Some of us, if not most of us, face a dilemma when we’re assailed by too many options — especially when it comes to food. Do we choose nasi lemak over pizza, hence forgoing a pizza that is just as delicious? Do we try to stuff both into our singular, measly stomach that can only hold so much food? Or should you throw propriety out the window and simply have a chocolate cake for lunch? Do you wish that you were a cow so that you have enough space (4 stomachs worth of space actually) to store a fragrant plate of nasi lemak, a whole pizza thickly layered with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and a steaming bowl of green curry?
While we can’t teach you the hedonistic art of gluttony, we can help you narrow down your choices. As you go around visiting the places of interest in Singapore (which are mainly located in the central region), you will need to confront the overabundance of choices that will present themselves before you. This guide will help you.
Paradise Classic is a Chinese restaurant that is a 3-minute walk away from Universal Studios Singapore. This restaurant serves an array of dishes that most Singaporeans will agree is reminiscent of the taste of home-cooked meals. A crowd favourite is the Stewed Silver Needle with Salted Fish in Claypot (mee tai mak).
Some other dishes that you should definitely try are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, a very rich seafood broth filled to the brim with fresh seafood like crustaceans, garoupa fish and sotong; Hot Plate Tofu with Preserved “Cai Xin” and Minced Pork, a silken tofu dish that is infused with so much flavour and topped with a generous amount of gravy, minced pork and preserved cai xin; and Crisp-Fried Crystal Prawns in Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce.
Address: 26 Sentosa Gateway, #B1-201, Resorts World Sentosa, 098138
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 10pm weekdays, 10.30am – 11pm weekends
Malaysian Food Street (Halal Options Available)
Also just a short walk away from Universal Studios is the Malaysian Food Street. The décor there is meant to replicate the food streets of Penang. And what a replica it is – except that there is air-conditioning.
The food available at Malaysian Food Street are your usual hawker fare of chicken rice, char kway teow, hokkien mee, nasi lemak and many others. But price-wise, it’s a tad more expensive.
A few must try dishes are the Melaka Chicken Rice Balls, Penang Curry Mee and Penang Lim Brothers’ Char Koay Teow
Address: Resorts World Sentosa Sentosa Gateway
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm daily, 9am – 10pm on Friday, Saturday & Sunday
Gardens by the Bay
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
Insta-worthy milk shakes? Check. New York style burgers with juicy meat patties and melted cheese? Check.
Known for its whimsical CrazyShake Milkshakes that are more of a dessert than a drink, Black Tap is a New York City burger joint that made its way to Singapore just last year. Their CrazyShakes menu includes literally crazy milkshakes like The Cake Batter shake which has a vanilla frosted rim with rainbow sprinkles topped with a chunky slice of cake and whipped cream. It’s nearly impossible to sip delicately and nibble at the toppings elegantly at Black Tap. When you’re there, expect the staff to offer you some plates and reassure you that it’s perfectly fine to make a mess.
It’s also advisable that you share a shake.
Black Tap is also well-known for their thicc and succulent burgers. A few of its popular burgers are the All-American Burger and the Texan Burger. Also included on the burger menu is the Cantonese BBQ Burger that is specially thrown together to cater to local palates. This burger contains a juicy slab of prime patty, bacon, swiss cheese, spicy pickles and “Cantonese mayo” sandwiched between fluffy burger buns.
If you’re not a fan of burgers, Black Tap might just change your mind. Besides, their CrazyShakes are something that you definitely should try while you’re there.
Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, L1-80, Bay Level, Singapore 018956
Opening Hours: 11am – 11.30pm daily
Satay by the Bay (Halal Options Available)
Cocooned in lush greenery and situated along Marina Bay, Satay by the Bay is a hawker centre that overlooks the waterfront and offers quite a wonderful but affordable dining experience.
There are plenty of food stalls there featuring a range of different cuisines like Thai, local, Turkish, Western and more.
