Pursuits

Your Best Guide to Eating in Singapore

Don't leave without trying at least one of these iconic dining establishments.
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The dynamic city of Singapore is a commercial hub that's seen many fine establishments come and go. This makes it a challenge for chefs and restaurateurs to up their game and explore the new and the bold. If you ever find yourself in the city, these are the places that you must add to your itinerary:


Tried-and-Tested Singapore Classics


Jumbo Seafood 

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Irresistibly spicy and buttery - our Signature Black Pepper Crab will chase any crabby feelings away! _ ????: @thomasteo_sg

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A trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without a meal at Jumbo Seafood, long touted as the go-to place for a plate of chili crab. The best news is that after a decade of serving its iconic seafood dishes, Jumbo is finally diversifying with a new outlet that accommodates 160 people at the busy Ion Orchard mall. 

Violet Oon 

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This charming establishment digs deep into Singaporean roots to bring diners authentic Peranakan recipes on a plate. Peranakan or Nyonya cuisine comes from the early immigrants who settled in Singapore, among other Southeast Asian countries. The chef, Violet Oon, is considered a notable figure in the Singapore food scene, a legacy that her children uphold today through the four restaurants that bear their mother’s name.

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Odette


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Chef Julien Royer, who made a name for himself while working as chef de cuisine of Jaan, put up his own restaurant Odette in 2016. In a short period of time, the modern French haunt garnered accolades from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and two stars from the Michelin Guide. The restaurant showcases seasonal ingredients, sourcing fresh produce to create various tasting menus.

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More: The Extraordinary Dishes at Two Michelin Star Restaurant Odette

Jaan

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This French staple is located 70 floors up at the Swissotel The Stamford. There’s the seasonal menu, which boasts of using only “nature’s finest” and comes with wine pairings from Jaan’s extensive wine list. Those who want something lighter can try the vegetarian menu, which is a lot more creatively presented than it sounds.

Candlenut 

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Candlenut has the distinction of being the world’s first Michelin star-awarded Peranakan restaurant, and this could all be thanks for chef-owner Malcolm Lee. Under Lee’s Helm, Candlenut has become renowned for its Ah-ma-kase tasting menu, which serves traditional Straits-Chinese recipes such as a red lion snapper fillet with black green mango sambal and a king tiger prawn with fresh chili sambal. 

The Coconut Club

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Influenced by Malay flavors, the Coconut Club is the place to go for when you’re craving a full meal. Its star dishes are the nasi lemak and cendol. The menu at the Coconut Club possesses no frills whatsoever, just a few variations to the nasi lemak, a couple of desserts, and a handful of drinks, but it’s Malay comfort food at its finest. 

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New Ubin Seafood

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If you’re looking for a place that will define Singaporean cuisine, New Ubin Seafood has been perfecting it for over 30 years. Some specials include the Classic Chilli Crab, Hokkien Mee Special, and the USDA Black Angus rib-eye with what they have dubbed “Heart Attack” rice because of its sinful use of beef fat rendered from the steak.

Stellar at 1-Altitude

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For a city that consists mainly of towering buildings, Singapore has been a hub for rooftop restaurants and bars. If you must visit one restaurant with a stunning view, let it be the Stellar at 1-Altitude, which serves contemporary Australian cuisine in a fine dining setting. For an even grander time, pay a visit to the intimate Plenitude Suite, a collaboration with Dom Perignon that gives gourmands the chance to embark on a sensory experience, that makes use of video projections, touch, and music to pair with the dinner.

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New Singapore Favorites


 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung

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Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation and Forbidden Duck fame has set up shop at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel. Instead of the molecular cuisine some have come to know him for, Leung presents a new take on Asian recipes by going the traditional route. You can expect to find an updated version of the favorite laksa and a dressed up U.S. Short Ribs Rendang prepared for 72 hours and served with pickled cabbage on the menu. 

Cook & Tras Social Library

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The recently opened Six Senses Maxwell is now home to a quirky Art Deco-inspired joint called Cook & Tras Social Library. If you’re hankering for a cool and cozy place to pass the time, Cook & Tras offers a menu of small dishes and a wide variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The interiors make for a great rendezvous destination for catching up with friends or nursing a cocktail by the bar. 

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Table65

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The management behind Table65 nabbed distinguished Dutch chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot to mount their first restaurant outside of the Netherlands. Their creation is a casual dining haven that hustles contemporary European dishes out of the kitchen.

Morton’s The Steakhouse

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A benchmark for steakhouses everywhere, Morton’s The Steakhouse is the ‘70s icon that that has made it a point to use only the top two percent of the best beef in the United States. You no longer have to endure that 14-hour flight to get your fix of Morton’s mouthwatering USDA prime-aged steak.

Niku Kin

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Niku kin is the holy grail for Hokkaido wagyu in Singapore, its first location outside of Japan. The menu might change on a daily basis, but the chef is an expert on how to work all 32 parts of the cow for Wagyu beef. If you have a hankering for hamburg or yakiniku, this is place to be.

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Bacchanalia

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There’s beauty in every dish that chef Vianney Massot sends out of his kitchen, there’s also an evident precision and symmetry to each presentation. What more can one expect from this wonder boy, who’s trained under the likes of Joel Robuchon and Eric Frechon. One Michelin-starred Bacchanalia brings modern French fare to this part of Asia, using seasonal ingredients to create sophisticated variations of his tasting menus.

Thevar

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Chef Mano Thevar cooked up something unexpected by marrying grilling techniques with Indian spices—it’s the pairing you never knew you needed. Thevar is a contemporary grill and bar that puts a much-needed focus on the versatility of Indian spices and how well they can complement delicate ingredients such as Canadian oysters and octopus.

 


Watering Holes


 

Idlewild

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This new kid on the block wants to give you a geography lesson, one cocktail at a time. Behind Idlewild is celebrated bartender Andy Griffiths, who uses valuable bottles from around the world to inspire his cocktails. 

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Atlas Bar

The alcohol selection over at the Atlas Bar (with over 1,000 spirits strong) is so extraordinary that TIME named it one of the World’s Greatest Places of 2018. If gin is your poison of choice, know that Atlas has lots of it. If that doesn’t entice you, then perhaps the Art Deco interiors might. 

Ce La Vi

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No one will blame you if you eventually find yourself back at the Marina Bay Sands, which is central to the small island city. Cap off the night with a drink at Ce La Vi, another rooftop destination that’s a fixture in Singapore’s nightlife.

Long Bar

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If you’re considering a night of drinks, then there’s always the classic Long Bar at the legendary Raffles, the birthplace of the Singapore Sling.

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Hannah Lazatin
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