The 50 best restaurants in Singapore
You don't have to look very far to stumble upon an amazing nosh in Singapore. The city is packed with boundary-pushing restaurants run by star-studded chefs as well as humble hawker finds that'll satiate your appetite for cheap. Narrowing down the best restaurants in town to a list of 50 is no easy feat – that's why we have separate lists for the best Japanese, French and Spanish restaurants among others – but these are the places we think are worth a visit for unbeatable food, electrifying ambiance and genial service to boot.Did we miss a restaurant that demands to be included? Let us know in the comments. We'd love to hear about your favourites too. READ The best hawker centres in Singapore and the best cheap eats in Singapore for more affordable food options in the city
The best cheap eats in Singapore
Dining out in Singapore can be expensive – but not if you know where to look. These lunch spots provide a satisfying meal for under $10. From healthy salad options to our hawker favourites, these are the best cheap eats in the city. Here's helping you spend less on lunch so you can splurge on the things that matter. JOIN US AT TIME OUT'S BALIK KAMPONG HERITAGE DINNER READ The 50 best restaurants in Singapore and the best cafés in Singapore
The best burgers in Singapore
Everyone loves a good burger every now and then. The way its juices trickle down the hand as you chomp down on a fluffy bun loaded with meat and other decadent toppings – it's divine. Our quest for the best burger in Singapore is eternal. Here are some we're really digging at the moment. READ The best Halal restaurants in Singapore if you're looking for Halal burgers and the best healthy restaurants in Singapore and the best gyms in Singapore for when you've had too much
Meet the four chefs behind Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner
A showcase of Singapore's local talent and rich culinary diversity, Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner sees four amazing chefs team up to present a seven-course meal complete with bespoke cocktail pairings priced at an unbeatable $150. This isn't just a ragtag bunch of chefs we've dragged out of the kitchen, they're some of the city's best. Meet the chefs keeping Singapore's heritage food alive. READ Everything you need to know about Time Out's Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner
New restaurants and cafés in Singapore
Balik Kampong Heritage Dinner
Time Out Singapore is teaming up with four of the city's best chefs to showcase our heritage through food. Chefs Damian D'Silva (MasterChef Singapore 2018 judge) of Folklore, Han Li Guang of Michelin-starred Labyrinth, Haikal Johari of Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador and Pang Kok Keong of Antoinette are teaming up to present a seven-course dinner ($150, including alcohol) that highlights Eurasian, Peranakan, Malay and Chinese culture. Treat yourself to exclusive dishes created especially for this two-night event, which are paired with four different bespoke cocktails using Havana Club rum, Monkey47 gin, Altos tequila and Jameson Irish whiskey crafted by award-winning bar, Native.
Welcome to The Guild, the antithesis of the speakeasy that once occupied its grounds. Instead of chichi cocktails written on an illegible menu, you get generous pours of craft beer from Hong Kong's largest independent craft brewery, Young Masters. But it's not just alcohol on the menuon top of a comprehensive selection of natural wines and creative cocktails such as the Umami Gibson ($24) made with shitake infused vermouth and black tomato gin available too. Chef Vinny Lauria makes sure your stomach is well-padded with local produce like Pulau Ubin oysters, mushrooms from Kin Yan Agrotech and frog legs from Jurong Frog Farm prepared in ways you've never seen before. His American meets Singaporean dishes of General Tso's Frog Legs ($14), dry-rubbed barbecue skate ($32) and mac and cheese ($18) show off his culinary creativity and redefine what local comfort food should be.
Qi – House of Sichuan
You'll be crying out for milk and mercy at Qi – House of Sichuan. The one-Michelin-starred spicy import from Hong Kong will have you sweating over dishes like Bang Bang chicken in peanut sauce, its take on the classic Sichuan appetiser, where shredded chicken and greens are doused in a fiery peanut gravy and topped with fresh chillis. Turn things up a notch by digging into its braised grouper fish fillet in chilli oil soup, a large bowl meant for sharing that's overflowing with dried chilli peppers, garlic, basil, and fish. The soup isn't as oily as the traditional version, which means you're welcomed to down a bowl if you dare. People with no spice tolerance aren't forgotten either – its best-selling sugar-glazed ginger and scallion beef is a welcomed respite from all that chilli.
