9 Places Where Singaporean Food is Done Right

So much food, so little time. . .

In a foodie paradise like Singapore, there’s no lack of places to chow down and satisfy any and all cravings. Those hankering after local food have an especially vast selection of establishments and cuisine to choose from (obviously). But which are the places that do Singaporean food right? We’ve all had the misfortune of biting into an overcooked chicken rice or gluey rojak, and we’re here to save you from that particular misadventure.

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1. Mooi Chin Place

This charming eatery has been in operation since 1935, and it holds the distinction of being the oldest Hainanese restaurant in the country. You don’t get to that age without having proven your mettle, and to this day, Mooi Chin continues to serve up reliably yummy Hainanese dishes. Expect a simple and but satisfying experience at this establishment, made manifest in the food, décor and service.

Dishes We Love: Hainanese pork chop, Deep-fried sambal pomfret coated in sambal

Book a table at Mooi Chin Place.

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Pan-Seared Hokkaido Scallop Nasi Lemak & Laksa Pesto Linguine w/ King Prawn [photos from Wild Rocket]

2. Wild Rocket

On the other end of the spectrum, there aren’t many better places to experience modern Singaporean than at Wild Rocket. Tucked away in Mt. Emily park, Chef Willin Low will take you on an elevated culinary journey that celebrates his love for his nation’s food. In his own words: “I have travelled the world and eaten some really wonderful meals, but at the end of the day, I want to come home and eat hawker food.” Although we’re pretty sure Maxwell doesn’t dish out laksa pesto linguine, his sentiment shines through in the cuisine (and pulls at our heartstrings a bit). Come for an a-la-carte meal, or sit at the concrete counter for an omakase tasting menu that Chef Low often serves personally.

Dishes We Love: Laksa Pesto Linguini w/ King Prawns, Iberico Pork Char Siew w/ Shanghai Kao Cai & Quinoa, Teh Tarik Panna Cotta

Click here for more info on Wild Rocket.

Laksa from StraitsKitchen in Grand Hyatt in Orchard, Singapore

Naan from the Indian Station at StraitsKitchen in Grand Hyatt in Orchard, Singapore

3. StraitsKitchen

If you think you need to get down and dirty to truly enjoy authentic local cuisine, think again. At the halal buffet StraitsKitchen, you’ll have unfettered access to a sumptuous spread of local delicacies. And if that still doesn’t quite seal the deal for you, then consider the comfortable environment in which you can feast on this vast assortment of tasty treats (no sweating!). Note: ‘vast assortment’ are the key words here – from Naan to Chicken Rice to Durian Ice cream, there’s something for anyone jonesin’ for a taste of Singapore.

Dishes We Love: Roti Prata, Mutton Rendang, Chicken Rice, Goreng Pisang

Book a table at StraitsKitchen.

Image of the Chilli Crab at JUMBO Seafood in Dempsey, Singapore

Image of the Bamboo Clams at JUMBO Seafood in Dempsey, Singapore

4. JUMBO Seafood

For those looking to get their Chilli Crab fix, JUMBO Seafood delivers the goods, and more. A household name in Singapore, this establishment specialises in Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab, two of its most popular dishes. Its much vaunted Chilli Crab is well known for being infused with more than 10 spices, which add an oomph to the taste that Chilli Crab fans will greatly appreciate. Book far in advance, as seats fill up quickly in this beloved haunt.

Dishes We Love: Chilli Crab, Black Pepper Crab

Book a table at JUMBO Seafood @ Dempsey.

If you would like to make a booking at other outlets, click here.

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5. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

No Singaporean food list is complete without a Bak Kut Teh joint, and we think Song Fa doesn’t always get the love it deserves. With several central locations now – our favorite being Chinatown Point –  enjoy a cozy atmosphere perfect for peppery bone soup filled with those chunks of garlic that launch’d a thousand ships (or was it the youtiao?). Song Fa delivers a nuanced flavor, tender meat, and a menu of braised dishes that compliment the meal well. We could jia tang all night long until our bellies overflow with one of our all-time favorite comfort foods.

Dishes We Love: Pork Ribs Soup, Braised Chicken Feet, Braised Tofu

Click here for more info on Song Fa Bak Kut Teh.

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6. The Peranakan

Feast your eyes on the intricate cuisine and décor at The Peranakan, a definite go-to place for appetising and authentic Peranakan cuisine. The restaurant, which recently opened its doors at Claymore Connect, arranges its food to aesthetic perfection, earning bonus points for presentation. And the fact that it serves a drool-worthy Buah Keluak Ayam just makes us love the place even more. For an all around enjoyable dining experience, The Peranakan is the way to go!

Dishes We Love: Buah Keluak Ayam, Glutinous Rice with Durian

Book a table at The Peranakan.

Satay from from National Kitchen by Violet Oon in City Hall, Singapore

Chendol with Coconut Ice Cream from National Kitchen by Violet Oon in City Hall, Singapore

7. National Kitchen by Violet Oon (National Gallery)

Located at National Gallery, National Kitchen by Violet Oon boasts the additional distinction of being run by one of Singapore’s most respected figures in the local food scene. It goes without saying that the food is of a quality that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Do make it a point to order the Fish Head Curry and the Hakka Abacus Beads. If you fancy a Western twist, dig into the Buah Keluak Noodles, a perfect marriage between pasta and traditional Peranakan flavours.

Dishes We Love: Fish Head Curry, Hakka Abacus Beads, Daging Chabek Beef Cheek, Kueh Beng Kah

Book a table at National Kitchen by Violet Oon (National Gallery).

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8. Spize

Take your pick from a comprehensive menu of local dishes at Spize, a Muslim restaurant that holds a special place in the hearts of many Singaporeans. From steaming dishes of yummy Hokkien Mee to fragrant servings of Nestum Prawns, there’s much to love about this establishment. Note that Western dishes are also available, but the focus is largely on affordable local food, and for this we are eternally grateful.

Dishes We Love: Hokkien Mee, Chili Crayfish Mee, Nestum Prawns, Nasi Goreng Sambal Seafood

Book a table at Spize (Rifle Range).

If you would like to make a booking at other outlets, click here.

Curry from The Tiong Bahru Club in Tiong Bahru, Singapore

9. The Tiong Bahru Club

Try not to drool at the diverse selection of dishes on offer at The Tiong Bahru Club, a beautiful, heritage-style bistro which serves Eurasian food on top of the usual local fare. The Club Devil’s Curry is a specialty and for those who have had little exposure to Eurasian food, The Tiong Bahru Club provides a golden opportunity to help yourselves to generous servings of the good stuff.

Dishes We Love: Satay, Club Devil’s Curry, Club Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls

Book a table at The Tiong Bahru Club.

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