To elevate halal culinary excellence in Singapore, the first-ever HalalTrip Gastronomy Awards 2024 was launched at last week’s Halal in Travel Global Summit 2023.
Starting in October, some 500 establishments will be shortlisted and evaluated by chefs and food critics. Award categories include Restaurant, Cuisine, Special (such as cafés and dessert/pastry shops), and Chef. The awards will be presented on May 31 next year at the Halal in Travel Global Summit 2024.
Inspired by the Michelin Guide, the event is the brainchild of CrescentRating and HalalTrip CEO Fazal Bahardeen, who reached out to the Singapore Halal Culinary Federation (SHCF) to work together to identify, recognise and promote the best halal restaurants across various categories in the city-state.
Fazal remarked it was time to elevate halal cuisine and fill a gap as the food scene had developed beyond just halal certification to embody a complete culinary experience.
“Today’s Muslim diners are not only looking for halal-certified establishments but are also seeking out destinations that offer a diverse range of quality halal cuisines. This trend reflects a broader shift in halal dining, with a focus on quality, creativity, and a wide array of culinary options,” he noted.
Fazal further emphasised the need to recognise and promote the best halal culinary experiences in destinations.
According to a 2021 study, a Singapore Muslim consumer’s 2019 expenditure on halal dining and delivery was S$700 million (USS$518.9 million) and 60 per cent of respondents dined with a non-Muslim friend in a halal restaurant at least once a month.
Meanwhile, Fazal is exploring the possibility of expanding the inaugural 2024 event to cities in other destinations like Malaysia and Indonesia.