Chinese restaurants are a dime a dozen in Singapore but we've yet to come across one like Yellow Pot. Treading a fine line between modernity and tradition, the restaurant dishes out familiar favourites like hot and sour soup ($12) and roast duck ($32) with a twist – and no, we don't mean incorporating European techniques or ingredients. Yellow Pot prides itself in creating its sauces from scratch in house. The soup is prepared with a housemade hot bean paste made from fermented bean paste and chillis while the duck is marinated for two days with fermented bean curd, herbs and spices before it's roasted in a traditional Apollo oven till its skin is shatteringly crisp. Other must-tries include the braised sweet and sour eggplant ($14) and stir-fried mee sua ($18) that has plenty of wok hei goodness and fresh seafood.
Seoul Garden Group celebrates 35 years of dishing out Korean food by launching a brand new concept. Two Hana makes K-pop loving Generation Zers and Millenials feel right at home. The café at the recently renovated Century Square is clean, colourful and most importantly, has free Wi-Fi. Munch on snacks like its kimchi mac and cheese squares ($9) and Korean cauliflower fritters ($9) coated in the same dakkanjung sauce we love on our fried chicken wings. For mains, there's an affordable range of rice bowls like the Striploin Bap ($13), which comes topped with medium-rare slices of steak, an assortment of banchan and a 63-degree poached egg perfect for the 'gram.
The latest spot to hit the nightlife scene, Nineteen80 is a retro arcade bar serving throwback tunes, vintage interiors and magical cocktails with a burst of nostalgia. We're talking classics like Vodka Ribena, to their funky remixes from the Long Island Teas with a hint of apple, to the Blue Lagoon with a yuzu finish. With plenty of boozy drinks, dance tunes courtesy of resident DJ's Ollie'Des, Ya5th and more, as well as arcade games like PacMan, Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter to challenge your mate, can you really say no?
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The best French restaurants in Singapore
French dining is in its golden age in Singapore. French restaurants dominated the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide and it was mainly French restaurants that again clinched us spots on last year Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list. While decorated fine-dining establishment may get most of the limelight, Singapore has also been steadily building up a broad portfolio that traverses price points and culinary regions. We survey the landscape to spotlight the best French establishments worthy of your money.
The best restaurants and cafés in Katong
There's no shortage of things to do in the eastern neighbourhood of Katong but eating definitely steals the limelight. The heritage district is rich in local Peranakan culture and also features incredibly varied cuisines, with Vietnamese and European communities making it their home. Then, there are the ultra-hip cafés that have sprouted up in recent years to check out too, here's our guide on how to eat your way through Katong.
The ultimate laksa showdown
On a cold and wet day, there's nothing Singaporeans love more than a fiery bowl of laksa – with extra sambal, of course. While everyone knows of the famous Katong laksa that even Gordon Ramsey loves, is it truly the best bowl of spicy coconutty broth around? We scour the city and try four famous laksa stalls to see which one comes out on top.
Hawker spotlight: Chop Chop Biryani and Meats
Nasi biryani served with a side of Cantonese roast pork belly might have purists throwing their arms up in despair – but isn’t that what Singaporean food is all about? Combining cuisines and crossing cultural boundaries to create something delicious. The idea came to Chop Chop Biryani & Meats’ owner Gino Goh by chance. He brought his signature siew yoke to a potluck one day while a friend made biryani. The combination was so good, it sparked a business idea in him. Goh is no stranger to the food scene in Singapore. He’s been a chef for 12 years before moving on to consult for The Refinery, Cafe Nido and Tyrwhitt Little Cafe. He set up Chop Chop in August last year at Amoy Street Food Centre – already a hotbed of young hawkerpreneurs – and sees it as a space to test out locally-inspired fusion dishes. “Growing up in Penang and in a Peranakan family, I’m very familiar with spices,” Goh shares. “All this while, I’ve been cooking more ang moh food, so I wanted to go back to my roots and do something local but with a twist.” Chop Chop does biryani sets with an unconventional choice of protein: siew yoke, soft bone pork masala, grilled sotong, char siew and salted egg chicken. Prices start at $5 for one meat, $6.50 for two and $8 for three and each set comes with a side of cabbage, egg, pineapple salsa, papadum and fluffy basmati rice studded with spices. While the siew yoke is a perennial fave, give some of the other options a go. The soft bone pork masala is a star – stewed fo
