(Updated July 2017) Where to eat? 吃什么? Makan Apa Hari Ini? What food to try in Singapore? Here are our suggestions for what to eat in Singapore and where to eat in Singapore. We hope you will find this food guide useful. This is not a mechanical compilation of restaurants. The specific restaurant listings are places we have actually tried and like. Do check back once in a while as we will be updating the list of restaurants and food outlets periodically.
Our Food Dictionary will help readers visualise the different types of food that we encounter in Singapore.
Estimated prices for an average meal without drinks.
$ – Less than $20 per person
$$ – About $30 per person
$$$ – About $50 per person
$$$$ – About $80 per person
$$$$$ – About $120 or more per perso
Looking for some good local Singapore food? Our post on The Best of Singapore Food That We Have Tried might be of interest to you.
The Singapore Michelin Guide 2016 was released on 21 July 2016. The Joel Robuchon Restaurant leads the Michelin Star awards with three Michelin Stars. Here is the List of 2016 Singapore Michelin Star Restaurants.
For a special occasion, a meal at Spago, Wolfgang Puck’s second restaurant in Marina Bay Sands, will not disappoint. Pick a day when the sky is clear so that you can enjoy the views from the Skypark, level 57 of MBS. $$$$$
For a scenic setting that is more down to earth, we suggest the Corner House. The beautiful location in the Botanic Gardens and the delightful food will make your guest fall in love (again). $$$$$.
Your special someone frowns on the eating of helpless animals? Fear not, we have the place for you. Joie Restaurant by Dozo is an elegant restaurant at the penthouse level of Orchard Central that serves meatless cuisine. $$$$
If you would like to dine at an Italian restaurant to celebrate the special occasion, we can’t think of a better place than Ristorante Da Valentino at Turf City. It is housed in an ugly building but step inside and you feel transported into a warm family-run restaurant in Tuscany ($$$$). For a contemporary Italian restaurant in the city, try Aura which opened in late October 2015 at the top of the equally new Singapore National Gallery. Its unique proximity to the art museum as well as the rooftop vistas of Marina Bay means it is a great location for corporate and social events. $$$$
If your special occasion happens in the month of September, how about securing tickets to the F1 races in Singapore. We don’t know much about racing but as a food blog we recommend the Paddock Club tickets as unlimited wining and dining at the Singapore Formula One races is included in the package. The cars and concerts provide the post dinner entertainment.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Off the beaten track dining suggestions: –
Step off the fast lane and enjoy a leisurely lunch in the tropical paradise of the Botanic Gardens. The Casa Verde cafe serves a good selection of both local and Western dishes. $
Enjoy live music with your dinner at Timbre Live Music Restaurant @ Gillman in Gillman Arts Centre. It is in a great location (the former Gillman Barracks off Alexandra Road) and the casual atmosphere makes it an inviting and relaxing place. The food is decent. The live music in the evenings is a great bonus. $$
Try eating chapati with your hands at Azmi Chapati in Singapore’s Little India. Your wallet will also thank us for this suggestion. $
Nestled on the 11th Floor of Pico Creative Centre with a great panoramic view, lies the charming 5 Little Monkeys Cafe. It is truly a hidden gem. A unique cafe with creative decorations and great atmosphere – It feels like a visit to a friend’s penthouse. $
Escape from the city and go to Coastal Settlement, a remote restaurant near Changi Point. It is a restaurant like no other in Singapore. $$
Another quirky dining alternative, also near Changi Point is Jubilee Coffee House & Bar. Similar concept as Coastal Settlement, this time the restaurant is housed in an old bungalow that seems to be something from an old Cantonese movie.$$
Eat at a Chinese restaurant that is called “Yummy Recipes” that is located in an industrial estate but is decorated like a set for a Chinese period drama. Yes, we know all this sounds weird but we enjoyed the food and the experience will be unforgettable at Yummy Recipes in Kallang. $$
There are many good Chinese restaurants in Singapore. Please read our shortlist of TOP Chinese Restaurants in Singapore.
A light Chinese dim sum lunch? Here are some suggestions:
The new restaurant by dessert queen Janice Wong at National Museum serves dim sum and noodles that are unlike any we have seen in Singapore ($$$).
翡翠金阁 Crystal Jade Golden Palace in Paragon Shopping Mall and 香宫 Shang Palace in the Shangri-la Hotel are good choices for the atmosphere and good service at these restaurants as much as the delectable food served there.$$
For a slightly less expensive but still good dim sum, try the Ju Hao Xiao Long Bao at Square 2, Novena ($). For a more scenic dim sum place, try Sky View Kitchen at Singapore Flyer which was set up by ex-Crystal Jade staff.($)
Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant Bedok is a no frills Chinese restaurant that serves good food in East Village. They serve zi char dishes in a clean comfortable air-conditioned environment.
