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Restaurants & Cafés

The best restaurants and cafés in Singapore, including restaurant reviews and editors' picks

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Restaurant Zén
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Restaurant Zén

“What does $450 taste like?” – A common question I get asked about dining at Zén. After all, with articles pitting it as the most expensive restaurants in Singapore, it’s hard to look beyond the eye-watering price tag of a meal at chef Björn Frantzén first international outpost.  This is what I tell them. It tastes like snacks that have been perfected in the kitchen of Sweden’s first three-Michelin-starred restaurant. A thin tartlet holds beer-poached king crab topped with wild trout roe, a one-bite råraka with its crispy potato shell houses crème fraiche and delicate beads of vendace roe, and an intoxicating onion velouté foam hides a sweet blend of liquorice and chopped almonds. It tastes like uncommon ingredients you’d be hardpressed anywhere else in Singapore. Beautifully cooked marron interjected with puffed Koshihikari rice, Yukimuro snow-aged wagyu covered with ramson, pickled baby pine cones flown in from Russia and the most incredibly balanced dessert of sea buckthorn sorbet served paired with oolong mousse and match meringue. It tastes like the pure decadence of foie gras on rye and shaved over a semifreddo, exclusive Zén prestige caviar on a bed of venison tartare, chawanmushi with all the trimmings of uni, ikura and grilled unagi. And if that's not enough, there are slivers of white truffles that blanket a pristine piece of monkfish and a flurry of périgord black truffle black truffles atop its “grande tradition” French toast, which has been on Frantzén’s menu si

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Rizu
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Rizu

ENTER THE DARK, sexy space where black and white faces on plates line grey walls and a table for two leaves your knees brushing up against your dining partner’s – ideal for dates, not so much for business meetings. But when you’re paying $158 for eight courses and $208 for 11-courses, maybe it’s better if you’re charging the meal to a company account. First impressions are everything and the starter of cauliflower purée with caviar and uni – while extravagant – fails to excite. Next, we have a salad of five kinds of tomatoes (three from Japan, two from France, we’re told) with dull minced king crab meat. The portions are small, so we can’t help but scratch our heads and wonder, “what exactly am I paying for?”. Almost as if to answer, we’re served a head on a platter. A lobster head that’s still twitching, to be exact. Its sweet and crunchy flesh is served alongside pristine slices of halibut, seabream and tuna, but the fishiness of the mackerel lets down the otherwise decent plate. That’s how we feel about most of the other dishes too. The satisfying lobster bisque is light on cream and heavy on flavour, but the small chunks of overcooked lobster leave much to be desired. The A4 Sendai wagyu served with sesame sauce, peas and Brussels sprouts would have been superb if the beef had an even sear. And too much wasabi overwhelmed the nigiri. With small tweaks, head chef Noboru Shimohigashi could elevate Rizu to the level of his former kitchens, Michelin-starred Ryuzu in Tokyo

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Esora
Restaurants

Esora

The first half of the year looked bleak for Singapore’s fine dining scene with the closure of big names like Restaurant André and Joël Robuchon. But now that we’re at the tail end of 2018, things are finally looking up. From the launch of Zen, the brainchild of Bjorn Frantzen of three-Michelin-starred Frantzen in Sweden to new fine-casual concepts like Basque Kitchen by the former head chef of Iggy’s Aitor Jeronimo Orive, a restaurant renaissance is upon us. Leading the revolution is Esora. The Lo & Behold Group’s first Japanese establishment is a treat for the senses. Even at night, the space looks washed in natural light streaming in from its cloud-like washi paper dressed skylight. It casts a warm glow on velvety smooth yellow cedar wood counter where the magic happens. There, chef-owner Shigeru Koizumi prepares kappo-style cuisine with utmost precision. Bringing together his experience cooking at three-Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo and Singapore’s very own two-Michelin-starred Odette, he welds modern cooking techniques with an obsession over produce to create the perfect dining experience.  The menu changes almost every week, following the micro-seasonality of ingredients, so you never really know what you’re going to get. The only choice you get to make is if you want the five-course lunch menu ($128), seven-course ($218) or nine-course ($278) dinner menu, or the more premium and customisable chef’s menu ($348) and if you’d like to pair your meal with alc

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Skai
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Skai

Sky-high dining at the tippy top of Swissotel The Stamford

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Hawker spotlight

Hawker spotlight: Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow
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Hawker spotlight: Hougang Oyster Omelette & Fried Kway Teow

