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Where to eat in Singapore – a food and dining guide

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Singapore is the ultimate destination for foodies. From street-side hawker centers to fine dining establishments manned by celebrity chefs, food is cherished in this city. Whether you choose to feast on a budget bowl of noodles at a hawker center in Chinatown, replace your china with a banana leaf in Little India or try one of Singapore’s most celebrated chefs at architectural wonder site Marina Bay, Singapore’s initially mildly efficient impression is most easily dispelled by its food.

Myriam Ohlig & Monika Khaled

My Destination local expert on


Singaporean staples include Hainanese Chicken Rice, where succulent slices of chicken are served with fragrant rice and a flavorful broth, and char kway teow, a seafood noodle dish doused in a delicious sauce.


Little India


On the streets of Little India you can find tiny traditional cafes serving frothy sweet tea and restaurants that serve traditional Indian curry spreads. Try the Banana Leaf Apolo, where you’ll eat cutlery-free from a banana leaf plate, while waiter’s serve you hot, fresh curry from tin canisters hoisted around their waists. Combining North and South Indian cuisine, make sure you try the fish head curry. Or, try the Nnasi Briyani at Sakunthala's Food Palace further down Race Course Road. The top voted vendor for 2013, it’s nutty, spicy rice can be combined with tender chicken or mutton and is served with a tasty curry sauce.


The Banana Leaf Apolo, 54 Race Course Road. Tel: + 65 6293 8682/ 5054.• Sakunthala's Food Palace, 66 Race Course Road. Tel: +65 6293 6649.




Chinatown is great for its street food, housed in hawker centers. Maxwell Food Centre is one of the most loved in Singapore, with Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice an island favorite - even celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is enamored with it. Homemade chilli sauce, concocted with lime juice instead of vinegar, is the perfect accompaniment to their tender chicken and fragrant rice. For dessert or a snack, walk to Tong Heng Confectionary, a low key traditional bakery which excels in producing perfectly formed moon cakes and egg tarts made with flaky pastry and a moist filling.


Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Stall No 10 & 11, Maxwell Food Center, 1 Kadayanallur Street.• Tong Heng Confectionary, 285 South Bridge Road. + 65 6223 0398.


Kampong Glam


The traditional Malay-Muslim district, Kampong Glam is a historic conservation area filled with low streets of shop houses and fantastic Malay cooking. Walk from Bugis MRT station to Rumah Makan Minang on Kandahar Street to try nasi padang, a selection of Malay-Indonesian dishes which are shared like a buffet between friends. Share Beef Rendang - tender beef marinated in a rich coconut-filled sauce. For another Malay delicacy, head to Zam Zam, on North Bridge Road, to try their star attraction: murtabak. The chicken version here is a firm favorite; a delicate piece of flaky, buttery bread cooked in delicious spices and wrapped around succulent chicken.


Rumah Makan Minang, 18 & 18A Kandahar Street. Tel: +65 6294 4805.• Zam Zam, 699 North Bridge Rd. Tel: +65 6298 7011.


Marina Bay


Newly developed Marina Bay has become a hotspot for Singapore’s world renowned chefs – and some international favorites. Marina Bay Sands, a landmark hotel, mall and casino, has enticed a variety of Michelin starred celebrity chefs to set up shop here. Waku Ghin, with Tetsuya Wakuda at the helm, is a European/Japanese fusion restaurant with an outlook over the Singapore skyline. Try wagyu, the world’s best quality beef, served here in a distinct Japanese manner with wasabi and citrus-flavored soy sauce. Alternatively, visit Catalunya, located on Fullerton Pavilion. Considered the best Spanish restaurant in Singapore, it has a distinctly casual vibe for a high end restaurant. Taste their suckling pig – vacuum packed and steamed until it’s incredibly tender.


Waku Ghin, Marina Bay Sands. Casino Level 2, Bayfront Avenue. Tel: +65 6688 8507• Catalunya, The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay. Tel: +65 6534 0886