The 29 Best Restaurant Dishes to eat right now
With 2014 arriving, I wanted to make a list of most delicious things you could eat in Singapore, so people would never run out of ideas of what to eat this year.
But rather than just providing a list of “best restaurants in Singapore”, I thought it would be better to go one step further. To create a list of the best dishes from the best restaurants in Singapore. To create this list, I was fortunate to have the the help of some of my favourite local food writers to hand-pick their top dishes.
These writers all have a true passion for food and have been tirelessly documenting their eating adventures on their blogs for years. They have collectively eaten at every single restaurant in Singapore worth eating at. Evaluating, photographing, writing reviews and taking note of the best. When it comes to knowing where to eat, they are the kings and queens of the foodie world.
I’ve asked them to recommend 3 of the best dishes from restaurants in recent memory. And the result of that is this list you see below. Most of the dishes here are between the $20-$40 range but you’ll also see some pricey dishes. I hope after reading this list, you will never have difficulty knowing where to go for that special meal again.
2014 is going to be the year of the stomach!
Note: All photographs here are provided and belong to the respective bloggers.
1. Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar @ Waku Ghin
#02-02, The Shoppes at MBS, 10 Bayfront Avenue
Daniel: “Waku Ghin can be considered Chef Tetsuya’s dream ‘playground’, a 10,000 square feet expensive space, meant to serve maximum of 25 customers at one time. Its signature dish, the Marinated Botan Shrimp with Sea Urchin and Oscietra Caviar, is mind-blowing delicious.
Every spoonful of the uni just melts in your mouth sensationally, and you feel transported to a gastronomic dreamland.”
(This is part of their degustation menu which is priced at SGD 400++)
2. Queso de chancho @ Bochinche Singapore ($15)
#02-01, 22 Martin Road
Jasper: “Argentinian restaurant Bochinche’s Queso de chancho (paired with smooth, saccharine 72-hour quince jam) is frightfully pricey at $5 per bite-sized ‘Bergedil’.
We’d thought it was an amuse-bouche when it first landed on the table—but each crisp, golden croquette stuffed with meat tediously handpicked from braised pig heads is so intensely robust that it almost had us immediately sending an order for another serving.”
3. Pumpkin Under Snow @ [email protected] ($22)
#01-50/51/52/53, China Square Central, 22 Cross Street
Catherine: “A delightfully savory purée made of premium stock and dashi imbues the dish with addictive panache. The sweetness of the steamed pumpkin under the whipped egg white also gets a burst of salty richness from the salmon roe.
This dish by Chef Santaro Li won the gold medal at the inaugural Washoku international cooking competition in Tokyo.”
4. 55′ Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg @ Jaan ($44)
#02-02, The Shoppes at MBS, 10 Bayfront Avenue
Charleen: “A mainstay appetizer on Jaan’s seasonal menu, this poached egg is first cooked for 55 minutes at precisely 64 degrees before it is presented in its shell, alongside smoked rosemary and dry ice for an added cinematic effect.
The perfectly poached egg is then delicately tipped into the accompanying glass bowl with the thin veil of egg white broken to allow the yolk to ooze out and envelope the accompanying ingredients for the grand finale. Possibly the best egg dish I have ever had with all the many elements of the salty chorizo iberico, fried buckwheat and creaminess of egg yolk just coming together so effortlessly and harmoniously.”
5. Jackfruit Lemak @ Poison Ivy Bistro
Bollywood Veggies, 100 Neo Tiew Rd
Melissa: “The Jackfruit Lemak stew commingles the sweet and the savoury, with soft and juicy pieces of jackfruit immersed in a creamy coconut milk sauce. Slightly lacking in the visual department, it is more than compensated for in its tremendously decadent coalescence of flavours.”
6. Cold Angel Hair Pasta @ Les Amis
#02-16, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road
Maureen: “A beautifully plated French Caviar from Sologne balanced on cold angel hair pasta with chives and seaweed. The cold angel hair pasta is dressed in an oil-vinegar dressing which is slightly acidic at first but quickly mellows out to a smooth finish with the little black pearls. If you have a softness for caviar, this cold angel hair pasta is a delightful luxury.”
