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Eating out in Singapore

Singapore Hawker Centers

Delicious and extremely economical food can be found in Singapore's hawker centres, the less glamorous version of our food courts—larger air-conditioned eating spaces with a multitude of different stalls selling all types of local food. A hawker centre is basically the same, without the air-conditioning and with a more down-to-earth, unpretentious vibe (and oftentimes cheaper and better food too). Here are our picks of some of the best ones to hit.

East Coast Lagoon Food Village

Located in a tropical park by the beach, the vibe here is breezy, the food choices are wide (there are more than 50 stalls) and most of it tastes fantastic. Some top picks include Laksa, claypot pig totters, barbecued stingray, satay (skewered sticks of chicken, beef, pork or mutton), currypuff and more.

Chinatown Food Street

Savour Singapore's local hawker delights and discover the joys of alfresco roadside dining among the beautifully restored shophouses of Chinatown.
The Chinatown Food Street offers over 20 types of local delights from char kway teow to ah balling peanut soup served from outdoor stalls just like in days of old.
For those who prefer air-conditioned comfort, there are also indoor restaurants and cafes.
Try Holland Village XO Fish Head Bee Hun Restaurant (fish head served in a broth of soup and brandy) and Lan Zhou La Mian (handmade noodles), two of the many eateries along the same street.

Amoy Street Food Centre

Cheap, wonderfully-delicious and varied food can be found at the mother of all hawker centres. We especially love the chicken rice and ah balling (glutinous rice ball dessert).

Lau Pa Sat

You cant say you've been to Singapore unless you've been to Lau Pa Sat (also known as Telok Ayer market) This institution right in the heart of the business district is replete with grand Victorian architecture and whirring ceiling fans, and a staggering amount of food. Checkout the specialities like Japanese ramen, pig organ soup, fishball/minced pork noodles, laksa, wok-fried seafood, fried carrot cake and even South Indian vegetarian dishes.

Makansutra Gluttons Bay

The perfect hangout for gluttons (or foodies, if you like), Gluttons Bay is named after the Makansutra, Singapore's famous food guide. It's the ideal pre-concert choice for many varieties of hawker food served in a charming alfresco ambiance. Take your pick from satay (skewered barbecued meat served with a peanut dipping sauce), fish ball noodles, roti prata (thin, crispy pancake eaten with curry), or luat (oyster omelette), nasi lemak (Malay mixed rice) and ice kachang (a dessert made of a mountain of ice drizzled with syrup, sweet red beans and jelly strands)

Tekka Market & Food Centre

This establishment (comprising a market and food centre) always provides a colourful experience There is a great mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian food here—and the wet market sells spices, seafood, meats and vegetables too. Don't miss the A M Mohamed Haniffa Hot & Cold Drinks—a fabulous place tor a mean masala tea. There are also Halal food stalls selling a range of yummy dishes

Newton Food Centre

The lood here is a tad pricier, but still worth checking out for its stalls selling mean versions of fried Hokkien mee, barbequed stingray and fish porridge.


Singapore's filled with a plethora of restaurants and hawker centres that offer different dining experiences. All you need to do is grab a fork or some chopsticks and take your tastebud on a unique culinary tour!

Well-known to be a food-obsessed nation, Singapore definitely offers its visitors a unique and fascinating food culture to explore. Thanks to its multi-racial make-up, you can find a wealth of varied dining experiences from the four main ethnic groups— Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian. Because of its cosmopolitan nature, there's also a wealth of food from other shores to enjoy including Italian, French, Mexican and so much more. While dining at restaurants is always enticing, no discussion of food would be complete without hawker centres, which offer cheap and tasty food that the locals eat every day and visitors make return trips for. Tuck in!

BLU Restaurant and Bar

24th Floor, Tower Wing, Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, (65)6213-4598.
Nestled discreetly away on the 24th floor of the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel, BLU boasts an innovative approach to food—Canadian Chef de Cuisine Kevin Cherkas' cooking style has coined a term called "progressive dining'' (read: Emotive molecular gastronomy). Inspired, daring and creative, Cherkas will even whip up dishes based on your likes and dislikes in order to furnish you a custom-made dining experience. The breathtaking view overlooking the whole of Orchard Road is especially gorgeous at night, and is best enjoyed with a drink in hand.

Equinox Restaurant

70th Floor, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, (65) 6837-3322. City Hall.
At a breathtaking 70 floors above ground level. Equinox Restaurant is simply a splendid place to impress a date. Book way in advance so you can score a window seat—trust us, the view is simply stunning. The dining room is a picture of Chinois chic and the bar is sleekly modern. In fact, the decor of Equinox reflects the cuisine you'll be getting at the skilled hands of Executive Chef Hugh Styles—think an exotic mix of Asian and Western influences, and you'll get the idea.

