From Hawker centres, to fine dining, to food festivals, and everything else in between… enjoy!
Here's a wee fact for you all… Singaporean's love food and I mean LOVE - I met an amazing group of creatives one day at an event who openly said to me that it's not out of the ordinary for Singaporeans to sit and argue for at least a couple of hours over where the best joints in town are to eat.. crazy huh?! Maybe you've been to Singapore and you've experience the incredible culinary culture, maybe you're heading there (if so, I'd highly recommend elasticated waistbands LOLZ), me and Ben contemplated forming ourselves into a ball and pushing each other onto the plane.. I jest, but we did eat so much whilst we were out there. I absolutely adored the food, everything was so flavoursome and tasty (although I cannot lie to you after 9 days of dining the Singaporean way I was dying for a GBK!).
I wanted to put together a guide on dining in Singapore; from Hawker stools (local food stall which are super yummy and super cheap!), to fine dining, a la carte, food festivals and everything else in between. If you've been to Singapore and you came across somewhere that I have to visit then please holla as me and Ben are already planning our trip back next year! If you're heading out to Singapore then I hope you find this guide useful as it caters to every budget!...
DINING ON A BUDGET...
The one thing I did notice about Singapore was that it's fairly pricy, if you're hoping to keep your costs to a minimum whilst visiting then I would highly recommend dining at Hawker Stalls, they are easily accessibly (usually located in or around the town centre), super cheap and the food is authentic and tastes incredible! Hawker Stalls to make a note of; Maxwell Road, Newton Food Centre, Chinatown Complex, Chomp Chomp and Old Airport Road Food Centre. Prices start at around $2 per dish (around £1) so it's a great way to over order and try out lots of new dishes to discover what you like!
THE INFAMOUS KATONG LAKSA...
If you're visiting Singapore then you have to try Laksa; it's a noodle soup with a distinct balance of spice and coconut and it's so yummy! I had mine with Prawns which was delicious! You can get Laksa anywhere in Singapore but Katong Laksa (inspired by the Peranakans who live in the Katong area) is where it's famous title and reputation comes from! I was in the Katong neighbourhood with my tour guide one day and she took me to the original shop (328 Katong Laksa, 53 E Coast Road, 428771) which I would highly recommend a trip too! it's super cheap too, around £4 a bowl!
FRESH DIM SUM AT DIN TAI FUNG...
Ranked as one of the world's Top Ten Restaurants by the New York Times, Din Tai Fung is a must! Me and Ben stopped off here to have lunch one day whilst we were shopping in the Paragon shopping centre (they have 3 restaurants in Singapore so make sure you visit your closest one whilst there!), and we absolutely loved it! Ben had been before and wanted to take me as you can watch all of the chefs making the fresh Dim Sum which is so cool!
Make sure you try out their signature dish; the steamed pork dumplings whilst you're there - they are to die for! We didn't find the restaurant overly expensive either, I would say it's mid range but worth the cost for a good meal out (and possibly the freshest and yummiest dim sum you've ever eaten), our lunch came to around £35 with drinks and around 4/5 dishes!
CHECK OUT WHICH DIN TAI FUNG IS CLOSEST TO YOUR STAY HERE!
FIXING YOUR SWEET CRAVINGS WITH PARIS BAGUETTE...
So, you've got a sweet tooth huh?! I hear ya sister because SO DO I! Whilst browsing the local designers at the Wistma Atria shopping centre one afternoon we stopped of at the Paris Baguette Cafe for a delicious hot chocolate and some chocolate earl grey cake to share, FYI I can confirm that yes, it was as good as it sounds! If you're looking for a great cafe to stop in between shopping then this is for you - oh, and you have to have some cake, it's obligatory!
A FOODIES DREAM - SAVOUR FOOD FESTIVAL...
Yup, this place is every foodies dream (or just anyone's dream really!), Savour; is a free food festival put on every year which just happened to be going on during our stay… YAY! If you're in Singapore next Summer then this free food festival is a must (they also have a Savour wine festival from the 8th-11th of September FYI!). Over 30 dishes priced at just $6 or $12 (£3/£6) this festival is a great way to experience a taster of gourmet food and drink for a fraction of the price, each stall exhibiting at the festival has a restaurant in Singapore, so if there's something you love you can visit the restaurant post festival… genius huh!?
