Five years ago, we decided to become halal-conscious consumers. And i don't just refer to our food consumption. We poured hours on research, through the web or window-shopping, carefully choosing the products which suited our requirements and our needs.
We don't claim to consume only halal-certified products for there are categories where none have the required certification. In such cases, we became meticulous label-readers, carefully examining the ingredients/components to check if any of the raw materials is not permissible by our faith.
Becoming halal-conscious consumers was not easy but twas doable. Becoming halal-conscious diners is more of the trouble.
We love eating out but we are yet to find a restaurant in this city that has been certified halal by the Office of Muslim Affairs. Thus, when we eat out we examine the menu very carefully. We drill waiters on ingredients, preparation and kitchen practices. More than once, we asked if we could take a peek at their cooking area. Most restaurants have been very accommodating and honest. But this routine could be quite a chore. As a result, we are regulars on our usual restaurant choices ... those we have "investigated" and have trusted. And we hardly order anything grilled. Better safe than sorry.
We were invited by my in-laws for Eid'l Fitri dinner at Blackbeard's Seafood Island Northshore Grill. And I can say, that this restaurant is one of my best discoveries this year.
The restaurant is not halal-certified but it had the balls to declare to their diners that they are halal-sensitive. The said fact is printed on the cover of their Menu.
They have a wide range of selection of non-pork and pork dishes. Look at that six-page menu. When we
interrogated asked the waiter about our usual questions, we were told that the preparation and cooking area for non-pork and pork dishes are distinctly separate. When we appeared skeptical, the waiter intimated that their executive chef is a Moslem. Na-periodan kami.
Their food is good too. For Eid'l Fitri dinner, our generous hosts ordered a feast for us. My favorite is their Shrimp Laing and their Garlic Jumbangus (or something like that). The food is so good that my husband and I brought my family and his other sister to dinner to the same place the night after. My husband even ordered something off the menu and they accommodated him. We ordered grilled fish ... with peace of mind. Great!
View their facebook page here. I did and clicked "Like".