It’s no secret that Singapore is a foodie paradise. Here, eating – and eating well – is more than just sustenance; it’s a time-honoured national pastime. I’ve been to the city so many times that it’s almost a second home, and there’s basically two things I like to do when here: eat and shop.
Thanks to decades of cross-cultural interaction, the city is an intoxicating mix of cuisines – perhaps no place on earth can claim to whipping up Malay, Chinese, Arabic and Thai favourites with such aplomb. But eating here doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank – you can splurge on haute cuisine at some of the best fine-dining restaurants in Asia, or dig into bowls of delicious and affordable hawker fare.
So here’s the don’t miss dishes – followed by some of my personal favourite foodie spots. You’re going to thank me after this.
Chicken rice – Touted as the national dish, bowls of fragrant rice topped with steamed or boiled chicken and delectable chilli-ginger sauce can be found everywhere. It’s my personal favourite dish in the city.
Chilli crab – Mop up the spicy chilli-tomato sauce that flavours this best-selling crab dish with mini mantou (steamed) buns.
Satay – Southeast Asia’s answer to the chicken kebab is grilled over a charcoal fire and served with a sweet, spicy peanut sauce to die for.
Laksa – This rich, spicy Peranakan coconut-shrimp soup packed out with rice vermicelli noodles and bean sprouts is sure to get your nose running. Order with prawns or chicken.
Nasi Padang – Perfect for sharing, this Indonesian-style dish features steamed rice accompanied by as many exotic sides as you can handle.
Have I whet your appetite? Now I’ve picked three – I know, just THREE! – of my ultimate favourite restaurants. It wasn’t easy, but here they are:
I first dined at the Tippling Club a couple of years ago when it had just opened and was the hottest table in the city. Today, it’s still one of the best foodie places in Singapore. I always go for the more affordable bar-snack menu, paired with a bespoke cocktail (or two).
Restaurant Andre is without a doubt the city’s fanciest fine-dining restaurant. The chef, Andre Dang, is a star in the city and while the place takes itself pretty seriously, the food always lives up to the attitude. Pulling out all the stops, the kitchen doesn’t let gastronomic showmanship (including such unlikely dishes as cheese served on hay) and courses billed with titles like “texture” get in the way of perfect ingredients and flawless execution. One for special occasions.
Japanese-Italian food may sound a little weird, but Kilo’s menu is proof that it works. The food here manages to be both comforting and adventurous, which I love. Plus, since it’s a little out of town, it’s full of locals and has an edginess to it. It’s one of the hippest restaurants in town.
For more great tips, check out GuidePal’s complete Singapore guide.