Several new stations on the still developing Downtown Line of Singapore's subway network opened on Dec 27, giving residents here an excuse to re-explore their city. Some, like Cashew, Stevens and King Albert Park are located in areas that are still relatively quiet, but others offer refreshingly good access to quality halal food and activity spots.

Hillview

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Not exactly the most exciting place to start with, but let's face it - when you're feeling peckish or need a caffeine pick-me-up, Coffee Bean doesn't disappoint. And after that walk (albeit short) from the station or down the Green Corridor, it's nice to come to a homey hideout and tuck into a no-surprises plate of spicy tuna pasta. 

The Raill Mall (7 min walk from Exit A)

SpringLeaf Prata Place (The Rail Mall)

Springleaf Prata Place (The Rail Mall)
PHOTO: HALAL IN THE CITY

According to MUIS' Dec 9, 2015 listing, this newly-opened outlet is not yet halal-certified, but promises the same menu of innovative dishes like Plaster Blaster (think Eggs Benedict with vegetarian, Indian flatbread and curry-flavoured hollandaise sauce) and the Ultimate Murtabak, which is packed with tandoori chicken, mushrooms and cheese. 

The Rail Mall (7 min walk from Exit A)

24-hour Cold Storage

If you're spending the entire day out and about, The Rail Mall is a nice place to wrap things up, especially when there's a well-equipped supermarket open through the night. 

The Rail Mall (7 min walk from Exit A)

Green Corridor

Green Corridor Downtown Line 2
PHOTO: WE SUPPORT THE GREEN CORRIDOR

The Downtown Line 2 is the easiest public access anyone's ever had to one of Singapore's few remaining green pockets so chances are you'll have plenty company, but the Green Corridor is still a great spot for any picture your camera (or mind) seeks.

The Rail Mall (7 min walk from Exit A)

Beauty World

Al-Azhar Restaurant

Al-Azhar (Bukit Timah)
PHOTO: HALAL IN THE CITY

A favourite among all kinds of foodies since more than a decade ago, 24-hour restaurant Al-Azhar is where one can get consistently delicious versions of comfort foods like butter masala chicken, cockles fried kway teow, Maggi goreng and murtabak. 

11 Cheong Chin Nam Road (1 min walk from Exit B)

Ameen Makan House

We won't sugarcoat it for you - it's not the same Al-Ameen and probably will never be, thanks to killer rent and the other usual suspects. But take it from the folks that spent much of their tertiary education years here nursing a teh tarik back in the day, there's still something familiar about the place, even though it's shrunk considerably and has a fresh signboard. 

4 Cheong Chin Nam Road (1 min walk from Exit B)

Domino's Pizza (Bukit Timah)

If you're along the Downtown Line 2 and craving a pizza, you can make a Beauty World pit stop for Domino's unbeatable menu of seven crust types, six classic topping combinations and a whopping 12 "all-time favourites". You can book ahead so your pizzas will be ready when you arrive, so you can pop back into the train in no time. 

8 Chun Tin Road (30 sec walk from Exit B)

Tenderfresh Classic

Tenderbest Classic (Beauty World)
PHOTO: BURPPLE / AMANDA LIU

If you're up for the brand's signature roast and spring chicken, they've got it, but if you're in a more adventurous mood, the diner has some affordable and tasty Asian fusion combos like laksa prawn spaghetti and black pepper steak with rice. 

9 Cheong Chin Nam Road (2 min walk from Exit B)

Zac Butchery (Bukit Timah)

Zac Butchery (Bukit Timah)
PHOTO: HALAL IN THE CITY

This one-year-old outlet of the gourmet grocer stocks quite everything you need for a barbecue, including accessories, bread, fresh vegetables, raw and seasoned meat cuts and spices. But if you're feeling more couch potato than baked potato they've also got TV meals, ready-to-nom bacon and sausage, plus cheese. 

14 Chun Tin Road (30 sec walk from Exit B)

Giant

On a photo or food walk and need some emergency supplies? There's a relatively new Giant supermarket outlet at '90s gem Beauty World Centre. It's in the basement, where there used to be a billiard and pool parlour popular with tertiary students .

#B1-01 Beauty World Centre (30 sec walk from Exit A)

Memories at Old Ford Factory

Old Ford Motor Factory DTL Hillview
PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Ford Motor Factory was where the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 and the site now holds a permanent gallery showcasing memories of life during the Japanese Occupation. There's a free guided tour every first Saturday at 2pm.

351 Upper Bukit Timah Road (20 min walk from Exit B)
 

Staying in today? Choose from this list of halal Singapore delivery websites
 

Sixth Avenue

Canadian 241 (Sixth Avenue) or Sarpino's Pizzeria (Bukit Timah)

There are two halal pizza options on this stretch and unfortunately nothing else. But the station's a big draw even if you don't like pizza because of all the fun stuff the neighbourhood offers that you're now much, much closer to. 

