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SINGAPORE FOOD GUIDE

 

I am often asked for recommendations for good places to eat in Singapore. The list below is culled from my personal preferences and reflect my tastes. Be warned, I like food that bites back. The list ranges from the inexpensive side-of-the-street cha siew bao to more expensive restaurants. Some places have table clothes, and some have no tables. Some have wait staff that speak English, whilst others prefer Chinese. Its all part of the food experience in Singapore.  Most places know how to cook excellent  food with taste without adding MSG. These pages are a meal-in-progress, so please return as new restaurants are added. I don't ask you to agree with my choices, but please enjoy. Use the characters as 1, 2 and 3 star rankings.

Scroll down for NEW!! additions.

 Excellent Excellent    Very Good   Very good   Good Good.


ExcellentNEW(NORTH EAST PEOPLE HOME) On the edge of China Town. Start at Coffee bean in China Point Complex, cross the road towards China Town, and turn left down Upper Cross Street .

This is a no compromise restaurant for homesick Beijing. The outside signboard is in Chinese – no English so look for . The menu does have pictures and some interesting English translations of real Beijing favourites. If your Chinese is no good, or non-existent, you can point to the pictures to order. Some staff have some English, but the food makes the inconvenience worthwhile. The bitter gourd and egg is a wonderful contrast of flavour and texture. Its an old Beijing standby. The jiaozi , steamed or fried, are very very good. They do need a good dongbei sauce to go with them. The menu includes other Beijing local favourites which are worth trying, including the fried freshwater fish. This is smoked and preserved and then recooked. Try the Harbin beer, which is perfect for the flavours. The stir fried sliced potatoes with green chilli is excellent. Add a touch of black vinegar for a favour lift. I will be returning. The sweet potatoes dish is a true Harbin special. The sweet potato is coasted with sesame and toffee. You pick up the sticky pieces and then dip them into cold water to harden the toffee. The location is 22 Upper Cross Street. Look for the signboard, and the red characters on the footpath white pillar near the shop wall. Its close to the Spring Court Restaurant and on the same side of the road.

 

NEW WONTON STORY – Bugis Junction food court, downstairs. This is a chain of restaurants, and this one is located in Bugis food court.

Its good, simple, tasty food. My preference is the wonton soup set with noodles and mince pork. Then I also order the triple boiled pork. My partner likes the wontons, and I mix the pork with the noodles to make a delicious noodle dish. The triple cooked pork is flavoursome without being oily. It’s a good, tasty, and inexpensive meal. The asparagus wontons are very tasty.

 

NEW XI’AN RESTAURANT – China Town food street, restaurant opposite the food cart stalls.

Finally I manage to find the mutton kebab cooked in Xi’an style with cumin and chilli powder. These are a wonderfully tasty dish. The mutton is correctly prepared so there is no strong smell or taste. A serve is 5 sticks minimum. I order 8 and a glass of cold Tingshao beer. The flat cut noodles are so-so. They come with a soup rather than a sauce and meat dip. Not quite the Shanxi style that is common with flat cut noodles. Also these noodles are exceptionally long and difficult to handle. The advantage with flat cut noodles is the way the ragged edges catch the flavours and give a different texture, or mouth feel. The roast rack of lamb ribs is disappointing. The stir fried potatoes with green chill is good, but not exceptional. This is good honest cooking. I return mainly for the cumin mutton kebabs.

 

ExcellentNEW EARTH KITCHEN Near Tanjong Plaza MRT, International plaza exit.

This is good eating. The jiaozi and baozi are tasty, plump and the skin is soft. The xiao long bao are some of the tastiest I have eaten for a long time. The soup is tangy, not sweet. The simple sauce is tasty and robust. This is great for a quick lunch or a quick dinner. The Kwaey Teow is also nicely done and enough to satisfy those who do not want to eat China style xiao long bao. The kalian is crisp and tasty, not overcooked

 

 

Excellent Tea House Si Chuan Dou Hua: Parkroyal Hotel, Beach Road.

The new tea house is to the right as you walk towards the restaurant is brilliant. It lifts the standard of tea houses in Singapore to match some of the better tea houses in Beijing.  The range of teas is excellent. The service is quite, effective and unobtrusive.  Tea menu is in Chinese and English. You may have to point as staff are PRC nationals and English is not always a strong point. Traditional tea snacks are also available. The Long Jing and Biluochun are very pleasant green teas. This is a wonderful location for an afternoon of quiet conversation, or quiet read and quality tea.

 

Yangzhou Restaurant, Smith street, China Town. This is the main night  stall street.