Something you must try is the halal-certified steamboat buffet which has a vast assortment of seafood for you to choose from. If you’ve been hanging around Gardens by the Bay till late admiring the illuminated Supertrees, you can head over to Satay by the Bay for a steamboat buffet since that particular stall is opened from 5pm until 1am.
Address: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, #01-19, Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily
Bugis, Haji Lane and Arab Street Area
Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons
Despite being located somewhere in the middle of a row of shop houses, this ramen restaurant should be easy to spot since there’s usually a long line of people queueing up for seats.
The types of ramen at Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons are inspired by – you guessed it – the four seasons of Japan. For instance, the Spring one has a sweeter broth while the Summer ramen has a broth that is spicy. The Autumn variant has a tonkotsu broth infused with mushrooms which are abundant in Japan during this season. The lightest of them all is the Winter broth which is devoid of additional condiments but still just as flavourful as the others.
Address: 158 Rochor Rd, Bugis Village, Singapore 188433
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm & 5pm – 10.30pm on weekdays, 11.30am – 10.30pm on weekends
Golden Mile Food Centre (Halal Options Available)
If you’d like to indulge in some hawker fare instead, Golden Mile Food Centre is not more than a 15-minute walk away from Bugis Junction. The Hainan Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee is a must-try.
There are many eateries along the way to Golden Mile Food Centre so if you can’t stave off your hunger any longer give one of them a go. Who knows, you might have stumbled upon a hidden gem.
Address: 505 Beach Rd, Singapore 199583
Opening Hours: 7am – 12.55am daily except for Sunday, 7am – 12am on Sunday
Maxwell Food Centre (Halal Options Available)
When you’ve explored the maze-like streets of Chinatown, walk over to Maxwell Food Centre and tuck into some local delights. A popular stall there that has both tourists and locals alike flocking to is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice. Join in the long queue and be rewarded with a plate of chicken rice topped with generous slices off smooth and silky chicken.
Jin Hua Sliced Fish Bee Hoon also serves a mean bowl of fish and bee hoon soup. Choose from either a clear broth or a milkier one. Either way, it is unquestionably worth the queue time.
Address: 1 Kadayanallur Street, 069184
Opening Hours: 8am – 2am daily
BBQ Hyang Yeon Korean Restaurant
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. It is also a melting pot of cuisines.
BBQ Hyang Yeon Korean Restaurant is famed for being one of the better Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore. They have an extensive variety of meats and seafoods as well as stews, pancakes, steamed egg and vegetables to break up the satiety of BBQ-ed foods.
Address: 133, #02-35 New Bridge Rd, ChinaTown Point, 059413
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10pm daily
Orchard Road is probably every shopaholic’s picture of heaven with stretches of walkway bordered by storefronts displaying all sorts of glittering commodity. Not only that, it is probably a foodie’s version of paradise too. Just as there are many shops in the area, there are just as many places to dine in as well. When the abundance of options overwhelms you, give these eateries a go.
Don’t be deterred by the sleazy location! Thai Tantric is the quintessence of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Despite its mediocre ambience, this restaurant serves an honest-to-goodness Thai meal you won’t be soon forgetting.
Get all the rudimentary dishes of a hearty Thai meal like pineapple fried rice, tom yum soup and green curry chicken but forego the pad thai.
Something that you absolutely have to order is the Steamed Seabass in Thai Sauce. The price of this dish depends on market price but we assure you, it’ll be worth every sen.
Address: 400, 03-44 Orchard Rd, 238875
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm daily, closed on Sunday
Cajun on Wheels (Halal)
Cajun on Wheels is a halal seafood restaurant that provides quality seafood without the theatricality of elaborate food plating that is typical of many great seafood restaurants. Here, seafood is cooked in bold and aromatic flavours that is inherent in Louisiana-style cuisine.
Address: 68 Orchard Rd Plaza Singapura, #03-92, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily
Song Fa Bak Kut Teh
50 years since it first opened, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has sure come a long way.
It first started as a one-man business with Song Fa prepping, cooking and serving bak kut teh out of his pushcart. Today, there are numerous outlets scattered across the island as well as overseas in Indonesia and China.
