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Eating out in Singapore - on any budget

Eating out in Singapore - on any budget

Singapore offers a mind-blowing variety of options when it comes to eating out. One can eat really good food on any budget - there's really is something for everyone in every price range.

Recently I had the pleasure of spending a week in Singapore and during my time there I ate at all of the places listed in this post, with meals ranging from $4 Nasi Lemka to a $208 6 Act degustation at a 2 Michelin star restaurant, and everywhere in between. 

Here's what I tried, and recommend.

Please note: Prices correct at time of publication.


Eating out in Singapore for under $10 - Hawker Centres

Hawker Centres are an excellent place to get delicious, cheap food. Stall holders rent their spots from the Government who own all the Hawker Centres. The Government regulates standards at Hawker centres, look out for the A,B and C signs on each stall, A being the highest.

Top tips

Hawker Centres do not provide napkins, take your own hand wipes. 

Peak times are breakfast and lunch times

  • Fish (pomfret) soup, boiled rice, ginger and chilli $8 
  • Mutton biryani with boiled egg and curry gravy $6
  • Jag fruit fresh $2

(above eaten at Tekka Centre, Little India)

  • Popiah -Turnips, bean sprouts & peanuts in a wrap, cut into sections $1.60
  • Pork and chicken satay - ketupat (a type of dumpling made from glutinous rice packed inside a diamond-shaped container of woven palm leaf pouch), raw onions and cucumber, peanut sauce and ground pineapple $6.50.
  • Nasi lemka - Crispy anchovies, fried chicken and fish, rice and sambal (chilli sauce) $4
  • Cendol melaka $1.50
 

(above eaten at Changi Hawker Centre where there's a higher proportion of Malay-cuisine stalls than at most other hawker centres, and Changi Village is hailed as a nasi lemak haven by most locals.)

  • Roasted pork rice $4
  • Homemade ice tea $1.40

(above eaten at Holland Drive Hawker Centre)

Laska Noodles at 328 Katong Laska, Singapore
  • Otah fish with spices, steamed in a banana leaf and BBQ-ed.
  • Lime juice drink fresh lime juice
  • Chilli paste noodles with prawns & seafood 

(above eaten at 328 Katong Laksa)

Also, at Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown

Hawker Centre, Singapore
  • Egg and roti plain prata with chicken curry $4 (2 each)
  • Breakfast rice noodles, fried cabbage and carrot $2
  • Fritters dough savoury salty yiokia 60 cents (like non sugary churros)

Need more?

There's even a 24 hour delivery MacDonalds delivery service in Singapore!


Mid-range

Red House Seafood

Established in 1976, Red House is a seafood restaurant specialising in Asian seafood dishes and Singaporean favourites. Red House had its beginnings as a family restaurant in a red colonial house along Upper East Coast Road, where red lanterns lined the façade of the restaurant and, overtime, customers grew to identify Red House by its grand lanterns.
Red House Seafood

To start:

  • Pork & Shrimp dumplings siew mai
  • Chicken claw with black bean sauce
  • Crispy vermincilli roll

Main course:

  • Sri Lankan Crab, Wok fried and tossed in black pepper

To drink:

  • Warm almond milk with saffron & honey

With 2 branches in Singapore, Red House Seafood is popular with locals, there's a good atmosphere and super attentive staff (thank you Candy Tan!) 

redhouseseafood.com

 

Halia

Halia, Malay for ginger, is located in the one-hectare Ginger Garden of the Singapore Botanic Gardens where over 250 species of gingers with their stunning foliage and colourful flowers thrive. The construction of Halia was carried out simultaneously with the development of the Ginger Garden in year 2000. Careful consideration was given to the special park setting, such that architecture conformed to the contours of the land, the dignity of mature trees and the preservation of heritage.

Recommended

Large plate:

  • Paper bag oven baked halibut fillet, soy, ginger broth, sesame Japanese rice, wakame and truffle mayonnaise $40

In Between:

  • Hokkaido scallop, plack pudding celeriac & vanilla puree, ginger flower sambal $27

Light:

  • Charred seasonal greens with ginger milk, finger lime, spring onion & shiso leaf $18 option to add salt cured wagyu beef for an additional $5

thehalia.com

 

Red Tail

Red Tail is Zouk Singapore’s first bar to open at their new digs along the Clarke Quay Cannary Block. Red Tail serves dynamic craft cocktails with the finest and freshest ingredients, great wines and craft beers, as well as plating up fun sharing bites perfect to drink with.

Recommended eats:

  • Menchi Katsu Burger, recommended by the waitress this is hands down the best burger I have ever eaten. Kurobuta pork and mince beef coupled with seeded aioli and tonkatsu sauce in brioche bun (served with fries) $18
  • Salmon and Orange Labna - Torched salmon with Armagnac pickled beetroot and labna$23

Recommended cocktails:

  • 'Something Old and Something New' - Gin, yellow charteuse, lemon sherbert & artisanal soda $24
  • 'Flower Stall' - Pisco, mezcal, Creme de violette, maraschino liqueur & lemon $20
  • 'Seoul Train' - Bourbon, pomegranate vinegar, creme de caco, cherry bitters & lemon $24

redtailbar.com

 

Tiger's Milk

Tiger’s Milk, named after an important ingredient in Peruvian ceviche, is the first Peruvian rooftop bar in Singapore. Featuring a central Ceviche Bar, overlooking an open parrilla grill and a pisco bar; chefs prepare dishes that are complimented with music exploring the many rich and colourful textures of Latin American culture.