This small restaurant tries hard and the xiao jie outside sells hard. Once inside, the service is a bit abrupt. It’s a busy location full of tourists, but the menu fare does not seem to appeal. The restaurant is not always filled. The food is Yangzhou style and not out of place in mainland restaurants. This means many of the dishes are unfamiliar to the Western tourists, so they stay with satays and chilli crab available outside at other stalls. Food is competently cooked but what I ate was not outstanding in flavour or presentation. It’s a nice change to have a better quality chopstick provided – metal instead of plastic or bamboo. Good green tea is available, but its not what is offered first to customers. You have to ask, because it not on the menu. Its worth a visit to try some of the cold dishes and vegetable dishes that are uncommon in Singapore.

 

Beijing Lil  Spice Hut:  Corner of Food street, near the Hindu Temple.

Clustered around hutongs in Beijing are small restaurants. The food quality is variable and the best is good home-style cooking. Forget ambiance. You get plain tables and  plain walls. This is food for living, plain, not too fancy and a reasonable quantity. The Beijing Little Spice Hut is huotong style away from home. Its huotong food as I remember it. I tried their mutton with cumin, a Beijing special imported from Xinjiang Province.  Taste was OK, but I have eaten much better versions of this dish. Their egg and tomato  also common in China home cooking was OK, but not out of the ordinary. Unlike even the most basic huotong restaurant, tea was tea bag tea. Given the competitive location at the end  of Food Street it needs a more effective selling point. Service was pleasant. I was offered a newspaper while I waited. Price is a little expensive for the standard - $12 -$14 a dish, so it was a surprise not to have credit card facilities.

 

Bi Feng Tang: Downstairs United Square, near Novena MRT

In Shanghai there is a chain of good restaurants with a similar name with a wonderful range of food. I hoped this might be a Singapore branch. It’s not. Its solid food and makes no claims to greatness. That said, its not bad. The la mian noodles with pork and peanut is surprisingly good. Just a nice bite to the sauce. Their pork and century egg porridge is a generous serving, although a bit thick for my preference.  Not bad food if you are in the area.

 

 

Very Good Tung Lok Signatures Vivo City, first floor on the waterfront

Clean, modern, efficient with a good a selection of food and good quality. This was a quick test meal but the quality was enough to make it worth a second visit. Good range of seafood dishes with a Shanghai  bias. Stewed eggplant with pork and tofu was not oily. Cold sliced pork hock was good. The waitress did gently try to suggest a more acceptable European alternative in the roast pork. It shows a good consideration for customers.

 

Excellent Teochew Restaurant Huat Kee:  Right hand side as you walk down towards the end of Amoy Street from the Fire gate exit from Far East Square

This is a popular and crowded restaurant - always a good sign. The sliced roast goose is very good. Its a cold dish and goes well with Teochew rice porridge. The goose is not fatty. It well flavoured and goes very well with prawns and gailan. Good service, good food, and many more items on the menu that I want to try in the future. This is good teochew cooking. Try the teochew desert porridge.

 

Excellent Muthus Curry Restuarant:  138 Racecourse Road. Ask a taxi driver to take you.

This is an excellent Indian curry restaurant. Curries are pungent, flavoursome and properly prepared. Many vegetarian curries are also available. Side dishes from naan bread to yoghurt dips are wonderful eating. Service is on banana leaf, but the restaurant is modern and spotless.

 

 Moi Kong Hakka Restaurant:  Food Alley opposite Maxwell Hawker Center and towards Tanjong Pagor MRT.

The Hakka omelette is good. Fish and chicken dishes are good eating. This is a good sold meal in a local restaurant.

 

Its Dim Sum:  To the back right  of the escalators leading to the Marina Square food loft on the upper floor.

This was disappointing. The fried rice was ordinary, the eggplant very oily and the tofu and pork with beans lacked flavour. Service was pleasant, but not enough to compensate for the ordinary food.

 

Very GoodCha Cuisine: Purvis Street, opposite the new library near the Intercontinental hotel.

 

Each dish is prepared using different varieties of tea. The pork slices are very good particularly when combined with mantou. (Steamed bread)  You will need to ask for mantou as this is not listed on the menu. The deep fried tofu is very good, with a creamy centre inside a thin crisp coating. The tea cooked duck is excellent, and it comes with mantou. Their Shi Feng Long Jin tea is excellent quality. Service quality is very good, with frequent clean plates.

 

Good Qun Zhong Eating House  21 Neil Road. Behind Tanjong Pagor Road, and near the new Buddhist temple on the edge of China Town.

This has a limited but good menu. The jiaozi are Beijing Style. Onion pancakes and other dishes are northern Chinese style. Unless you are lucky, be prepared to wait for a table, and also to share a table. Its a great way to meet new people. This is a small, busy eating house with basic tables. Go for the quality of the food and a taste of Singapore eating style.

 

 Very GoodNoble House: UIC Building, Shenton Way, upstairs, 5th floor

 

This is classic quality Chinese food. The vegetable with 3 styles of egg is good. Double boiled pigeon soup has a delicate flavour and is served in narrow bamboo cups. The three roast meat cold starter dish is well prepared and the pork is particularly nice. This is good quality food in a classy ambience. Its a good choice for quality and business dining.