The bak kut teh broth here is of the clear and peppery sort instead of the herbal one. Most days, the pork meat is fall-of-the-bone tender.
Address: 11 New Bridge Rd, #01-01, Singapore 059383
Opening Hours: 9am – 9.15pm daily, closed on Monday
Shinzo Japanese Cuisine
Already on your last leg of your trip? Stop by Shinzo Japanese Cuisine and treat yourself to an omakase – a Japanese culinary experience where you leave it to the sushi chef to decide the meal.
At this cozy restaurant, there are limited seats which ensures that every patron receives top-notch hospitality. If you’re an adventurous eater, all the more you should give this place a try! Every course is a mystery but rest assured that only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used.
Address: 17 Carpenter St, Singapore 059906
Opening Hours: 12nn – 3pm & 6.30pm – 10pm daily, closed on Sunday
Kailash Parbat (Halal)
Kailash Parbat is a restaurant that is known for whipping up authentic and delicious Mumbai street food like chaats and chhole bhature. Some Indian restaurants in the area also has chaat on their menu but this place wins hands down because of their sauces. Oh the sauce. Try it for yourself and you’ll understand.
Situated within the heart of Little India, Kailash Parbat is just across the road from Mustafa Centre and a 7-minute walk away from Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. So stop by this restaurant in the midst of exploring Little India to fill your tummy with their scrumptious food!
Address: 3 Belilios Rd, #01-03 Hilton Garden Inn, Singapore 219924
Opening Hours: 11am – 10.30pm
Komala Vilas Restaurant (Halal)
This establishment has been around since 1947. That’s 72 solid years of culinary history right there. It’s no wonder that they have perfected the sensational blend of flavours, colours, aromas and taste in their dishes.
Komala Vilas Restaurant has a menu that is an amalgam of North Indian and South Indian cuisine. There are about 40 dosai options to choose from so if you’re unsure, pick the cone dosai or masala dosai – they’re best sellers for a reason! But if you’d like to stray from the path of conventionality, randomly pick one. Either way, you’re in for a treat. If perhaps you’d prefer something a bit more filling, try their rice meal. It comes with 3 types of vegetables, dhal, sambar, kulambu and other delicacies.
Address: 76-78 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 217981
Opening Hours: 7am – 10.30pm daily
Race Course Road
Address: 22 Race Course Rd
Opening Hours: 11am – 10.15pm daily
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle and Bistro
Famed for its extremely robust prawn soup and fresh prawns, Wah Kee Big Prawn Noodle and Bistro at Esplanade is an upscale version of their stall at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre. However, the restaurant at Esplanade also has a hot pot! The same tasty broth used for their prawn noodle is used for the hot pot except that it is served together with a platter of seafood that includes squid, clams, red grouper fish, prawns (of course) and flower crab.
A basic bowl of prawn noodles is available here too but it is slightly pricier than the ones available at Pek Kio.
Who would have thought that one would ever get the opportunity to enjoy hawker fare in a restaurant downtown?
Address: 1 Esplanade Dr, Singapore 038981
Opening Hours: 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 10pm daily, 11am – 11pm on Saturday, 11am – 10pm on Sunday
From the people who founded A Poke Theory – a food joint that specializes in healthy poke bowls – here is their alter ego, Alter Ego. Where A Poke Theory serves wholesome and nutritious meals, Alter Ego resides on the other end of the spectrum – serving sinful pleasures like luncheon meat chips, mala pork belly skewers and fried chicken burger.
Oh they do have poke bowls too but order yourself a fried chicken burger with pizza fries anyway and then console yourself with a healthy sashimi poke bowl.
Address: #01-13D, Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue, 039802
Opening Hours: 12nn – 11pm weekdays, 11am – 11pm weekends
We hope this guide has been useful in helping you narrow down your options to make choosing less daunting of a task.
Buses and trains in Singapore are fairly easy to get the hang of, but if you’d like to take the taxi to get to your destination, remember to keep a lookout for Grab promo code.
*Featured Image Credit: Alter Ego | Facebook