If you prefer Chinese food with a modern / international twist, then you may wish to try the following places:
Kai Garden, a new (opened late 2015) Cantonese restaurant helmed by the former chef of the Paradise Group. This restaurant in Marina Square serves traditional Cantonese dishes but with some modern creative touches by chef Fung. $$$
Empress, a new restaurant (opened December 2015) by Prive Group. Its location next to the Asian Civilisation Museum and the Singapore River provides wonderful views of old and new Singapore.
Lokkee, a restaurant in Plaza Singapura opened by Tung Lok in 2015. It features “international Chinese” food found in Chinatowns all over the world. $$
For traditional Teochew cusine we suggest 醉花林 Chui Huay Lim restaurant which is in the Newton area. You can’t go wrong at this Teochew restaurant located on the ground floor of the Chui Huay Lim Teochew Assocation headquarters. $$$
For Hokkien cuisine, try Beng Hiang which is one of the most established Hokkien restaurants in Singapore. They moved out of their Amoy Street premises in 2015 to their new premises in Jurong East (near JCube). $$
How about good Chinese food that can boost your immunity or mojo at the same time? We suggest 宏仁堂御膳厅 Imperial Restaurant at Riverview Hotel on Havelock Road which uses traditional Chinese medicine in their cuisine. $$
Try Putien restaurant at Ion Orchard for Southern Chinese cuisine. $$
Wabbit season is over? Here are some Chinese restaurants that serve succulent duck dishes. Try delicious Peking Duck at two of Singapore’s most popular Chinese restaurants, both located at the Paragon shopping mall in Orchard Imperial Treasures Super Peking Duck or Crystal Jade Golden Palace. $$$. Two new duck restaurants that have recently opened in early 2015 that serve roast ducks in different styles are also worth checking out – Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant at the new Capitol Piazza $$$ and London Fat Duck at Scotts Square $$.
Feel like authentic Malay cuisine in a luxurious setting? We recommend the Mamanda restaurant which is housed in the Rumah Bendahara (or Chief Minister’s Residence) in Kampong Glam. $$$$
If you prefer something more casual, you might like to try some really good traditional Malay food such as mee rebus, mee siam, goreng pisang, awol-awol and putu piring. Do read our write-ups on Good Food at Geylang Serai Market and Hjh Maimunah Restaurant – a Malay Kampong feast; and the delightful Malay food at Haig Road which will probably make you hungry. $
Muthu’s Curry Dempsey serves a wide range of dishes such as fish head curry, tandoori chicken, kebabs and many types of curries in a modern setting. $$
Feel like North Indian cuisine in a pleasant setting? We like Yantra, a restaurant in Tanglin Mall, serving North Indian food that does not break the wallet. $$$
How about some flavourful biryani? Try Anjappar Restaurant in Little India that serves great biryani and other types of Chettinaad cuisine. $$
Try chapati which is arguably the best in SIngapore at Azmi Chapati in Singapore’s Little India. $
Zaffron Kitchen serves Indian food in a contemporary setting. Their set lunches are particularly attractive, budget-wise. $$
ALL DAY BREAKFAST
On Sundays and any other time when you just want to relax and chill, nothing beats having a meal at a place that serves full day breakfast. You will have your caffeine fix and comfort food craving satisfied at these places
Tea time is not just about Darjeeling tea and cucumber sandwiches. It is also about settling down in a cozy place with the right ambience where you can while away hours with your friends catching up on the latest news and gossip. Our suggested places to go for tea in Singapore are:
Arteastiq Boutique Tea House in Mandarin Galleria. $$
Pacific Marketplace in Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore. $$
In Singapore, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to cafes. You can find many cafe suggestions when you browse our “Desserts, Coffee, Tea” category. Here we highlight some interesting cafes which we think are particularly worth checking out.
South Union Park on Jalan Kembangan. $
Fresh Fruits Lab along Changi Road. $
Montana Singapore Cafe (Selegie Road). $
The Coffee Academics (Scotts Square). $$
Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar near Jalan Besar. $
Two Bakers Artisan Patisserie opposite Jalan Besar Stadium. $
Pantler cafe along Telok Ayer Street. $
Maison Ikkoku in Kampong Glam. $
Symmetry Cafe in Kampong Glam. $
Sinpopo Brand Cafe along Joo Chiat Road. $
Dutch Colony Coffee along Frankel Avenue. $
Arbite in Serangoon Gardens. $
Whisk Cafe in Tiong Bahru. $
LOCAL SINGAPORE FOOD
Good local food is an under appreciated gem in our F&B scene. Found in small food stalls sprinkled all over Singapore, locating and getting to these stalls can a challenge. The good food is often let down by the less than attractive dining atmosphere of these places. Fortunately, there are still some convenient locations where good local food can be found at reasonable prices and in pleasant surroundings. We highlight three places for local food where locals and visitors alike are able to enjoy a wide selection of local food in a user-friendly and comfortable setting.
