Singapore has always been known as a foodie city; at the heart of every district you’ll find at least one hawker centre, where you can feast on unpretentious dishes made to order for just a few dollars – but there’s far more to the Lion City’s food culture than communal halls lined with Formica tables. We've rounded up five of the hottest places to eat in the Little Red Dot – start making those reservations!
The clue is in the name for this one – the beating heart of this casual shophouse joint is its four-tonne, two-oven brick kiln that ensures all the dishes here come smoky, charred and downright delicious. Chef-owner Dave Pynt definitely knows his way round a grill, but these plates are far more refined than your average BBQ joint – think gooey quail eggs, burnt leeks with brown butter and garlic butter king crab. Reservations are available online for lunch and dinner at select timings, so make sure you book your spot to avoid the always lengthy walk-in waitlist.
20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391, +65 6224 3933
Given Singapore’s ever-evolving food scene, if you’re still one of the coolest restaurants in town some eight years after opening, you know you’re doing something right. Chef Ryan Clift’s playful, fresh and inventive avant-garde cuisine continues to draw in the crowds at Tippling Club, with a spacious location that includes a state-of-the-art test kitchen, cocktail bar and private dining room. Opt for the adventurous 12-course tasting menu, which meticulously pairs each dish with creative cocktails, to fully experience the surprises and sheer exhilaration of Clift’s progressive cooking style.
38 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088461, +65 6475 2217
Earning two Michelin stars within a year of opening, Odette is a haven for foodies with an artistic streak – housed in Singapore’s recently opened National Gallery, the restaurant’s gorgeous pastel-hued interior perfectly complements its exceptional contemporary French cuisine. Named after chef-owner Julien Royer’s grandmother, the food here is a celebration of fresh seasonal ingredients and artisanal produce married with classic French cooking techniques, all finished with the utmost elegance and finesse. Tables book out months in advance so plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
National Gallery, 1 St Andrew’s Road #01-04, Singapore 178957, +65 6385 0498
Chef Malcolm Lee has become something of a poster boy for Singapore’s traditional cuisine – Candlenut is the first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant in the world. Thankfully, Lee doesn’t tinker unnecessarily with tried-and-trusted favourites; instead, he brings these beloved Singaporean flavours bang up to date in the best possible way, like with the restaurant’s most celebrated calling card, buah keluak ice cream. Opt for the excellent value ever-changing “ahmakase” menu to get a truly delicious taste of what Candlenut is all about.
Block 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676, +65 1800 304 2288
Flying the flag for modern Singaporean cuisine is Labyrinth, a one Michelin-starred restaurant set in the city’s iconic Esplanade, where traditional flavours get reinvented in style. Singaporean street food gets a 21st-century shake-up courtesy of chef Han Li Guang, with innovative, exciting and ever surprising takes on dishes like chilli crab and bak chor mee ruling the roost. Dinner is a tasting menu only affair, so get ready to experience an unforgettable culinary adventure.
Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue #02-23, Singapore 039802, +65 6223 4098