Hawker spotlight: Hong Seng Curry Rice
Hainanese curry rice is a messy affair. Deep-fried pieces of pork are snipped with a pair of scissors, stewed cabbage is strewn over the plate and thick curry is sloppily ladled over rice. It’s not a glamorous dish and being a hawker is definitely not a glitzy career, so it’s surprising to see a handsome 27-year-old calling the shots at Hong Seng Curry Rice. Three years ago, Alex Lim was fresh out of university and ready to take on the business world. Armed with a shiny new degree in banking and finance, he was looking to invest in his first big project – his family’s humble Hainanese curry rice stall at Redhill Food Centre. “When my sisters and I graduated,” recalls Lim, “my dad wanted to retire. I thought it’d be a huge waste because I grew up eating his curry rice and know that people love it as much as I do. I took it as a challenge to test out the F&B industry and learned the ropes from my dad and uncle for three months. Those months were hell. I got to the stall at 4am every day to fry eggs and we’d only be done with prep for all 23 dishes at 11am. At 2pm we’d do the second round of cooking for the dinner crowd because we open ‘til 11pm.” Those three months paid off. Not only does Hong Seng continue to see long queues, Lim has also expanded the business to include three other outlets at SMU, Chinatown and Yishun. His mother oversees the original outlet at Redhill, where a plate of rice with pork chops, cabbage and curry starts from $2.20, while popular add-ons includ
Hawker spotlight: Tew Chew Street Tew Chew Porridge
When you’re ill, chances are you gravitate towards a steaming bowl of Teochew porridge. Yes, the traditional dish can be bland and uninteresting – earning its reputation as food for the sick – but the secret to good Teochew porridge lies in the accompanying dishes. They have to be punchy enough to hold its own despite being dunked in water and rice and Tew Chew Street Tew Chew Porridge has mastered the art of striking this balance. Tan Huat Seng, 64, and Ng Tjip Moi, 57, have been hawking Teochew porridge at Chinatown Complex for more than 20 years. Tan is a second generation hawker who took over the stall from his father after completing his National Service. It was formerly at Teochew Street, hence the name, before it relocated to its current home. The husband and wife duo start prepping at 6am to serve the breakfast crowd at around nine – but come around 11am for a full range of what they have to offer. Signature dishes include steamed pork topped with onions and chincalok ($2), chai po omelette ($1.50) and braised pork trotters ($2.50). A Teochew meal is not be complete without steamed fish and Mr Tan sources for what’s fresh and in season from the market. He recommends the yellow croaker ($17), which is prized for its soft and sweet flesh, and serves it with an addictive chilli and garlic sauce as well as a tau cheo dip. “During my father’s time, we used to serve even more dishes. Crabs and lobsters were so cheap, you could get one the size of your face for about $5!
Hawker spotlight: Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Mee
DON’T BE FOOLED by the stall's name – Tiong Bahru Yi Sheng Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee has been housed in Jalan Bukit Merah’s ABC Food Centre since 1993 and there’s still a relentless queue snaking around the shop ’til the late hours of the night, when loyal customers clear up the final few plates of this carby delight. It’s hard to pass up a comforting serving of Hokkien mee lovingly prepared by owner Toh Seng Wang, who has been dishing out his wildly popular prawn noodles for over 40 years. It’s an absolute treat to witness the 68-year-old – who’s as strong as an ox – raising his ladle high up in the air, showering the noodles with stock and working up a storm with his giant wok. His noodles are doused in a prawn stock that is painstakingly prepared every day, paired with pre-peeled juicy prawns and sotong. When he pops that huge wooden lid open – another sign that this place is legit – it won’t be long until you are greeted with piping hot noodles steeped in a rich crustacean sauce (and history). Yi Sheng’s humble beginnings date back to the 1950s, when Toh’s father would roll out the hearty dish in a pushcart along the streets of Tiong Bahru. The recipe was passed down to his son in the 80s and now Toh says: “I will never leave (this craft), I will fry until I can’t fry any more.” And don’t be afraid to ask for an extra serving of sambal. Trust us – it’s that tasty. Quite the traditionalist, Toh follows his father’s recipe to a tee, only making slight changes over the year