 

Good Grand Shanghai: you need a taxi for this one as its some distance from the CBD. Address is Kings Centre, but taxi drivers will be more familiar with Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel which is adjacent.

 

This is set up as a 1930 Shanghai style nightclub. Dinner includes two female singers and a  good jazz band. Its low key rather than a noisy modern equivalent. Restaurant is dominated by local Chinese diners and this is a good guide to the quality of the food. It has a good, but expensive wine list. The crispy skin duck is succulent and moist. The range of Shanghai dumplings is good. The food is a combination of  Beijing and Guandong style, rather than the oily Shanghai  style. This is a good combination of ambience and tasty food from an extensive menu. Service can be idiosyncratic. BTW, singing is in Mandarin, not Canto pop.

 

Excellent Si Chuan Dou Hua: Parkroyal Hotel, Beach Road.

This is the original restaurant in the chain and  has been upgraded. The ambiance is good, the food is excellent and the service also excellent. I think it is now better than the Coleman Street outlet. The new decor is a pleasant mix, with fascinating artifacts. This is elegant but relaxed dining. The new tea house attached to the restaurant is brilliant. It lifts the standard of tea houses in Singapore to match some of the better tea houses in Beijing.  It is a wonderful location for an afternoon of quiet conversation and quality tea. The eight treasure tea in the restaurant is very good and the art of refilling the cup with long spouted tea pots is a pleasure to watch. Crispy Chicken with Ginseng is succulent. The crispy Soon Hock fish is melt-in-the-mouth tenderness. The desert of home made bean curd with wolf berries is a wonderful end to a meal of finely balanced flavors. This is excellent business dining, but also suitable for family dining on the weekend.

 

Good STRAITS CHINESE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT: Basement UIC Building, Shenton Way

This restaurant is tucked away down a set of stairs, but its worth the search. This is good honest Straits Chinese cooking. Its tasty peranaken food without frills. Use the right hand side of the restaurant, on the raised section. Japanese and Chinese tour groups use the left hand section on the lower floor. Often tour group restaurants have unremarkable food. This restaurant is an exception. The kang kong is very tasty.

 

CANTON WOK BY CHEF KANG  Joo Chiat Road

This is located in almost unreconstructed Singapore as it was 30 years ago. The area is dominated by shop houses, many restaurants and KTV. Its an interesting nightlife that also supports many good small restaurants. The area has many Vietnamese restaurants. I found this was more Shanghai style cooking than Guangzhou style, with a relatively high oil content in the eggplant dish. Mixed pork has some interesting flavours. Surprisingly the dishes tended to be on the sweet side. The chef does the rounds of the tables during the evening. Joo Chiat Road is a distance from the CBD.

 

SAKAE SUSHI  To the right as you come out of City Hall MRT. Also several other locations

Its a fast, smooth, efficient sushi bar. Nothing particularly outstanding about the food, but is all good quality. Good for a fast lunch. The dragon sushi - avocado strips on the outside with prawn tails - is interesting.

 

Good Rendezvous Restaurant: Bras Basah Road in the Rendezvous Hotel - the end of Orchard Road.

 

This is excellent nonya cooking - a combination of Malay and Straits Chinese cooking styles with delicious curries and spicy gravies. The beef rendang is very good, with a good balance of spice and flavour. This is tasty food. The restaurant is like stepping back into Singapore in the 60's. Its not a theme  restaurant. This is the original setting, with tiled walls, simple tables and a focus on tasty food. The basic display of food looks simple, but it hides a complexity of taste and flavour.

 

NEW UPGRADEVery GoodKoo Kee Dumpling & Ramen House: 233 Victoria Street - opposite Bugis Junction near the night markets.

 

This is an upgrade review that reflects the change in menu. The food is now very good. The fried tofu with cereal is excellent. The cereal is the same as used with cereal prawns, and the hint of curry leaves with the tofu is an excellent combination.  This is a dish worth returning for. Fried beans and pork are also nicely done. The visual appeal here is the hand prepared noodles or la mian. Each noodle order is stretched by hand. Noodle dishes and sauces are good. There is a Pau Dian outlet nearby, but I prefer to take the time to catch a taxi to the New Bridge road outlet.

 

Good Ling Zhi Vegetarian: Far East Square.

 

This straddles those vegetarian restaurants which try to convince you with mock meat, and the pure vegetarian restaurants that make no compromise on their menus. The eggplant is very tasty. The bean curd baskets are also full of flavour. This is a quality restaurant with good service. This is a good introduction to vegetation food for those who think that vegetables are a side dish accompaniment to meat.

 

Good Shanghai Hao Chi Lai Restuarant: Purvis Street, opposite the new library near the Intercontinental hotel.

