I'm getting pretty pissed off right now with regards to the food situation here. Firstly, my cooking is terrible. So yar. Most meals I have are pretty bad. Secondly, almost all the halal places we know here are Middle Eastern food (shoarma, kebab etc) and each shop sells the same things; only the quantities and tastes differ, that too only slightly. And I would like to share some other instances with regards to "halal" food myself and Fadhil encountered.
Firstly, the Indonesian restaurant I blogged about some time back. That one is halal, like, really halal. HOWEVER, the food is 'basi' (stale) all the time! 3 times we went there, all 3 times the food was stale. So we decided, enough is enough is enough is enough. That was the last Kak Rina (the shopowner) saw of us.
Few weeks ago, we were cycling around town and we saw this Moroccan restaurant. It had the shape of a mosque on its signboard, so we naturally thought it was halal. We entered, and asked the Arab owner whether it was halal. He gave us the what-was-to-be-standard answer,"Halal halal." He then lit a candle on the table and asked us to sit. That was when we say numerous bottles of wine on a shelf inside the shop. We then politely took our leave.
Last week, we went to this Malaysian restaurant. We looked at the menu placed outside the shop, and no wine or pork was sold. All the dishes were Malay food on top of that! We were so damn excited. When we entered, we saw a waitress, who was Chinese. We asked her, and got the usual reply, "Halal halal." But, all the workers were Chinese. I doubt they even knew what halal means. So we were "was-was", and didn't eat there.
Yesterday was the worse. The incident that really pissed me off. We googled for Malaysian restaurants, and found the address of one. It was located on this cosmopolitan street, whereby there were all kinds of restaurants from all over the world: Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese etc. We went to the Malaysian one since it claimed on its website that it was halal, but again wine and beer was sold. 2 shops away, there was an Indon restaurant. And from outside, I saw the names "Allah" and "Muhammad" being put on the counter, just like the ones we put at our homes. We went in happily, thinking to ourselves, "Finally"! To our dismay and disgust, beer was sold. Which didn't really piss me, coz even in Indonesia that is rather common. What pissed me off was when i asked the owner, whether the food was halal, she shrugged her shoulders! I felt like slapping her there and then, and asking her to remove the "Allah" and "Muhammad" from her shop. What? You don't even know if your food is halal? Bloody nonsense. And if it's not (which obviously is the case), then don't freaking put symbols of Islam in your shop lah! And i don't get these people: if you really are selling halal food, why sell alcohol? You're Muslims some more! I don't get it man, i just don't. I think drinking alcohol is 1 thing, selling it is another. I just don't understand them.
For now, I just have to make do with my crap cooking and the shoarma. It's not that bad lah, I'm more pissed off at these people than at the fact that i have to eat the same thing everyday. But we won't stop our search for non-basi halal food. And i'm sure along the way, there will be a few more times yet that we'll hear the words, "Halal halal" being repeated to us.