The F&B scene that can’t be seen
We trawl websites for promising Pokemon Go Guides in hopes of stumbling across legendary Pokemon that don’t linger long before they vanish. But this guide here confirms you’ll chance upon hidden restaurants! And these gems won’t be disappearing anytime soon – unlike that limited time Arcanine spawn.
It’s going to be tricky locating these hidden gems, so spare yourselves the directionless pacing as we provide you with with direct GPS coordinates to 10 secret restaurants and bars, with food and drinks so good you’ll want to catch them all. Finally, a much needed break from your diet comprising exclusively of virtual Razz berries.
– Restaurants –
1. The Flying Squirrel @ Amoy Street (TFS)
Entrance is only from this no sketch Amoy Street back alley. Source
This Squirrel has been flying under the radar off an Amoy Street alleyway. But it’s been hard to keep TFS underground, given it was started by homegrown highflyers Jack and Rai. Yes, TFS is run by that Jack and Rai, who’ve made not only a reputation for themselves as local musicians, but have also decided to dabble in Japanese fusion cuisine and barista-ing.
Don’t underestimate this narrow corridor, the Flying Squirrel can seat up to 30 diners. Source
This cosy place is your chance to get up close and personal to the duo when not on gigs, and savour star-studded coffees. Jack is reported be very adept with working espresso machines.
If you’ve tried hunting down the Flying Squirrel but to no avail, you might opt for their delivery option. Donburis, bentos and makis are available for order off their delivery menu!
The Flying Squirrel @ Amoy Street (TFS)
Address: 92 Amoy Street #01-02, Singapore 069911
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.281168 | Longitude: 103.847223
Hours: Mon – Fri: 11:30AM – 3PM, 6PM – 11PM/12AM (on Fri) | Sat: 5PM – 12AM | Closed on Sun
2. Maggie Joan’s
With exclusive access from Gemmill Lane’s back alley, Maggie Joan’s is a Mediterranean mystery hidden behind a rusty industrial door. The door conceals a windowless eatery that can sit up to fifty, where the shophouse space is shared with an office tenant and partitioned by a concrete wall.
Dining room with red brick walls and a caged-in semi-open kitchen, they’ve clearly gone out of their way to achieve this grungy get-up. But you’re not getting shady food here, as head chef Oliver Hyde, is an alum of UK’s famed Waterside Inn and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, serving up heart-healthy Mediterranean delicacies with NEA approved legitimacy.
Not only will you become designated hipster amongst friends, you also now have a cool place to impress Tinder dates.
Address: 110 Amoy St, Singapore 069930
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.28185 | Longitude: 103.847628
Hours: Mon – Fri: 12PM – 11PM | Sat: 6PM – 11PM | Closed on Sun
3. Burger Joint
With a nondescript neon sign and a name as generic as “Burger Joint”, this place proves to be a tough one to find. But the fuss-free burgers here are made from the tastiest Nebraskan beef patties, untainted with over-seasoning are worth the effort.
Indulge in the quintessential American burger experience with juicy classics like Hamburger ($17.10), Cheeseburger ($17.80) and the Bacon Burger ($19.10) with fries on the side ($5.50).
End things off on a sweet note with milkshakes ($11.80) or brownies ($4.80).
Address: 115 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.282097 | Longitude: 103.848025
Hours: Mon – Wed: 11.30AM – 11PM | Thurs – Sat: 11.30AM – 12AM | Sun: 11.30AM – 8PM
4. Chong Wen Ge Cafe
Housed in the same building as the Peranakan Tile Gallery and Singapore’s Musical Box Museum is Peranakan Cafe Chong Wen Ge. Serving up Nyonya desserts on a wooden platter, you can be guaranteed a plethora of delicious kuehs, from lapis, salat, ang koo, dadar and of course ondeh ondeh ($1.50/pc or $5/4pcs).
Your instagram feed is incomplete without shots at this Peranakan inspired cafe, featuring ornate porcelain tiles and traditional furniture that will teleport you to another era, where you can dine on traditional Nyonya Mee Siam and Laksa ($8.80).
It really is a neat find, right beside the Thian Hock Kheng National Monument, with a temple-y exterior that blends right into Telok Ayer Street. Check out Chong Wen Ge’s full review here!
Chong Wen Ge Cafe
Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068619
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.280785 | Longitude: 103.8475914
Hours: 11AM – 5:30PM daily
Psst… It’s the second door from the left Source: NoDestinations
Bincho is the quintessential gastrobar experience that you’ve to try at least once in your lifetime to proudly claim “bin there done that” status.
Local hawker store by day, Japanese hole-in-the wall bar by night, the only evidence of its incognito existence are the subtle signs that light up the dark corner of a sleepy Tiong Bahru neighbourhood.