 

Their deep fried beancurd is exceptional - thin crisp skin with silky texture inside. The eggplant and pork is tasty. The pork belly with egg is tender and tasty. The dark coloured egg has enhanced flavours, but it is not as strong as century egg. The egg and tomato is cooked Shanghai style, with eggs fluffed in shallow fry oil. Some dishes are very good, but others are spoilt with the excess of oil often found in genuine Shanghai cooking. Choose carefully to avoid the oil, and the food is worthwhile. Surprisingly there are no Shanghai style jiaozi, baozi or guotie- steamed, fried and pan-fried dumplings.

 

GoodThai Express: Raffles food court, but also many other outlets.

 

This is efficient and tasty food. The green curry is aromatic, spicy, but not overpowering with heat. It strikes a good balance. The bean curd popiah pancakes match the best of the street food quality in Bangkok. This is tasty food with good quality.

 

ExcellentSi Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant, upstairs, Grand Plaza Parkroyal Hotel, Coleman Street near the Church close to Raffles City.

 

Unless you book, expect to wait. This is always a good sign and the food does not disappoint. The crispy skin chicken is superb. The skin is crisp, and the meat is moist and succulent, but not red or pink. This is a restaurant with good food and good ambience making it suitable for good eating with style. I look forward to returning and trying more from their extensive menu. Their ba bao cha (eight treasure tea) is also very good, and the cups are replenished frequently using the traditional extended long spout tea pourers. Appreciate the skill and the tea. The Beach Road outlet has a better ambience and decor.

 

ExcellentImperial Treasure La Mian Xiao Long Bao. To the left of the escalators leading to the Marina Square food loft on the upper floor.

 

Their hand made noodles and bao have a wonderful variety. All dishes are prepared as they are ordered, so they are fresh. The bean curd with century egg is good. The bean curd ribbons are true northern Chinese style, with taste and consistency. Great with soybean. The real surprise is the desert Souffle Egg Ball with Red Bean and Banana. A visit to  this restaurant for this dish alone is worthwhile. The souffle is puffed egg white, deep fried and it just melts in your mouth. Visit several times so you can sample a wide variety of dishes.

 

 Excellent Din Tai Fung On Orchard Road in the Ngee An City complex. There is a small sign on the footpath directing you to the restaurant. This is also now in Raffles City Basement.

 

Offers a wide range of excellent fresh food. The Dan Dan noodles have a subtlety of  flavour not normally found in this dish. The dou miao (vegetable) is sweet and crisp. Rice with egg and pork, or pork chop, is a nice balance of flavours. Their jiaozi dumplings are freshly made and the fillings have a good balance of flavours.  This is very good food, fast service and fresh. If you want more ambience, then the Bishan outlet is better. Turn left coming out of Bishan MRT, then left again in the middle of the shopping centre.

 

Good Northern Handmade Noodles, Marina Square food Loft. Just behind and to the left as you get off the escalator.

 

There is not a lot of choice at this food court stall, but the noodles are very good. The beef noodles are very good, but you may like to ask them to hold back on the dried fish. Excellent choice for a quick, good tasting meal. The Local Delights - to the right and behind the escalator,  offers a wide range of congee (rice porridge).

 

Very GoodDian Xiao Er, Marina Square, second floor. This is a small shopping mall restaurant.

 

Food is good quality. Their herbal duck is excellent eating. Braised pork melts in the mouth. Try the Kai Lan with lime juice and lemon grass. It is a wonderful vegetable dish and a break from the usual preparation.

 

ExcellentDifferent Taste Restaurant 111 Frankel Avenue, East Coast - a little hard to find, but the search is worthwhile. (There are 3 branches).

 

The sambal kang (vegetable) is excellent. The fish maw and crab soup is also very good. Their chicken and prawn paste is equal to the best I have tasted. The restaurants are not fancy, but the food is excellent.

 

ExcellentPau Dian, New Bridge Road - opposite Yue Hwa Products store.

 

This is one of several stores, including one opposite Bugis. This is by far the best. You can watch the cha siew bao, (roast pork buns) zhuruo bao, (large pork buns with egg) and other tasty morsels being freshly prepared and cooked. Its noisy with loud Mandarin and Hoikken exhortations to buy the days special - 5 char siew bao for $2. The food is fresh and delicious. Seats on the footpath are a great place to eat the hot steamed buns. It is a quick and satisfying lunch or snack. This is my second stop after stepping of the flight. A four hour layover gives time to leave the airport, eat at Pau Dian, and return in time to catch the flight home.

 

ExcellentSilk Road, Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagor.

 

This is excellent Sichuan food in very pleasant surroundings with efficient service. This is spicy food in the way that only Sichuan cooking can provide. You will not even find relief in the vegetables as Sichuan peppers are also included in the preparation of some of these dishes. The heat is not chilli hot. It is a tongue tingling bite that can temporarily overpower lesser flavours.


