IT is not every day that you come across a halal zichar stall, but Ridhuan’s Muslim Delights delivers on that — Chinese cuisine cooked to perfection, and halal too.
For those who aren’t familiar with the staple in coffee shop, zichar is Chinese cuisine which commonly uses woks and strong heat.
Dishes such as hor fun, salted fish fried rice, prawn paste chicken wings are classic zichar dishes.
The owner of the stalls Muhammad Ridhuan Kho, is a converted Muslim, reports Vulcan Post.
Born Alex Kho Kiat Eng in Sarawak, Kiat Eng in Sarawak, Ridhuan was working in Singapore as a Chinese food cook when he met the love of his life, his wife at a Muslim coffee shop in Tampines.
He converted to Islam in 2012, and the two lovebirds got married in 2014.
Ridhuan decided to give up his job as a Chinese food cook when the two had their first child but realised they needed the money.
He returned to a Chinese kitchen where he toiled 16 hours each day.
Now, Ridhuan runs his halal zichar stall in an industrial canteen at Tuas.
Many of his customers are workers in the area, but Ridhuan’s skills with the wok has also drawn many from all the island.
The stall serves many Chinese dishes that have been tweaked and recreated to suit Muslims.
Ridhuan insists that it’s not difficult to resume cooking Chinese food, and he merely had to change some ingredients for the dishes to be halal.
He eventually found a stall which was halal-certified, but discovered that the owner ‘had no respect for other religions’.
“He broke the law of running a halal kitchen and I did not want to be his accomplice.
“That’s why I quit the job and opened my own stall.”
Fortunately, Ridhuan found a grocery supplier, Melvin, who believed in his idea and skills.
Melvin invested S$6,000 to finance Ridhuan’s dream of opening up his own stall.
Although the stall is barely four months all, RIdhuan has managed to pay Melvin back fully.
All of Ridhuan’s recipes are self-invented, and the best-sellers in his stall are the Butter Cream Chicken Rice and Salted Egg Chicken Rice.
According to food review site The Halal Eater, Ridhuan’s food is well worth the money and wait.
With regard to the success of his stall, Ridhuan said that although it was tiring at first, he enjoys the job now as he gets to meet a lot of people.
Said the grateful owner:
“I’m really thankful for those who come down to support me even although they do not know me.
“And to Melvin, I’m also very thankful for him supporting me all this time.
“I’m much happier now that I get to share good food with people, regardless of race.”
While it may be a little far for some, considering the snaking queues and awesome reviews, it’ll definitely be worth the trip down. -Stomp