Planning a trip to Singapore? Here’s seven must-try foodie places to visit while in the Asian city
These food courts selling cheap, pan-Asian food are at the heart of Singapore’s food scene. They originally sprang up during the 1950s and 1960s in the poor areas of the city, alongside massive urban development. Traditionally seen as the food of the working classes, they are now a must-try for any foodie visiting Singapore.
The title of “best hawker store” is something which Singaporeans and tourists alike passionately contest, however two hawker stores in the city were tapped by Michelin, when the guide arrived in the city in 2016. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle (335 Smith Street) which prides itself as being the “cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world” achieved a star in 2016, and again in 2017. When visiting here the obvious menu items to try are in the name – the soya sauce chicken and rice noodles. Other recommended dishes are the BBQ pork, the tofu and bok choy. The second hawker store to achieve a star is Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle.
Ann Siang Hill
This road (along with the adjacent Club street) is the go to party place in the city. Situated close to the city’s Chinatown, this street of independent bars comes alive on a Friday and Saturday night (for a more relaxed atmosphere head down to the area midweek). Take advantage of the happy hour deals at a string of venues along the road (as a rule of thumb these are usually between 5pm-8pm). For a drink with a view, go for sundowners at Peruvian roof top bar, Tiger’s Milk. Other popular venues along the road include Oxwell n co, the hidden away underground bar Operation Dagger and – for a bargain deal – Drinks and Co.
A short five-hour flight from Australia’s west coast, Singapore has plenty of Australian expat residents, along with some excellent restaurants influenced by the country. One restaurant that is a must-try when visiting Singapore is Cheek by Jowl. Set up a just over a year ago, it recently won its first Michelin star. The restaurant is a family affair, set up by married couple Rishi Naleendra (the head chef) and Manuela Toniolo (who works as front of house). The restaurant serves up tasty, inventive and inspiring dishes from kangaroo loin to pickled kingfish.
Influenced by the early Chinese immigrants to Singapore, Peranakan food incorporates a mix of Chinese flavours, with many of the techniques and spices found in Indonesia and Malaysia. To experience authentic Peranakan food, head down to the joo chiat district in the city. Popular with locals, Blue Ginger serves up a good range of traditional Peranakan dishes. Favourites include the Beef Rendang (beef cubes with coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass lime and curry spices) and the telor cinchaluk (pan fried eggs with fermented shrimp).
In recent years, brunch has well and truly taken off in Singapore. Similar to the version in the UAE, it usually involves free flow drinks and unlimited food over several hours of a weekend afternoon. The difference? Brunch in Singapore is a much calmer affair. There’s less focus on the free flow drink and more on the food. Many brunches also start earlier, at 11am instead of midday and include a mix of breakfast ‘brunch’ dishes as well as savory lunchtime dishes. One of the best in the city is the Colony brunch held at the Ritz Carlton. Diners can tuck in to a range of fresh seafood, dim sum and roasted meats, along with free flow premium bubbly. Watch out for the incredible colonial interior décor too, dating back to the 1800s.
Visiting mixologists residing in “hidden” bars is one of the most popular pastimes in Singapore. The first (and arguably still one of the best) is 28 Hong Kong Street. The bar is hidden behind a false shop façade, where a woman asks you to tell a bad joke or an interesting story to gain entry. If you are successful she leads you through the back to the bar’s entrance. While there, be sure to try the unbelievably tasty mac and cheese balls with the spicy sauce – you won’t regret them. Another popular speakeasy in the city is The Library, hidden in plain sight on Keong saik road.
Eat in the flower dome
One of the most unusual foodie things to do in Singapore is to eat at Pollen, a high-end restaurant inside the famous flower dome at Gardens by the Bay. Arrive for dinner early and see the impressive light show at the park, before being whisked away in a buggy to the restaurant. Executive chef Steve Allen previously worked with Jason Atherton, Gordon Ramsey and popular Dubai-based chefs Nick and Scott (of Folly). The menu is a delicious mix of contemporary European dishes.
For more information on visiting Singapore, head over to visitsingapore.com