Want to impress the mum-in-law or indulge your BFFs? We suss out 40 of the coolest, newest and all-time favourite spots in Singapore to suit your fancy
Text: Elizabeth Liew & Sean Tan
Plush places to spend a deliciously relaxing afternoon with close friends!
Indulge in a lavish afternoon session at the Shangri-La surrounded by lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. Enjoy classic English sandwiches and freshly-baked scones accompanied by one of its 64 blends of the finest teas. Visit www.shangri-la.com.
Bond over a range of sweet and savoury Singapore teatime faves by one of our very own culinary gurus. From signature kuehs to delicious chili crab mantou and ice-cream chendol, Peranakan food lovers will be spoilt for choice! Visit www.violetoon.com.
Take your closest friends to this idyllic retreat at Sofitel Sentosa for quintessential French-inspired delights. The signature afternoon tea set comprises of gourmet sandwiches, scones and sweets in a customised jewellery box. Visit www.sofitel-singapore-sentosa.com.
Refresh yourself at these easy-going, comfy cafes.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Rochester Park, this quaint cafe is a gem for a leisurely weekend meal. Be sure to try popular favourites like the Nosh Burger and Spicy Cod Roe Pasta or pick something from their brunch menu. Visit www.noshery.com.sg.
This hip joint from Hong Kong serves up amazing coffee to please even the most demanding java critics, with a great selection of savouries and sweets. We recommend the super fluffy Pancake Tower, which can be a 30-minute wait but well worth it! Visit www.the-coffeeacademics.com.
Staying true to the Japanese lifestyle brand’s minimalist aesthetics, Café&Meal offers a refreshingly clean take on deli food. We keep going back for the simple, elegant dishes here as they are appetising and wholesome. Visit www.muji.com/sg.
The all-day breakfast dishes at this modern bistro are classic Western comfort food with some pleasant surprises like the flavourful Tokyo Wings or the Olivia Sticky Date Pancakes to sweeten up your day.Visit www.oliviaandco.com.sg.
Top-notch watering holes to unwind with great colleagues.
Elevate your post-work nightcap at this stylish rooftop cocktail bar with spectacular skyline views and daring concoctions to match. Top tipples include the savoury Duck’s Fat Hope and the Nakajima’s Dansu with floral notes. Visit www.smokeandmirrors.com.sg.
Fans of the dessert queen’s sweet creations will be pleasantly surprised with her savoury take on contemporary Chinese dishes like the Signature 5 dumplings. Her “edible art” signatures are a perfect after-office-hours’ indulgence. Visit www.janicewong.com.sg.
Conveniently located in the heart of the CBD, this rooftop garden oasis offers fresh martinis, cocktails and delicious east-meets-west cuisine with an organic spin. The Norwegian Salmon Tartare is a must-try. Visit www.indochine-group.com.
Sit back while dedicated chefs tailor a tantalising Japanese omakase course for you, with sake pairings to match. The restaurant’s casual ambience makes it perfect for a relaxing evening and for celebrating friendships. Visit www.facebook.com/choomakase.
Relish inventive mod-British eats with Asian influences at this restaurant and bar that only opens in the evening. Gather your colleagues around shareable plates of delectable bar bites and invigorating cocktails like the Ginger Julie. Visit www.pyxiemoss.com.
Fancy locales perfect for celebrating anniversaries, birthdays and more.
Feast with a loved one (or two) over a delectable offering of distinguished Austrian-Hungarian favourites that will make you feel like royalty. There’s also a new semi-buffet Sunday brunch not to be missed! Visit www.kaiserhaus.sg.
For Japanese food gourmands, this high-end sushi restaurant plates up quality omakase-style menus made with the freshest ingredients daily delivered from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. It’s no wonder they won two Michelin stars this year! Visit www.shoukouwa.com.sg.
Savour unpretentious modern French fare at this fine dining restaurant in the iconic National Gallery. Helmed by chef and owner Julien Royer, a four-, six- or eight-course meal takes you through refined and thoughtful dishes for a romantic meal to remember. Visit www.odetterestaurant.com.
Playful and intriguing, Chef Ryan Clift’s modern gastronomical cuisine continues to invigorate the palate and bring excitement to the dinner table. Relish razor clams with purple garlic soup and sublime A4 Toriyama Beef with new classic and gourmand tasting menus. Visit www.tipplingclub.com.
Discover tasty eats tucked away in the heart of the city.
Follow the simple burger-shaped neon sign behind Gemmill Lane to relish the American staple of New York City fame in a laidback environment. Order “the works” and top it off with fries and a classic milkshake. Visit www.burgerjointny.com/singapore.
Escape from busy city life to this quiet roast retreat by the Kallang river that serves up hearty comfort food like Chipotle Pork Ribs. Relax with a tropical cocktail in hand and enjoy the evening surrounded by friends and nature. Visit www.kilokitchen.com/camp-kilo-charcoal-club.
Despite having opened in 2013, this cosy hole-in-the-wall is still a go-to for fresh and high-quality fusion Japanese fare like the Truffled Ebi Fry. Its signature best-seller is the TFS Chirashi, but you’ll also be bowled over by the TFS Signature Maki and Miso Gindara. Visit www.theflyingsquirrel.com.sg.
This restaurant-bar’s nondescript entrance in a backalley of Amoy Street belies an edgy, cool and comfortable interior. Delight in flavoursome plates of modern Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, such as Scallop Carpaccio and Grilled Iberico pork jowl. Visit www.maggiejoans.com.
