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Top 10 places to eat in Singapore
Famously food-oriented, Singapore is a haven for fine dining gourmets as well as street-side gluttons. Try these culinary hotspots for grand views, classy booze and sublime foods
ForlinoForlino is synonymous with Italian fine dining and impeccable service. Perched on the top of the two-story One Fullerton, Forlino also enjoys some of the best views of Marina Bay. The restaurant maximises the view with floor-to-ceiling glass panes framed by the famously opulent setting designed by Philippe Starck and Marcel Wanders. Chef Giuliano Dacasto, who has trained at three-star Michelin restaurants, creates sophisticated menus for discerning gourmets. Artisanal ingredients are sourced from Italy, or made fresh on the premises. A 1,000-label wine cellar ensures you won’t go without your favorite, and don’t miss the extremely good coffee after a meal here.
1 Fullerton Road, #02-06, Singapore; tel. +65 6877 6995; Open daily for lunch from 12-2:30pm and for dinner from 6:30-10:30pm; www.forlino.com
One on the BundYou’ll be transported into another world the minute you step into Clifford Pier. Chef-owner Calvin Yeung designed the interior to evoke memories of old Shanghai, and it feels like a cultural museum. Many pieces of the antique furniture and vintage luggage come from his own collection. Watch Peking ducks being roasted in the open flame oven using apple wood chips imported from Beijing. The crispy lamb ribs are also divine. Food here focuses on yuan wei or "original flavor", so guests expecting heavy sauces and highly seasoned food will be surprised at how light and delicate some of the dishes are. There is a bar and Western dessert parlor at the harbor side of the pier, with al fresco seating directly facing the Marina Bay Sands across the waters.
80 Collyer Quay, Clifford Pier, Singapore; tel. +65 6221 0004; Open daily from 12pm-3pm for lunch and 6pm til late for dinner, with weekend brunch from 11am-5pm on Saturday & Sunday
Bacchus BoathouseThe romantic and retrospective Bacchus Boathouse serves contemporary European cuisine at the 90-year-old Fullerton Waterboat House. This heritage maritime building once helped the transporting of fresh water to offshore ships, and still commands a breath-taking view of the harbor. On the inside, Bacchus Boathouse is stark, spacious and lofty with nautical white and natural woods dominating the palette. Long glass doors open out to the wooden deck and that stellar view. Rooftop bar [Prel.ude] is just upstairs, giving an unrivaled 360 degree panorama of the bay and city lights. Boathouse is an intimate place and seats only 40, but deliberately so to allow dining privacy. Signature dishes include the dramatic sea bass fish chowder, crab cakes, mushroom tagliatelle and braised beef ribs.
#03-01, The Waterboat House, 3 Fullerton Road, Singapore; tel. +65 6538 9038; Open Monday-Saturday for lunch from 12-2pm, and dinner from 6:30-11pm (last order 10:15pm); www.bacchusboathouse.com
Society BarOne would figure the Society Bar is good for drinks, which it is, but the real surprise is the comprehensive food and dessert menu. Options include Tunisian braised chicken leg pilaff with brown rice, beer battered fish & chips, and even wagyu burgers. The individual baked apple tartlet with toffee sauce and ice cream is so good, you won’t want to share it. Society Bar is on the quieter side of One Fullerton, where you can enjoy the bay breeze in peace with choice of tipple outdoors. You have the grand Fullerton Hotel at one side and the Marina Bay on the other, along with the Merlion in between. It’s a great spot for people-watching.
One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, #01-11, Singapore; tel. +65 6423 9689; Open daily 10:30am-10pm
Palm Beach SeafoodLocated near the iconic Singapore Merlion, Palm Beach Seafood also has a great view of the Marina Bay Sands. It’s so close you can see details of the ongoing construction. But the real draw has to be the fresh seafood and giant Sri Lankan crabs, prepared 11 different ways here. You won’t have to travel outside the city to get your fix of chili crab or black pepper crab. The very spicy honey tangy marble goby and the coco lobo (lobster with vermicelli in superior stock) are two other award-winning dishes that are also popular.