Their 8 treasure tea is quite different from other that I have had, but it is well suited to the Sichuan spice. Ask for Long Jin tea. The initial brew is poured from a long spouted pot. It is an art form that is entertaining.
Beijing duck is good, mapo tofu is very good and with Sichuan peppers, even the lengpanr (cold dishes) are warm! Some of my Singapore friends who enjoy spicy food found this a bit hot! Just one disappointing footnote. When I eat at this restaurant with Singaporean friends, the food is as described above. I ate there recently with European friends, and despite my request to the contrary, the food was spiced down and disappointingly bland.

 

Good Lao Beijing, Singapura Plaza.

 

This is set up as a classic Chinese eating place, although it is no where near as crowded as Bi Feng Tang restaurant chain in Shanghai. Wait staff are mainly from PRC and if you look like you can speak Chinese you are greeted with "Huanying" in clear northern Chinese Mandarin.  The lunchtime Peking duck is good.  It is served just on pancakes as a single meal. The  braised pig trotter is excellent and a meal in itself when served with a side order of rice. The restaurant specializes in northern Chinese cooking with plenty of noodles and steamed dishes. Many of these are classic winter dishes.

 

NEW!!Very GoodCanton Kitchen On the upper walkway between Raffles Link and Marina Square, near the waterwheel.

 

This is surprisingly good. The braised bean curd with pork floss in exceptional with a light nutty flavor. Congee is standard fare and could do with a side dish of ginger. This is good quality good. Other dishes are well cooked and tasty. Plenty of variety.

 

 Very GoodSpring Court, 52 Upper Cross Street -  near Hotel 81.

 

You can tell the quality of a restaurant by the crowd outside waiting to get in. Spring Court is always crowded. Expect to wait for 10 to 20 minutes to get a seat. The wait is worth it. This is fast service and good food. The Peking duck includes the duck skin on pancakes, and then the rest served with noodles or soup. The duck is carved at the table. This is Cantonese and Hokkien cooking. Its a good place to go with 3 or 4 friends so you can sample the wide variety of dishes. It is noisy with the chatter of Chinese, but the food is very good.

 

ExcellentThanying Thai, in the Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagor Road.

 

This is Royal Thai cooking and it is brilliant. My absolute favorite is red chicken curry - but be sure to ask for the side serve of salted dried fish. These come as large crackers and are dipped into the rich curry. The combination of flavors is wonderful. The quality of food, the balance of flavors and the combination of spices are outstanding. The Tom Yum is to die for.  Best appreciated with a group of friends so you can spread the dishes around.  The silver service is efficient and discreet. You need to book ahead, especially for a business dinner. I prefer the Amara outlet to the one in Clarke Quay.

 

ExcellentNo Signboard Seafood Restaurant -  Geylang. Any taxi driver will know the location.

 

This is consistently the best chilli crab I have found - and the best cereal prawns. The 'humble' branding is a cover for excellent cooking. The Geylang restaurant is side-of-the-road eating on plastic chairs and tables. This is local food and local atmosphere so you can eat the crab with enthusiasm. Messy eating is acceptable because enjoyment is the objective. Chilli crab, Tiger beer, lime juice and good friends. This is one of the quintessential Singapore meals. The Stadium road outlet is much more formal but the quality of the food is just as good. It has wonderful views over the water and is a great place to go when you want something more up market.

 

Excellent Yum Cha Restaurant, 20 Trengganu Street - in China Town, on corner, next door to a tailor.

 

This is the place to go for yum cha. Meal times are very busy. Mid morning for a late breakfast is a good compromise. The range is wide, the quality excellent, the trolley service always tempting. To reach the restaurant you must walk through a single door and up a narrow set of stairs. It  looks unimposing from the outside, but upstairs opens into a sizeable dining area.

 

Very Good Ah Yat Abalone Forum Restaurant, 190 Clemenceau Ave - near the Malaysian Airlines head office.

 

You do not see many non-Chinese here which is a pity. The food is wonderful. The rice with chicken and salty fish has just the right balance. Their almond soup for desert is refreshing, particularly after the crisp salt and pepper prawns. The restaurant is usually very full, but the service is discreet and efficient. This is not a  noisy restaurant.  Stay with the known Chinese dishes if you wish. They are all very good. But try some of the others because they have the same quality. If you want to try something different, then this is a good place to start because you can be confident the food is well prepared.

 

Very Good Chuan Restaurant, 9 Purvis Street - near the Carlton Hotel.

