With travel being so accessible these days, the world has gotten a lot smaller. People are racing to visit every country in the world. As exciting as that sounds, I think Ren and I are a little too old for that. We just have a few more destinations we’d like to cross off our bucket lists, then after that, we’re perfectly content visiting the same countries again and again.
Unsurprisingly, our short list of favorite countries is shaped largely by food. Japan is there. So is Thailand. I’m sure Spain and Portugal will be on that list as well, after we finally make that trip later this year. And of course, Singapore is close to the top of that list.
I was in Singapore just last year but Ren and I are already plotting our next trip back. This island nation may be small, but it isn’t lacking in great food. Inch for inch, it’s one of the most delicious destinations we’ve been to so far. It’s defined by a wide spectrum of food choices ranging from cheap but legendary hawker stall meals to trendy envelope-pushing dining concepts.
If you’re visiting Singapore and looking for restaurant recommendations – like where to find the best laksa, the most succulent chicken rice, the best Peranakan food, or the most desperately delicious bone marrow dish – then you’ve come to the right place.
Get ready to eat some shiok food lah!
1. Ya Kun Kaya Toast
As its name suggests, Ya Kun Kaya Toast specializes in kaya toast, a popular breakfast dish or snack that’s prepared by spreading kaya — a jam made with coconut, eggs, and sugar — between charcoal-grilled or toasted slices of bread. It’s served with either coffee or tea and is usually accompanied by two soft-boiled eggs sprinkled with a bit of dark soy sauce and white pepper. You stir the eggs into a rich sludge and use it as a dipping sauce for the kaya toast.
Ya Kun Kaya Toast is one of many popular chains known for kaya toast in Singapore. We went to their outlet at Ang Mo Kio MRT station en route to Singapore Zoo. If you plan on going to the zoo, then this is a great place to have breakfast and try this dish. I had the traditional Kaya Butter Toast Set while Ren went for the Kaya Peanut Steamed Bread Set. Both were excellent.
Ya Kun Kaya Toast
Address: Ya Kun Kaya Toast has over 40 outlets in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 4.80 per kaya toast set
2. Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata
This mouthful of a stall called Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata is known for another popular breakfast dish or snack called roti prata. Known as parotta in Southern India and roti canai in Malaysia, it’s a fried flour-based pancake cooked over a grill and served with a curry dipping sauce. It can be served plain or filled with sweet/savory ingredients like cheese, onion, banana, mushroom, and egg.
Pictured below is a plate of crisp and chewy butter roti. It was slathered with butter and sugar so it had a good balance of sweet and savory when dipped into the curry sauce.
Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata wasn’t actually our first choice for roti prata. The stall we wanted — Prata Saga Sambal Berlada — was closed for Ramadan but we were lucky to find this one just a few steps away. We ate at Tekka Centre food court a few times and this stall always had a long queue of people waiting for its roti. That’s always a good sign in Singapore.
Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-248, Singapore 210665
Operating Hours: 7AM-10PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What We Paid: SGD 2 per butter roti prata
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-248.
3. Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Jian Bo Shui Kueh specializes in one of the most interesting dishes we’ve had so far in Singapore. Chwee kueh is a type of steamed rice cake topped with diced preserved radish and served with a side of chili sauce. The texture of the rice cake is similar to Filipino maja blanca except it’s silkier and not as dense. The kueh itself is good — it’s soft and mildly sweet — but the preserved radish topping is what really makes this dish sing. It’s hard to describe because it’s unlike anything we’ve ever had, but it has a strong sweet/savory flavor that’s loaded with umami. Mix it with the hot chili sauce for the ultimate flavor bomb.
Located inside historic Tiong Bahru Market, many Singaporean bloggers agree that Jian Bo makes some of the best chwee kueh in Singapore. That isn’t surprising considering they’ve been selling chwee kueh, and only chwee kueh, for over 50 years! When we were there, there was an endless stream of people getting packets of chwee kueh for takeaway.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh
Address: Tiong Bahru Market, Seng Poh Rd, 30号 #02-05 邮政编码, Singapore 168898
Operating Hours: 6:30AM-9PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 8 for 10 pcs
How to Get There: Take the subway to Tiong Bahru MRT station. Head east on Tiong Bahru Rd toward Jln Membina. Turn right on Kim Pong Rd. Turn left on Lim Liak St. Turn right on Kim Cheng St. Turn left on Seng Poh Rd and Tiong Bahru Market will be on your left. Look for stall #02-5 on the second floor.