10 Sixth Avenue / 833 Bukit Timah Road (3-5 min walk from station)

The Cage Sports Park

Footballers may already know this place, but haven't had the chance to play a game here merely because of how difficult it is to reach if you don't have a car. Now that it's accessible from an MRT station, you can book one of their five-a-side or 11-a-side pitches for a nice friendly before a round of pizza on the way home. 

Turf City, 220 Turf Club Road (20 min walk from station)

Gallop Stable

Gallop Stable Sixth Avenue MRT
PHOTO: GALLOP STABLE'S FACEBOOK

There's a bit of a walk, but it's nothing compared to what it would've been like to get to this place before. And it's worth it, especially if you've been craving green grass, fresh air and a pony ride. With 200 stables and more than 100 ponies and horses, Gallop's one of Singapore's largest riding centres. For newbies they've got trail rides, lessons and donkey feeding sessions. 

Turf City, 100 Turf Club Road (8 min walk from station)

Red Dynasty Paintball Park

Thrill seekers will find this one worth the trek. There are six paintball packages ranging from $10 to $84.90 per person, including a Shooting Gallery one for the beginner and some called Darth Vader, James Bond and Rambo for serious scenario fun. 

Turf City, 220 Turf Club Road (20 min walk from station)

Botanic Gardens

Adam's Delights

Can't decide between Indian and Western food? Problem solved with Adam's Delights' combo menu. Among the options is Maggi goreng or nasi goreng with crinkle cut fries doused in mayonnaise and mustard - obviously not for the faint-hearted (or health-conscious).  

#01-11 Adam Road Food Centre (5 min walk from Exit A)

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak (Adam Road Food Centre)
PHOTO: BURPPLE / IVAN TEH

This probably doesn't need an introduction, but just in case, here's what you need to know: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has served it to important guests and British TV chef Gordon Ramsay was so close to taking up the challenge of making it when he was here. Simply, to many Singaporeans, it's not just nasi lemak - it's the nasi lemak, and you'll do well to give it a shot.

Stall 2 Adam Road Food Centre (5 min walk from Exit A)

Rochor

Fleur Cafe

Fleur Cafe Singapore halal staycation

PHOTO: HALAL IN THE CITY

Almost as old (or young) as the new Downtown Line 2 station is Fleur Cafe, which opened at Muslim-owned boutique hotel The Daulat in mid-December. Dressed in rustic furniture and fresh flowers, it's cosy and quiet, making it a good spot for a conversation over a spot of tea or a glass of rooibos tea infused grape juice (or for those familiar, the Amir).  

Hanna's Fusion & Japanese

Hanna's Fusion & Japanese Rochor MRT
PHOTO: HANNA'S FUSION & JAPANESE'S FACEBOOK

With Japanese and Korean cuisine really coming alive this year, it's no wonder that somewhere along the Downtown Line 2 is an up-and-coming spot. Formerly Megumi Shokudo, Hanna's Fusion serves rice and other bento sets plus sushi rolls, but also more contemporary items like salmon teriyaki burger.   

#04-02F Sim Lim Square (1 min walk from Exit A)

MacKenzie Rex (Prinsep Street)

While Central Singapore isn't commonly associated with family dining, the area around Rochor MRT has a few options, including MacKenzie Rex, which has become a bit of a household name for chicken rice. Have that on its own or if you're in a group, accompany it with dishes like chap chye, sweet sour garoupa and hotplate beancurd.   

#01-01, 66 Prinsep Street (8 min walk from Exit A)

The Malayan Council

The Malayan Council Singapore halal cafe

PHOTO: THE MALAYAN COUNCIL'S FACEBOOK PAGE

This cafe only opened at the end of 2015, but already it's become the neighbourhood hot favourite, with well-executed Malay-Western fusion dishes like assam pedas fish and chips, kacang pool with ribeye steak and roti kirai beef ribs. 

22 Dunlop Street (5 min walk from Exit B)

Sakunthala's Food Palace (Dunlop Street)

If you're craving straight-forward Indian cuisine, this halal food chain has both North and South, plus Indianised Chinese seafood dishes like butter or chilli crab and black pepper lobster. 

151 Dunlop Street (5 min walk from Exit B)

Deck

Deck photography Singapore
​PHOTO: DECK'S FACEBOOK PAGE / DARREN SOH

Downtown Line 2 stations open up to pretty scenic attractions but one destination tailor-made for shutterbugs is Deck, a photography centre housed in 19 shipping containers. Besides being utterly Instagrammable, it houses two galleries, a resource library for photography and a fully equipped dark room. 

120A Prinsep Street (5 min walk from Exit A)

Rochor Canal

Rochor Canal (Rochor MRT)
PHOTO: PUB

After three years of enhancement work, the new Rochor Canal was finally completed in 2015. Enjoy beautiful views of the neighbourhood's mixed era landscape from one of the new key points, the urban promenade that runs from Jalan Besar to Crawford Street which also links to other areas in the district like Kampong Glam. From here you can also take photos of and walk to Rochor Centre, which as you might already know, is an Instagrammer's paradise. 

Rochor Canal (1 min walk from Exit A)
 

Know a place you want to see on this list or think something needs updating? Let us know at editorial@halalinthecity.com