This is as personal as you can get – a handful of my favourite restaurants in Singapore, and it’s an eclectic mix.
I lived in Asia a few years ago, and one of the highlights in this colourful part of the world is the food.
Singapore is currently leading the way in the Asian bar and food scene – followed closely by Hong Kong. Subsequently there are so many amazing places to eat and have an amazing night out there, you can easily fill a five night stay.
I have to preface this story with my personal view that the best meals in any Asian city are in the back alleys out of the woks on the street. To me, that’s REAL Asian. Have no fear, just eat – and don’t ask too many questions about what it is you are actually eating.
I love hawker food, as to me, it represents the true flavours of Asia. Nevertheless, I know a lot of tourists want the amazing air conditioned restaurant meals, and here they are – but they come with a warning, alcohol in Singapore is expensive, even by Sydney standards. So drink slowly.
Salt Grill & Sky Bar By Luke Mangan
I’ve always liked Sydney boy Luke Mangan’s restaurants, as they have a chilled but sexy Australian vibe, and serve the very best produce cooked creatively, and the entertainment factor of the presentation always matches the stunning flavours.
Salt Grill & Sky Bar is seriously sexy and the best of his restaurants I’ve been to so far.
Perched at the top of the Ion building on Orchard, the 360 degree views across Singapore seen through floor to ceiling windows are jaw dropping, as is the towering ceiling height, and the romance of this beautiful, upmarket, world class restaurant.
To me, the menu is Australian with an American influence, with the best global produce from Irish oysters bursting with salty flavour to American wagyu beef rippled with just enough fat. There is juicy, sweet, Aussie lamb and even fresh, tender Tasmanian salmon.
It is modern western fare at its best, and every mouthful is packed with Mangan’s passion and poise. I can totally understand why couples want to get married here, as it is an incredible experience and a true journey of the senses. Even the toilets have their own incredible views.
This is absolute perfection – but book.
And don’t miss the amazing elevators on the way up – and down. Not to give too much away, but they provide a meditational experience I have never seen before as the lift climbs gently into the clouds. Just amazing.
See more here:
Adrift by David Myers, Marina Bay Sands: If there is anyone famous in town, they will be here.
Marina Bay Sands is for many, the highlight of a visit to Singapore. This three tower hotel has a huge upmarket shopping centre underneath packed with some of Singapore’s best shops as well as restaurants.
Many credit Marina Bay Sands as kick-starting the country’s rise to success in the culinary stakes, as they were the first to attract the global names who now, just keep coming.
The one that has had the most fanfare is Adrift, a creation by American Michelin starred chef David Myers, being hailed as the world’s most exciting chef and restauranteur right now.
Myers is an energetic, creative dynamo who seems more artist then chef, and flits around the world building his global empire both online and in the flesh. Having met him, he is a man in love with his craft.
He has a much talked about passion for Asia, particularly Japan, and thankfully elements of Japanese food appear in many of his dishes.
The menu at Adrift has an eclectic range of gorgeous small plates that match perfectly with the incredible cocktails ( and wines) – most of which are not even on the menu and made to order for each diner.
The highlights the night I ate there included delicate ocean trout teamed with smoked ponzu, pleasantly drowning in ginger and sesame oil, ( which was heaven, but Myers said he was still awaiting delivery of even better sesame oil to take it to the next level).
There was king crab melt and bread and butter pickles, a dish Myers has become famous for, tender roasted young chicken with refreshing lemon miso paste and burnt citrus, and rich charcoal and black beer battered cod with bottarga aioli and horseradish slaw.
One of Myer’s trademarks is texture in his dishes, followed closely by contrasting flavours. Together they blend to provide an unexpected menu of surprises with many contradictory flavours.
If you’re lucky, David may even be in the kitchen. And don’t miss the cocktails here – some of Singapore’s very best.
Book Adrift by David Myers here.
Osteria Mozza: A super sexy, sophisticated Italian restaurant one side, pizza bar on the other. Brilliant Italian food & wine.
I must admit I have become slightly obsessed with this Italian restaurant founded by LA star chef Mario Batali and Nancy Silverton.
The produce is fresh, and beautifully presented and cooked, and I just adore sitting at the marble bar solo with a great glass of wine and a gorgeous salad chatting to anyone who pulls up a chair.
My children have dined there with me too, and they love it equally, although it is rather grown up.
My favourite dishes include Barrata, fresh salads, divine pastas, and fish and meat – what you would expect at a high end Italian restaurant, but the quality and the bend of flavours is as good as you will find anywhere. A broad global wine list tops off a stunning night out.