4. 1A Crispy Puffs
1A Crispy Puffs is known for these tasty empanada-like snacks called curry puffs. Enjoyed throughout Southeast Asia, they’re basically small, half-circle shaped pies stuffed with a variety of ingredients like chicken curry and potatoes, beef rendang, and chili crab in a deep-fried or baked pastry shell.
Here’s a classic chicken curry puff with egg. With all the good food to be had in Singapore, I wasn’t as excited to try Singaporean curry puffs because I’ve never been a fan of the thick pastry shell of Filipino empanadas. I assumed that all Asian puffs would be like that but this one was clearly different. It was crisp but still light and delicate. It was delicious. We had the chili crab as well (filled with crab stick) and that was even tastier.
I learned about 1A Crsipy Puffs from popular Singapore travel food blog sethlui.com. We went to their stall at the Takashimaya Shopping Centre food court on Orchard Road. Cited by sethlui.com as one of the best curry puffs in Singapore, we tried a few others during this trip and we did find theirs to be the most delicious. The difference, for us, was in the pastry shell.
1A Crispy Puffs
Address: 1A Crispy Puffs has several branches in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 1.50 per crispy curry potato & chicken puff with egg
5. Singapore Zam Zam
If you like roti prata, then chances are you’ll enjoy murtabak as well. Originally from Yemen, it’s basically roti prata stuffed with egg, onion, and your choice of meat before being crisped to a golden brown. Pictured below is a plate of mutton murtabak from the legendary Singapore Zam Zam, a heritage restaurant that’s been around since 1908. That’s well over a hundred years!
As described, Singapore Zam Zam is an institution in Singapore and one of the best places to try murtabak. If you look through the window below, you’ll see one of the shop’s murtabak-making maestros transforming balls of dough into delicious parcels of murtabak.
Singapore Zam Zam
Address: 697-699 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198675
Operating Hours: 7AM-11PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 5 per small mutton murtabak
How to Get There: Take the subway to Bugis MRT station. Head northeast on Victoria St toward Ophir Rd. Turn right onto Arab St. Singapore Zam Zam will be on your left on the opposite side of Sultan Mosque.
6. Nasi Lemak Kukus
Ren and I LOVE nasi lemak. It’s a dish of Malaysian origin that’s typically eaten for breakfast but often enjoyed throughout the day. It’s one of the most flavorful dishes I’ve ever eaten.
Strictly speaking, the term nasi lemak refers to the fragrant rice which is cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It’s served with a spicy sambal along with a variety of garnishes like fresh cucumber slices, ikan bilis (small fried anchovies), roasted peanuts, and hard-boiled or fried egg. When eaten as a more substantial meal, like for lunch or dinner, it’s accompanied by heavier proteins like ayam goreng (fried chicken), sambal sotong (cuttlefish in chili), or small fried fish.
Served with a piece of fried chicken and some really hot sambal is how I like to roll. When paired with all the sides, the combination of flavors and textures is incredible. I could eat this everyday.
We were planning on having breakfast at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak — said to serve some of the best nasi lemak in Singapore — but the Adam Road Food Centre was closed that morning. Thankfully, Ren found this place just a few minutes’ walk from our hotel in Little India. Their chicken wing set was delicious.
Nasi Lemak Kukus is on popular food blogger Dr. Leslie Tay’s Must Try List. He gives their nasi lemak a solid 4.5/5 rating.
Nasi Lemak Kukus
Address: 229 Selegie Rd, Singapore
Operating Hours: 11:30AM-8PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What We Paid: SGD 4 per signature chicken wing set
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Head southeast on Sungei Rd toward Serangoon Rd. Turn left on Serangoon Rd. This will become Selegie Rd. Nasi Lemak Kukus will be on your right.
