Considerable care and much thought has gone into the interior design of this charmingly run and intimate three-storey townhouse, which dates from 1926. The Taiwanese chef-owner’s cuisine is founded on 8 philosophies (texture, terroir etc); it’s French in essence, innovative and sophisticated – and comes with some playful elements and a little theatre. He is also a talented sculpture and ceramist – some of his work is dotted around the building. 41 Bukit Pasoh Road.
Sit at the black marble-topped counter to watch the chefs go about their business at this innovative, modern restaurant. The energetic Korean chef is a protégé of Tetsuya Wakuda and his cooking infuses European dishes with Korean and Asian notes; try the Korean-style seafood pancake. Dishes are refined and inventive and make good use of the ingredients; the seafood comes from various Asian countries while the meat is mostly from Australia. 9 Keong Saik Road.
Tranquil Duxton Hill is the setting for this smart French restaurant opened by two alumni of Au Petit Salut. Backed by their former employer, they have created an intimate spot with just seven tables and an open kitchen. The sophisticated cooking is deeply rooted in French classical cuisine but subtly and intelligently updated without recourse to gimmicks. To accompany the food is a thoughtfully compiled, predominantly French wine list. 3 Duxton Hill.
Alsace-born Chef Stephane has created an appealing menu full of hearteningly satisfying dishes. He uses ingredients from all parts of the globe for his modern European cooking – something not to be missed is the rotisserie free-range chicken, which is from Malaysia. If you like sharing, also consider ordering the considerable ‘beef platter’ for your group. The room is warm and welcoming, if not quite as ornate as the punning name suggests. 165 Tanjong Pagar Road
There is no shortage of cute little places in Chinatown – this is one of the more popular and it’s easy to see why. The narrow house offers dining on three of its floors and the works of local artists are used to add colour and character. The aromatic cuisine delivers all the subtle and authentic flavours of Peranakan – and the reason its regulars keep returning is that the portions are as generous as the prices. 97 Tanjong Pagar Road.
There’s always a queue outside this simple coffee shop – join it and hope those already inside are quick eaters. The Wong family have been serving classic Zi Char dishes like prawn paste chicken or bitter gourd pork ribs at various addresses for nearly 50 years – hopefully the 3rd generation of the family will keep things going here for many more years to come. It’s run with impressive efficiency, the food is tasty and the prices are friendly. 30-32 Keong Saik Road.
The live eels are flown in from Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, as is the rice. They are then cleaned and gutted in the glass-fronted kitchen before being grilled over a charcoal pit – it’s quite a performance to watch. They arrive at your table crispy on the outside and soft and yielding on the inside – and are made even more delicious thanks to the accompanying secret sauce. No bookings are taken so it’s worth arriving early. #01-01, 1 Keong Saik Road.
“Vegetarian cuisine for non-vegetarians” is how Phyllis and Wood describe their longstanding Thai and Peranakan restaurant. They wanted diners to feel they were eating meat even though they weren’t and this they achieve through an understanding of textures and flavours and the clever use of bean curd and tofu. With dishes like Tom Yam soup and classic Assam Pedas, the food is full of flavour as well as being good for you – and it’s great value too. 76 Peck Seah Street.
Built in 1983, it has been renovated twice since. It's only 5-10 minutes from the MRT station and being near the CBD means that there are queues everywhere at lunchtime. 7 Maxwell Road.
A Noodle Story
The stall has an interesting look and sells local, traditional noodles cooked in an innovative way. #01-39.
Hong Kee Beef Noodle
Has over 60 years of history. The tasty beef stock is cooked for 24 hours. #01-42.
Hoo Kee Bak Chang
Glutinous rice mixed with salted duck egg yolk; pork and chestnut wrapped with bamboo leaf. #01-18.
J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff
Popular street food - the curry chicken puff and yam paste puff are excellent. #01-21.
This centre began life in 1935 and has become one of the most iconic hawker centres in the city. Most typical dishes can be found here, including rojak, banana fritters and popiah. Some celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay have been known to visit its stalls. 1 Kadayanallur Street.
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Don’t be surprised to see a long queue – their Hainanese Chicken rice is hugely popular. #01-10/11.