vendors in Banquet food courts are much more generous. One thing i like about dining at Banquet chains would be that I would be 100% sure that there would be no lard hiding in my foods, for this is a halal food court. I'm glad I've tried their food.
Feels like a normal food court
But with better western food.
This place has a lot more of our Muslim friends since it's halal. Actually I always thought this was Kopitam but halal, is it? Anyway I pray against the day there will be a Chinese Kopitam. They'll be selling fried cockroaches and French flies (freshly imported!) and anything with legs.
I always prefered Banquet if I'm going to eat western food. The western food fare here is definitely of a better level. I remember the soup is always a pleasure to have. But I've never tried much else besides, so I can't give a better review.
Remember fish and chips!
Do not go during Ramadan period
I remembered Banquet as the first halal food court ever opened in Singapore, and the first outlet was opened at Jurong Point. There is generally a good mix of choices there and you get halal versions of local favourites like chicken rice (hainanese style chicken rice with halal chickens, not the malay type), fishball mee, carrot cake, fish head noodles and so on.
Well, it wasn't really my idea of a halal food court, as I first thought that it would be a consolidation of malay, and indian or muslim-indian food. That would make it a really exciting food concept, but it was more of a halal version of chinese food.
There are good stuff and bad stuff. At the Jurong Point Branch, my favourite stall is the fish head noodle. It tasted much better than what I would find at other stalls. The dish would come with the eggbomb, something that I think this stall started it first, and add some chilli padi into it, whoa.. you can a really tasty yet super spicy fish soup. I would also start "raining" with perspiration after eating that. Another thing to note is that their coffee and tea and also a super big serving, imagine drinking a grande version of kopi o.
But there are some taste that appeared to have been altered to fit the taste of Malays, such as the fishball mee. I have eaten many times, but I still find something is missing as compared to others. I don't really like the taste of that.
However, point to note, if you are not Muslim, try not to go during the break fast period, as the food court are usually fully occupied already and everyone is just waiting to break fast. I had one experience at Causeway point, and i forgotten that it was fasting period. Thinking that I should have no problem getting a seat for myself, I went ahead and bought some food, and then realise that every table was occupied with food untouched on their table as the time was not reached yet. So I changed the order into a takeaway instead.