7. Bali Nasi Lemak
As described, I lobe nasi lemak so it’s a dish I need to have on every return visit to Singapore. On my most recent trip, I had it at Bali Nasi Lemak, a place we learned about from KF Seetoh and Makansutra.
As you can see below, their fried chicken is different from the chicken at Nasi Lemak Kukus. They’re known for their kecap manis fried chicken which is tossed in a sweet and savory dark sauce. It was pretty good too, though I think I preferred the offerings at Nasi Lemak Kukus.
I read that the owner of Bali Nasi Lemak is the younger sister of the owner of the famous Ponggol Nasi Lemak chain. It looks like making good nasi lemak runs in the family so we’ll definitely be trying Ponggol Nasi Lemak on our next trip to Singapore.
Bali Nasi Lemak
Address: 2 Lor 15 Geylang, Singapore 388596
Operating Hours: 5:30PM-4AM, Mon-Sat (closed on Sundays)
What We Paid: SGD 9.50
How to Get There: Take the subway to Aljunied MRT station. Head south on Aljunied Rd then make a right on Geylang Rd. Walk straight then make a right on Lor 15 Geylang. Bali Nasi Lemak will be on your right.
8. Sungei Road Laksa
Laksa is one of Singapore’s most beloved dishes and popular heritage stall Sungei Road Laksa is known for making some of the city’s best. If you’ve never had it, laksa is a spicy noodle soup of Peranakan origin consisting of rice noodles or vermicelli made with chicken, prawn, or fish. It’s soup can be based on either a rich and savory coconut milk, a fresh and sour asam (tamarind, gelugur or kokum), or a combination of the two. In Singapore, the most popular version is the coconut-based curry laksa, which is the version I prefer.
The laksa at this place was absolutely delicious. I read that Sungei Road Laksa is one of the last remaining places to use a charcoal burner for making their laksa. The curry is creamy and fairly mild at first, until you mix in that dollop of spicy sambal which really kicks it up a notch. Topped with slivers of fish cake, blood cockles, and some Vietnamese coriander, this is one of the best bowls of laksa I’ve ever had.
I enjoyed their laksa so much that I tried to have another bowl on my most recent trip to Singapore. Unfortunately, they were away on holiday that day. Boo!
There are many popular laksa stalls in Singapore and everyone seems to have their favorite. Even the Grab driver who took us here had his own suggestion. We chose Sungei Road Laksa on the strength of KF Seetoh’s recommendation to CNN Travel. After all, they’ve been serving this same bowl of curry laksa for over 40 years!
Legend has it that the secret recipe was given to them by a mysterious customer who wanted to help their struggling food cart business. Customers started pouring in soon after that, and this benevolent customer was never to be seen or heard from again. Heavenly laksa indeed!
Sungei Road Laksa
Address: #01, 27 Jln Berseh, 100, Singapore 200027
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-5PM, Thurs-Tues (closed on Wednesdays)
What We Paid: SGD 3 per bowl of laksa
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head southwest on Kallang Rd toward Kallang Walk. This will become Victoria St. Turn right onto Jln Sultan. This will become Syed Alwi Rd. Turn left on Jln Berseh. Sungei Road Laksa will be in a food court on Jln Berseh.
9. Ng Ah Sio
Ng Ah Sio is known for their bak kut teh, another popular dish in Singapore. Its name literally translates to “meat bone tea”, though no tea is actually used to make this dish. Instead, the name refers to a strong oolong Chinese tea which is usually served with the soup to help wash down the fat.
Based on the way bak kut teh is described, it sounds like a comforting dish to many Singaporeans, something they can’t go too long without. We enjoyed ours with a bowl of rice and a side of braised mushrooms.
Many local bloggers, including sethlui.com and Dr. Leslie Tay, recommended Ng Ah Sio as a great place to try bak kut teh. They opened on Rangoon Road in 1977 and now have four branches in Singapore.
If you’d like to purchase meal vouchers in advance, then you can do so through Klook. They offer vouchers to the Ng Ah Sio branches on Rangoon Road and the Chui Huay Lim Club.