 

Serves excellent Dan Dan Mian Tiao ( Dan dan noodles),  jiao zi (Shanghai dumplings) green beans with pork and other dishes. They serve absolutely the best bao ba cha (eight treasure tea) that I have found in Singapore. This is Sichuan style cooking and my favorite every-day eating place. I also use it for business meals.       The staff are excellent and mainly from the PRC so speaking Mandarin is an advantage, but not a necessity. Some local staff are also on hand when your Mandarin fails. This is my first stop after stepping off the  flight to Singapore.

 

Very GoodTeajoy - 420 North Bridge road - opposite the national Library.

 

This is a tea house where I go for a quiet relaxing drink by myself or with friends. This is where I buy my Jasmine Pearl tea. If you want to learn about Chinese tea in a quiet personal environment, this is the place to go. Its not fancy, and they do have a range of good tea pots, cups and teas. The tea education is personalized for just one or two people. They will ship tea overseas.

 

Very Good Yixing Xuan Teahouse - 30 Tanjong Pagor Road - Just up from the Y intersection.

 

Vincent has an entirely different approach to Teajoy. I buy my  silver or white tea  from here. This is a more up market tea shop with a clear focus on tourists and local education. Vincent is very knowledgeable and I would recommend you take one of his tea lectures which are offered to groups. This is quality tea and quality products. It is always interesting to sit down and talk with Vincent or Alice and take tea. They will ship tea overseas.

 

Excellent  Man Fu Yuan - Hotel Intercontinental.

 

This is a silver service restaurant. Excellent for business lunches, or private dining. Service is smooth, efficient, discreet. Food is excellent, with a well balanced array of flavor and texture. Their Peking duck is excellent, as are the salt and pepper prawns. They come in the shell, as they should. Eat them shells and all. The crunch is part of the experience. The wine list is small, but good quality.

 

Very Good Japanese Dining Sun, in Chijmes complex, 30 Victoria Street.


Its a bit hard to find upstairs, but its worth the search. The restaurant has excellent atmosphere and offers a good variety of tempura, rice, sushi and other Japanese styles of cooking. There is also good variety of those who do not like raw fish and other seafood combinations. Despite the impressive surroundings, the price is very reasonable.

 

Very Good Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Gardens. Take a cab and instruct the driver, 'Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Gardens'.


As this is a hawker centre, you will find a great variety of Chinese food in  there. Chomp Chomp has a long history since the Second World War. If fact,  the estate was apparently catered for the British soldiers stationed here.  Hence English street names in the estate. Anyway, there are about 30 food stalls serving mostly Chinese cooked food. The popular ones are (not in any order):


1. the barbeque seafood (if you like spicy food, the BBQ stingray would be highly recommended),
2. the satay bee hoon (peanut sauce served with steamed bee hoon and octopus,
3.the Chao Guo Tiao (fried wide and flat rice noodle fried cockles, eggs, bean sprout, a bit of dark sauce and 'special cooking oil')
4. wan ton noodles, simply just Chinese steam dumplings and char siew served with dried egg noodle (watch out for the home-made chilli) but so.... addictive.


Most stalls start their business at 6pm. so if you arrive at about 630pm, you'll get good seats (as in out in the open) and avoid traffic jams.

 

Good Lao Shanghai - Old Shanghai - 55 Temple Street - in China Town.

 

The Shanghai style jiaozi, baozi and guotie - steamed, fried and pan-fried dumplings - are very good. The spicy sauce adds the flavor. The serves are quite large, so its good to eat with a friend so you can try a good range of dishes. Noodles are also good.

 

Very Good  Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant - Fullerton 1 opposite Fullerton Hotel.

 

This is a western name for an very good Chinese restaurant. Their specialty is live seafood, outside dining by the river and excellent service.  A good place for a formal business lunch. Service inside tends to be superior to the service delivered to the outside tables.

 

Good Bengawan Solo - in The Arcade near Change Alley. To the right as you walk in, ground floor.

 

Kueh are Malaysian/Nonya sweets. Most people know the green and white layer sweets. Be adventurous and try a wider range which includes pandan and taro, gelatinous balls filled with palm sugar (onde onde) , steamed delights with peanuts and sugar, (putu piring) coconut balls filled with sweet peanuts and others like Soon Kueh with turnip and mushroom fillings. When I do not know the names I  just point and select 1 or 2 each of those items that look interesting - or several of my favorites. These are a quick snack. Rather than have desert in a  restaurant I often prefer to look for kueh to end a meal. This Arcade outlet is just one of many, but their range, freshness and cheerful service keep me coming back to this location.

 

Good  Tian Jin Restuarant - Bras Basah Complex.

 

This is Singapore home cooking for expat northern Chinese nationals. It is a no-nonsense restaurant with plain tables, and ordinary people with well behaved kids. Food is relatively plain, simple and tasty. No fancy flourishes, but there are times when you just want plain rice, ordinary chao fan (fried rice) , good noodles, and fresh vegetables without having to change into a business shirt.  I like their rice with chicken and salty fish spiced up with shredded ginger added from the table set.

