Singapore has long been a destination of choice for foodies, and in the last decade it has truly cemented itself amongst the best culinary cities on earth. With a meeting of Malaysian, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan cultures comes a vibrant and dynamic dining scene that spans street food to Michelin-starred dining.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat in Singapore, spanning some of the best restaurants in Asia (including the recently crowned #1 restaurant, Odette) to funky modern eateries and traditional hawker markets. Whatever your client’s taste and budget, there’ll be a memorable dining experience waiting for them in Singapore.

Destination Restaurants

Odette

Recently crowned the best restaurant in Asia, it is fitting that Odette is housed in the National Gallery Singapore, with the dishes at this contemporary French restaurant works of art themselves. Chef Julian Royer was at the helm of acclaimed Singapore restaurant Jaan, before opening Odette in 2015. While the dishes here are French at their heart, Royer’s use of local ingredients brings a fresh perspective to an ever-changing menu.

Burnt Ends

A far cry from the delicate white interiors of Odette is barbecue restaurant Burnt Ends.  A giant brick kiln sits at the heart of the open kitchen at this eatery, and the diners lining the bar are so closely seated to the wood-fired ovens and custom grills they can feel the heat of the coals!

The food here might seem less refined, but they take their flavours just as seriously. Rounding out the top 10 in the 2019 list of Best 50 Restaurants in Asia, Burnt Ends is the brainchild of Australian chef Dave Pynt, and descended from a pop-up that he ran out the back of an East London coffee roaster in 2012.

High End Dining

Tippling Club

A state-of-the-art kitchen (including a sonifier that makes cauliflower cheese sauce by using 20,000 soundwaves per second) provide Tippling with the tools to create quality food with a quirky twist so consistently. But the workmen behind their use also deserve some credit.

Helmed by Ryan Clift (former head chef at Vue De Monde) this artful, innovative and ambitious restaurant challenges the convention of fussy fine dining by taking a contemporary approach to its cuisine. With a semi-open preparation area that allows visual access to the chefs at work, diners can anticipate just how good their Foie Gras Cheesecake or Iberic Pork (with Baba Ganoush, Japanese cucumber and freeze dried vinegar), will taste – before it even hits their lips!

Candlenut

The world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant, head chef Malcolm Lee is serving up traditional Peranakan cuisine with a modern, fine-dining twist. Peranakans are the descendants of Chinese immigrants from the southern provinces who came to Malaysia and Singapore between the 15th and 17th centuries. The food combines influences from Chinese and Malay cooking, including the use of coconut milk, pandan leaves, tamarind, kaffir lime leaf and a focus on fresh seafood.

Affordable Quality

Ding Dong

Savvy diners would not be wrong in presuming the tongue-in-cheek name of this restaurant is a prelude to a similarly mischievous style of cuisine on offer. Renowned for fresh interpretations of Southeast Asian dishes, Ding Dong adopts a playful and eclectic take on traditional Singaporean classics by exploring modern ingredients in a nostalgic way, and pairing them with specially handcrafted Asian cocktails and boutique wines. Favourites among frugal foodies (with expensive taste buds) include the shrimp carpaccio with Thai honey mango and prawn chips; Ding Dong Scotch eggs; and spiced poached guava with sour plum jelly and sweet chilli mango.

Thevar

This contemporary grill, that bears the name of head Chef Mano Thevar, will enthrall your palate with beautiful food served in a beautiful place.

Despite only opening in late 2018, Thevar shows no evidence of teething problems. Instead a modern menu of Indian food fused with Southeast Asian favourites resurrects a vintage Singaporean style of cooking and reintroduces it to a gastronomic landscape occasionally crowded with cliches. Among the spectacular new creations brought to life in the glowing tandoor oven are mackerel dosa with tomato chutney and Indian XO prawn with roti paratha.

Local Favourites

Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre

Architectural enthusiasts are often drawn to the distinctive octagonal shape and ornamental columns of this 19th century marketplace. However those more interested in eating than engineering, will be equally impressed by the edible spread at Lau Pa Sat Hawker Centre.

Despite its location in the financial district, this huge food court is a dining destination for the tummy-hungry not just the money hungry. We recommend visiting for dinner, when the adjoining Lau Pa Sat Street is closed and you can enjoy a few charcoal roasted satay skewers and a refreshing Tiger Beer alongside the local city workers and expats as they wind down after a long day at work.  

Tekka Centre

This colourful, no frills hawker market lies in the heart of Singapore’s Little India neighbourhood, and is the place to try some of the city’s best Indian food. Grab a table in the communal dining space and then take your pick from the hawker stalls selling biryani, tandoori and other classic Indian dishes before heading upstairs to explore the markets where you’ll find everything from Bollywood movies to saris.

Pro Tip for Hawker Centres in Singapore: To ‘Chope’ (or reserve) a table, locals will leave a small packet of tissues on a table while they pick up their food. Grab a pack from any convenience store, or from one of the locals who sell them in the centres.