Tang’s Market in Orchard Road. $
Chicken Rice is considered the national dish of Singapore by some. We have compiled a list of chicken rice vendors in Katong in our post TOP Singapore Chicken Rice in Katong. $
Bak Kut Teh (pork ribs soup) is another popular local dish. One place where we can eat it in comfort is Rong Hua Bak Kut Teh at Fusionopolis. $
For roast meats, we recommend the famous Jiu Jiang Shao La 九江烧腊 stall at Ghim Moh food centre. For contrast, you might want to try what $4 million roast meat tastes like at Kay Lee Roast Meat. (The value of money has really dropped, you could make a bionic man with $6m in the seventies).
If dining on local food in a nice setting is essential, then another option is to try the upmarket version of local food served in the hotel restaurants. We thought that the laksa served at the Hotel Jen Tanglin and Conrad Hotel ($$) were very good. To sample local favourites in an opulent setting, try Violet Oon’s National Kitchen in the National Gallery. $$$ or Island Cafe in Tang’s Department Store. $$
Seafood restaurants are popular eating places where one can find the famous Singapore chilli crab and other local dishes such as mee goreng. One such restaurant that we like because of its convenient location and good service is Jumbo Seafood at Dempsey Hill.
A mixture of local, Chinese and Malay influence, good Peranakan food is not easy to find. We suggest Ivin’s ($) in Binjai Park and Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant ($) in Joo Chiat for simple, traditional Peranakan dining.
The most impressive Peranakan restaurant in Singapore has to be True Blue Cuisine n Armenian Street. Good nonya food in an authentic Peranakan setting. $$$
Korean meat stews are staple dishes in Korean Cuisine. Two restaurants specialising in these stews opened in Singapore almost at the same time around October 2015. You may want to check out Masizzim ($$) at 313 Somerset for their different interpretations of this classic Korean dish.
Feel like eating authentic Korean charcoal BBQ, you can try 주신정 Ju Shin Jung at Guillemard. Good Korean food in a simple setting. $$
Yoogane has stoves at each table and cooks beef bulgogi and other Korean dishes at your table. It is located in the Westgate mall in Jurong East. $$
Bigmama BBQ and Beer is a Korean restaurant with a strange name but serves hearty Korean food at reasonable prices. It is located at the Biopolis complex near the Buona Vista MRT station ($). Close by in the neighbouring Fusionopolis is Hoodadak which serves classic Korean dishes.
Guksu Restaurant is a popular Korean eatery in Suntec City which specialises in Jeongol or Korean style hotpot meals. $
Here are some of our favourite Japanese restaurants in Singapore.
Sakurazaka Shabu Shabu – is a new restaurant in Greenwood Ave (Bukit Timah) that specialises in shabu shabu. $$$$
A section of Millenia Walk mall, called Millenia Walk Nihon Food Street, has been earmarked for Japanese restaurants. We were impressed by the sushi and cooked food at Tomi Sushi. $$$
Shinji by Kanesaka is a sushi restaurant who is a strong contender for Michelin Stars when the inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore edition arrives. We were impressed by what we saw and ate at the restaurant in St Regis Hotel. $$$$
Sumiya Suntec City is an izakaya styled Japanese restaurant. We especially like their charcoal grilled fishes and wide range of sake. $$$
Shiraishi Japanese Restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel is one of the best sushi restaurants in Singapore. It is also expensive. Fortunately, their lunch set meals are affordable. $$$ (lunch) $$$$$ (dinner).
Hanamidori is a beautiful restaurant in Plaza Singapura that specialises in Japanese chicken hotpot, Mizutaki. $$
True to the traditional izakaya, Issho Izakaya is a casual Japanese drinking establishment at the Sports Hub in Kallang which also serves food, there is great emphasis on drinks in issho izakaya. $$
Tenshin is our favourite tempura restaurant in Singapore. Like Shiraishi, they are expensive but the lunch sets are affordable. Which is why we only go for lunch unless someone else is paying. $$$ (lunch) $$$$$ (dinner).