LUNCH AT THE CORNER HOUSE RESTAURANT, BOTANICAL GARDENS...
Now, this really is one for you food lovers out there! During my trip to the Botanical Gardens I was fortunate enough to dine at the Corner House which is situated within the gardens, it's a Gasto-Botanica contemporary cuisine created by the chef; Jason Tan and oh my goodness the food was exquisite!
This restaurant is definitely a special occasion visit as the prices were high, but the food was incredible so definitely worth splashing out if you're looking for a fine dining experience during your trip! The Corner House is a two-storey black and white bungalow which was built in 1910, the decor and authenticity of the restaurant is beautiful and so easy on the eye - a must for a celebratory treat or birthday etc!
TAKE A LOOK AT THE CORNER HOUSE MENU HERE!
LUNCH AT THE MAJESTIC RESTAURANT!
During our trip to Singapore we were lucky enough to stay at the New Majestic Hotel which is an incredible art-focused, super quirky hotel (definitely recommend a stay there as each room is designed by a different artist or designer!). We dined at the Majestic Restaurant for lunch one day and had an amazing five course meal including a pre starter, a starter, soup, main course and dessert! Located in the heart of china town, this restaurant is not one to be missed, with reasonable prices and flavoursome food - get yourself down there! (The restaurant also has private function rooms too!).
COCKTAILS AT BINCHO BAR!
Bincho Bar is owned by the Unlisted Collection (who also own the Majestic Hotel that we stayed in… take a look at their website as all of the hotels/restaurants etc that they run are super fun and worth a visit!), we took a trip to the bar one evening after dinner so experience some of their cocktails and oh lord, they were so good! The bar is inspired by Yakitori-ya (traditional small grilling stores) and has been converted from an old coffee shop, I have to admit it's not the easiest place to find, but once you're there… you wont want to leave (thank me later, yeah?).
ONE FOR THE SEAFOOD LOVERS - RED HOUSE SEAFOOD!
We paid a visit to Red House Seafood one evening for a delicious meal, the restaurant is famous for it's chilli crab, we opted for the black pepper crab (I'm actually not a massive seafood fan so I didn't eat any - luckily for Ben as he ate the whole thing and assured me that it was delicious!), if you're not massive on Seafood either but you're dining with people that are don't panic as there are plenty of other options to try from! Prices were fairly mid/high range (expect to pay a fair bit for the crab but this is common in Singapore as it's a delicacy), we spent around £150 for the both of us.
DINING AT CANDLENUT; PARANAKAN INSPIRED CUISINE!
Candlenut was literally a stones throw from the New Majestic Hotel where we were staying in the heart of Chinatown, at this restaurant you'll find traditional dishes with a refined, contemporary approach. We opted for the sample menu which is $65 per head (around £32.50) which was great for trying out lots of different dishes (all of which were delicious!), this restaurant wasn't the cheapest but the food was divine and well worth the price tag!
HOLISTIC DINING AT LABYTINTH!
On our last night in Singapore we were fortunate enough to dine in the beautiful Labyrinth restaurant; according to the chef & owner LG Han he describes the restaurant as a 'Holistic dining experience showcasing local Singaporean flavours and culture encapsulating my roots and memories growing up in Singapore'. We had the 14 course Experience Menu (don't worry everything is taster size, we weren't being that greedy!), which costs $158 per head so around £80, although this restaurant is expensive is was bloody worth it as the flavours and food was just out of this world - I'd 100000% recommend!
So, there we have it; my mammoth food guide to Singapore, covering budget food and Hawker stalls, where to buy the best cakes, food festivals, something for seafood lovers, oh and a few cocktails thrown in for good measure! If you're heading to Singapore I really hope you find this guide useful, let me know where you visit and if there's any musts that I have to try when I return!
*A huge thank you to Singapore Tourism Board, Unlisted Collection and various restaurants for hosting us and letting us experience your incredible food!