Oldtown White Coffee is a homegrown Malaysian kopitiam styled cafe that make some really delicious local delicacies such as a variety of noodles, rice dishes and of course their famous white coffee and other beverages. I tried eating there myself, twice before I stopped going altogether since I'm doubtful of their halal status.
Which is a pity because I do think Oldtown serves some really good local dishes. They've got over than 130 outlets around the country and their business is really booming and if they'd wanted to get a simple halal certification, I don't think that would be any problem on their part, if they wanted to. But the problem is they never bothered, up until now so I had no choice but to avoid their outlet altogether.
That said whenever I walk pass an Oldtown White Coffee outlet, I still try to look for any halal logo inside or outside of their premise in the hope that maybe they would finally wizened up and get their food certified halal. But I just couldn't find any, up until today that is. Today I found a little halal logo on one of their banner outside the store. Does this mean I can enjoy their range of delicious menus without any more doubts? Can I now not frown upon my fellow Muslims who patronize their outlets without a care in the world?
Apparently no, not so fast. Yes I did saw that little halal logo on their banner but upon further inspection on their official website, I still see that questionable Nissin sausage egg noodle on sale at their restaurant. Now last time I check, Nissin instant noodle is labelled as non-halal at all hypermarket that I visited. Maybe there are more than one Nissin noodles sold out there in the market perhaps? I doubt it. A simple Google search will show you that those type of noodles are usually served at non-halal restaurants and food outlets.
Besides, if Oldtown White Coffee did get a halal certification they should have put them halal logo prominently and make them highly visible at all their stores and also their advertisements. At their website the only glimpse of halal certification is this one line that said "we also carry the HACCP and HALAL certification, making White Coffee a beverage that can be enjoyed by all". I see halal beverage but not halal food.
So would I rush to any Oldtown White Coffee outlet anytime soon? Unfortunately the answer is still a resounding no.
Looks like Oldtown White Coffee is certified halal after all. At least some of them which displays the halal certification from the Islamic Food Research Centre Asia (IFRCA). IFRCA is like JAKIM certification but they cover other Asian countries as well. You can check out the list of Oldtown White Coffee outlets (and other restaurants as well) who have obtained their halal certification from IFRCA here.
If you're still in doubt, make sure you look for this logo and certification whenever you enter one of their outlets. I hope this will put this Oldtown White Coffee confusion to rest.