Ng Ah Sio
Address: Ng Ah Sio has four branches in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 8 for the signature spare ribs / pork ribs combo with soup
10. Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice
As Dr. Leslie Tay puts it: “When you talk about braised duck, this is the one stall that is a bit of a legend in Singapore.” It isn’t hard to understand why since the old man behind Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice has been selling braised duck for over 60 years!
This dish was delicious. The sauce was really tasty and the meats juicy and flavorful. Everything on this platter was fantastic but my favorite part was the pig face. If you’ve never had it, pork face has a unique texture that’s a little chewy and gummy but with snap. I love it.
The old man who started this stall is now retired, but he’s turned over the reins to the family’s younger generations to keep the tradition alive.
Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice
Address: Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Rd, Singapore 210665
Operating Hours: 8AM-3PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What We Paid: SGD 6 per order
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-335.
11. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
You’ve heard of Hawker Chan right? The street food stall that was awarded a Michelin star in 2016? Well, what many people don’t know is that two hawker stalls were awarded Michelin stars that year, the other being Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle. I think Hawker Chan got all the press because they were cheaper so it made for a better story.
In any case, most of the hawker stalls we went to are popular so as expected, many had long queues. This legendary noodle shop on Crawford Lane had the longest by a mile. I waited over an hour to get this bowl of bak chor mee, which is a vinegar and spicy sambal pork noodle dish made even more delicious with lard.
Served dry with a light broth on the side, the bak chor mee was topped with a myriad of ingredients like thin pork slices, meatballs, liver, dumplings, minced pork, and a sun-dried sliver of fish. All the toppings were wonderful and added much texture and flavor to the dish, but what makes this bowl of noodles really sing is the vinegar. It gives it a uniquely tangy and spicy flavor that’s unlike anything we’ve ever had. It was delicious and definitely worth the wait.
I wasn’t kidding about the line. Though it may not look very long, it moved at a turtle’s pace but no one seemed to mind. We ate here before they were awarded a Michelin Star so I can only imagine how long the lines must be now. Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle is a heritage stall that’s been open since 1935.
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Address: 66 Crawford Ln, #01-12, Singapore 190466
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-9PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What We Paid: SGD 6 per bowl of bak chor mee
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head northeast on Kallang Rd. Turn right on Crawford St. Turn right on North Bridge Rd. Turn right on Crawford Lane and the food court will be on your right.
12. Five Star Hainanese Cuisine
Five Star specializes in Hainanese chicken rice, which is one of Singapore’s core dishes. You can’t visit this country without trying it at least once.
Hainanese chicken rice is prepared by poaching whole chickens at sub-boiling temperatures. The resulting stock is then skimmed off while some of the fat and liquid, along with ginger and garlic, is used to cook the rice. The result is an oily, flavorful rice sometimes known as “oily rice”.
Hainanese chicken looks colorless and bland but it’s actually very tasty. Served with a trio of dipping sauces that include pureed ginger, kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), and chili sauce, it’s an unexpected explosion of flavor that’s become one of my favorite dishes.
Five Star uses kampong chicken which is a breed native to Indonesia and Malaysia.
It seems that every Singaporean has their favorite Hainanese Chicken place. We went to Five Star based on my friend’s recommendation. He’s been living in Singapore for many years and he loves to eat so I trust his judgement. He was right. The Hainanese chicken rice here was delicious.
Five Star Hainanese Cuisine
Address: 419 River Valley Rd, Singapore 248318
Operating Hours: 11AM-2AM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 16 for the five star kampong chicken (half order)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Orchard MRT station. Head southwest on Paterson Rd. This will become Paterson Hill. Turn right on Grange Rd then make an immediate left on Hoot Kiam Rd. Turn right on River Valley Road and Five Star Hainanese Cuisine will be on your left.
13. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Like many people, Ren and I are fans of the late great Anthony Bourdain. Any place he features instantly goes on our itinerary. Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of those places. According to him, the rice at Tian Tian is exceptionally fragrant and flavorsome, and is delicious even on its own.
We’ve had Hainanese chicken rice many times before and this was indeed one of the best I’ve ever had. I enjoyed it even more than Five Star. Apart from the flavorful rice, the owners say their secret is in the sauce (which was indeed very tasty), but what I remember most was the texture of the chicken. It was perfect – soft, succulent, and very juicy.