7. Oysters @ Skyve Wine Bistro ($34)
10 Winstedt Road
Derrick: “Oyster fans will rejoice with the different offering of tempting new oyster flavours in the new menu. We have the Mentaiyaki Oyster ($34 for half dozen) which is served with mentaiko, crunchy ebiko, lemon juice and aioli. Followed by the Kilpatrick Oyster ($34 for half dozen) which is topped with lardon of bacon, Worchestershire and chives.
And lastly the Chilean Oyster ($34 for half dozen) comprised a refreshing combination of serrano, lime juice, red wine vinegar and cilantro. Each oyster has its own characteristic and I enjoyed how the different sauces and ingredients accentuated the experience.
The Chilean will be cleaner in flavour allowing one to appreciate the freshness of the oyster. The Kilpatrick has a bolder flavour further lifted by the different textures. The Mentaiyaki appealed to me more with its subtle Japanese influenced flavours.”
8. Salmon Aburi Sushi @ The Sushi Bar ($14,50)
#03-89, Far East Plaza, 14 Scotts Road
Nathanael: “The service is atrocious but the fact that we keep returning attests to how delicious the salmon aburi sushi is. This may sound Japanese but is really a fusion of sorts, might even be a Singapore invention! The uramaki has a thick layer of salmon, topped with mentaiko, then seared.
The balance of raw to seared salmon is so perfect that you can taste two different flavors clearly, bursting in the mouth.”
9. Le Homard Thermidor @ Brasserie Les Saveurs ($75)
29 Tanglin Rd, Lobby Level, The St.Regis Singapore
Cheryl: “Huge Boston lobster flamed with cognac, mushroom bechamel sauce and gratinee gruyere. This is exactly how i love my baked seafood, with lotsa cream and cheese but still maintaining the sweetness of the crustacean. Oh and it’s HUGE. Did i mentioned that already?”
10. Kaya Bread and Butter Pudding with Milk Tea Ice Cream @ Pidgin Kitchen ($15)
#01-04, 7 Dempsey Road
Alexis: “I don’t care if people think it is fusion, but I just think it is friggin’ fantastico – the bread and butter pudding was so light it almost felt like a very fragrant souffle, and match it with the milk tea ice cream and you get your traditional kaya bread with teh breakfast, except this is supper, and it is mindblowingly good for something so simple and transpired.”
11. Bijin Nabe @ Tsukada Nojo ($25)
Plaza Singapura #03-81, 68 Orchard Road
Daniel: “Tsukada Nojo is best known for their Bijin Nabe ($25 for 1 pax) – a “Beauty Pot” of collagen-rich organic chicken broth, and ingredients of prawns, fresh organic vegetables mushroom and chicken meatballs.
The Jidori chicken is a valuable ‘brand chicken’ in Japan, raised organically with stringent quality standards. The soup which melts from an initial lump of white smooth silky pudding, tastes nutritious, rich and extremely flavourful.”
12. The Other Spanish Tortilla @ Catalunya ($16)
The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay
Charleen: “Served in a martini glass, it was only too easy to mistake this for a cocktail especially when the bar is just steps away. Not concocted by their award-winning mixologist however, this one was in fact constructed in the kitchen, inspired by the molecular culinary techniques of elBulli.
Behold the deconstructed potato omelette topped with a fluffy potato foam. Mind blowingly ingenious and delicious. But do not be too quick to gulp this down. Complete satisfaction is only attained by eating this bottom up, with a spoon.”
13. Saga Beef Donburi @ Tamashii Robataya ($55)
#02-01, 12 North Canal Road
Maureen: “This bowl of Saga beef donburi is really shiok! Pink and tender Saga A4 beef striploin sits on a bed of marinated short-grain rice, topped with a runny onsen egg, drizzled with truffle oil. Break the yolk and mix it into the rice. In every mouthful you can taste the aroma from the truffle, the silkiness from the egg and the flavours of the beef. Pricey, but worth the splurge!”
14. Daurade a la Plancha – Seabream with Romesco Sauce and Arugula @ db Bistro Moderne
#B1-60 Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave, Galleria level
Catherine: “Daniel Boulud does fish very well. The daurade or seabream is grilled to scrupulous perfection. You can even see just how evenly crisp it is on the outside. The Catalonian Romesco sauce is also a superb accompaniment – redolent with roasted peppers, garlic and nuts.”
15. Signature Black Angus Beef Striploin, Fried Egg and Black Truffle @ District 10 ($36)
#01-15/16/17, UE Square, 81 Clemenceau Avenue
Alexis: “Where else can you get a decent piece of striploin that doesn’t make you seem like chewing gum that comes with black truffle SHAVINGS (so you know its the real stuff) and thick-cut goose fat fries, all for S$36? When I posted it on Facebook I must have gotten one of the most number of likes ever in 2013. And the likes matches my tastebuds.”
16. Australian pork knuckle @ Bar-Roque Grill ($58)
Amara Hotel, #01-00 165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Jasper: “The very best of Bar-Roque Grill’s menu are the meat dishes crafted around the Rotisol, a huge electric-powered rotisserie oven centrepiece that can hold up to a magnificent 60kg of meat. Gratifyingly unctuous and succulent under a sinfully crunchy, crackled skin—so good, it should be illegal.
The luscious Australian pork knuckle ($58, whole pork knuckle) is paired with fine homemade Alsatian sauerkraut that possesses just enough crunch to relieve the oiliness without distracting from the flavour.”
17. ViO’s Shepherd’s Pie @ Violet Oon’s Kitchen ($17)
881 Bukit Timah Rd
Melissa: “I had to include comfort food in my top picks, because this category captures the essence of the joy in eating most. ViO’s famed Shepherd’s Pie has been winning hearts for decades. In you’re in dire needs of comfort food, this is what you should engulf in.”
18. Foie Gras Terrine with Warm Brioche @ Absinthe ($29)
72 Boat Quay
Cheryl: “The brioche was great on its own but even better with the smooth Foie Gras. In fact, there was more than enough to spread on the brioche. Slices of cured meat layers the terrine, giving it some additional flavours. This is a dish that i would not share with anyone.”
19. Fried Chicken @ Communal ($22)
#01-01, 12 North Canal Road
Maureen: “IT’S LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT!
I only ate here twice but I have been thinking of its Fried Chicken for the longest time ever. Their chicken is first brined with a special blend of seasoning for 10 hours before dipping it into milk and deep fried. It is very good, crispy on the outside with tender and juicy meat on the inside. I am amazed at how a simple dish like this can be so spectacular!
After trying their fried chicken, you can totally forget about heading to a fast food restaurant. Come here and satisfy your fried chicken craving!”
20. Hamachi Carambola @ Bacchanalia ($26)
23A Coleman Street
Derrick: “The philosophy of Chef Ivan’s culinary approach to food can be clearly appreciated in the Hamachi Carambola ($26). The Hamachi was cured in seasonal citrus fruits and served with pickled starfruit, silvers of pickled garlic, dehydrated melon flavoured with thyme and walnut praline. I was told to have a bit of everything on the plate together.
I was glad that I followed the advice as I was blown away by how perfect the accompaniments accentuated the dish to a new level of enjoyment.”
21. Melanzane alla Parmigiana @ OTTO Locanda ($20)
#01-03, Maxwell Chambers, 32 Maxwell Road
Charleen: “Recreated from Executive Chef Marco’s fond memories of eating this as a young boy, this traditional Italian dish of oven baked layers of eggplant has undoubtedly won over the carnivore in us.
Creamy, simple and cheesy with the interlacing Buffalo Milk Mozzarella, it was hearty without being too heavy yet teases with bold notes of roasted eggplant flavor and a subtle sweetness. Going vegetarian has never been this delicious.”
