Inevitably when you have visitors in Singapore they want to know about the best restaurants. I’ve written before about my number one
best restaurant in Singapore to take visitors but it’s a question that crops up again and again and I’m constantly on the lookout for new potential ‘best restaurants’. Ideally the best restaurants in Singapore should have an element that cannot be reproduced anywhere else. As regular readers will know we have many good restaurants but finding the right one for the right occasion can be a challenge. And finding something uniquely Singaporean (that isn’t in a hawker centre) is a particularly tough one.
There’s also the concept of ‘horses for courses’. Where the venue has to fit the occasion. Generally when we have visitors in town we might want to have one ‘fancy’ night out but most of the time we’ll be trying to interweave other activities with the dining experience and it’s always important (to me at least) that we eat well wherever we go. Here’s a list of the 10 best restaurants for visitors in Singapore for different occasions:
For the Best Views
We took recent visitors to Pelican at One Fullerton. Personally it was not my first choice, but our visitors had spotted it on a walk one morning and were adamant that they wanted to visit. They loved it. The combination of the spectacular views of Marina Bay Sands, the outdoor seating that provides a happy escape for small people (we had one in tow), and good food are certainly very good.
The service lets things down a little bit here but if you’re prepared to be vigilant in making eye contact with staff (and you will need to be) then you can make the best of the situation. You can read a full review here
. We usually pay about $75 per head here for a filling meal and a couple of glasses of wine each.The Pelican 1 Fullerton Road, #01-01, One Fullerton, Singapore, 049213 phone +65 6438 0400 (I suggest making a reservation)
For the Best Peranakan Cuisine
Many of you have read my post about Candlenut
, a recent eating experience that made a mark because of a few of the dishes that really impressed. The Peranakan influences are strong but there’s also creative flair from chef Malcolm Lee that sees his interpretations of traditional food really excel. I’m looking forward already to my next visit there. You can read a full review of Candlenut here
. Dinner will cost you around $65 per head including taxes and a glass of wine each.Candlenut 331 New Bridge Road, #01-03 Dorsett Residences, Singapore phone +65 8121 4107
For the Best Traditional Singaporean Restaurant
It’s a little overkill having two Peranakan restaurants in a top 10 list but Blue Ginger is still the one place that all visitors should try for the combination of great food in a traditional setting. Service is also very good here and prices are reasonable so it really does tick all the boxes. I’ve been to Blue Ginger at least half a dozen times and I’m never disappointed (although I would recommend that you don’t take people here who don’t like spicy food, we made that mistake once and it really did kind of ruin the evening ). You can read a full review of Blue Ginger here
. Dinner will cost you around $50++ each including a couple of glasses of wine each.The Blue Ginger Restaurant 97 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore, 088518 Phone +65 6222 3928
For the Best Hawker Experience
For me Boon Tat Street is always a great place to take visitors. The little street closes to traffic as the sun sets (7pm) and makes way for street vendors who fire up their charcoal barbecues and will have sizzling satays ready for you in no time. It’s the perfect meeting place for a weeknight dinner if people work in the city. Now with the refurbished Lau Pa Sat
next door there are also new choices as far as food goes, even extending to western food like pizza and an Italian pasticceria. You can read more here
. One of the biggest bonuses is that you’re unlikely to spend more than $15 per head (depending on how many jugs of beer you drink 😉 ).Lau Pa Sat (Boon Tat Street) Every night from 7pm
For Unique Asian Food in a Fun Area
The name might sound odd but Ding Dong on Club Street is a good choice if you’ve got people who care about location as well as a good eating experience. The unique blend of South East Asian cuisine, a bit of Vietnamese, Thai and Malay with touches of western influence make the flavours memorable and worth a trip back. The dim lighting makes it a little hard to see, but that’s hipster-ville for you, the service is good and there’s a decent wine list. Handily Ding Dong is also located in the middle of Club Street so you can scoot into one of the many bars either before or after your meal. And on Fridays and Saturday the whole street is pedestrianised so you can happily do a little bar hopping at your leisure. You can read more here
. We paid around $50++ each for food.Ding Dong 23 Ann Siang Road, Singapore, 069703 phone +65 6557 0189
For the Best Dumplings
You guessed it, this has to be Din Tai Fung. I know it’s such an easy one to include, but I take pretty much every visitor to Din Tai Fung. Most of our visitors are either from the UK or Australia and I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like Din Tai Fung. Granted if my visitors were from Hong Kong then it probably wouldn’t really fly but it’s hard to find a better dumpling anywhere in Singapore in my humble opinion. You won’t normally spend more than $20 per head at Din Tai Fung.Din Tai Fung Click the link above for locations
For the Best Beach Bar with Kids in tow
One of our favourite recent trips with visitors is to get the cable car over to Sentosa, jump off at Imbiah Lookout, hop onto the Luge to head down the hill, and then skip across the road to Coastes. Once you’re there everyone can enjoy an afternoon under the shade of umbrellas whilst kids swim or play in the sand and you sit back and sip on a bottle of the delightful Whispering Angel Rose along with some bar snacks.
I don’t really rate the food here, the main meals are average at best, but the club sandwich and pizzas are fine for a light lunch or mid afternoon snack. Beers are around $14 each, a bottle of Whispering Angel is $68 and a pizza is $18 (tax included in prices).Coastes 50 Siloso Beach, Singapore, 099000 phone +65 6631 8938
For the Best Brunch
I could hardly do a top 10 list of restaurants in Singapore without including a decadent Champagne brunch. Ok so it’s expensive at around $160 per person. If you can resign yourself to that though then write off an afternoon and book a table (or ideally a private room) at Mezza9. Still number one on my list after a decadent couple of months worth of brunching at different venues. For a big group in particular you really can’t go wrong. For a more sedate affair in a much nicer room you could also try Clifford at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. It doesn’t have the phenomenally wide choice that you find at Mezza9 but the view is easier on the eyes, there’s live music and the free flow Perrier-Jouet Champagne is a definite plus.Mezza9 at The Hyatt 10 Scotts Road, Singapore, 228211 phone +65 6738 1234 Clifford at Fullerton Bay Hotel 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore, 049326 phone +65 6597 5288For the Best Malaysian Food
The fabulous neighbourhood that is Kampong Glam is the historical Malaysian heart of Singapore (I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying that?). There is great food of all varieties here but the typical Malaysian roti and murtabak are two of the best things to introduce visitors to, especially if they haven’t tried this kind of food before. Of course it’s super bad for you but drowning down some piping hot roti and curry with a cup of kopi on a Sunday morning is pretty darn good.Al Tasneem699 North Bridge Road, Singapore, 198676
Best Chilli Crab
Well it wouldn’t be a list of Singapore bests without chilli crab now would it? I am not the biggest fan of chilli crab, but I do love taking visitors to the Longbeach at UDMC where you can sit by the water and graze over good crab and seafood as the afternoon passes by. I usually let the visitors do the hacking with pincers and tools and I just grab the mantou (fried bread) to dip in the sauce. There are plenty of other good dishes on the menu to choose from as well. Make an afternoon of it by hiring a bike on the East Coast and working off your crab afterwards, it’s one of the 14 Best Things you can do with visitors in Singapore
.Longbeach UDMC (on the water, near McDonald’s)1202 East Coast Parkway
I could easily make this a ‘20 Best’ list, but I wasn’t sure you would have the attention span 😉 actually I thought it would be good to hear from you all where your best venues are for visitors to Singapore, so go on, share below.