Spize started out as a coffee cafe in 1977 at Shaw Towers, offering freshly-brewed coffee from Italy and South America. Over the years, Spize has evolved into three halal restaurants that serve detectable Western, Asian and Mediterranean fare.
Spize – The Makan Place in River Valley Road was opened in August 2003. The initial menu consists of local favourites such as Roti Prata, Nasi Goreng Pattaya, Tom Yum Soup and Mee Goreng were served alongside their award-winning Roti John. The menu was revised in 2007 to include more items from the Mediterranean Grill.
There are two parts to Spize – The Makan Place. To the left is the cafe and the restaurant is housed in the shop to the right. Beautifully-designed Mediterranean style floor tiles run through the middle and sides of the restaurant floor and colourful patterned tiles adorn the walls while low-hanging industrial lights brighten up the place.
Mocktails are getting very popular nowadays, especially in halal restaurants where their religion does not allow the consumption of alcohol. Apple Lemongrass Mojito [$5.90] does not sound very appetising but it, in fact, a refreshing of green apple juice, lemongrass and lime. Banana Buzz [$5.90] which is a blend of orange, banana and vanilla ice-cream is really more of a milkshake than a mocktail, but it works. Creamy and sweet, it hits all the right notes.
This Logan / Lychee Frosty [$3.20] is the perfect drink for Singapore hot weather. This is the lychee version and the blended ice drink is full of lychee sweetness.
Baked Cheese Fries [$9.90] can be found in the “On A Lighter Side” section on the menu, but it really is not light at all. A small black spot is filled to the brim with fries and topped with melted mozzarella cheese. I would have preferred if cheddar or parmesan cheese had been used instead, for the mozzarella cheese is not salty enough.
I can totally understand why Moroccan Roast Chicken [$17.90] is one of the most popular items in Spize. The deboned half spring chicken is marinated with fresh tarragon and sumac before being roasted. Tarragon is a herb that is widely used in French cooking while sumac is a spice of the Middle East and together they bring aroma and tartness to the otherwise plain chicken meat. Served with steamed vegetables and cajun seasoned fries, it is a meal to remember.
I was a little hesitant about ordering steaks after a few unfortunate steak disasters at Javier’s Rotisserie & Salad Bar and Outback Steakhouse, but I was craving for some meat and it is one of the restaurant’s popular items so I decided to go for it. New Zealand Ribeye Steak [choice of sauce: $24.90 for Brown Butter Balsamic, $23.90 for Bullet Pepper and Garlic Mushroom] turned out to be one of the best steaks I have had in a long while. The ribeye steak is air-flown from Silver Fern Farms, the largest livestock processing and marketing company in New Zealand. I always have my steak done medium rare and it is perfectly cooked with a beautiful pink centre. The beef is juicy and very tender.
For those who like lamb, Shish Kabab [$19.90] is a great option. Grilled leg of lamb cubes are marinated with Lebanese spices and wrapped flatbread with cabbage. Served with salad and cajun seasoned fries, this dish is not too heavy on the stomach.
Believe me when I tell you that the Banana Ice Cream Tissue [$12.90] is HUGE and you should not order this dessert with less than 2 people to share it. The tissue prata that envelopes the vanilla ice-cream is thin and crispy, topped with generous amounts of whipped cream and chocolate syrup. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a whole tub of vanilla ice-cream in there. The contrast between the hot prata and cold ice-cream, the crispy prata with the soft ice-cream inside, is a great combination. Whipped cream and chocolate syrup gives this dessert a boost in creaminess and sweetness.
I personally think that Spize – The Makan Place is a great halal restaurant and I am definitely not the only one who thinks so. The table next to ours is a cute elderly European couple who hold hands and stare lovingly into each others’ eyes. They passed by our table on their way out and the women commented: “This is such a great restaurant. Lovely decorations and the food is great.” My sentiments exactly.
Spize – The Makan Place (River Valley Road)
Address: 409 River Valley Road, Singapore 249307
Telephone: Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 12pm – 5am; Friday – Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays 12pm – 6am
Spize (Simpang Bedok)
Address: 336 Bedok Road, Bedok Shopping Centre, Singapore 469512
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 12pm – 2am; Friday – Saturday and Eve of Public Holidays 12pm – 3am
Spize (Rifle Range)
Address: 131 Rifle Range Road, Temasek Club #03-04, Singapore 588406
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday and Eve of Public Holidays 8am – 11pm