One Fullerton #01-08, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore; tel. +65 6336 8118; Open daily for lunch from 12-2:30pm, and for dinner from 5:30-11pm
7th Storey Live Seafood & Charcoal Steamboat
7th Storey Live Seafood & Charcoal Steamboat is conducted by chef Chan from HK Marco Polo and Ah Yi Abalone, who has more than 30 years’ culinary experience. There are more than 20 different live seafood choices, but don't miss the signature steamboat with chili, black pepper crabs. Prepared by charcoal, the air is filled with the sweet seafood soup flavour as well as a traditional taste of Hainan. The Hainanese restaurant is spacious with about 5,000 sq ft of dining area, but to get the real Marina feeling you should try to get one of the seats in the 3,000sq ft outdoor terrace to enjoy the gorgeous view over the Marina Barrage & Reservoir.01-05/06 Marina Barrage, 260 Marina Way, Marina Bay, Singapore; tel. +65 6222 7887; Daily: Lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm; Dinner 6-11pm; Saturday-Sunday & Public Holiday: Hi-Tea 11:30am-4pm; www.sunrestaurant.com
Nando'sNando's brought its popular South African fare to Singapore recently, and the taste-bud tickling flame-grilled peri-peri chicken, of Afro-Portuguese origin, is the top-selling item by far, being available in quarters, halves and wholes. Our favorite though is the chicken livers and portuguese roll, which is a small side dish of livers cooked with peri-peri sauce and accompanied by a crispy bread roll. The bread's freshly baked every day by a local baker who's under strict confidentialty agreements not to disclose the secret process. But the combination is quite the killer starter, and is great as an appetizer before the main dishes.
Nando's Bugis Junction, Unit #01-85/87, Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore; tel. +65 6338 6555; www.nandos.com
Glutton's Bay (by Makansutra)
Up for some local Singaporean cuisine? Opened by the Singaporean food guide guru, Makansutra, Glutton’s Bay collects various local flavors of Singapore in the style of old retro street food carts to offer the authentic and organic taste of Singapore supper culture. The charming open-air food court offers you a wide choice of venues, including Alhambra Padang Satay, serving gado gado salad with colorful crispies, to Gluttons Bar & Roti Kaya Fondue Stall’s addictive chicken curry or Huat Huat’s popular fried carrot cake. With noise, smells, cheerfulness as well as a great skyline view as an extra seasoning, Glutton’s Bay is a good place to go local.8 Raffles Avenue #01-15 Singapore 039802; Open Monday–Thursday: 5pm-2am; Friday-Saturday: 5pm-3am; Sunday: 4pm-1am; www.makansutra.com
Gunther’sThe minimalist interior sets the tone for Gunther’s dazzling modern French cooking, which is accomplished and precise but never experimental. Gunther eschews molecular-style cooking and prefers earthy textures as well as light ingredients. Intensely flavored chilled angel hair pasta tossed with chives in truffle jus, then crowned with pearls of Oscietra caviar, demonstrates Gunther’s deft and neat take on the Italian staple; near-perfect coquille of pasta choked with shreds of Alaskan king crab in chilli Monte Poro is imaginative and a table-silencer; and hunks of perfectly cooked Japanese wagyu is succulent and so tender that it falls apart with the prod of a fork. For desserts, try Guther’s legendary fine apple tart. But seasonally, Gunther is adapt at assembling something a la minute, like a Spanish Clementine orange with chocolate-laced crème pattiserie and crushed candied almonds.
36 Purvis Street #01-03 Singapore 188613; tel. +65 6338 8955; Open Monday-Saturday: 12-3pm and 6:30-10:30pm, Closed on Sunday; www.gunthers.com.sg
KeyakiKeyaki is as close as you can get to traditional Japanese dining in a hotel setting. It has a timeless rooftop garden, with aesthetically pleasing features like bamboo plants, stone, koi and water ponds. There is also a graceful Japanese bridge and finally, the authentic Japanese fare that awaits inside. The restaurant was named after highly prized Keyaki wood (known for its resilience and strength). The interior frame is built entirely without nails using traditional construction techniques. New master chef Hiroshi Kagata has recently taken over the kitchen -- he's one of the few chefs in Singapore with a license to handle fugu (puffer fish) and specializes in the art of kaiseki and sashimi. If you're feeling unloved, ask for the omakase experience, where the chef decides and prepares your meal for you.
7 Raffles Boulevard , Marina Square, Singapore; tel. +65 6826 8240; Lunch: 12-2:30pm daily, Dinner: 6:30-9:30pm daily; panpacific.com/singapore