22. Gragnano’s Paccheri in Naples Style @ The Lighthouse Restaurant ($32)
L8, The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square
Jasper: “Their first major revamp since 2008, The Lighthouse unveils a novel “Cucina Costiera” culinary philosophy that focuses on renowned Southern Italian specialities and products.
Following a 3 Michelin-starred chef’s winning recipe, the Gragnano Paccheri showcases intensely full-flavoured tomato braised beef ragout, cooked over low heat for 16-hours till mouth-wateringly tender, teamed perfectly with the hollow, traditional Neapolitan pasta—a definite must-order.”
23. Mushroom Capellini @ The Halia at Raffles ($22)
#01-22/23, Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road
Derrick: “The earthy and creamy mushroom capellini with fresh winter truffle and herb oil was so beautiful that the wonderful flavours remained lingering in me throughout the meal. If I go back to Halia, I will definitely order this dish again.”
24. Sous Vide Australian Grain Fed Beef Short Rib @ Osia ($66)
Festive Walk, 8 Sentosa Gateway
Melissa: “Having dined at Osia a few times, I conclude Chef Douglas Tay at Osia is exceptionally dexterous in the beef department, being able to execute a lean cut of beef to such easily disintegrated, tender perfection without losing the satisfying beefy texture.”
25. Fat Foa-Gura Don @ Fat Cow ($42)
#01-01 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard
Cheryl: “An affordably priced donburi with rich and buttery glazed foie gras chunks and grilled wagyu beef cubes. It would be even better with the onsen egg. You may be able to add that if you ask nicely!”
26. Chirashi Sushi @ Botan Japanese Restaurant ($25)
#01-01, 36 Pekin Street
Alexis: “I don’t think you can find any chirashi sushi in Singapore for this price (SGD$25) that is of this quality. The sashimi is always fresh and comes in a delightful variety. Apparently many people have been going to Botan, and keeping it a secret so now I am out to tell everyone!
Go during week days and you find it virtually empty for dinner despite its good-value dinner sets. If it is filled with Japanese patrons, you know it is good enough of an authentic Japanese cuisine.”
27. Peking Duck Barbecued with Lychee Wood @ Restaurant HOME ($38 half / $68 whole)
392 Upper Bukit Timah Road, The Rail Mall
Maureen: “Chef Tan’s signature Peking Duck Barbecued with Lychee Wood is excellent. Having learnt insider roasting techniques for the dish from local chefs while on a consultancy stint in China, Chef Tan subsequently spent months refining them, adapting the dish for the Singaporean palate. His version has less fat under the skin than traditional Peking Duck, but boosts equally good flavours.
Chef Tan has specially designed a customized wood-fired oven with superior heat retention, so that his Peking ducks emerge with skin that is crispy and glossy, not chewy. He also used imported lychee wood, for the more delicate aroma and flavours it imparts. The roast duck looks temptingly golden brown and the fragrance is irresistible.”
28. Tiramisu @ L’Atelier Tiramisu ($6.80)
#B1-09, The Central @ Clarke Quay, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Daniel: “L’Atelier Tiramisu at Clarke Quay Central offers just a four flavours of tiramisu – classic, lychee, dark cherry, pandan and matcha. A slice is at $6.80 while and entire cake is $48. I am not that a fan of tiramisu.
But one spoonful, one spoonful of that very moist cake sponge, creamy mascarpone and a slight explosion of Liberty’s expresso and liqueur with Marsala wine got me almost in cloud nine.”
29. Lobster Rice @ Catalunya ($80)
The Fullerton Pavilion, 82 Collyer Quay
Catherine: “Catalunya’s famous Lobster Rice is incredibly rich and robust with flavours of the sea permeating every grain of rice. It’s like paella on steroids!”
Map of these Restaurants in Singapore
The End! Have a dish to recommend?
Know a superb dish that you just feel everyone should know about? Let us know in the comments below. If you’ve enjoyed their recommendations, be sure to check out their blogs too and follow them for more good ideas!
Happy feasting in 2014!