Open since 1987, Tian Tian has become one of Singapore’s most famous chicken rice stalls. It’s a Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee and beloved by both locals and tourists alike. In 2013, Chef Gordon Ramsay challenged Tian Tian to a culinary showdown to see who could make the better chicken rice. Tian Tian won.
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, #01-10/11 Maxwell Food Centre, Singapore 069184
Operating Hours: 10AM-5:30PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 3.50 per plate of chicken rice (small)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Chinatown MRT station. Walk east on Cross St then make a right on South Bridge Rd. Walk straight and Maxwell Food Centre will be on your left.
14. 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles
Also known as hae mee or Hokkien mee, prawn mee is another noodle soup dish that’s popular in Singapore. 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles is said to serve some of the best prawn mee in the city. According to Dr. Tay, the owner is a third generation hawker whose grandfather started selling prawn mee from a pushcart in the 1920s.
Prawn mee consists of egg noodles served in a dark, flavorful soup stock with prawns, pork slices, fish cake, and bean sprouts. It’s topped with fried shallots and spring onions and is usually served with chopped red chilis in a light soy sauce with lime.
You can choose between a dry and a soup version. Dr. Leslie Tay recommended both but we went with the latter based on his slightly higher rating. (4.25 vs 4.5) The soup was bold and delicious with a deeply flavorful broth that tasted heavily of prawn.
Like Fatimah Stall Ar Rahman Royal Prata and Heng Gi Goose and Duck Rice, 545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles is located at Tekka Centre food court in Little India.
545 Whampoa Prawn Noodles
Address: 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-326 Tekka Food Centre, Singapore 210665
Operating Hours: 6:30AM-2PM, Mon-Fri (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
What We Paid: SGD 3 per bowl of prawn mee soup
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-326.
15. Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings
We chanced upon Huat Huat and their bbq chicken wings at the Rasapura Masters food court in Marina Bay Sands. They were delicious so I wanted to add them to this list as a non-local dish you may want to try in Singapore. Only when I saw this list of the best bbq chicken wings in the city did I learn that they were actual Singaporean hawker fare! Coolness!
Unlike the wings I’m accustomed to, the skin on these bbq chicken wings are crisp but delicately thin. Paper thin in fact. It feels like it was stretched taut over the wing and crisped! There’s no heavy batter or thick sauce, just flavorful marinated chicken wings cooked over charcoal and served with lime juice and a spicy chili sauce. They’re really, really good and highly addictive.
As described, we ate at the Rasapura Masters food court branch but Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings has several outlets throughout the city.
Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings
Address: Huat Huat has a few branches in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 6.60 for 3 pcs
16. Red House Seafood Restaurant
Often referred to as the country’s national dish, chili crab is synonymous with Singapore and is considered one of its greatest culinary inventions. It’s probably the country’s single most important dish.
Chili crab is prepared by stir-frying crabs — commonly mud crabs — in a thick, tomato- and chili-based sauce. Egg is often added to make the sauce thicker and richer. Despite its name, chili crabs aren’t very spicy at all. They taste sweet and tangy with just a hint of spiciness.
If you were to have just one dish in Singapore, something to represent the cuisine as a whole, then it should probably be this.
Chili crab is best eaten with fried mantou bread to mop up the sauce. The fluffiness of the mantou with the sweet tanginess of the chili sauce was heavenly. The sauce is very flavorful so be sure to try it with some plain rice as well.
The best part of any crab? The sinful roe in its shell, of which ours had tons. Instead of the usual Sri Lankan mud crabs, Red House uses Scottish brown crabs which are said to be meatier and less pungent.
According to my friend who recommended Red House to us, chili crabs are delicious throughout Singapore so it doesn’t matter as much where you go. He specifically recommended this restaurant because they’re equally known for their black pepper crabs, which we’ll definitely try on our next visit to Singapore.