Hai Tien Lo

37th Floor, Pan Pacific Singapore, Marina Square, 7 Raffles Boulevard., -a (65) 6826-8240. City Hall
Perched on the 37th floor of this top-quality hotel, Hai Tien Lo provides a panoramic view of Marina Bay and the city skyline. It's not just the view you'll be enjoying though—the restaurant serves delightful Cantonese cuisine, best exemplified in dishes like the cod fillet with Japanese sake sauce, and pan-fried foie gras flamed with red wine and served with scallops and crispy suckling pig skin. You typically have to book way in advance for a good table with a view but it's always worth calling to see what your options are.

The Cliff

The Sentosa Resort & Spa, Sentosa, 2 Bukit Manis Road,-a (65) 6371-1425. (5 HarbourFront
The Cliff is one of the most romantic places to dine on Sentosa Island. With soft lighting, discreetly placed water features, good service and a splendid view that overlooks the sea. The Cliff is an excellent bet for an all-important occasion or an unforgettable dinner Be sure to reserve the best seats in the house—the balcony booths and the bar counter.

Il Lido

Sentosa Golf club, Sentosa, 27 Bukit Manis Road, (65) 6866-1977. HarbourFront
The epitome of Italian style, the ever-elegant Il Lido is a must-visit if you're looking to share an idyllic dinner with someone special. II Lido is where the beautiful people hang out, accompanied by an equally lovely view. The glamour here is unmistakable, the ambience inviting (the very chilled-out lounge area is especially good for a pre-dinner drink or night cap) and the sophisticated Italian offerings simply perfect.


Marina at Keppel Bay, 2 Keppel Bay Vista, (65) 6776-0777. HarbourFront
Exclusive and oh-so-chic, Privé (which means "privacy'' in French) is owned by well-known restaurateur Michel Lu and his partner Oeij Yuan Siang. With only 88 seats, a New York vibe and a multi-functional concept that makes it both a bakery and gastrobar. Privé is not only hip but also absolutely gorgeous at night. Walk outside the restaurant and you'll be greeted with a glittering night view of lights casting off the rippling waters of the marina. The Michelin-starred Executive Chef Wayne Nish excels at whipping up Continental classics on the primarily French-American menu.

Singapore Buffets

In the mood for indulgence and a whole lot of variety? Then seat yourself at a buffet. Singapore is loaded with tons of good ones that offer you a whole bunch of choices in just one dining session.


Royal Plaza on Scotts, 25 Scotts (65) 6589-7799. Orchard
Dig into an extensive spread of international buffet favourites at the halal-certified Carousel. The restaurant charges its menu every quarter, so you can be assured of fresh, new offerings. Maine lobsters are now served for brunch, and live oysters are available at dinner What's more, the variety of dishes has been expanded to include Korean, Mexican, Spanish, South American and Northern European specialities. Don't miss the seafood, rotisserie and, of course, dessert.


Mezzanine, Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, (65) 6732-1234. Orchard
Already 11 years old and still going strong, mezza9 is very much an established institution. Take your pick from Western grill and rotisserie, seafood, sushi, yakitori, authentic Chinese chow, European deli nosh. Thai food, desserts and more. H you have time, do check out mezzatea, the high tea buffet on Saturdays; and mezzamunch, the glorious Sunday brunch to which people are still flocking after all this time. Our advice: Book ahead.

Best Ethnic Dishes

If you have not tried food from Singapore's various ethnic groups, don't miss the chance to do so. These dining establishments are good for your first foray into local grub.

Rather healthy and rich in flavour, Indian food will strike a chord with those who can handle their spice, as well as those who are vegetarian.


B1-02 Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road, (65) 6339-9993; 104 Amoy Street. (65)6223-0809. Chinatown/TanjongPagar
Annalakshmi is decked-out in Indian paintings and a refined-looking decor The vegetarian curries are delicious in this establishment that is based (as unbelievable as it may sound) on an "eat what you want, give as you feel'' philosophy. The wide range of dosais and oothappams (rice and lentil pancakes) is particularly delectable.

Closely related to local Malay dishes, and an extremely diverse cuisine in itself, Indonesian food enjoys great popularity in Singapore. Crowd favourites like satay, beef rendang and sambal chilli are worth checking out.

The Rice Table Indonesian Restaurant

02-09/70 International Building, 360 Orchard Road. (65) 6835-3783. Orchard
Rijsttafel — Dutch for "rice table"—is the concept behind this Indonesian dame. We suggest you come hungry for this one, as many small portions here equate to having one huge meal. It's great value, and explains why this restaurant is still going strong. The satay ayam, tahu teluh and rendang are particularly noteworthy.