7 festive feasts that help spread Christmas light all year round

by Christine Leow // December 7, 2023, 12:42 am

PP Feature

Whether you are dining in or eating out this festive season, you can bless others when you drop by these eateries with heart. Photo from Penang Place Facebook post.

Remember this Christmas song?

I’ll make my heart a Bethlehem
That’s open wide to welcome Him
And let His love be born again
This Christmas in my heart

It is a Christmas classic that perfectly describes these seven eateries where the love of Christ leavens the way they run their business.

As you ponder where to celebrate the festive season, let Salt&Light whet your appetite with delectable delights from these restaurants and cafés as big in heart as they are on taste.

Buah keluak roast turkey at S17 Community Cafe

A Christmas staple with a Peranakan twist, this buah keluak turkey with fragrant nasi ulam is East meets West at its best. Photo courtesy of S17 Community Cafe.

This social enterprise was started last October by Raymond Khoo, founder of The Saturday Movement that feeds and cares for needy elderly. S17 Community Café is set up to be an elder-friendly eatery that runs programmes to help those with dementia.

This Christmas, in keeping with S17 Community Café’s menu, Raymond, who was formerly the chef owner of The Peranakan restaurant, is offering a Peranakan spin to the Christmas turkey.

His turkey with be marinated with buah keluak (an Indonesian delicacy) and stuffed with nasi ulam (steamed rice made fragrant with herbs and vegetables). The dish comes with buah keluak sauce and a tub of sambal belacan, just the way every nonya likes her meal.

Cost: S$168 nett
How to buy: WhatsApp 8023-4345

Satisfying set meals at Olive Vine

Grilled salmon with mushroom aglio olio is one of the mains available at Olive Vine’s Christmas set meal. Photo courtesy of Olive Vine.

In December 2006, with a husband who was dying from a rare strain of brain cancer, Ps Judith Halim heard God tell her to quit her job as managing director of a fashion company.

God would lead her to start Italian restaurant Olive Vine, the profits of which go to Restore Global Missions (RGM). The missions organisation started by Ps Judith and her husband, Ps Jason Ong, takes care of an estimated 1,200 children in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Ps Judith and Ps Jason Ong, who was miraculously healed, also conduct weekly church services for the indigenous overseers raised up from the communities who lead the children.

This Christmas, Olive Vine offers set meals that include a drink and dessert along with the mains. Pick from a selection of four items:

  • BBQ pork ribs served with egg plant and green salad, and either fries, mashed potatoes or olive rice
  • Beef steak with penne in arrabiatta sauce and eggplant, spinach and olives
  • Grilled salmon with mushroom aglio olio
  • Spaghetti al nero di seppia (squid ink) with squid, shrimp and mussels

The meal is capped off with a double chocolate cake and ice-cream.

Cost: S$39 nett for one set meal  
          S$69 nett for two set meals
Where: Marina Square #B1-17

Crackling porchetta and tender roast beef by KeeHive Private Dining

Crackling Pork Belly, tender meat topped with crispy skin, makes for a succulent addition to any Christmas meal. Photo courtesy of KeeHive Pte Dining.

Bernard Kee had no experience in F&B and was but a self-taught chef when he decided to set up KeeHive in his rental home. At the time, he was the sole breadwinner supporting a household of seven and had been retrenched from his job.

What would have been a season of desperation became instead a time of new beginnings. God led him to start a private dining business that would be his mission field. At every meal, either Bernard or his wife Kathleen shares a testimony of how God worked in their lives and their business.

KeeHive Christmas takeaways include:

  • Borrowdale (free range) Pork Porchetta (2kg) with Dijon Mustard ($180)
  • Borrowdale (free range) Crackling Pork Belly (2kg) with English Mustard ($150)
  • SRF Wagyu Striploin Silver Grade (1kg) with Smokehouse Sauce ($200)
  • NZ Picanha (1.3kg) with Chimichurri Sauce ($100)

Cost: S$100-S$200 Pre-order by December 10, 2023, to enjoy free delivery (available for delivery from December 23-26, 2023)
How to buy: Contact KeeHive

Maple-glazed ham by Soul Food Enterprise

Maple Glazed Premium Ham (Boneless) with Cinnamon Apple Sauce is Soul Food Enterprise’s Christmas offering this year. Photo from Soul Food Enterprise’s Facebook post.

When Gerald Png realised that his daughter Cheryl had learning difficulties, he was concerned about her future.