Red House Seafood Restaurant
Address: Red House Seafood Restaurant has three branches in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 138.60 for one chili crab, 2 pcs of fried mantou, mee goreng, rice, and drinks
17. Don Signature Crab
I love crab. It’s one of my favorite things in the world so any dish in which it figures prominently is definitely going on our itinerary.
Don Signature Crab is known for their crab bee hoon, a popular Singaporean rice vermicelli dish made with whole mud crabs cooked in seafood stock. The dish shot to international fame after Anthony Bourdain tried it at Sin Huat Eating House and included the restaurant in his list of 13 places to eat before you die.
Naturally, I wanted to eat it at Sin Huat Eating House but I was put off by its many negative reviews calling the place overpriced and poor value for money. Thankfully, I learned about Don Signature Crab from this article listing 15 of the best crab bee hoon restaurants in Singapore.
Crab bee hoon is available in a soup or dry version. The soup version is served with broth in a claypot while the dry version, which is what I had, is prepared by stir-frying the bee hoon in a wok before braising it in broth.
The crab is usually the star of any dish but in this one, it may be the noodles. Sweet and seafood-y, vermicelli noodles do a wonderful job of soaking up all that delicious crab flavor. The dry version comes with a ton of crunchy vegetables as well, which according to the owner, are bought fresh from the market daily. Delicious!
Because the dish is made with whole crab, it can be expensive which is why I chose Don Signature Crab. I was in Singapore by myself so I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for it. At Don Signature Crab, the smallest order of crab bee hoon goes for just SGD 25 which can be good enough for two people.
Don Signature Crab
Address: Block 206, Toa Payoh North 1, #01-1197, Singapore 310206
Operating Hours: 12NN-8:30PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 25 – Crab bee hoon (small)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Braddell MRT station. After exiting the station, make a left then another left to cut through the apartment building complex. Don Signature Crab is in a small hawker center at the bottom of the hill.
18. The Banana Leaf Apolo
The Banana Leaf Apolo is a legendary restaurant in Little India that’s been open since 1974. They serve many delicious dishes, one of their most popular being fish head curry. A Singaporean dish with Indian and Chinese origins, it’s prepared by stewing a whole sea bream’s head in a Kerala-style curry with assorted vegetables and a secret blend of eighteen spices.
Served on banana leaves, the fish head curry is available in small, medium, or large sizes. We got the medium which was more than enough for both of us. The entire fish head was excellent but the best parts are the eyeballs (pictured below), jaw, and tongue.
I believe this was the fish’s tongue. Be sure to pair this dish with plenty of rice and/or naan bread. The curry has a sourness and depth of flavor that’s absolutely wonderful.
The Banana Leaf Apolo
Address: 54 Race Course Rd, Singapore 218564
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-10:30PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 28 per fish head curry (medium)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Head northeast on Race Course Rd toward Buffalo Rd and you’ll see The Banana Leaf Apolo on your right.
19. Ayam Penyet Ria
Ayam Penyet Ria is a restaurant chain that serves Indonesian food. Their signature dish, ayam penyet, literally translates to “smashed fried chicken”. It’s prepared by lightly pounding fried chicken with a mortar and pestle (or mallet) to make it softer. It’s then topped with kremes (crispy spiced flakes) and served with rice, sambal, cucumber slices, fried tofu, and tempeh (soybean cake).
I learned about this restaurant when I was searching for a good place to eat along Orchard Road. Ayam Penyet Ria fit the bill nicely. The chicken tasted great but I’m not sure it was softer than “unsmashed” chicken. Ours seemed a bit dry as well. Loved the sides and the texture of those crispy flakes.
Ayam Penyet Ria
Address: Ayam Penyet Ria has four branches in Singapore.
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What We Paid: SGD 8.20 per order of smashed fried chicken with rice
20. MA Deen Biasa
Ren’s been wanting to try this bone marrow dish for the longest time. When KF Seetoh described MA Deen Biasa’s sup tulang as “the most desperately delicious”, I knew I found the right place to try it. Served with slices of baguette to mop up the sauce, hunks of bone with marrow are cooked with spices and tomato paste to create this devilish-looking dish. Don’t bother ordering any rice. The bread is perfect with it.
