Who doesn’t love to eat (OK diet fanatics, please don’t answer that)? Better yet, who doesn’t love to stuff their face in SINGAPORE? For some, it’s the ultimate shopping mecca, but to many others, Singapore is a melting pot of flavour where gastronomes can explore different culinary wonders. Just take a look at Shinji, L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon at Resorts World Sentosa, Tim Ho Wan and Pollen who’ve recently opened their doors to discerning diners who have flown in specifically to enjoy certain specials.
Food cray, much? But truth be told, you don’t need to spend top dollar in Singapore to enjoy great food (although if you can, we certainly won’t hold it against you). We’re going to skip Singapore’s tasty hawker food for now (because it deserves a post all on its own), but here’s our list of classic and upcoming players in the Singapore foodie scene that you’ve got to try (or else).
1. SWEETS FOR THE SWEET
A perennial favourite among locals, 2am:dessertbar is something not to be missed by any lover of sweets. Awarded as Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2013, Janice Wong takes the helm here and has truly come a long way from mopping floors at Will Goldfarb’s New York restaurant Room 4 Dessert. Now, she rubs elbows with culinary greats such as New Basque-cuisine master Juan Mari Arzak and top patissier Pierre Hermé. Talk about culinary success! Janice has her own test kitchen and concocts sweet and savoury desserts infused with local ingredients such as hawthorn, seaweed and malted milk powder – proof that her creations reflect her Singaporean roots. In fact, we’re hooked on the Chocolate H2O – made of 72% dark chocolate, salted caramel, Evian and yozu sorbet in one delicious serving. Y-U-M.
2. THE BRADY BRUNCH
Ready your tummies, Nomads. We recommend going on an empty stomach to truly take advantage of all this delicious spot has to offer. Located on Middle Road in Bugis, Artichoke takes community dining to the next level and boasts a brunch menu with a Middle Eastern twist. How does lamb served with eggs, and a side of haloumi, beetroot or mushrooms sound? We definitely give it points for originality and ability to stuff our tummies. The al fresco dining vibe also puts this high up on our foodie bucket list!
3. AH-MAZE-ING TASTES
Interesting food and exceptional flavours make up Labyrinth, a Neil Road upstart that offers Asian food with a French twist. Expect fixed five-course menus complemented by a good wine and bubbly selection that – shock, horror – doesn’t cost a bomb! TLN foodie tip: Don’t go crazy on the herb bread starters and olive oil, garlic puree, and balsamic jam dips. You’ll need to leave room for more gastronomic delights. You’ll have the choice between two mains (try the Labyrinth’s version of the Chili Crab, which comes with a twist: they serve it with chili ice cream) and cap it off with a bright green Xiao Long Bao dessert. You won’t regret it.
4. THE HILLS ARE ALIVE
Located in 313@Somerset, we love the concept at Marche, a quirky Swiss spot to enjoy fresh and healthy food in a jiffy. Taking the market concept one step further, ordering your food has never been simpler: all you have to do is pick fresh produce from different stalls, choose how you want it to be cooked, wait while it’s being cooked, and voila, inhale it faster than you can say ‘bon appetit’ (OK, so we don’t really recommend that last part, or you might choke, and we certainly wouldn’t want that). What’s on our plate? The salmon crepe and pink lemonade combo is a sure winner.
5. BREKKIE BAR
If breakfast is regarded as the most important meal of the day, then we think the eggs and good coffee at Common Man constitutes a pretty good deal. Located on Martin Road, what’s nice here is you can order as little or as much as you want. We’re pretty big eaters here at The Luxe Nomad, so we think this customisable feast is perfect for those who love breakfast food. Want something savoury? Try the green peas fritter with poached eggs. Or perhaps something sweet? Opt for the brioche French toast with berries, maple syrup and (our fave) ice cream. Pure indulgence!
6. BOOKS, BITES & WIFI
Sometimes working at the office is just plain boring (hint, hint Boss). That’s why a place like The Book Cafe is totally up our alley. Located along Martin Road, it’s a no fuss, chilled out establishment where you can grab a tasty meal (we are in love with the Eggs Benedict with Baby Spinach), enjoy free WiFi, and unwind over a cuppa while poring over work documents, hold staff meetings or you know, checking Facebook. The staff lets you work (or browse) as you please, and there are lots of magazines and books to peruse.
7. ARTY CRAFTY (BEER)
Some find it hard to track down this little gem, but that’s part of its charm. Located in Bugis, along Arab Street, Working Title reveals itself behind rows of carpet dealers and other odd stores. This cafe-slash-beer spot is an ultimate hispter haven of mismatched chairs, where insanely addicting T3 Truffle Tater Tots (crispy hash browns with fragrant truffle oil and grated Parmesan cheese) and such light bites are served with a bottle of beer. We love the obscure craft beer labels too, like Rouge, Brew Dog, Magic Hat and more. Expect to mingle with a diverse crowd of backpackers and creative types.
8. ART DE LA TABLE
Located in a 19th century China Town terrace house, chef Andre Chaing’s namesake restaurant presents a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds. Focusing on French Nouvelle cuisine, the 30-seat Restaurant Andre offers a frequently changing Mediterranean-influenced menu (cryptically presented to diners in a small booklet) that orbits around ‘octaphilosophy’ – what Chiang deems to be descriptions of his gastronomy: Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan. Sounds pretty high brow, but with handcrafted plating for an eight-course menu, you’re bound to come back for more (that is, if you can afford it). We love? The attention to detail is truly a WOW factor!