When researching where to eat in Singapore, we asked friends who are frequent travellers to the country for recommendations, read blogs and watched YouTube videos. We spent seven nights in Singapore and had pre-booked five restaurants, leaving room for ones we might stumble across. There is an incredible restaurant scene in the city and we had amazing meals – honestly, we didn’t have one bad experience.
There is a really diverse food scene – from authentic Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian to French, Italian and Spanish. Whatever you fancy eating, you’re bound to find it in Singapore.
Just a note that all of the restaurants on this list are fairly pricey – especially if you like wine with your meal, as the alcohol tax is really high. We tended to balance out pricey dinners with lunch at a Hawker Market!
Here are 8 top restaurants to try in Singapore
Brasserie Gavroche is located on the popular Tras Street in Chinatown and was around the corner from our hotel. This is one of the restaurants we happened to stumble upon and then book on a whim. It’s a lovely, chic restaurant which made me feel like I was in Paris! The decor is very French and the lighting was perfect.
Opened in 2011, Chef Patron Frederic Colin has established Brasserie Gavroche as a go-to for excellent French cuisine. We started with the terrine and the special of the day, which was smoked salmon, crème fraîche and blinis. The smoked salmon was more like sashimi and was beautifully fresh and succulent.
When in a French restaurant it’s a given that one of us will order steak. I ordered the lamp chops with artichokes and both dishes were perfectly cooked at medium/rare. The chips were also crunchy and delicious and a very generous portion!
Top tip – before (or after) dinner, pop across the road to their wine bar, Café Gavroche. They have a couple of tables outside and it’s a lovely spot for a drink (they also serve food).
Located in Dempsey Hill, which feels like the middle of nowhere but is packed full of bars and restaurants, is the hugely popular – and one Michelin-starred – Burnt Ends. Opened by Perth born Chef-Owner Dave Pynt in 2012 (although at a different location), Burnt Ends is a modern Australian barbecue restaurant who received its Michelin star in 2018.
The decor is amazing and there’s a real buzz in the restaurant. There’s an open kitchen with a dual oven and four elevated grills. It’s fairly difficult to get a reservation and you’ll need to book at least 6 -7 weeks in advance. Luckily for us we know Patrick, one of the chefs, from his time in London, and he very kindly organised the chef’s counter for us.
The menu changes daily but of course you’re always guaranteed steak! We had the Wagyu beef tacos and the deep fried aubergine to start. But then we noticed something coming out of the kitchen that wasn’t on the menu…. a pulled pork slider! It’s an ‘off menu’ item so make sure you ask what it is that day. We ordered one and it was insanely good.
Patrick very kindly gave us the peri-peri chicken as he said we must try it and I’m so glad he did because it was absolutely fabulous. The chicken was succulent and the peri-peri was just the right amount of spice.
The rib-eye was perfectly cooked and 300g was definitely enough for the two of us. We know that at Burnt Ends the emphasis is on the meat, so they don’t serve fries, but we really wish we could’ve had some…. this girl needed some carbs!
Burnt Ends is a real culinary experience and definitely, if you’re a foodie, one to add to your list.
Top tip: ask what the ‘off menu’ item is. If you’re a wine lover, ask if you can see their stunning cellar.
Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl
Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl was recommended to us by a friend. Located on Tras Street in Chinatown, Chef’s Table offers a fine dining Western Omakase menu using seasonal ingredients.
There are three menus to choose from: From the field (plant-based), From the land and sea and the Signature menu. The menus come at a set price and are not designed for sharing.
We opted for the five course ‘From the land and sea’ menu, which included delightful extras that were not part of the menu. Speaking of menus… you don’t actually get one! You just know that there will be meat and fish courses. I’ll be honest, we were slightly nervous about that as there are certain things we don’t particularly like. Thankfully everything we were served was absolutely delicious and we were served meat and fish that we enjoy and would’ve ordered if they had been on an a la carte menu.
We were told that the main might be duck or beef and it turned out to be beef with crispy artichokes, which was utterly delicious.
What we loved about Chef’s Table is that each course is delivered to your table by one of the chefs who explains what the course it. That was a lovely touch!
Top tip: the concept is an open kitchen, which can be seen no matter where you sit. If you want to be close to the action, request a table close to the kitchen.
Esquina is a modern Spanish restaurant in Chinatown, which has Barcelona-born Head Chef Carlos Montobbio at its helm. The decor very much feels like you’re in Spain and they have outdoor tables and counter seating. We chose to sit at the counter so we could watch the chefs work their magic.
Everything we ate was absolutely delicious but there were two standout dishes. One was the tuna tartar with sea grapes, a celery sorbet and avruga caviar – with crunch and texture from croutons. It was light and refreshing and the flavours were perfectly balanced.
The Spanish suckling pig with rhubarb and apple chutney, mulled wine jus and shiso was incredible. You can order 500g (perfect for two) or 900g (for three or four people). We absolutely devoured this dish!