Be warned, this dish is delicious but incredibly MESSY. It’s impossible to slice off the meat and tendon with utensils so you’ll need to hold the bones in your hands and gnaw at them with your teeth. Be sure to have a fresh packet of napkins ready cause you’ll need them to wipe the tomato sauce off your hands, face, hair, shirt, pants, and shoelaces.
The bones used in this dish are narrow so they give you straws to suck the marrow out with. This is one of the tastiest and most fun dishes we’ve had so far in Singapore so I strongly recommend you try it.
MA Deen Biasa
Address: 95/97 Jln Sultan, Singapore 198999
Operating Hours: Open 24 hrs
What We Paid: SGD 20 per medium order
How to Get There: Take the subway to Lavender MRT station. Head southwest on Kallang Rd toward Kallang Walk. This will become Victoria St. Turn left on Jln Sultan and MA Deen Biasa will be on your right.
You’ll come across the word Peranakan a lot when you visit Singapore. It refers to descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Singapore, and Indonesia between the 15th and 17th centuries.
They inter-married with local Malays and produced an intermingling of cultures that manifested itself in many ways, most notably their food. Chinese ingredients were used with local spices and cooking techniques to create Peranakan interpretations of Malay food that are characteristically tangy, aromatic, spicy, and herbal. If you like strong flavors, then you’re going to love Peranakan food.
There are many Peranakan restaurants in Singapore, but I believe Candlenut is the only one that’s been awarded a Michelin star. If you’re looking to have a special dinner in Singapore, then Candlenut is a good choice.
What makes Candlenut so interesting is that there’s no ala carte dinner menu. Inspired by Japanese omakase, Chef Malcolm Lee creates new dishes each week and serves them family-style in an experience he likes to call ahma-kase dining. Ahma means “grandmother”.
Pictured below is a course of charred octopus with chincalok (fermented shrimp), cucumber and pineapple achar (pickled), and roasted peanuts.
Pictured here is a dish of tapioca leaf lodeh (vegetable soup) made with young jackfruit and crispy whitebait. You can check our post on Candlenut for pictures of all the dishes from our ahma-kase dinner menu.
Address: Block 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
Operating Hours: 12NN-3PM, daily / 6-10PM, Sun-Thurs / 6-11PM, Fri-Sat, public holidays
What We Paid: SGD 128++ per person (set dinner menu)
How to Get There: The closest MRT station to Candlenut is Commonwealth MRT Station, but it’s still about 2.6 km from the restaurant. From there, you can take Uber or Grab to Candlenut.
22. Beancurd City
We were searching for good breakfast places in Singapore when we came across Beancurd City. They’re known for their hot bean curd served with a side of fried doughstick. According to Dr. Leslie Tay, it’s “probably as good as bean curd gets in Singapore”.
I LOVE hot bean curd so the addition of the fried doughstick made me super excited to try this. The bean curd doesn’t really stick to the dough, but it doesn’t matter. The chewiness of the doughstick with the silkiness of the bean curd was a joy to eat.
Aside from Dr. Tay, Beancurd City gets high praises from sethlui.com as well. They included it on their list of fifteen great places to have breakfast in Singapore.
Address: 133 Jln Besar, Singapore 208851
Operating Hours: 12NN-8PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 3.80 for hot bean curd, fried doughstick, and an egg tart
How to Get There: Take the subway to Rochor MRT station. Head southeast on Rochor Canal Rd toward Prinsep St. Turn left on Jln Besar. Walk straight and Beancurd City will be on your left.
23. Simple Delite
If I understand correctly, the term “kueh” is a general description that refers to bite-sized snacks made with rice. They come in many different forms and can be either sweet, like this kueh lopis below, or savory like the chwee kueh described near the top of this post.
I added Simple Delite to our itinerary after reading about their kueh lopis on Dr. Tay’s blog. Made with glutinous rice, banana leaf, gula melaka, and shredded coconut, he described it as having “a sublime texture [with] a superb balance of sweet, salty and savory flavors”. It was amazing.
We also tried these other types of kueh called kueh salat and kueh bingka jagung (if I remember correctly). Kueh salat is made with pandan and tapioca while kueh bingka jagung is made with corn pudding and palm sugar. Both were just as good.