 

Very Good Westlake. This is in a shopping centre, OG Building, Level 3 Peoples Park, on Upper Cross Street near China Town.


This looks like an ordinary shopping centre restaurant amongst the racks of clothes. It serves excellent Beijing style tim sum. The stewed pork wrapped in mantou bao (Steamed bread buns) is very good. This is sometimes called a Beijing sandwich. Add a touch of Shanxi style vinegar for a stronger North Chinese flavour. It is a long way from the fabled West Lake Gardens in China, but the food is still very good.

 

 Good Crystal Jade Kitchen, Bugis Junction - downstairs opposite Food Junction and tucked beside Carrefour.

 

This is a chain restaurant, but it serves a quick and satisfying meal. Their zhong guo cha - Chinese tea - is served in large glasses which is a shock for those accustomed to the usual small teacups. However this is the way tea is often served in China.  Service is fast and efficient and food quality is good. Serves tend to be small, so its easy to have some old favorites and then branch out and try something new or different. The tea cakes from the attached bakery are excellent. This is the place to go for desert. The Hong Kong buns are particularly good. The same store now has an outlet in Changi airport. Its much better than the  food available in the Qantas lounge.

 

Good  Noodle Place Restaurant - Centrepoint, up the first set of stairs and to the left.

 

This is another place where you may have to wait for a table, although it is not fancy dining. They serve good food. I particularly like their chicken and salty fish fried rice.  With over 130 items on the menu, there is plenty of choice. When I am in Orchard Road this is where I go for quick, no-nonsense, good quality and tasty food. Try their sour and spicy dumplings for a taste assault.

 

Good  Nooch Noodle bar - in City Link Mall.

 

There are several branches of these. They have a wide choice of Thai, Chinese and Japanese noodles. Eating is fast, service is very efficient, and food is always very good. A good place for a quick quality lunch that is not heavy on the pocket. Their Pad Thai and tom yum are always good.

 

Good Ya Kun Kaya Toast Coffee Stall - near the metal gate, Far east Square.

 

This is my favorite place for kaya toast. (There is a picture taken here that is used with my Smart Investor articles.) Ignore the trendy restaurants on the edge of the square, and wander down to the edge of the street. Its on the corner, with open walls and outside seating. Tables are utilitarian, and plastic stools are the only seating. Wander here for Sunday morning breakfast and sit with locals rather than tourists. I enjoy kaya toast and 'pulled' tea. Kaya toast looks like very dry, warm crisp brown bread. It is served as a sandwich with thick kaya jam filling. This green jam is made fresh from coconut, eggs and pandan. I enjoy the fresh flavor and the contrast in texture. Its not everyone's favorite, but give it a try. The 'pulled' tea is Indian style, heavy with milk. Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces will recognize the color, taste and texture of Army tea. Its a bit of a nostalgia trip, but it does go very well with kaya toast.

 

Good Simply Thai - city link mall, about half way through.

 

This has very tasty food in a small busy cafe style. Pad thai is good. Curries are tasty and well balanced. Also a good selection of Thai sweets. Good for a quick lunch or a light evening meal.

 

Good Food Junction - near anywhere in Singapore.

 

These are food halls for busy shoppers. The food is fresh, well cooked, cheap and quickly served. Apart from a  quick snack, they provide an excellent way to explore Singapore food. Serves are small so you can sample a variety of dishes. If it is not to your taste, then simply push it to one side and order another meal. At around $5 a meal, this is an effective way to try new dishes. If you find something you like, then you can order an upscale version next time you go to a more expensive restaurant. Food Junction is a good place to try kway teow noodles. These are a Singapore favorite. They should be simple and tasty. Restaurants tend to dress them up, so they lose some of the original appeal. They retain their simplicity at Food Junction outlets.

 

Very GoodMouth Restaurant - in China Point.

 

Simply good Hong Kong Cantonese cooking. Lots of variety. Try the vegetable dishes. There is so much more available than the standard fare of bok choy. Good Chinese cooking prepares a wide variety of vegetables in a wide variety of ways. The choice here is good. Meat dishes, particularly pork, are also very good.

 

Good Wah Lok Cantonese - Carlton Hotel.

 

I stay at the Carlton because of the location and the excellent service from staff, but, apart from breakfast,  I do not eat here. I enjoy the Carlton congee ( rice porridge) for breakfast with shredded ginger, shallots, fried dough sticks and spring onions. The lunch time tim sum at the upstairs Wah Lok restaurant is very good. The evening a la carte menu is uninspiring and the main course meals  a little jaded. I found that flavors do not mix well, or that they clash.

 

Good Sanur Indonesian Restaurant - Centrepoint , Orchard Road.

 

This is very good quality Indonesian food. Good value, good service, and good food.  Their rendang and spicy grilled squid are very good. I am not a big eater of Indonesian food, but this is good. Often very crowded.

