A taste of Indonesia at AquaMarine, Marina Mandarin
Singapore - Depending on where you are on this globe, daily evening meals with which Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan can be referred to by its Arabic expression "iftar" (particularly in most parts of the Middle East), or "sungkai" when in Brunei, and "buka puasa" - meaning to open the fast - in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
While it is a religious observance, it is also more noticeably perceived as a celebratory communal repast. Locally, the menu is often an honest representation of Malay and Indonesian cuisine, or a unique amalgamation of the two, with a bit of Arabic nostalgia thrown in. Anything from the humble bubur lambuk (or rice porridge served with a variety of meats and some seafood), to the classic rendang (a heavily spiced and richly savoury dry curry made with beef or chicken). Or if you know just how the locals like to dine, you might even consider some dendeng (slivers of sweet and spicy beef jerky), ayam percik (percik sauce marinated barbecued chicken) and the unmistakably blue nasi kerabu. Yes, blue. It's coloured using dried telang - or blue pea - flowers.
These dishes also speak of the festive nature of such meals, each marking a day of abstinence. That said, good food is nearly always a fundamental focus at social occasions. You might have also noticed Singapore's increasingly global table, and that has in effect made the customary Ramadan meal a spread that more diners - even non-Muslims - look forward to savouring.
To be sure, this opportune invitation to dine has surpassed the still popular option to brave the crowds come dinnertime at Geylang Serai or Kampong Glam, where delectably affordable feasting still flourishes. Closer to the heart of the city, a song away from the island's main shopping belt, and where a premium is often affixed to the price of a meal, more Halal-certified restaurants are hawking their version of a value meal.
But if you're looking to indulge a little more in this in-season variety of culturally appropriated fare, a fitting all-you-can-eat alternative is never too far away. Here are some we've singled out.