For a relatively small island city-state, eating one’s way through Singapore could take a lifetime due to its countless dining options. More than the sheer number of places to eat, Singapore is a foodie’s haven because of its exciting and unusual delicacies. This is because, as with many destinations in Asia, its geographical location, unique history, and diverse population all combine to create what has to be one of the most exciting culinary landscapes in the continent.
To experience this fascinating food scene for yourself, book yourself a Singapore tour package now! Then, to prepare yourself for the gastronomic adventure ahead, follow along with us as we take you through Singapore’s best bites.
Tian Tian Chicken Rice
It’s impossible to have a conversation about Singaporean food without mentioning chicken rice, the country’s national dish. Said to have originated in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, chicken rice has evolved from its humble beginnings. In the olden days, it was originally invented to extend the flavor of a single chicken. Now, it has become a dish that is sought after by gourmets and celebrity chefs.
For foodies seeking a plate of this for themselves, we recommend Tian Tian Chicken Rice at the Maxwell Food Center. Because of their high-quality version of this meal, it became a favorite of the late Anthony Bourdain and received a Bib Gourmand nod from the Michelin Guide yearly in 2016. Despite its accolades, it’s still a relatively affordable offering, as a generous portion of chicken and rice with broth only sets you back 8.50 Singapore dollars. Now that’s value for money!
Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle
Chef Chan Hong Meng has worked relentlessly on his recipe since opening his humble food stall at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre back in 2009. Thanks to his perseverance, his signature plate is now the world’s cheapest Michelin star meal. In fact, his hawker stall—aptly named Liao Fan Hawker Chan — was the first to have been awarded a Michelin star in 2016. The rest of the menu stays true to its simple Cantonese roots. Try their roasted pork and noodles doused in their popular soy sauce blend, or get a taste of their char siew slices served with the same sauced rice. If you’d rather skip the line at the original location, there are three other Hawker Chan stalls located in Chinatown proper, Tai Seng, and Funan, respectively.
Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine
Teochew cuisine originated from the Chaoshan region in the province of Guangdong in China. Their dishes are notable because they feature seafood and vegetables prominently. Don’t be fooled by those simple-sounding ingredients, though, as they can make for mind-blowing flavors when served by the best chefs in the region. In fact, Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine’s ION Orchard venue is the proud recipient of one Michelin star, an honor they first received in 2017 and have since continued to maintain.
It’s little wonder why they managed to do so, as the true taste of Singapore is reflected in the restaurant’s signature Teochew dishes. Some of their best meals include stewed pomfret fillet served in a delicate tomato-based sauce, three kinds of meat marinated in the Teochew style, and steamed Guangdong flower crabs served chilled with ginger and black vinegar. The last meal, in particular, is quite a rare treat, as only 15 of the crustaceans are served each day. Hence, make sure to order ahead and have one reserved for your visit.
Because Singapore is a multicultural city that welcomes people from many different cultures, its culinary landscape is as diverse as its residents. Its vibrant population has cemented its status not just as a cosmopolitan, forward-thinking city, but as a melting pot of different flavors, too.
Thus, it may come as a surprise that one of the best restaurants in the area hails from the land down under. This modern Australian barbecue restaurant, called Burnt Ends, shares space comfortably with its peers in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown and has set itself apart by earning a Michelin star.
This accolade is well-deserved thanks to the efforts of its chefs, one of which is Australian chef Dave Pynt, who hails from Perth. His exceptional culinary skills are thanks to his experiences working with notable chefs such as Fergus Henderson and Rene Redzepi.
Pynt has brought his skills from Australia to Singapore to change the way people view “Aussie barbie.” Heavyweights on the menu include Australian beef that’s been dry-aged for 65 days as well as the Jamaican chicken. Both meals are cooked on custom-made grills and coal-fired ovens, which lend a distinctly smoky flavor to the dishes.
Les Amis has the honor of being the very first fine dining French restaurant to open in Singapore, all the way back in 1994. It has consistently set the standard for fine dining in the city since then and has won numerous awards, the most recent of which is three Michelin stars in 2019. It’s quite an achievement, as it is an accolade shared with only one other restaurant in Singapore, namely the Odette at the National Gallery.
It’s of little surprise why it’s so highly regarded, given the high level of quality that it strives to maintain. To ensure only the best service imaginable, executive chef Sebastien Lepinoy constructs his seasonal menu with meticulous care and orders his ingredients directly from France to ensure a truly sublime dining experience.
At upscale places like these, it’s always best to allow the chef to show you his culinary vision. If you must order a la carte, however, you should go for any of his signature dishes. One meal you can try is an angel hair pasta dish served with kombu, caviar and black truffle shavings. If you’re looking for something a bit more filling, though, then order or the excellent sea bass, served here with a verjus sauce and muscat grapes.
WIth scrumptious dishes like these, Les Amis has become the place Singaporeans go to for special occasions. It’s reserved for such important life events, in fact, that the restaurant has witnessed numerous marriage proposals over its 25 years of operation. Whatever you’re celebrating, though, you can call for a toast with any of the 3,000 wines on their wine list, curated to ensure that every label perfectly complements the restaurant’s modern and classic French dishes.
From its humble hawker centers to sophisticated fine dining restaurants, you’re sure to find a new recipe to fall in love with. We hope this guide has inspired you to try out all the amazing food you can find in Singapore! Enjoy yourself, and eat well!