 

Good Hu Cui, Crystal Jade Shanghai - Ngee Ann City, Orchard Road.

 

This is stylish restaurant with good quality food, however I found the service a little on the thin side. Many diners, including myself, had to replenish their own teacups. This is unusual in any Chinese restaurant, but more so in one that aims at a more expensive clientele. Menu choice is quite extensive. Food is well prepared and nicely served. It includes some Shanghai style dishes. It has a pleasant ambience.

 

Very Good Yingthai Palace - Purvis Street.

 

This is one restaurant where I did not mind getting a phone call which meant finishing the meal early. Some Thai cooking is a delicate balance of spice, heat, sour and sweetness. This is one meal I found where heat is the predominant sensation. I started with Tom Yum. It was the hottest I have ever had. One fresh coconut later I breathed a sigh of relief when the basil rice arrived. It was even hotter than the tom yum. Two coconuts later the green curry arrived, and I was worried. Sure enough, it was even hotter. Then my handphone rang. CNBC had brought an interview forward. Could I come in early? It was just the excuse I needed to leave the meal unfinished. If you like very hot spicy food, then this is one of the places to go.

 

Teahouse - The Asian Kitchen. Many outlets, we used the one in Raffles City.

 

The food has a heavy emphasis on deep frying and oil. The deep fried tofu I found similar to  British fish and chips. Overpowering, oily batter that smothered the tofu. Salt and pepper ribs were OK, but again, very oily. Not a meal to my taste.

 

Space @ myhumblehouse  - Esplanade Mall, part of the Entertainment complex.

 

Perhaps designed as an overflow point for its more prestigious My Humble House next door, this restaurant has the modern chic associated with the new Esplanade  entertainment complex. The food is a mixture of Thai, Chinese and Asian fusion modern. I found the food uninteresting and the service poor. The menu choice ranged from the artful disguising the mundane to a chicken burger for children presented as fusion food. There are better choices for a meal before a show in the entertainment centre. Next time I will book to be sure there is real space at My Humble House.

 

The Ultimate Fried Rice  Riverside Point.

 

Its difficult to miss the sign advertising the restaurant. The signature dish is Imperial Golden Fried rice. This has a slight curry flavour, a variety of meats, including expensive seafood and a high level of egg yolk. It is a rich dish. I found other dishes less impressive. The cereal did not stick to the cereal prawns, and the prawns were flowery and overcooked. I have eaten much better elsewhere. Service was diffident, menu uninspiring and food was ordinary.

 

Hing Wa Restaurant. Beach Road, on the corner across from Centrepoint.


This is Teo Cheow cooking. Upstairs is more stylish, but the food is the same. Cereal prawns are good. Other seafood dishes are also good.

 

A-Roy Thai Restaurant -  in the Funan Centre, 109 North Bridge Road.

 

This is standard Thai. Not outstanding, but not bad. Their green curry is good. Its good for a quick inexpensive lunch.

 

Haeboks Korean Restaurant: Tanjong Pagor Road, near Chinatown

I found the food uninspiring and the service inattentive. This is in the heart of KTV country so perhaps the standards improve later in the night or early in the morning.

 

Northern Palace - Purvis Street.

 

Not every Singapore restaurant has excellent food. This was a disappointment. I found the food bland, ordinary and forgettable.

 

Chef Chans - opposite Raffles Hotel.

 

In most hotel rooms there is a Singapore travel guide. Restaurants are listed. Some of these are disappointing. I found Chef Chans fell into this category. The ambiance is excellent but I found the service is abrupt  and out of keeping with the wonderful decor. Good food is readily available in Singapore, so good service and knowledgeable staff provide a competitive edge. Food was interesting, but not particularly appealing. Perhaps I tried the wrong dishes.

 

Lei Garden - in the Chijmes complex.

 

Great location, exclusive venue, bookings required, quality dining experience, but food tries too hard to be modern Asian fusion. Small serves stranded on large plates. I do not find it a relaxing place to eat, nor one that is conducive for business. Great for impressing your partner with classy service.

 

Blue Ginger - Tanjong Pagor Road near the MRT.

 

This is now the heart of KTV club country. This restaurant tries too hard to be chic modern, from the furniture, to the austere walls and austere servings. Guess I am not young enough to appreciate this. (G) Food is quite good Nonya or peranakan style, with a  strong leaning towards Malay influences. If you want to try real durian, this is a good starting place. (Yes, it is that smell that distinguishes this restaurant from others) My advice - start with durian pancakes and work up.

 

Tony Romas - Suntec City

 

Just to prove that I don't eat only Chinese, Nonya, Thai or Japanese food. The experience here helps to explain  why Americans are the largest consumers of sugar in the world. I swear the ribs are cooked in sugar syrup.

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