As-Shifa harks back to the Lucky Plaza which Singaporeans will remember from the 80s - a place for good, cheap local food, and especially ethnic Malay cuisine on Orchard Road. This was before Lucky Plaza underwent a rapid transformation in the 90s till what it is known today as: Singapore’s Little Philippines (there are about 200,000 Filipinos working in Singapore, mainly in blue-collar jobs), replete with Filipino eateries, grocery stores, remittance shops (for Filipino workers in Singapore to send money back home to the Philippines), etc.
Amidst this present-day incarnation, Malay-owned As-Shifa stood out as perhaps the most popular local joint in Lucky Plaza - its fried chicken is most definitely the most sought after this end of Orchard Road. The little eatery seats barely 20, and finding a place to eat there can be enormously challenging if you come after 11.30am (it shuts at 4pm, but on most days, all the food will be sold out way before then).
Its offering is pretty standard - a quarter piece of fried chicken, Indonesian-style, with lots of batter crumbs (tapioca flour is used to coat the chicken), served in steamed coconut-infused rice, and accompanied by a tongue-numbing “sambal” chili sauce.
One can also opt for some extra add-ons like hard-boiled egg or “bergedil” (Malay-style potato croquette). A little bowl of chicken soup, heavily-laced with cinnamon & cloves, is served in the side.
The meal cost us S$12 (US$9) for two persons, including 2 mugs of hot, sweetened white coffee.
#06-52 Lucky Plaza
304 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 9383 0329
Operating hours: 11am - 4pm, Mon-Sat. Closed on Sundays.