By Marisse Gabrielle Reyes –


From opulent breakfasts in Istanbul, post-pub kebabs in London to Malaysia’s best nasi lemak, we scour the globe for the best halal eats and let you in on where to find them.

Must Try: Turkish Halal Breakfast

Turkish breakfast, Cafe 

The Turkish start their day well with a smorgasbord of sweets and savouries served on small plates scattered on the breakfast table, with the idea of sharing and enjoyng, slowly, with the family. There’s a daily spread of myriad cheeses, such as beyaz peynirin taze kaşar, presented alongside olives, cold cuts, sausages, eggs and freshly baked breads served with an assortment of homemade fruit preserves, honey and butter.

Unlike much of the world, however, it’s tea for breakfast. Turkish tea is black and strong – with enough sugar and caffeine to get you through the day.

Where to Find It:

For a true Turkish experience, don’t miss Cafe Privato in Istanbul. It is known for its breakfasts, which include an assortment of delicious local delicacies as well as fried hellim (haloumi) and jams made in-house. If you find yourself Down Under, Sydney’s Efendy Restaurant has a glorious Turkish weekend breakfast from 9am to 2pm. It offers over 30 items including rose jam, tahini helva, pachanga borek and stone-oven baked pide.


Must Try: Felafel


Falafel is one halal vegetarian Middle Eastern dish that’s found its way onto many menus around the world. Made from either chickpeas or fava beans, they are flavoured with various herbs and spices such as cumin, garlic, parsley and coriander. Traditionally shaped into a ball and deep fried until golden brown, falafel is usually stuffed into a flatbread or served with a side with fresh greens, pickled vegetables and finished with creamy sesame-based sauces.

Where to Find It:

New York City’s The Halal Guys are self-proclaimed ‘pioneers of American Halal food’ who have been dishing out Middle Eastern dishes from food trucks all over Manhattan for the last 25 years. They offer, alongside their famous chicken and gyro, succulent falafel, which is served either inside pita bread or on a platter with rice. You don’t need to be in the Big Apple to grab this world-famous food, as they are opening shops all over the world – with their first Asian outlet in Manila, and branches slated to open in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

In London, vegetarian Middle Eastern chain Pilpel offers falafel in pita bread or on salads with untraditional additions like sun-dried tomato and guacamole.


Must Try: Doner Kebab


Similar to shawarma and gyro, the Middle Eastern dish of doner kebab is the generic name for various meats such as lamb, chicken and beef which are slowly cooked on a vertical spit and shaved off when served in wraps or flatbreads with fresh vegetables such as onion, cucumber, tomato and lettuce, as well as condiments like tahini, hummus or aioli.

The kebab is probably one of the most popular halal food in the world enjoyed by everyone. Outside Asia, it’s very popular and extremely easy to find in Europe.

Where to Find It:

In Singapore, try Shiraz Mazzeh at Clarke Quay. Their kebabs are filled with lamb, chicken or beef and come with a variety of sauces like chilli, hummus and garlic yoghurt. Another city famous for its kebabs is London, and The Best Turkish Kebab offers some of the tastiest in town for a price that won’t hurt your wallet.


Must Try: Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak 

Nasi lemak is widely known as Malaysia’s national dish. It was originally enjoyed as a breakfast staple consisting of spicy sambal, sliced cucumber, fragrant coconut rice, roasted peanuts, ikan bilis and a hardboiled egg. Today, nasi lemak is eaten for any meal of the day and comes in several forms. You’ll find stalls offering it with fried eggs, beef rendang, fish cakes, fried chicken, pickled pineapples or squid fritters.

Where to Find It:

In Malaysia, everyone has their go-to nasi lemak stall, but Kuala Lumpur’s Nasi Lemak Mak Wanjor Kampung Baru (Jalan Raja Muda Musa, Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, +60 17 223 7686) should be at the top of your list. It offers the classic combination as well as sides of tempe, squid, beef and chicken. New York’s Malaysian restaurant Rasa, on the other hand, offers the most authentic nasi lemak on American soil, but its version includes chicken curry and potatoes.


Photo credit of Nasi Lemak:Getty Images