Like a few places on this list, Simple Delite is located at the Tekka Centre food court as well. According to Dr. Tay, they usually sell out by noon so be sure to come early.
Address: Tekka Centre, Singapore, Buffalo Rd, 665号 邮政编码: 210665
Operating Hours: 8AM-3PM, daily
What We Paid: SGD 3 for 4 pcs
How to Get There: Take the subway to Little India MRT station. Exit the station and make your way to the food court of Tekka Centre and look for stall #01-219.
24. Tiong Bahru Bakery
I know what you’re thinking. Croissants may seem like an odd choice for a Singapore food guide, but these are an exception. Opened in partnership with Parisian Chef Gontran Cherrier, the croissants at Tiong Bahru Bakery are to die for. In fact, some say they’re even better than the croissants in Paris! We had the green tea almond croissant and it was divine.
Here’s the aforementioned green tea almond croissant and a kouign-amann. The kouign-amann was average but the croissant really was superb.
If you’d like to purchase Tiong Bahru Bakery meal vouchers in advance, then you can do so through Klook. They offer vouchers to meal sets similar to what you see below.
The bakery is in a stylish space in trendy Tiong Bahru, just a stone’s throw away from Tiong Bahru Market. This is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Singapore so if you have the time, then I suggest having breakfast here and exploring the area.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
Address: 56 Eng Hoon St, #01-70, Singapore 160056
Operating Hours: 8AM-8PM daily
What We Paid: SGD 17.50 for a green tea almond croissant, kouign-amann, and two coffees)
How to Get There: Take the subway to Tiong Bahru MRT station. Head east on Tiong Bahru Rd toward Jln Membina. Turn right on Kim Pong Rd. Turn left on Lim Liak St and walk straight. This will turn into Eng Hoon St and Tiong Bahru Bakery will be on your left.
25. Off the Eaten Track with A Chef’s Tour
This last entry isn’t a restaurant or a hawker stall. It’s a food tour, an excellent food tour by A Chef’s Tour featuring the most incredibly delicious plate of char siew rice I’ve ever tasted in my life. Just look at that thing!
Char siew (or char siu) is a Cantonese dish of barbecued seasoned boneless pork. I’ve been eating char siew practically all my life and this was the best I’ve ever had. It was tender, meaty, fatty, and juicy with ultracrisp skin and a deliciously thick savory-sweet sauce. I’d fly back to Singpore just for this.
If you don’t have a lot of time to run around from hawker stall to hawker stall, then I suggest going on this food tour with A Chef’s Tour. It’ll give you a sampling of some of the best dishes this city has to offer. Check out our post on this Singapore food tour for more pictures and information.
A Chef’s Tour
Availability: 3-6PM, Thurs-Sun
Cost: USD 100 per person
If still images aren’t enough to whet your appetite, then you may want to check out this video featuring thirteen of the delectable dishes described on this list.
To help you understand where these eateries are in relation to one another, you can check out our Singapore itinerary on Sygic Travel. It’ll show you exactly where these restaurants are on a map, as well as every attraction we visited in Singapore. Sygic Travel is a free travel planning app that I use to plan all our trips.
If you’re interested in just the eateries mentioned in this guide, then you can refer to the map below.
With so many delicious things to eat in Singapore, this list is by no means comprehensive but I do hope it helps you plan your trip. You can also download a copy of our 6-day Singapore eat-inerary in editable Word format from our EAT-ineraries page.
Thanks for reading and have a delicious time in Singapore! 😀
For more Singapore travel tips, check out our First-Timer’s Travel Guide to Singapore
A Chef’s Tour flew me to Singapore on my most recent trip to document their new food tour. They covered my airfare and accommodations and gave me a complimentary food tour in exchange for an honest account of the experience. Everything else in this guide was at my expense. As always, all words, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone.
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JB and Renée are the Traveleaters behind Will Fly for Food, a travel blog for the gastronomically inclined. They enjoy experiencing food from different cultures so they’ve made it their mission to try every country’s national dish. Read more about them and their National Dish Quest here.