The 50 best cafés in Singapore
Whether you're looking for the perfect Instagram shot, a new weekend brunch hangout, or a mean cup of joe, we've got you covered with this list of the best cafés in Singapore. Need more than one cup of coffee to rev your engines? Go café hopping in Tiong Bahru or pop into the various coffee shops along Amoy Street that keep the caffeine-hungry CBD folks going. RECOMMENDED The best cafés with free Wi-Fi and the best cafés for dessert
Local tea brands from Singapore to stock up on
It's high-tea time that Singapore's new breed of tea brands is stepping up. Coffee drinkers may be rampant but we'll always like the calm and class that comes with tea drinking. Dropping a touch of modernity into the afternoon delight, you might want to check out these local brands and blends. RECOMMENDED: The best coffee roasters in Singapore and the 50 best cafés in Singapore
The best prata shops in Singapore
Our version of a pancake breakfast is a lot more crispy, definitely more oily, a little more savoury and best served hot and fresh. This versatile dish can also be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and an in-between snack. Sometimes with so much local food out there, it feels like we take roti prata for granted. Besides being ridiculously delicious, a good prata takes some serious skill as well, here are the ones we admire the most. RECOMMENDED: The best cheap eats in Singapore and the best hawker centres in Singapore
The best coffee roasters in Singapore
Wake up and smell the coffee – quite literally. As tastes get more discerning and the interest in drinking good coffee and knowing where it comes from increased, so has the amount of independent coffee roasters and specialty cafes in Singapore. We're not complaining of course because it's a good thing for us. More good coffee, more happy people. RECOMMENDED The best cafés with free Wi-Fi and the best cafés for dessert
New restaurants and cafés in Singapore
Claypots Full Circle
Claypots Full Circle might not serve dishes in claypots, but it definitely has come full circle. It's the only international outpost of Claypots Australia, a restaurant group that launched in Melbourne 22 years ago that was first inspired by Singaporean food and flavours. But how does a Singaporean-inspired Australian restaurant distinguish itself once its back on Singapore soil? For one, its extensive range of fresh seafood including Atlantic sardines ($12) deep fried and tossed in sambal and kaffir lime leaves and garlic prawns (market price), extra large prawns bubbling in a hotplate along with copious helpings of olive oil, garlic and sambal oelek – best mopped up with warm and fluffy slices of pide, Turkish bread traditionally prepared in a clay oven. Not to be missed are the Full Circle Port Arlington Mussels ($25), a bowl of small but sweet mussels cooked in garlic, lemongrass and herbs before it's finished off with white wine and butter. And if you find if hard on deciding on one type of seafood, go for it all with the St Kilda shellfish stir-fry (market price), a smorgasbord of flower crab, mussels, clams and prawns, wok-tossed in plenty of coriander and served on a bed of rice.
Homegrown restaurant brand PS. Cafe launches a new contemporary Japanese dining concept, Jypsy. The stylish restaurant is decked out in costal hues and has low-hanging lanterns that cast a dim, romantic glow. The food is equally chic with offerings like Bluefin tuna sashimi ($24) topped with caviar and smoked mackerel sushi rolls ($14) served with truffle ponzu mayonnaise.
Impressive (or gimmicky) plating aside, Chengdu Restaurant turns up the heat with Sichuan dishes prepared by chefs Qing Jun and Jing Xiao, who both spent more than 10 years cooking in top hotels and restaurants in China. Fiery dishes worth ordering include the spicy grilled frog skewers, fresh bullfrogs brushed with Sichuan sauce served atop a straw boat complete with dry ice. Another classic is the Sichuan hotpot that combines green peppers, millet, garlic and fermented black beans to flavour a stock packed with squid and fish head.
Le Bon Funk
This new natural wine bar by The Lo & Behold Group sees chef-owner and Burnt Ends alumnus, Keirin Buck, team up with head sommelier Josée Yeomans to bring ‘fine casual’ to the local bar scene. Bottles from boutique natural producers are paired with elegant yet approachable plates such as vegetable crudités with whipped roe ($22), heritage chicken ($68) and a stellar beef tongue sandwich ($24).
Experience the art of Kyoto-style kaiseki at Yoshi Restaurant. With seasonal Japanese produce imported from Tsukiji market at its heart, meals can revolve around one theme – uni, beef or maguro – prepared with different cooking methods that are never repeated so that guests enjoy different textures and tastes with each course. The eight-course themed menus are priced at $158 for both lunch and dinner but for the full Kyoto omakase experience, chef Yoshiyuki Kashiwabara offers an extensive dinner omakase priced at $328.
The Butcher's Wife
Go gluten-free at The Butcher's Wife, a casual bistro that takes intolerances seriously. Instead of just a couple of gluten-free options on the menu, the restaurant takes steps to ascertain that not even a trace of gluten appears in its dishes – while offering a whole variety of options that are sure to hit the spot. Start your meal with a hearty and healthy green pea hummus to accompany a side of grilled lamb sausage, yogurt, mint and pistachios or opt for some seafood by having its cured salmon or chilled almond soup served with crab and apple. Vegetarians aren't forgotten either with options like its broccoli and tardivo salad and carrot and quinoa tartare on the menu.
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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