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Best of the Singapore food scene 2015

We put our taste buds to the test to dish out the best restaurants and bars that opened this year

Photo: Johan Lim
Chilled avocado and ginger soup with poached yabbies

Odette

Of the National Gallery Singapore's nine new restaurants and bars, none deserves as much praise as this partnership between The Lo and Behold Group and former JAAN executive chef Julien Royer. Named after his grandmother, who laid the foundations for his love of cooking, the tasting menus mimic the brilliance that scored his former restaurant a ranking in the Asia's 50 Best list, but somehow with more heart.

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City Hall

Spago

Never mind that half of Wolfgang Puck's new restaurant looks out to the underdressed infinity pool posse – the service here is world-class, and the Cali-fusion cuisine well-executed and good-sized. Plus, dishes like his signature beet salad, veal chop and Alaskan halibut laksa are so straightforward and good that even mum and dad will approve. 

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Bayfront

Osteria Art

In the CBD, no price is too high for a meal. Which is why this Italian restaurant deserves props for keeping its dishes approachably priced for the everyman. In there, treat yourself to the stick-to-the-ribs plates like pork cheek pappardelle and suckling pig porcetta, set in an art deco-cool dining room and dished out with stellar service. 

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Raffles Place
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Cure

After running the day-to-day at Esquina for almost four years, Andrew Walsh partners The Cufflink Club's Joel Fraser on this shophouse restaurant. Diners can expect plenty of invention with a range of textures, unconventional ingredients and zingy acidity. 

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Outram Park

Long Chim

This is as authentic as Thai cuisine gets. Forget your tepid pad thais and watery tom yums. David Thompson sets up post at the Marina Bay Sands and blows minds with the pain-is-pleasure levels of spice and bold flavour. The improved Asian-tinged cocktails also deserve a special shout out. 

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Bayfront

Bacchanalia

After tasting his brilliance for years, we're incredibly happy for Bacchanalia's head chef Ivan Brehm, who now has a better dining room from which to showcase his talents. And despite his esteemed Fat Duck credentials, local flavours are not too lowly for his signature experimentation, some of which are put together with ingredients he works hard to source from the region.

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City Hall
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Colony

The colonial days rarely conjure up good vibes, but The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore's reworked buffet restaurant certainly does. The new room, outfitted in warmer shades of brown, fills its many walls and space-dividing trellises with reproductions of old postcards, photos and maps – and, yes, the staggering array of food put out by the old Greenhouse is still a mainstay here.

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Promenade

Neon Pigeon

In a year when izakayas mushroomed up across the city, fusion still won. And Neon Pigeon has the full package of hearty Japan-meets-the-West cuisine, clever cocktails with Nippon flair, and more importantly, that underground party vibe that instantly makes you feel cool for checking in – never mind that you're still in your CBD togs.

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Tanjong Pagar

MEATliquor SIN

Singapore loves a good burger, and when it comes with hype built up all the way from London, you know the affection will be firm. Our city became the first international location for MEATliquor and its top-billed chilli cheese fries, bingo wings, and the winner of a meat stack: the Big Mac-destroying Dead Hippie. That the local outlet recently launched its EATs, BEATs & TREATs (AKA F*#< Brunch) series of day-drinking buffets only makes the case stronger.

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Tanjong Pagar

Humpback

Surely you know someone who's checked out of work early just to catch Humpback’s daily oyster $2 to $3 happy hour promos while chowing down a great seafood dish. Beyond the sea creatures, we share the kitchen team's love for vegetable dishes, which they cook so satisfyingly that you won't miss the meat.

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Outram Park
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Open Farm Community

It’s testament to this farm-to-fork restaurant’s popularity that you can never get a seat on a weekend without booking at least three weeks in advance. Urban farming is Open Farm Community’s game. Housemade pasta and protein-forward dishes feature ingredients grown in the compound, and the restaurant aims to use much more produce grown as close to home as possible. What's not to love about that? 

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Orchard

Grain Traders

The CBD has no shortage of salad bars, but add the Kilo touch and #cleaneating is hardly painful. Grain Traders' build-your-own-bowls are filled with wholesome grain, tasty vegetables and well-cooked proteins that provide chow without the guilt. Or the calories.

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Telok Ayer

Bazuka Yakibuta

Among the many food trends we chased in 2015, nothing satisfied as much as the rice bowl – and the char siew and siew yoke donburi here still lurk at the tip of our tongues. Deafeningly crunchy, each bowl is cleverly composed to include carrot and cucumber pickles to lift the fat, and a shallot-rich chilli sauce to add umami to every bite.

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Orchard

Wildfire Kitchen + Bar

Despite its ulu location off Bukit Timah Road, Wildfire has quickly become one of the top burger shacks in town. The darkened, glossy buns have been customised to make the eyes hungry, and the meats – including Angus and Australian wagyu patties – are fired in INKA ovens for that extra touch of smoke. Have it simple or with a good bunch of fixings, but make sure to grab a cold bottle of craft beer to complete the experience.

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Botanic Gardens
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Tarte by Cheryl Koh

The vibe is instantly serene upon entering Cheryl Koh's breakaway pâtisserie. The pastry chef of fine dining restaurant Les Amis now has her own store, where the sweet-of-tooth can pop in for one of her seasonal fruit tarts or carolines – without dropping a month’s rent.

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Orchard

Find out what else made it into our Best of 2015 list

Best of 2015

Well, 2015 whizzed by in a flash. Couldn't keep up with all the new stuff that popped up in Singapore? Don't worry – we've got you covered with our list of the highlights of the year.

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By: Time Out Singapore editors

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