Recommended

Drinks:

  • Pisco Sour - Pisco, lemon and egg white shaken to a frothy finish wit ha dash of angostura bitters $18
  • Coco Con Pisco - Pisco infused with pandan, frangelico, mahiki, rock melon & kaya, shaken and served in a fresh coconut.

Food wise, I tried the Inca Trail offer, four courses at a set price of $85 per person. Course one, pick a cold ceviche and causa of your choice. Course two, hot scallop cerviche alongside an anticucho of your choice. Course 3, choose a plato principal to share and course four, pineapple wedge.

theclub.com.sg/restaurant-bars/tigers-milk

 

2am Desert Bar

2am Desert Bar is the concept of Janice Wong, 2am:dessertbar’s award-winning Chef and Founder. Janice wasn;t into cooking when she was younger, but after travelling in Australia she came back with an idea - why can't people enjoy a good quality desert without having the exspense of a whole degustation? And so, the 2am Desert Bar was born.

I visitied the original bar,at Holland Drive, which opened 9 years ago. Since then the business has grown with the addition of a new 2am bar by the National Museum, and further afield in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The bar features an open concept kitchen, which affords customers a full view of the preparation and plating of its desserts and edible art and also encourages interaction between the patrons and chefs.

Recommended:

  • Shades of green - pistachio sponge, coco mousse, pandan ice cream $19
  • Tiramisu (deconstructed) - Kahlua jelly, espresso ice cream & chocolate rice krispies for crunch $18

2amdessertbar.com

 

Red Eye Smokehouse

The brains behind the operation is Chef Jan Yeo who was the brains and hands behind one of Singapore’s most famous brunch joints, Rider’s Cafe. Her passion to produce the finest smoked meats can be seen in her huge kitchen compiler with a smoking machines imported from America.

Recommended:

To begin:

  • Loaded nachos

Main course:

  • The Pitmasters Plate - Angus Brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage, with buns + pickles $38
  • The Ribs & Jerk Plate - Half slab of low & slow Pork Ribs & Jamaican jerk chicken $3

Sides:

  • Bone marrow mashed potatoes
  • Maple corn bread with honey butter

Desert:

  • Keylime Pie $7
 
 

High-end

VLV

VLV combines a stylish modern Chinese restaurant, a glamorous Club Lounge, al fresco courtyard bar and a riverfront dining area. Housed in a historic building along the riverfront, built in the 1880s, VLV Singapore is the latest crown jewel in the heart of bustling Clarke Quay.
 

Odette

Odette is a two Michelin star restaurant by Chef-Owner Julien Royer, located at the iconic National Gallery Singapore.

Odette is named after Julien's grandmother who taught him how to cook as a child and inspired his love of food.

The decor is beautiful, neutral tones which gives a modern and stylish enviroment to dine but without detracting from the main feature - the food. Odette is all about the integrity of the food prpeared and servved. A key feature is the glass-enclosed kitchen, where diners have the opportunity to witness the chefs at work.

One sitting throughout the evening means that diners never feel rushed and can enjoy the evening.

Here's the diner tasting menu that I enjoyed at Odette, 6 Acts $208

  • Hokkaido Uni - Longoustine, Mussel 'cloud' & Oscietra caviar
  • Heirloom Beetroot Variation - Salt-baked beetroot, Stracciatella 'Artigiana' & Honeycomb
  • Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg - with smoked potato, chorizo &  buckwheat
  • Confit Rainbow Trout - with charred pork collar, Miso caramel & Yuzu
  • Roasted Landes Poularde - Fregola sard comme un risotto, stuffed  and confit leg 7 Sauce Alberta
  • Choconuts - Guanaija, Peanut Toffee & Tahiti vanilla coulant

 

odetterestaurant.com


Fancy a special drink?

Nightcap Bar at B28

Located at the basement of The Club, the secluded address of B28 provided the inspiration for the name of the bar, which comprises the word “B” as in “basement” and the number “28”. B28 is also home to a collection of more than 200 different Scottish Single Malts, (ranging from $30 to $2,500 a bottle), making it one of the best-kept secrets with whisky afficianados.
B28 was Singapores first whisky bar, opening 9 years ago and is home to 300 Scottish whiskeys, rum and also small batch bourbons. It's also Singapores only live jazz bar.

Live jazz plays on Thursday's, Fridays and Saturdays from 10.30pm. A renouned jazz musician plays ocassioanlly, and when he's playing you'll need to reserve a space at least 2 weeks in advance. He plays at jazz festivals worldwide and it's a rare chance to see him perform at such an intimate venue. He plays because he loves the venue and wants to support the last remaining jazz bar in Singapore.
B28 has a real Speakeasy vibe about it, bottles of golden whisky all lined up behind it, and surrounding the room. Jazz musician and curator of the whisky menu, Nicole Duffwell introduced me to three whiskeys when I visitied:

  • BenRiach, a 20 year old Speyside whisky that's sweet and easy to drink, you taste the alcogol first, and then get the hit form the spices. Priced at around $800-$900$ a bottle.
  • Tullibardine 500 - Sherry finish, Tillibardine's story dates back to the 15th century. More spicy than the BenRiach with, as you would expect, sherry tones. Priced at around $40 a bottle.
  • Kilchoman, an Islay whiskey with peat and smokey tones. Priced at around $40-$60 a bottle.
  • Nicole duffwell jazz musician and curator of the whisky menu Tulibardine, 500 sherry finish More spicy Kilchoman Peat and smokey tones, (50/50), islay whisky

    181. HDYGG - the festive edition

    181. HDYGG - the festive edition

    180. HDYGG

    180. HDYGG