Singapore

My Top 10 Must-Visit Restaurants in Singapore for All Budgets

December 21, 2016

Singapore is a foodie heaven. Singaporeans LOVE to eat – and thus, we are blessed with an abundance of amazing food, both local and international. It was tougher than I expected trying to curate this list as I have just so many favorites. But in the end what I came up with is the Top 10 restaurants I always recommend to friends and family when they come and visit this little red dot.

Budget: $$$

Burnt Ends

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Burnt Ends is self-described as “A modern Australian barbeque offering casual dining with seating at countertop table looking directly into the open kitchen.” While that sounds underwhelming, I’ll just casually note that they were No. 6 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2015 and No. 37 on the World’s Best 50 Restaurants in 2014. At the moment, the waiting list for a table is about 2 months, so make sure to book in advance. It’s a very chic yet casual place that focuses more of smaller plates with a lot of craftsmanship and detail put into each and every dish. A place to truly treat yourself.

Location: 20 Teck Lim Rd, Singapore 088391
I recommend: Burn Ends’ Sanger, Flat Iron Steak, Smoked Quail Eggs. Please note menu changes seasonally, so ask the chef for recommendations 🙂

Budget: $$

Tim Ho Wan

A well-known name globally, Tim Ho Wan is a Hong Kong-based dim sum chain that became famous for being the lowest priced restaurant in the world to get a Michelin star at the time. It’s also one of the very few dim-sum places in the world deserving of the title. The queue is always ridiculous in Singapore, so try going outside of the peak hours, or be prepared to stand in line for an hour. It’s totally worth the wait.

Location: Plaza Singapura, #01-29A, 68 Orchard Road
I recommend: Baked BBQ Pork Bun (!!!), Prawn Dumping, Pork Dumping with Shrimp, Glutinous Rice in Lotus Leaf.

Din Tai Fung

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Hands down, Din Tai Fung is my favorite Chinese restaurant of all time. Founded in Taiwan, Din Tai Fung is most famous for its steamed dumplings, but trust me when I say that every single dish they make is perfection. To enjoy their famous steamed dumplings, you must first place it on your spoon, take a small bite of the dumpling skin, before slurping the soup that comes running out of the dumpling. It’s an entirely comforting and addictive dish. There are tons of branches all over Singapore, but my favorite is that one at Marina Bay Sands, because you can visit the ArtScience museum right after having lunch there!

Location: Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue #B2-63 Singapore 018972. Full location list here.
I recommend: Steamed Pork Dumplings (a must!), Fried Rice with Shrimps and Eggs, Noodle with Minced Pork in Bean Sauce, Oriental Wontons with Black Vinegar & Chilli Oil.

Boon Tong Kee

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Singapore’s national dish is the “Chicken Rice”, and no matter what anyone says, I think the best Chicken Rice title should go to Boon Tong Kee. The oldest and most famous branch is the one at Balestier Road, which is the one I recommend as well for the ultimate experience. My comfort meal in Singapore is ordering a plate of chicken rice, with a side of sambal kang kong (spicy water spinach) and deep fried tofu. Trust me and order this triple threat – it’ll be a meal you’ll remember for months.

Location: 399, 401 & 403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801
I recommend: Chicken Rice, Sambal King Kong, Deep Fried Tofu (!!!), Sweet and Sour pork.

Jumbo Seafood

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If you’re visiting Singapore, sooner or later you’ll find a local asking you “Have you eaten Chilli Crab yet?” Singaporeans are extremely proud of Chilli Crab – and for good reason! What it is is basically steamed crab cooked in a red sauce – they call it Chilly, but trust me, it’s not spicy at all so you don’t have to worry. The sauce itself is so addictive, so I recommend you order “fried mandou” (fried bread) with which you can mop up the sauce. Jumbo Seafood has a couple of branches in the city, but the most famous one is the one at Riverside Point when you can sit by the Singapore River while enjoying your seafood. Reservations are highly, highly recommended especially during weekends.

Location: 399, 401 & 403 Balestier Road, Singapore 329801
I recommend: Chilli Crab, Fried Prawns with Cereal, Fried Buns.

Mustard

Craving something other than Chinese food in Singapore? Try the best Indian food in town. I was first introduced to this humble eatery by my Indian friend and I was blown away at how simple yet refined the dishes were. The restaurant itself is small but classy, tucked in a small street at Little India. Unlike most other Indian food I’ve had, the food here is not overly oily or greasy, everything seems to be prepared with a careful hand with the right amount of spices and portion. I highly recommend this place for dinner and exploring the colorful neighborhood of Little India right after. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner.

Location: 32 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218552
I recommend: Chicken Tikka, Palak Paneer, Garlic Naan

Kilo

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Kilo is a hip restaurant set in an industrial setting specializing in European and Asian fusion dishes. It serves fresh and high quality cuisine in a laid-back and hipsterish surroundings. Definitely a gastronomic destination if you want something more experimental and refined. The location is pretty hidden and not so central, so it’s best to Uber your way here!

Location: 66 Kampong Bugis, Level M, Singapore S338987 (Kallang Branch).
I recommend: Truffled Tai Yuzu Roll, Cream of Ebiko Pasta, Charred Octopus.

Budget: $

Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh

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“Bak Kut Teh” is also known as Pork Ribs Soup. Now, I know that doesn’t sound all that appealing, but it tastes much better than it sounds. In fact, this place is now a firm favorite of my German fiance. The combination of soft spare ribs submerged in peppery and garlic soup with warm rice and salted vegetables embodies something very authentically Singaporean. Best enjoyed for lunch on a rainy day. Rangoon road is also full of nice cafes, so you can take a leisurely stroll after your Bak Kut Teh for a cup of well brewed coffee nearby.

Location: 208 Rangoon Road, Hong Building, Singapore 218453
I recommend: Signature Spare Ribs Soup, Preserved Vegetables

Swee Choon

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Ask any Singaporean where to get good and cheap Dim Sum, and 9/10 will tell you it’s Swee Choon. Located at Jalan Besar, just off Little India, Swee Choon provides both air-conditioned dining, as well as alfresco dining in the back alley. Their service is prompt, no-nonsense and curt to cater to the large queue that often builds up outside the establishment. Try Swee Choon if you want extremely affordably dim sum savored in a slightly grittier environment.

Location: 183-191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882
I recommend: Pork Dumpling, Char view Pau, View Mei, Salted Egg Yolk Bun, Chee Cheong Fun

Warung M Nasir

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Being an Indonesian living in Singapore, I often miss authentic Indonesian food. Luckily, there’s one authentic place that I often go to that satisfies my Indonesian food cravings. Warung M Nasir serves Nasi Padang in a small shophouse, with a relaxed ambience. Unlike a traditional restaurant, everything is self service. You order rice and choose several side dishes at the counter and pay before sitting down and enjoying your meal. A word of caution – the food here can be very spicy, so consider yourself warned!

Location: 69 Killiney Rd, Singapore 239526
I recommend: Beef Rendang, Sayur Lodeh, Ayam Rica Rica

These 10 places are my “Holy Grail” of restaurants in Singapore, but I’ll probably keep updating it as I go along, so check back in a few months to see if I add any more!

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