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10 Must-Go Places To Eat Like a Local in Singapore

You’ll never run out of food options in Singapore.

Henry Miller once wrote: “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” There is no better time to experience such a divine awareness of life than when tucking into good food when travelling in Singapore. 

A gastronomic paradise, bar none, Singapore’s food scene is simply heavenly, whether you’re surrounded by locals queuing for an aromatic plate of succulently steamed chicken rice, or savouring dainty morsels of dim sum at 2:00 am. It’s not surprising then, that the world’s cheapest Michelin-star meal is found here.

In this article, the foodies at PARKROYAL Beach Road suss out the Garden City’s best food experiences. Read on to find out where we locals flock to satisfy our culinary cravings.

1. Michelin-Star Dining in Singapore

New Ubin Seafood
63 Hillview Avenue, Level 6 (Canteen)
Singapore 669569
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:00am to 3:00pm, 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Mondays: 5:30am to 10:00pm
Phone number: +65 6466 9558

Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle
78 Smith Street, Singapore 058972
Opening hours: 10:00am to 8:00pm, daily except Wednesday

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles
Tai Hwa Eating House
466 Crawford Lane, #01-12, Singapore 190465
Opening hours: 9:30am to 9:00pm daily
Phone number: +65 6292 7477

52 Boat Quay #05-01/#06-01
Singapore 049841
Opening hours: Monday and Saturday: 5:00pm to 12:00am
Tuesday to Friday: 12:00pm to 2:00pm and 5:00pm to 12:00am
Closed on Sundays
Phone number: +65 6866 1933

In 2017, the Michelin Guide bestowed the Bib Gourmand Award to some 38 food establishments in Singapore. The Bib Gourmand is awarded to food establishments that offer high quality food at reasonable prices – a meal can’t cost more than $45 – so you won’t be paying an arm and a leg here.

Receiving a nod from the Bib Gourmand list is New Ubin Seafood. An established food haunt with humble beginnings, it started in a home kitchen offering mouthwatering kampong-style seafood on the rustic island of Pulau Ubin off the eastern waters of Singapore. Now located in an industrial building at Hillview Avenue, this zi char ("cooked food" in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect) restaurant continues to whip up wok-fried delicacies like Sri Lankan chili crab, salted egg yolk squid, and delectable western staples such as the Black Angus rib eye steak.

A trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without a taste of its national dish – the humble yet unmistakable chicken rice. At Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, you’ll be able to savour a Cantonese twist to the dish, while checking off “Eat the world's cheapest Michelin-star meal” from your bucket list. It’s one of only two hawker stalls in Singapore to be bestowed with a Michelin star; the other is the equally queue-worthy Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles.

For more upscale dining options, try Braci, a new entrant to the Michelin Guide Singapore 2017. Braci is an unpretentious Italian restaurant occupying the top floor of a restored shophouse along the Singapore River. With only space for 20 people, the Braci experience is akin to being a guest in someone’s kitchen, where you can interact with the chefs while viewing how your meal is being cooked and put together.

Game for something hot and spicy? Offering an experience that is akin to a Michelin-starred restaurant, Si Chuan Dou Hua is well known for its authentic and out-of-this-world spicy Sichuan cuisine. For chilli-lovers, don’t miss out on the Chong Qing Diced Chicken with Dried Chilli; it promises to raise your capsaicin tolerance levels to new astronomic heights. Other notable dishes here are its Ma Po Tofu (spicy fried tofu with minced meat concoction) and Sichuan Dan Dan Noodle.

Get directions to New Ubin Seafood

Get directions to Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle

Get directions to Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodles

Get directions to Braci

2. Best Hawker Food in Singapore

Address: Tiong Bahru Market
Seng Poh Road
Singapore 168898

Opening hours:
Hours vary, but most stalls open early in the morning till after lunchtime.

Tiong Bahru Market is one of Singapore’s first modern markets to be established within a housing area. Its name “Tiong Bahru” has become synonymous with good food. If you’re able to visit only one major hawker centre in Singapore, make it a trip to Tiong Bahru.

Once you’re here, zoom in on the following stalls: Jian Bo Shui Kueh (#02-05), serving shui kueh that is also known as chwee kueh, a steamed rice cake with savoury preserved radish toppings; Min Nan Prawn Noodle (#02-31), Tiong Bahru Char Kway Teow (#02-11), a fragrant stir-fried flat rice noodles, and Kim Fa Fish Ball Minced Meat Noodles (#02-64). These stalls are easy to spot as they attract a constant line of fans like nectar to bees.

While Tiong Bahru estate attracts visitors with its decidedly hipster vibe, filled with art cafes, indie bookstores, and designer boutiques, the hawker centre continues to cater to folks who live in the neighbourhood. Hence, it’s not surprising to find locals and tourists here at all times of the day, travelling from far-flung corners of the island (or globe) to indulge in their favourite local delights.

Get directions to Tiong Bahru Market

3. Best Cafes and Desserts in Singapore

120 Desker Road, Singapore 209639
Opening hours: 12 noon to 10.30 pm daily
Closed Mondays
Phone number: +65 6291 6996

Ciel Patisserie
124 Hougang Avenue 1 #01-1444
Singapore 530124
Opening hours: Tuesday to Thursday: 11:00am to 8:00pm
Friday to Saturday: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday: 3:00pm to 9:00pm
Closed Mondays
Phone number: +65 6383 0803

Listed on Tatler Singapore’s Best Restaurants for 2017 and 2018, CreatureS has carved a cosy niche for itself on the Singapore cafe scene. Diners are beguiled by its intimate ambience, impeccable service, and unique Asian fusion dishes – well-executed both in taste and design. Try the signature Laksa (spicy noodle soup with prawns and coconut curry) and the Miso Cod and Ulam Onigiri. For dessert, go for the famous Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake or the Signature Dark Chocolate Cake.

For light and fluffy artisan cakes, head to Ciel Patisserie. Tucked away in the Hougang heartlands, this charming artisanal bakery is probably one of Singapore’s best-kept secrets. The hot favourites here are the Lemon Meringue Tart and Strawberry Shortcake; the Bombe, a dark chocolate mousse concoction with blueberries, is also to die for.

Get directions to CreatureS

Get directions to Ciel Patisserie

4. Singapore’s Best Supper and 24-Hour Eating Places

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
191 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208882
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 11:00am to 2:30pm and 6:00pm to 6:00am
(Sundays and Public Holidays) 10:00am to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 6:00am
Phone number: +65 6225 7788

Mr Prata
26 Evans Rd #01-02
Singapore 259367
Opening hours: Open 24 hours daily
Phone number: +65 6235 6993

Feeling peckish at midnight? Head to Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant, one of Singapore’s most popular supper haunts. The words “dim sum” mean “touch your heart,” and a leisurely dim sum meal, where you sample small portions of Cantonese food, is one of Singaporeans’ favourite national pastimes. According to popular food blogger Daniel’s Food Diary, the must-tries here are the Steamed Salted Egg Custard Bun, the humble siew mai (steamed dumplings), and the Portuguese Egg Tart.

Another supper option you can’t go wrong with is Mr Prata, located near the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Serving popular local Indian dishes such as roti prata and murtabak (a flat bread filled with savoury ingredients such as mutton or chicken), it’s easy to get to, and you can always walk off the calories after.  

Get directions to Mr Prata

Get directions to Swee Choon Tim Sum

Other Singapore Guides To Explore

date ideas in singapore
mothers day singapore
hospitality and tourism singapore

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