To ensure that she would have a job in the future, he and his wife Anne set up Soul Food Enterprise nearly 16 years ago because Cheryl enjoys cooking. But beyond caring for his own, Gerald also hires and trains other young people with special needs or who are differently-abled.

On their Christmas takeaway menu is Maple Glazed Premium Ham (Boneless) with Cinnamon Apple Sauce. A side dish of Roast Brussels Sprout Mash & Balsamic Honey Carrots is also available.

If Soul Food’s regular menu is anything to go by – sticky English pork ribs, Angus steak, porchetta, potato cheese gratin – Christmas with Soul Food will be an exquisite experience.

Cost: S$100 (1.5kg) or S$200 (3kg) for ham
How to buy: Email soulfoodenterprise@gmail or call 6472-0266

Malaysian favourites by Penang Place

When Paul Ooi lost his job at a Fortune 500 global technology firm, his first thought was his family. He had six children between the ages of seven and 16, and he was the sole breadwinner.

God would lead him back to a dream he had long-forgotten – to set up his own restaurant. In 2003, he opened Penang Place serving authentic Peranakan food the way his grandmothers used to.

Half of Penang Place’s profits after tax go to helping the poor and needy through Love in Action Missions (LIAM), and to areas where the Gospel is preached. The restaurant also offers 1-for-1 buffets for full-time pastors and missionaries.

Their Christmas catering menu lets you select from a spread of their signature Peranakan favourites that include kueh pie tee, Penang char kway teow, Penang assam laksa, lobak, sambal prawns and kueh kueh. You can add a Lamb Bourgounion made by hotel-trained chefs to the order as well.

Bourgounion with French loaf would be the highlight of any Christmas table. Photo from Penang Place’s Facebook post.

If you cannot decide which items to pick, drop by their restaurant for their Christmas buffet and you can have your fill of all their dishes. 

Cost: S$289 for 10 pax             
          S$130 for add-on of Lamb Bourgounion (10 pax)
          From S$39.90++
How to buy: Click here to order or dine in (Suntec City Mall, #02-314/315/316, Singapore 039593)

A local feast catered by Elsie’s Kitchen

With large-scale gatherings allowed once again, Christmas parties are made easy with Elsie’s Kitchen’s Christmas catering. Photo from Elsie’s Kitchen’s website.

Part of a catering empire that began in 1954, Elsie’s Kitchen is now run by third-generation Reuben Ang who believes that the business must fulfil a missional goal as well. That is why staff welfare is central to the ethos of the company which gives out financial aid and micro loans to its workers.

Apart from buffet spreads for as few as 10 pax that come in eight to nine courses, there are also individual items that can be bought like Gula Melaka and Pineapple Glazed Turkey Pre-sliced Ham, Roasted Whole Teriyaki Turkey with Tori Katsu Demi-glaze, Roast Australian Striploin with Truffle Shiitake Demi-glaze, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Panggang Sauce and Cheesy Chilli Crab Baked Rice.

Cost: from S$298 for 8 courses (10 pax)
How to buy: Click here to order

French Christmas bakes by Bakery Brera

Have a White Christmas this year with Bakery Brera’s Pistachio Almond Brittle Log Cake. Photo from Bakery Brera website.

Thrina Low, the force behind artisanal boutique bakery Bakery Brera, is a personable woman with a big heart. Her community bakery offers not just designer breads and viennoiseries, but genuine warmth and hospitality.

During the pandemic, Thrina regularly gave fresh bakes to frontline workers to encourage them. For several years, she has run internship programmes for students to impart work skills and life lessons. On festive occasions, she invites those who have no loved ones in Singapore for a meal at her home. Her online Brera community is a platform that regularly rallies people behind worthy causes.

This year’s Bakery Brera log cake flavours include Pistachio Almond Brittle that marries spongy cake with crunchy nuts, and the fragrant Lychee Rose. Galette Des Rois (King cake), a traditional French pastry with an almond filling traditionally eaten in anticipation of Epiphany, is back, as is the bakery’s Christstollen and Panettone.

Cost: from S$38
How to buy: Click here to order or drop by Bakery Brera (8 Empress Road, #01-05, Singapore 260008)


7 delicious ways to pay it forward as you feast this Christmas

8 Christmas treats that come with their own stories of faith, hope and love

To the heart through the stomach: Six festive foods to bless others with this Christmas

About the author

Christine Leow

Christine believes there is always a story waiting to be told, which led to a career in MediaCorp News. Her idea of a perfect day involves a big mug of tea, a bigger muffin and a good book.