Sanpoutei Ramen at Shaw Centre is our favourite Japanese ramen shop in Singapore. $
Gan Yakitori is a pleasant, casual yakitori restaurant in Star Vista which is a great place to meet up with friends over beer and yakitori. $$$
Here are two Japanese restaurants that have a low profile but serve up good quality Japanese food:
Yamagawa Japanese Restaurant is hidden at the Plaza behind the Parkroyal on Beach Road Hotel. It serves good traditional Japanese dishes at reasonable prices. $$$
Nakasei Sushi Restauranti is hidden in the Central Mall, off Havelock Road. It specialises in sushi. Prices are not low, but reasonable for the quality offered. $$$$
Here are some suggestions:
The Redpan Restaurant in Marina Square is a result of a collaboration between a restaurant group and a firm of architects. It serves an interesting range of western and local fusion dishes such as Temasek Chicken Chop and Prawn Hae Bi Hiam Pasta. $
Humpback Singapore’s website announces itself as “Your great neighbourhood seafood restaurant”, This Bukit Pasoh restaurant does not have whale on its menu, but there are interesting seafood dishes and a wine list that is wallet friendly. $$$
Feel like some Mexican food, amigos? We love the atmosphere and food at Magarita’s in Dempsey.
The new Capitol Piazza mall which opened in early 2015 has many dining options. One of the restaurants here that we like is Equilibrium (Italian Cuisine) $$$. Another Italian restaurant that is quite different from the run of the mill offerings is La Barca in Katong. $$$$
We are wary of celebrity chef restaurants, but Bread Street Kitchen was actually quite good. Enjoy the food designed by Gordon Ramsay and enjoy a wonderful of the Singapore skyline at the same time. $$$
New establishments get a lot of attention and publicity but quite often do not live up to the hype. Two new places that have lived up to our high expectations and we would return to again and again are The Lokal and FYR Cycene Ond Drinc.
Creative Argentinian cuisine in a trendy setting? You should try Bochinche restaurant off River Valley Road. $$$$
How about dining in a converted church? The White Rabbit restaurant serves great food in a beautiful dining hall that used to be a church. $$$$ … or in the garden of an old convent? Prive at Chijmes offers a great choice of casual American cuisine including all day breakfast in the beautifully grounds of the recently refreshed Chijmes. $$
One place we frequently end up in when can’t think of a place to go is Culina Bistro at Dempsey where you can find all day dining. In addition to the regular menu there are always interesting daily specials. A friendly wine list for all budgets and the option to pick your choice of steak from the retail section to be prepared by the chef seals the deal for us. $$$
In the mood for well-made burgers? Click here for our TOP list of our favourite places for burgers in Singapore.
Not prepared to brave the traffic or pay ERP to get into the city? Here are suggestions for dining in the suburbs: For our friends in the West, how about the Italian restaurant iO Italian Osteria in the new HillV2 mall in Hillview ($$). Serangoon Gardens residents should try out Arbite – Arbite is a cosy bistro along Serangoon Garden Way serving modern European cuisine mixed with Asian culinary elements.
WHAT TO EAT IN EASTERN SINGAPORE
Some people say that the best places to live in Singapore are in the East because there is less pollution, better leisure facilities and more food choices available. We don’t know about the first two reasons, but we can confirm that you can put on weight easily if you live in the East. Maybe that’s why all the sports stuff are found there! Here are some of the restaurants, cafes and other dining places in the East that we have compiled.
We thought that the $19.90 (nett) set lunch at Milagro Spanish restaurant at Orchard Central (October 2015) was a very good deal. $
Italian food comes at a 40% discount on weekdays at La Nonna at Namly Place. This applies for both dine in or take-away. $$
Mon Bijou is a French themed cafe that just opened in the new Claymore Connect arcade along Orchard Road. We thought their food and service were very good and prices reasonable as well. $$
Here are our suggestions for where to go for TGIF, happy hour, after office drinks or any time you just want to let your hair down.
Georges Beach Club is a beach club Singapore style at East Coast Park. It has something for everybody – it is a family restaurant and sports bar. It has an outdoor children’s play area and a pool table indoors. There is live music in the evening. $$
Barossa Restaurant Bar at the Esplanade is known for their 3 B’s – Beef, Burgers and Beer. This Australian eatery and bar is a convivial place for drinks and food. $$
Ginza Lion Beer Hall at Suntec City – Japanese version of the German beer hall. $$
Super Loco at Robertson Quay – restaurant bar serving Mexican street food and more. $$
Folks Collective at China Square – quirky and fun Thai food and ambience. $$
Try flirting with the cashier at the Tiong Bahru Club (in Tiong Bahru of course). $$
For those outside the Central Business District, you have not been forgotten. Here are some options in the suburbs :
What to eat at shopping malls, activity centres.
Still undecided? We suggest you check out the dining options at the shopping malls nearest to you. To help you narrow down the options, we have done some write-ups on the dining options available in the following malls:
What to eat at Kallang Wave (Sports Hub)
What to eat at HillV2 (Hillview)
What to eat at Waterway Point (Punggol)
Restaurants at Claymore Connect (new arcade of Orchard Hotel)
Estimated prices for an average meal without drinks.
$ – Less than $20 per person
$$ – About $30 per person
$$$ – About $50 per person
$$$$ – About $80 per person
$$$$$ – About $120 or more per person
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog