From tantalising tasting menus in world-class restaurants to classic cocktails reinvented in the world’s best bars, Singapore is a star-studded foodie destination.
It’s no secret that Singapore is a foodie’s paradise, with legendary hawker destinations and a melting pot of cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and Peranakan. But step beyond street food and a dazzling world of fine dining and high-concept mixology awaits. While it’s true that Singapore has the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant (Hawker Chan), we're going in the opposite direction to find the world-class dining and drinking dens that intrigue, delight and surprise. Here’s our guide to eating and drinking in Singapore in true luxury.
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Modern French cuisine finds its place in Singapore through technique, flavour and ingredients at the three-Michelin-star Odette, the flagship restaurant of renowned chef Julien Royer. His respect for seasonality, terroir and outstanding artisanal produce sourced from all over the world results in a truly unique dining experience, where every touch point has been carefully considered. Work your way through the five or seven ‘acts’ of the tasting menu where classic French cooking techniques elevate native ingredients along with rare varieties of citrus and spices from around Southeast Asia. With the five-star Capitol Kempinski Hotel just minutes away, you’ll be walking on cloud nine all the way home.
JAAN By Kirk Westaway
JAAN by Kirk Westaway puts a unique mark on modern British cuisine with a multi-sensory journey through the UK region of Devon. Sitting above the clouds on the top floor of the iconic Swissotel The Stamford, the two-Michelin-star restaurant perfectly blends its Singaporean setting with its European foundations from the fabrics and light fittings to the extraordinary ingredients telling a distinctive story. Take your seat in the glass-walled dining room, complete with spectacular views of Singapore’s city and coastline to enjoy the constantly evolving tasting menu.
Not content with one three-Michelin-star restaurant, renowned Swedish chef Bjorn Frantzen created a Singaporean sister in Restaurant Zen. Occupying a classic shophouse building in downtown Singapore, the three-star restaurant asks guests to journey, both physically and via their tastebuds, through the Neo-Nordic, seafood-heavy menu. Start in the kitchen, where snacks and aperitifs are served, before moving to the second-floor dining room for mains then finishing in the lounge for digestif and desserts. Premium ingredients and Japanese touches are peppered throughout, infusing the dishes with unforgettable flavours.
Australian barbecue has found a home in Singapore’s Dempsey Hill thanks to chef Dave Pynt and his restaurant, Burnt Ends. An open-kitchen concept sits at the heart of the modern barbecue restaurant, where a four-tonne, dual-cavity oven and four elevation grills take centre stage. With an emphasis on cooking over wood, one constant of the daily-changing menu is a lick of fire – previous dishes have included smoked quail’s egg and caviar, steak frites and Jamaican chicken with lime crema.
Jigger & Pony
Taking its name after the double-coned measuring device used by bartenders to accurately pour out spirits, Jigger & Pony is a masterclass in classic cocktails and convivial hospitality. A stalwart of the Singapore bar scene, it’s remained relevant through a constantly evolving offering, but one thing remains constant; a dedication to making people happy. Drop by to peruse their ‘menuzine’ and order cocktails like a yuzu whisky sour or Cloudy Kangaroo.
Taking inspiration from the Golden Age of cocktails, Manhattan brings a touch of New York glamour to Singapore, encouraging the curious and confident to indulge in a stunning selection of artisanal spirits and classic cocktails. Velvet armchairs and mahogany tables form the backdrop to sip on American whiskies or a barrel-aged cocktail, made at the in-house rickhouse. The current menu takes inspiration from the personalities that embody the spirit of New York – try concoctions inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, Whoopi Goldberg and Yoko Ono.
A product of the 2020 lockdowns, Sago House is a true labour of love from three of Singapore’s bar industry veterans: Desiree Jane Silva, Jay Gray and George Abishek. The weekly-changing menu is founded in six core drinks – martini, old fashioned, sidecar, flip, highballs and sours – but the flavours of each change with the availability of local ingredients. A mural by a local Filipino artist, Distort Monsters and an interior that was almost entirely built by hand to make for the perfect setting to enjoy the likes of Cocoa Loco (Topanito Reposado tequila, mango reduction, crème de cacao and sesame oil). For those staying at The Clan Hotel Singapore by Far East Hospitality, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump back to your plush bed.
With jaw-dropping views over Singapore’s Marina Bay, MO Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore combines the personality of an independent cocktail lab with the grandeur of a classic hotel bar. The cocktail programme is guided by the regions of Asia and the flavours found within each one. Choose your location and the expert team of mixologists will use super-modern equipment like sonic infusers and a water bath to create something magical. Teleport to Shanghai with the Skyline (whisky, mandarin, hibiscus), Java with the Afterglow (gin, ginger, cloud) or Seoul with the Full Moon (rum, wheatgrass, pear).
Mandarin Oriental Singapore is currently closed for renovations and scheduled to reopen in September 2023.
Feature image: MO Bar, Mandarin Oriental Singapore.
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