Surprise the mum-in-law with an experience of Asian cuisine she won’t easily forget.
Pamper your mum-in-law to a sumptuous spread at this newly-revamped fine dining restaurant at the Four Seasons. Enjoy classic and new signatures, from Peking duck served with caviar to mouth-watering dim sums, double-boiled soups and decadent claypots. Visit www.fourseasons.com.
Enjoy an authentic Straits Chinese spread at the Orchard Hotel that the MIL will approve of – must-orders include the aromatic Nasi Ulam, mouth-watering Buah Keluak Ayam and traditional Kueh Pai Tee set. Visit www.theperanakan.com.
For exquisite regional Indian cuisine with a modern twist, this elegant establishment serves up just that and more. Expect robust flavours from inventive dishes by award-winning chef Abhijit Saha, such as the pistachio-encrusted Textures of Lamb, to satiate and please the palate. Visit www.saha.sg.
This Cantonese restaurant remains as a choice destination for the succulent Beijing specialty. Roasted to crisp perfection, the whole duck is sliced at the table before your very eyes, which is sure to impress the folks. Visit www.imperialtreasure.com.
There’s always space for a decadent treat or two… or three!
This casual spot presents high-quality, innovative desserts and creative twists on local foods at affordable prices. The Chocolate Avalanche is a must-try, but don’t miss out on the gelatos, churros and waffles as well. Visit www.facebook.com/nonentreedesserts.
Each sweet treat here is baked fresh from scratch with no added preservatives. You can find all the usual staples like strawberry cheesecake and red velvet cake, and the impressive ice-cream milkshakes (or CakeShakes) are definitely not for the faint of heart! Visit www.cakespade.com.
Pretty cakes and gelatos are their specialty, so Instagram foodies will find themselves snapping away at all the vibrant sweets. Be sure to try the juicy strawberry-filled Frasier and lemon mousse Fruit Loop. Visit www.butterknifefolk.com.
Kid-friendly places that adults can revel in too!
Before Hello Kitty Orchid Garden opened in Singapore, this cheery café featuring Sanrio’s lesser-known character, a dog named Pompompurin, drew long lines of diners. The super kawaii desserts here will charm both adults and kids. Visit www.facebook.com/Pompompurincafesg.
Besides being a great place for adults to enjoy hearty bites and handcrafted beer, this charming microbrewery is also very kid-friendly. Children can roam around the wide open space and play area, then dig into tasty meals from the Kids’ Menu! Visit www.libc.co.
For some laid-back family bonding, head to this rustic spot at Siloso Beach where restless kids can play on the sand or enjoy a swim before tucking into Western-style breakfasts, seafood and BBQ. Food is satisfying and reasonably priced, plus you’ll feel like you’re on holiday! Visit www.coastes.com.
Seal the deal at these corporate-appropriate restaurants.
If you want to impress your associates or clients, book a table at this modern fine dining restaurant for decadent French fare. An intimate setting allows you to discuss business matters while your palate is being pampered. Visit www.saintpierre.com.sg.
Serving modern European fare with an excellent meat selection, the restaurant also has a modern and professional ambience, perfect for conducting important lunch meetings (there’s also a semi-buffet at lunchtime). Visit www.facebook.com/ICSingapore.
This premium version of the much-loved Crystal Jade group of restaurants serves Chinese fare prepared with attention and delicacy. For more privacy, book one of their private rooms for lunch meetings or small corporate celebrations. Visit www.crystaljade.com/prestige.
Posh interiors matched with exquisite Cantonese cuisine makes this restaurant a standout. Go for the dim sum or set menus for lunch, and of course don’t miss the Michelin Star Menu specially curated by Executive Chef Cheung Siu Kong that is sure to impress your dining partners. Visit www.ritzcarlton.com.
Nutritious meals that are fun, unique and simply delicious.
Think of your local economic rice but way healthier, fancier and tastier! We love the fusion of Asian and Western flavours and even though each bowl is a hearty affair, you will never feel guilty for indulging in one. Visit www.grain-traders.com.
Featuring Hong Kong’s “steam-potting” food trend, take local steamboats to the next level with high speed steaming instead of regular boiling. This seals in the natural flavours and nutrients of the ingredients for a yummy, more nutritious meal. Visit www.facebook.com/SteamBoxSG.
This multi-concept restaurant focuses on quality dishes made with locally-sourced produce. But it’s not all serious stuff, there’s also a children’s playground and a garden located within its premises, bringing a fun vibe to the place. Visit www.openfarmcommunity.com.
Treat your guests to marvellous eats amid iconic views of the Singapore bay area.
Perched on the 40th floor, indulge your guests in a rooftop dining experience of hearty and organic pan-Mediterranean grills while marveling at spectacular views of the CBD. Signatures include the Alaskan King Crab Salad and Beetroot Tortellini. Visit www.artemisgrill.com.sg.
Introduce your friends visiting Singapore to the stunning Marina Bay skyline as you all dine on elegant and honest Italian cuisine at Aura Restaurant, or invite them to the luxurious rooftop Sky Lounge for a Sunday champagne brunch or the evening’s happy hour. Visit www.aura.sg.
This new Scottish restaurant serves gorgeous food with brilliant plating and offers a beautiful bayfront view to boot. Whisky aficionados will be impressed by their curated whisky list and you should also try their selection of Scottish cheeses. Visit www.usquba.com.