Where to bring foreign friends to eat in Singapore? 7 restaurants for 7 types of visitors

Kok Sen Michelin Star Keong Saik

Where to bring foreign friends to eat in Singapore?  As a part of our Asian hospitality, it is customary to treat our foreign visitors to a meal when they are in Singapore. We often have to rack our brains to figure what are the places to bring visitors to eat in Singapore. To help our readers who have to figure out where to go, we have compiled this list of 7 restaurants based on the type of visitors they are hosting.  The restaurants are also situated in locations which we think are interesting to an overseas traveller. We think the key to selecting a suitable place is to understand the character of your guest. Only then will you be able to decide on the appropriate restaurant to host the meal.

Where to bring foreign friends to eat in singapore?
Kok Seng Restaurant

1. Anthony Bourdain-type visitors

There are foreign visitors who want to experience a local restaurant that has attitude and preferably a slightly gritty feel. For this type of foreign guest, it is best to avoid anything gimmicky or touristy. Just bring them to places which are authentic and without any hype.

Azmi Restaurant (a.k.a Norris Road Chapati) is a humble restaurant in the heart of Little India. Order some chapati and lots of side dishes (keema is compulsory). Eating with the hands makes it an even more memorable experience. After lunch, walk around the Little India neighbourhood for an authentic Singapore experience. Read more.

Azmi Chapati

Azmi Restaurant Chapati at Norris Road
Location: Junction of Norris Road and Serangoon Road

2. Visitors interested in experiencing the real Singapore

To experience a day in the life of an ordinary Singapore resident, one has to visit the residential heartlands of Singapore. Any major housing estate, be it Queenstown, Bukit Gombak or Pasir Ris, will be a good choice. Every foreign visitor who is interested in Singapore food should be brought around to a local coffee shop for a zhi char experience. If you are wondering where to bring foreign friends to eat in Singapore for a zhi char experience, we suggest XO Holland Village Fish Head Bee Hoon. Do not be fooled by its name, they serve a whole range of zhi char dishes and they are no longer in Holland V. Read more.

XO Holland Village Fish Head Bee Hoon

Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant
Dover Coffee Hub
Blk 19A Dover Rise #01-05
Singapore 131019

Tel: +65 6778 3691

3. Gourmands on a budget

Nowadays, the decision of where to go for a holiday is influenced by the food culture of the destination. Yes, many foreign visitors to Singapore are avid foodies but prefer to try out the more modest eateries. This is where the Bib Gourmand section of the Michelin Guide comes in handy. These are places serving good food at an affordable price. Our favourite Bib Gourmand restaurant in Singapore to bring foreign visitors is Kok Sen Restaurant at Keong Saik Road. Read more.

Kok Sen Restaurant
30-32 Keong Saik Road

Tel: +65 6223 2005

Opening hours:
Lunch 12:00-14:30
Dinner 17:00-23:00

Nearby MRT Station: Outram

Michelin Guide Website

4. The quirky visitor

There are visitors who are bored with the mainstream type of restaurants. They want to be surprised, to be entertained. A unique restaurant that is quite unlike any we have seen is Xiao Ya Tou. According to their tagline, Xiao Ya Tou is a restaurant “serving naughty modern Asian cuisine”.  The surrounding Duxton/Tanjong Pagar area is also worth exploring after lunch.  Read more.

Xiao Ya Tou

Xiao Ya Tou
6 Duxton Hill
#01-01
Singapore 089592

Tel: +656226 1965

Opening hours:Mon-Thu: 12-11pm
Fri: 12-12am
Sat: 10am-12am
Sun: 10am-5pm

Nearby MRT Station: Tanjong Pagar

5. The Instagrammer

For some visitors, the most important thing on their mind is that the photos look good on social media. For the Instagram addict, the place has to be photogenic and the food gorgeous when they are posted. Where to bring foreign friends to eat in Singapore if they fall in this category? We think that Tiong Bahru would be a nice location. There are many cafes worth visiting at Tiong Bahru. One of the newest is Merci Marcel Cafe. Pick a spot at the sunlit part of the cafe at the back. The photos of the food should turn out good as well. Read more.

Merci Marcel

Merci Marcel Cafe
#01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street
Singapore 160056

Tel: +65 6224 0113

Opening Hours:
Tues – Fri 8:00am – 11.30pm
Sat 8:00am – 11:30pm
Sun 8:00am – 10:00pm

6. The touristy visitor

Let’s face it, there will be visitors who need to be photographed with the tourist attractions featured in the STPB brochure. As far we know, we think the biggest Singapore tourist icons are the Merlion and the MBS Building. PS Cafe One Fullerton has the Merlion on its doorstep and the MBS building is right across the bay. There are enough picture worthy spots inside and outside the restaurant to delight your visitor. Read more.

PS. Cafe One Fullerton

PS. Cafe One Fullerton
1 Fullerton Road, #02-03B/04 One Fullerton
Singapore 049213

Tel: +65 8812 3198

7. The visitor who appreciates the finer things in life

There are visitors who wish to see Singapore and be pampered at the same time. For such foreign visitors, only a fine dining location will do.  Where to bring foreign friends to eat in Singapore who fits in this category? We can’t think of a better fine dining location that also fits in a scenic tour of Singapore than The Corner House. This Michelin-starred restaurant is located in the Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Read more.

Corner House at Botanical Gardens

Corner House
1 Cluny Road, Singapore Botanic Gardens,
E J H Corner House, Nassim Gate
Singapore 259569

Tel: +65 6469 1000

Chope Restaurant Reservation

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 12: noon – 3:00 pm6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Sun: 11:30 am – 3:00 pm, 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm


The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog

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