Singapore Restaurant Reviews
Other cultures might prize atmosphere, decor, and service over food, but in Singapore, the food's the thing. Bistros, eating houses, fine restaurants, and hawker centers serving home-grown Nonya, and all other conceivable cuisines, attest to this simple fact: Singaporeans live to eat.
Sundays in Singapore can be an epicurean adventure with many upscale hotels—standouts are the Conrad International, Grand Hyatt, Four Seasons, and Hilton—offering lavish value brunches (usually noon-3 for around S$80 per person). Buffets with international dishes and free-flowing champagne, wine, or soda are standard. Always make reservations and clarify times and prices, since you may get a discount if you opt for soda over champagne. High tea is also served on weekends, and occasionally during the week, usually 3-6 for about S$25-S$35 without tax or service charge at several hotels; best bets include the Ritz-Carlton and the Tiffin Room at Raffles. Singapore's spin on this British tradition comes with finger sandwiches, cakes, and scones, as well as Asian or Indian tidbits such as dim sum (a.k.a. dian xin), fried noodles, satays, and curry puffs.
Widespread building restoration in Singapore has given birth to several chic establishments, such as Au Jardin (French), a converted colonial residence in the botanical gardens; Flutes at the Fort (eclectic) atop Ft. Canning Park; and Saint Julien (French) in a converted boathouse overlooking the confluence of the Singapore River and the Straits of Malacca. Senso (Italian) on Club Street was formerly an ecclesiastical building, and Tanjong Pagar's Blue Ginger (Nonya) and Chinatown's Da Paolo e Judie (Italian) were once shophouses. Unique to Singapore, Penang, and Malaysia, shophouses were usually built by Southern Chinese migrants. The owners operated businesses on the ground floor and lived upstairs. Nineteenth-century shophouses are simple, bilevel buildings, but 20th-century structures are taller and more ornate. The most recognizable shophouse style, known as Chinese-Baroque, combines Georgian windows and cornices, plaster reliefs of Chinese elements, and detailed Malay wood carvings. Shophouses now very popular as homes and restaurant/bars.
Opportunities for waterside dining include the IndoChine Waterfront Restaurant at the Asian Civilisations Museum, the East Coast Seafood Centre's no-frills seafood restaurants, and One Fullerton's cafés, restaurants, and bars—highlights are the House of Sundanese Food and Pierside Kitchen and Bar. You can sample satay sticks with peanut sauce at the popular Satay Club under Esplanade Bridge (between Merlion Park and Waterboat House). Other noteworthy dining areas are Jalan Merah Saga in Holland Village—here you'll find Michelangelo's (Italian), Original Sin (vegetarian Mediterranean), Da Paolo Gastronomia (Italian), and Au Petit Salut (French)—and Chinatown's Club Street, home to trendy Da Paolo e Judie (Italian) and L'Aigle d'Or (French).
For authentic, time-honored cooking minus the linen tablecloths, head to the ethnic enclaves. Several of mainland China's provinces are represented among Chinatown's eateries. Geylang has popular Malay and Indonesian hawker stalls. In Little India you can eat at no-frills, shophouse restaurants like Korma Vila and Banana Leaf Apolo, where you'll be rubbing elbows with locals.
Visit food.asia1.com.sg for the latest information on dining in Singapore.
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