Esquina is moderately priced, with great decor and ambiance and delicious food. Our only criticism was that the sparkling wine we ordered wasn’t particularly cold.
Top tip: book a counter seat so you can watch the chefs in action.
Koma has to be one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve ever been to. The decor is just stunning. Although it’s situated in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, once you step through the torii and enter the restaurant, you’ll think you’re in Japan!
Often with these Instagrammable restaurants, you worry if it’s more style over substance but I can absolutely say that the food was fabulous. 100% order the Wagyu gyoza – absolutely incredible.
We ordered a selection of dishes to share, such as the crispy Tokyo gyoza, crispy chicken, miso glazed eggplant and the barbecued beef short rib – washed down with Champagne (which is surprisingly not much more expensive then a bottle of white wine).
We ended the meal with their signature Bonsai dessert, which looks like a bonsai tree! Every single part of the dessert is edible and was really fun to eat.
Top tip: ask for a booth table that faces the beautiful bridge.
Mott 32 is a fine dining Chinese restaurant located very close to Koma in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Its name pays homage to the street in New York where the first Chinese convenience store opened in 189. Apparently the store served as the nucleus to what is now a bustling Chinatown.
When you step into the restaurant, it’s like stepping into another world – a very decadent one! The decor is absolutely stunning and luxurious and the lighting is very low, adding to the ambiance.
They have a few signature dishes, such as the Apple-Wood Roasted Peking Duck and Barbecue Iberico Pork Glazed with Yellow Mountain Honey, that need to be ordered in advance due to their limited availability. We made a reservation about a month before and asked for the Peking Duck, only to receive an email about a week before to say that they couldn’t offer it to us as they had already run out. That was disappointing and seems a bit odd, in our opinion as surely you order enough to meet the advanced booking?
That aside, there were plenty of choices on the menu for us and whilst the Peking Duck wasn’t available as a main they did have a salad starter with Peking Duck, which we ordered. One of our mains was stir-fried Wagyu beef which was succulent and very tasty.
Top tip: enjoy a cocktail at the bar before or after your meal. If you’re lucky, the bartender will take some great photos of you!
For our last night in Singapore we booked Solo Ristorante. We had walked past it a couple of days before after lunch at Lau Pa Sat and it looked great. Thankfully it didn’t disappoint (with an Italian husband, it’s always tricky going to Italian restaurants).
Solo Ristorante is owned by Chef Simone Fraternali, who is from in Gradara in Italy. He was actually on honeymoon when we visited but we were in good hands with his team.
We booked the counter so we could watch all the action. The restaurant has two dining areas and the counter, with a few tables outside.
The food is inspired by Emilia Romagna, my husband’s region! For starters we ordered the Parmigiana, which was served with a tomato and basil salad – not very traditional but it really worked. We also had the grilled artichokes with Parmesan, which were really good.
My husband ordered the signature pasta, which is tagliolini with sea urchin and a smoky uni sauce. It was very tasty – definitely luxurious and umami in flavour.
I ordered the Spaghetti alla chitarra with seafood and breadcrumbs, which was very tasty and also quite filling as it was a generous portion.
For our main we shared the beef short rib with charred leeks and mashed potato. It was melt-in-your-mouth!
If you fancy Italian, definitely book a table at Solo Ristorante. It was also one of the few restaurants we went to that sold Prosecco by the bottle (and that didn’t break the bank).
Top tip: book the counter so you can see the chefs at work.
We happened to just stumble across True Cost on our first day in Singapore, whilst we were looking for somewhere to have lunch. It’s located in the Sky Garden of the Suntec City shopping mall near the famous Raffles Hotel.
The restaurant has an interesting concept in that you pay a small entry fee, which then enables them to bring down the cost of the food and drink. At lunch it’s $5 per person and dinner it’s $10 per person. And believe me, it’s true! For example, a glass of Cava was just under $9 but would cost at least $16 – $19 elsewhere (I paid $16 for a glass of Prosecco at a bar on Boat Quay).
True Cost is a very pretty restaurant with lots of natural light due to its greenhouse-type effect. We sat at a high table near a window, overlooking the city and their outside area.
We ordered around five to six small dishes to share. The unagi prata with cream cheese was a very unusual but yummy dish and one you should definitely order – especially as it’s just $7.
Another highlight on the menu, for me, was their crispy aubergine with cream cheese and sweet chilli. It was very tasty and also a huge portion.
The menu at True Cost is quite diverse, very reasonably priced and the service was great.
Top tip: ask for a table near the window for natural light and views.
We thoroughly enjoyed our culinary experience in Singapore and wished we’d had more time to try some more restaurants. Each restaurant also catered to our preferences and ensured that things we didn’t like (chives, for example) were omitted from our dishes. If you’re heading to Singapore, you’ll definitely eat well!