Somewhere in the northeastern suburbs of Hougang, in an ordinary coffee shop, you’ll find an elderly couple toiling over giant heated woks side by side for hours on end, churning out plate after plate of fragrant and morish fried kway teow and oyster omelette. After over 30 years in the business, Lim Suan Eng and her husband Ong Lim Chong run a tight ship with ease. During service which officially starts at 11am, although they report to the shop as early as 8am, their tasks are simple: he fries up the signature oyster omelette while she handles the fried kway teow, while also taking the orders. It’s easy to work through a menu of just two items, and you can order according to how much you want on the plate, as with most orh luak stalls. The elderly couple work like clockwork. Order up and before you can even think about getting that tall glass of teh ping, your messy plate of oyster omelette or fried kway teow is done. A dollop of their home-made chilli on the side and you’re good to go. If you’re here for something healthy, you are definitely in the wrong place. Liberal in the use of lard, the oyster omelette nails the right balance of crispy and gooey, while the oysters – which they import from Korea because  – retain their plumpness and juiciness. Mr Ong also mixes in a tablespoon of hebi (dried shrimps) halfway through the frying process, of which you will experience as you make your way through the generous heap ($3/$5/$6). Suan Eng lets in that different people hav

Hawker spotlight: Mr and Mrs Mohgan's Crispy Prata
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Hawker spotlight: Mr and Mrs Mohgan's Crispy Prata

Mr Somasundram Mohgan is a man who doesn’t say much. A queue is building at his stall in Tin Yeang Restaurant, an eating house in Katong but he keeps his head down kneading the prata dough. His wife calls out to him to come out for a quick chat and he obliges, takes off his apron and sits himself at the marble table while his wife takes over manning the stall. She’s an efficient multi-tasker; taking orders from customers, dishing out chicken curry into saucers and also interjecting during the interview with some of her own anecdotes. While the Mohgans have an assistant who helps flip prata on the stove, the pair are always busy completing different tasks at once. Without saying much to each other, they seamlessly switch roles or pick up where one left off. Such a high level of communication only happens when one has been married for a long time – or running a prata business for over thirty years. Veterans of the local hawker scene, the Mohgans’ story is an interesting one. Prior to the current stall on Joo Chiat Road, they used to run an equally busy shop down the street at Crane Road. They closed it briefly in 2018 and out came rumours that the couple has retired. Mr Mohgan said that he was simply offered a stall at the current location for a good deal and moved. Coincidentally, his former space is now also a prata stand – so naturally, he cites competition as one of his challenges as a hawker. Unlike a lot of prata shops in Singapore that have expanded their men

Hawker spotlight: Inspirasi Stall
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Hawker spotlight: Inspirasi Stall

Queues form even before the stall is open for the day. After decades of serving staple Malay dishes, Inspirasi needs little introduction. Managed by second-generation hawker Rashid Bin Amat, 55 and three of his siblings, the stall’s roots can be traced back to 1970 when Amat’s late father first arrived from Indonesia and came up with Inspirasi’s recipes to make a living. “Back in the day, we used to sell satay as well,” Amat recalls. But after some experimentation, the family decided to focus on four signature items: mee soto, mee rubus, soto ayam and chicken porridge. For what it lacks in variety, it makes up for in quality. “Having fewer items on the menu gives me enough time to cook each dish with the attention it needs,” he explains. “It ensures that everything is packed with as much flavour as possible.” Order yourself a messy bowl of mee rubus ($2.50) and dig into yellow noodles that are cooked just right doused in a rich yet well-balanced gravy. Sweet potatoes, tau cheo and ikan billis are the heroes of the dish. For something a little lighter, opt for the mee soto. The chicken stock is boiled for hours in a cauldron so you don’t have to worry it being too watery. And though the mee rubus and mee soto ($2.50) are the perennial crowd pleasers, don’t miss the soto ayam ($2.50). Nasi impit and tender pieces of shredded chicken are doused in the same sweet and savoury turmeric-spiced broth to make for a hearty meal. The portions here aren’t all that generous but for the

Hawker spotlight: Yunos & Family
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Hawker spotlight: Yunos & Family

Out at 724 Ang Mo Kio Market & Food Centre, a humble stall bears the name ‘Yunos & Family’ and this holds a lot of meaning, and history to the people behind the business. The Yunos family are a well-oiled unit. Each morning begins with 28-year old Afiq Rezza prepping and cooking for the day, with help from his father, aunt, uncle and 81-year old grandmother. Later, his brother and two cousins report for duty before they start serving customers at 11am. Yunos & Family is a legacy left by Afiq’s late grandfather, Haji Yunos Ahmad who set up the business in 1960 at Hastings Road before they moved to Ang Mo Kio in 1979. The recipes have remained unchanged through the years and so have the crowd. “I love seeing my regular customers, even those from my grandfather’s time are still returning to eat here,” Afiq says. There are four main dishes on the menu, mee rebus ($3), mee soto ($3), gado-gado ($3.50) and satay ($0.60/stick). There is also an extensive list of meats named on the menu and here is where the magic happens – it all can be added to your order of mee rebus. While stellar on its own, having a mee rebus with beef ribs ($6) and a begedil (potato patty) elevates the dish to new levels. We warn you, it’s going to be a sloppy affair sloshing around the bowl of egg noodles in the thick savoury broth. The ribs were slow-cooked, leaving the meat to fall off the bone easily. If you’re looking to really indulge, top up the experience with an order of mutton satay. The queues at

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