The pizza restaurant next door has some of the best pizzas anywhere, super thin and flavoursome. It is very family friendly. I even bought the Mozza Cookbook, just to have at home as a reminder of my many great nights here over the years. Gorgeous.
Read more here.
Spago Dining Room By Wolfgang Puck, Marina Bay Sands Roof Top: Where the trendiest hang out
The alfresco bar here feels a little like the new Raffles Long Bar of Singapore. The black and white chequered floor, and the black cane high chairs, and square bar where singles flirt 360 degrees make for a great start to any night out.
The attentive bar staff too give it a touch of the famous Raffles Long Bar and a whole lot of influence from California where Wolfgang Puck first opened Spago in 1982 in West Hollywood.
The best part is that this is all on the roof of Marina Bay Sands, floor 57, so it is open air, but protected if it rains.
The restaurant, Spago Dining Room By Wolfgang Puck however, is inside and super swish. Dress up to dine here.
Spago has a cult following in California, where Puck relocated his first restaurant to Beverley Hills to critical acclaim, including two Michelin stars.
In Singapore, it is absolute fine dining, and the first Spago in Asia.
It is in a luxury, setting, again with an American feel, and neutral interiors of white Santa Monica style shutters, cream, olive, glassware galore, soft lights, overhead timber fans, a gold ceiling and fresh flowers – with prices to match.
The western food is Californian and flawless, and surely heading for a Michelin star, if small in portions. The wine list is as you would expect – global, diverse and impressive.
I’ve been once and loved it, and you should go to, but I wouldn’t rush back as there are so many other restaurants offering better value for money in this fabulous city. The bar however, is one of my all time favourites.
Coriander Leaf Grill; See how the ex-pats party – and eat.
This is a great spot to see how the Singapore ex-pats live, eat and party on the weekends.
The street in front of this relaxed restaurant in the heart of Ann Siang shuts down on weekends, so tables can be assembled on the road, and people can just generally party. The venue itself is spread over five floors, with the restaurant on the ground.
The menu at Coriander Leaf Grill is western, with charcoaled meats a big feature from USA prime rib to baby lamb chops and Kingfish.
There are amazing healthy, light very creative dishes such as smooth, rich,cauliflower soup, fresh burrata spiced lentil salad, watermelon and turkish cheese salad and gorgeous decadent desserts including watermelon granita, lychees, and basil seeds moscato.
This is great place to eat late – as supper is available until 1am and there is a brilliant rooftop bar upstairs with fun cocktails.
PO in The Warehouse Hotel; For Hawker food in upmarket, air conditioned comfort.
This restaurant represents the changing face and modernisation of the best of traditional, Singaporean food.
Po is a brilliant place to try some local street style food in air conditioned comfort with the safety of knowing everything is fresh but cooked in a real kitchen, rather than a wok on the street.
Po, the name, pays homage to Singaporean grandmothers (traditionally called Po in Mandarin), as well as to the humble popiah, a famous and delicious dish of “make your own” spring rolls.
The food is fresh, light and flavoursome – some of the best ‘real’ Singaporean food you will find in Singapore.
From barramundi salad with tangy Singaporean carpaccio to paper chicken, Popiah, char grilled iberico satay, herbal pork bone broth, and spicy tamarind barramundi tail there is too much on this menu that is too good.
Its frustrating not to be able to try a little of everything.
A sensationally modern and creative cocktail list goes with the food, each section reflecting the different uses of the building in which Po sits, from a former spice house to a night club and now hotel.
The interiors are pastel and calming, and the service is relaxed. I can’t wait to go back to try all of the things I couldn’t fit in on the first visit.
Jumbo Seafood, Dempsey Hill: The best pepper crab in the world, no frills.
There is nothing glamorous about this super casual restaurant in trendy Dempsey Hill, about 5 minutes from Orchard Road, but you will eat the best crab here you’ve ever had in you life.
There are two flavours – either Chilli Crab or Pepper Crab. I am a huge chilli fan, but the chilli here comes with the bright red tomato-sauce like chilli sauce which for me, wrecks it. The black pepper on the other hand is mind blowing.
The crabs are pulled live out of tanks, so you can’t get fresher, and the sautéed green vegetables make it a sensational meal.
Don’t be shy, wear a big white bib and get stuck in. This is real fun, but little glamour. Definitely not first date material.
You can read more about Jumbo here.