The Singapore MRT station for those keen to visit The National Gallery, the historic Raffles Hotel, or to do a bit of shopping and café hopping within the vicinity, the City Hall MRT station is a popular interchange for those switching between the North-South and East-West lines.
While its surrounding malls and shopping centres house quite a number of popular chain restaurants and dining concepts, a handful have been recognised by our MICHELIN inspectors for their memorable dishes and welcoming atmospheres. Check them out below!
Where better to find a priceless jewel of the Singapore dining scene than in The National Gallery? Chef Julien Royer and his highly accomplished kitchen make wonderful use of luxury ingredients of unimpeachable quality. Creative combinations, impeccable techniques, and exquisite plating result in dishes that are as elegant as they are memorable. The understated and graceful room, overseen by a highly polished service team, provides the perfect backdrop.
Embodying the quintessence of fine dining, this romantic restaurant has it all — food, service, ambiance and spectacular views. Chef Westaway makes good use of top-notch British produce and inspirations, such as scallops from Scotland and turbot from Cornwall, to turn out modern culinary creations that never fail to impress. Some British classics also got a makeover — “hen’s egg” is a refined take on the breakfast favourite dippy eggs with soldiers.
Unlike other branches in the group, this one has a European décor echoing the colonial style of the building that hosts it. That said, the menu remains the same as the others. Apart from the main menu, make sure you check out the chef’s selection menu. Double-boiled soups, flavourful and hearty, are unmissable. Deep-fried spare ribs marinated with shrimp paste are crispy and loaded with umami.
Chef Takuya Yamashita’s style is to use French techniques to bring out the best of the mostly Japanese ingredients. The resulting tasting menus are inventive and intriguing and feature delicate and attractive dishes, such as Hokkaido scallop with Mont D’Or, and Miyazaki Wagyu with cognac sauce. The graceful restaurant is housed within a historic converted convent and is divided into two rooms, one of which allows diners to see into the kitchen.
Renowned chef Anne-Sophie Pic and celebrated hotel Raffles make a fine match, as the smoothly run, bright and comfortable dining room provides a worthy canvas for her culinary vision. You’ll find a number of her celebrated specialities here, like Berlingots and the White Millefeuille dessert. Much of the produce is from France, such as John Dory from Brittany and pigeon from Bresse, but her accomplished kitchen cleverly adds some local touches and flavours.
It’s less like walking into a restaurant, more like falling into the warm embrace of a much loved family member. Here it’s about nostalgia and paying homage to the food, history and customs of the Peranakans — you’ll find all the classic dishes, prepared in an authentic way, and the hard part is narrowing down your choice. The setting really is unique and on the way out it’s hard to resist buying a keepsake from the True Blue Shoppe.
Wood-fire cooking is the speciality of this dark and handsome restaurant within Raffles hotel. Head straight to the "Tour de Force" multi-course menu if you want to experience a variety of top-quality fish and meat dishes, all expertly prepared using American wood and supplemented with Asian flavours. The moodily lit room ensures your gaze never wanders too far from the open kitchen. A restaurant to appeal to the hunter-gatherer in all of us.
Art and sculptures aren’t the only treasures found in the National Gallery — on the 2nd floor is this restaurant from Violet Oon, Singapore’s own national treasure and one of its greatest ambassadors. The handsome, panelled 1920s-style dining room is an ideal backdrop to the cooking which, through its spicing, contrasting textures and enticing aromas, showcases Singapore’s unique culinary heritage. This is a restaurant with genuine charm.
The iconic Bar & Billiard Room (BBR) in Raffles Hotel is now home to Chef Alain Ducasse’s dining concept with an Italian Riviera theme. The open kitchen at the centre of the bright and airy room is surrounded by counter seats, perfect for those who want to stay close to the action. Start your meal with an Italian-inspired cocktail and order pasta or fish for the main course, or try the curated Menu Tentazioni for the entire table.
This omakase sushiya with only 12 seats boasts a counter crafted from a 250-year-old hinoki tree. In stark contrast, the lively lounge for tea and dessert is clad in wallpaper with dancing cranes on a pink background. The freshest fish is creatively combined with other ingredients to great effects while the well thought-out, sometimes unorthodox, seasoning on the sushi makes the experience unique. Friendly chefs are happy to interact with diners.
Where to Stay:
If you're looking for a place to stay in the area, MICHELIN Hotel Raffles Hotel Singapore is one of the most iconic and historic landmarks in the Lion City. Since opening in 1886, some of its noteworthy anecdotes include the last Singapore tiger being shot underneath the Bar and Billiards room (1902) and the first Singapore sling being mixed at the Long Bar (1915). With the property's grandeur, beauties Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor have called Raffles Hotel Singapore home.
All the writers that one might associate with the waning years of the empire — Joseph Conrad, W Somerset Maugham, and Rudyard Kipling — have lived here, too. English colonels have also gathered here to sing “There Will Always Be an England” after Singapore surrendered to Japan in 1942. In short, Raffles Hotel Singapore embodies all that was glamorous about the Far East in colonial times.
Other MICHELIN Hotels to explore in the area also include Swissôtel The Stamford, conveniently located by the City Hall MRT and JW Marriott Hotel Singapore along Beach Road, which is close to the Suntec Convention Centre.
What to Do:
Apart from making a trip to The National Gallery Singapore and exploring the latest art collections, the Merlion Park at Fullerton is a 10 minutes' walk away from the City Hall MRT. The area is also home to retail areas such as Raffles City Shopping Centre, which houses a good curation of both local and international brands, as well as the youth-focused Funan Mall.