This restaurant has earned celebrity status, appearing in the local award-winning movie Mee Pok Man. True to the movie, this section of the restaurant is part of Hua Bee Kopitiam, which has been dishing out mee pok for breakfast and lunch for the past 70 odd years.
Address: 78 Moh Guan Terrace, #01-19, Singapore 162078
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.283741 | Longitude: 103.830406
Hours: Tues – Sun: 12PM – 3PM, 6PM – 12AM | Closed on Mon
6. Skewer Bar
You never know what to expect of the seedier lorongs of Singapore’s Geylang, be it infamous late night durian spots, saucy duck rice or karaoke pubs with their unmistakeable neon sign boards. But there’s one unsung bar in that’s deserving to join the “Best of Geylang” ranks – The Skewer Bar, serving yakitori right off Lorong 27.
Established in 2016, this is one of the newer kids on the block, dishing out tsukune meatballs, bacon wrapped cherry tomatoes ($1.10/stick) and even fresh “Red Leg” Sea Prawns ($2.10/stick), giving the Tori Q a run for its money with sensational skewered shebangs.
The Skewer Bar
Address: 489 Geylang Road, Singapore 389448
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.31372 | Longitude: 103.883814
Hours: Sun – Thurs: 6:30PM – 1:30AM | Fri – Sat: 6:30PM – 2:30AM | Closed on Mon
– Bars –
7. Operation Dagger
An inverted crown and overlapping rectangle are the only indication of Operation Dagger’s underground operations you’ll see at street level.
Descend into the dark recesses to find ceilings decorated with an aggregation of 6000 light bulbs, that do really little illuminating in this dimly lit experimental cocktail bar! Tinted apothecary bottles decorate the wall, where spirits, essences, and who knows what other in-house ingredients are stored.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.281434 | Longitude: 103.845734
Hours: Tues – Sat: 6PM – 12AM | Closed on Sun & Mon
8. The Flagship
Wind your way into the Flagship’s secret brick-walled recesses through the darkened corridor next to the Humpback seafood shop, your “teleportive” gateway to high-end whiskey cocktails and nights of copious beer chugging with adrenaline-pumping beer pong.
Extensive international collection. Source: @luanneyan
Offering more than 100 different variants of whiskies and bourbons ($10/30ml, $15/45ml and up) from entry-level to rare , get your choice of poison straight up, on the rocks, or with a beer chaser ($2), without having to travel far across the land, searching far and wide.
Address: 18/20 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore 089832
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.279177 | Longitude: 103.840824
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 6PM – 1AM | Fri – Sat: 6PM – 2AM | Closed on Sun
9. 28 Hong Kong Street
The quintessence of incognito is the surreptitious bar 28 Hong Kong Street, which has proven that stellar shopfronts are not what makes a business. Even in it’s covert existence, it has clinched 1st place in 2016 Asia’s Best Bars Awards!
With a bar stylized to the 1920s and almost non-existent lighting, you’re getting the true speakeasy experience.
Don’t miss their bar grub – The truffle infused Mac ‘n’ cheese balls ($12) and cheesy Reuben sandwich with pastrami ($16) are legit de-lights that contradict the dark illicit ambience.
28 Hong Kong Street
Address: 28 Hongkong Street, Singapore 059667
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.287578 | Longitude: 103.846927
Hours: Mon – Wed: 6PM – 2AM | Thurs – Sat | 6PM – 3AM | Closed on Sun
Check out their website. But it’s not giving us the deets of what goes behind these doors.
10. The Secret Mermaid
Myths of a mermaid lurking in the CBD has been circulating the streets since 2014, but come see for yourself if you pop by this watering hole for a visit.
The Secret Mermaid’s daytime persona is a Japanese salad store (Shinkansen), but come nighttime it turns into a specialty bar featuring American craft spirits never been imported to Singapore before.
This speakeasy’s philosophy is “try before you buy” where you can taste the handcrafted Bacon Vodka to Smoked Salmon Flavoured Vodka Alaska as part of their ‘tasting room’ concept. If you can’t decide from their massive collection, get their tasting flights ($15 and up) – and get the best of three spirits with three half shots.
The Secret Mermaid
Address: #B1-08 Ocean Financial Centre, 10 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049315
GPS Coords: Latitude: 1.282882 | Longitude: 103.852146
Hours: Mon – Fri: 5PM – 11PM | Closed on Sat & Sun
Places to see but never be seen
Whether you’re trying to play Po-GO! sans the judge-y stares of the Singaporean community or simply looking for a quiet place to charm a Tinder date, these restaurants are truly neat finds of Singapore’s underground food scene.
This guide serves to end your “not sure if restaurant or rundown construction site” situations and if you need the bar equivalent, we’ve got you covered with our hidden bar exposé. There’s really no telling what’s hiding on our Little Red Dot!
Time to whip out your smartphone to play and plot your way to these 10 hidden spots!