I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve visited Singapore, but I know that it’s the city’s heady food scene that keeps bringing me back. Singapore’s charm stems from its unique shared history where Chinese, Malay and Tamil influences converged to not just create a vibrant society but also a melting pot of cuisines. Add the long list of international dining options and you have a foodscape that few cities can match anywhere in the world. Just like Singapore itself, the city’s dining scene keeps reinventing itself.
We pick 10 must-try dining experiences that you can bookmark for your next trip to the Lion city.
10 must-try restaurants in Singapore
1. Db Bistro and Oyster Bar
Celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud might be best known for his eponymously name restaurant, Daniel, in New York City which has two Michelin stars, but it is his Singapore bistro that is a local legend. Located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Db Bitro is the Singapore offshoot of Daniel Boulud’s Bistro Moderne in New York City. The restaurant boasts of the city’s largest and fresh selection of oysters and a globally acclaimed collection of signature burgers. The bistro’s private seating room is a popular option for groups and corporate celebrations. Our favourites here include Scottish oysters served with a lemongrass velouté, a beets and cardamom chickpea tartlet presented on a bed of cardamoms and Hokkaido Diver Scallop served with Oscietra Caviar.
Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-48, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018956
2. Violet Oon
A culinary destination that showcases Asian gourmet delights that are rooted in Nyonya and Singapore cuisine, Violet Oon, is the grande dame of Singaporean cooking. In many ways the restaurant represents Singapore’s diverse heritage with myriad flavours inspired by Nyonya, Chinese, India and Malay kitchens. The restaurant offers a choice of three locations across Singapore including National Kitchen by Violet Oon at the National Gallery. I’d recommend the restaurant at the Jewel conveniently located next to Terminal 1 Changi Airport, one of Singapore’s newest retail and dining destinations and home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Try the meat rendang, the Hainanese chicken rice and the gula Melaka cake when you’re here.
Address: Jewel Changi Airport 78 Airport Boulevard, #01-205/206. Singapore 819666
3. Wildseed Café at The Alkaff Mansion
Think of it as an oasis, a café nestled on the gentle hill of Telok Blangah, an escape from the Singapore hustle. The Alkaff Mansion is a multi-concept lifestyle and dining destination with distinct European-style architecture. Wildseed Café is a popular weekend brunch destination and an all-day breakfast venue that is a great spot for a relaxed meal. This pet-friendly destination offers a variety of freshly baked cakes and sinful pastries. Do check out their burgers and pizzas – try the truffle with brie pizza and a wide selection of drinks and smoothies.
Address: The Alkaff Mansion, 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore 109178
4. 2am:Dessert Bar by Janice Wong
It’s been six years since I first visited one of the city’s most popular post-dinner destinations in the swish Holland Village area and it remains one of my favourite dining venues in Singapore. If you’re a ‘dessertarian’, then this is more than just an after-meal option. Set up by Janice Wong who was voted Asia’s best Pastry Chef two years in a row by San Pellegrino’s Asia 50 Best, this dessert destination has seen a décor overhaul with colourful tables painted with chocolate-inspired art. The presentation has always bordered on art while a new selection of keto and plant-based desserts (like the Keto Matcha Basque cheesecake) has widened its appeal.
Address: 21A Lor Liput, Singapore 277733
One of our favourite new restaurants in Singapore, Claudine is housed in an old colonial chapel embellished with stained glass that rests atop Dempsey Hill. The brainchild of Chef Julien Royer (his other restaurant, Odette, has earned a prestigious Three Michelin stars) it replicates memories of rustic French countryside dishes from his childhood. Each dish is crafted with impeccable sophistication though. Claudine proudly proclaims that its dining experience is a homage to yesterday and a toast to tomorrow. This French neo-presents an intimate side of French cuisine, inspired by honest home cooking and convivial meals.
Address: 39C Harding Road, Singapore 249541
Zero-mile cocktail is the new buzzword. This cocktail bar and restaurant walks the talk when it comes to its vision for a sustainable dining space. It’s been just a year since award-winning Vijay Mudaliar (his second establishment) set up Analogue and it’s already ranked #37 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars 2022 list. The food and drink menu is completely vegan and the bar is made from recycled or organic materials (including mycelium tables). Set in the glorious CHIJMES complex, a historic convent that has morphed into a trendy restaurant and café enclave.
Address: 30 Victoria Street, #01-31 Chijmes, Singapore 187996
7. The Elephant Room
Mixologist Yugnes Susela calls this a culture-forward cocktail bar inspired by Singapore’s Little India. Yugnes draws on his own Singaporean Tamilian heritage in this high-energy space set in Tanjong Pagar, one of Singapore’s buzziest dining and nightlife districts. The curated menu at The Elephant Room includes contemporary dishes and cocktails that draw on the traditions and sights of Singapore’s Little India, including a jasmine gin, lime, and honey concoction inspired by the oldest flower garland shop in town, and a pineapple rasam gin inspired by South Indian wedding feasts.
Address: 20A Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391
8. NOX Dine in the Dark
To call this one of Singapore’s most unique dining experiences is not an exaggeration. This is a new world of mystery and sensation that you might not have experienced before. A culinary journey through taste, smell, touch and sound, in total darkness. You will enjoy an exquisite mystery-tasting menu of 12 beautiful dishes as you experience what it is like to live as a visually impaired person. The restaurant’s team of blind servers guide you through your meal experience where roles are reversed and the blind become your eyes, opening your mind to a deeper consciousness.
Address: 83 Club Street, Singapore 069451