What: There's nothing flashy about this small, unprepossessing, intimate neighbourhood restaurant with its mere seven tables, but it’s the food dispensed from an open kitchen, with its bold flavours, clear thinking and attractive presentation, that makes this one of the hottest tickets in town. Service is friendly but professional.
Where: 3 Duxton Hill, 089589
What: The cheekier younger sibling of Cheek by Jowl, touting superb food and a relaxed vibe. Small and large sharing plates showcase bold, exciting twists on familiar flavours, as in beetroot tarte tatin and a red snapper fish and chips. Wines are largely French and equally well considered.
Where: 21 Boon Tat Street, 069620
What: Bright, breezy and homey, this French brasserie in an early shophouse setting gets wide applause from locals and expats alike. It may be relatively new but it’s sure making its mark for its mix of classic cooking and brasserie dishes with an Asian twist. Lobster bisque tinctured with coconut milk accompanied by a lobster dumpling might be followed by traditional roast chicken with chestnut sauce and seasonal artichokes. The wine list travels through Old World and New.
Where: 48A Bukit Pasoh Rd, Level 2, Singapore, 089859
What: With its open kitchen, cosy setting and unpretentious demeanour, Mag’s is the perfect fit for this characterful, shophouse-packed neighbourhood. The food majors in comforting bistro dishes, many inflected with delicious Japanese technique – think foie gras and beef tartare alongside wagyu carpaccio and Kurobuta pork cheek ballotine. The winelist is a bipartite affair. Bordeaux and Burgundy on the one hand. Saké on the other.
Where: 55 Keong Saik Road #01-06, Singapore, 089158
What: Fastidious French brasserie dishes executed with modish panache set the pulses racing for fans of this cosy but polished bistro with its warm-toned, urban-chic interior. With ingredients from proper French suppliers the flavours sing, as in homemade foie gras terrine or pan-fried Perigord duck breast, alongside crispy-skinned seabass zesty lemon tart and ace farmyard cheeses. 28 wines available from their Enomatic wine dispenser and very amiable staff are further pluses.
Where: 206 Telok Ayer St, Singapore, 068641
What: Arguably the grandest fine dining experience in Singapore. The service is an elaborate ceremony of elegance, precision and sombre propriety where diners are spoilt rotten and the dishes are a tour de force of artistry. The newish chef's table (pictured) is evidence, if evidence were needed, of their ever-evolving offering. A memorable experience.
Where: #01-16, Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road, 228208
What: This perfectly formed “restaurant in the sky” offers a light-filled room, spectacular views and a colourful crowd of well-healed locals. But, best of all, is the sumptuous cooking of chef Kirk Westaway which provides the trump card and a menu that follows the rigours of the seasons – think poached snapper or herb-crusted lamb.
Where: Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, 178882
What: If you’re looking for French finesse, you can’t do much better than this new restaurant, run by arguably the world’s greatest female chef. In a setting that is bold, beautiful and packed with feminine charm, it’s Pic's sybaritic, sauce-driven cooking married to magical flavour combinations and a deftness of touch that delivers the aces in the pack.
Where: Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Road, Singapore 189673
What: Set in the luxury retail and dining atrium of the Marina Bay Sands Resort, db Bistro & Oyster Bar trades in a mix of traditional French bistro cooking with contemporary American flavours, but it’s the signature burgers which are the main draw.
Where: #B1-48, Galleria Level, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, 018956
What: This showroom of muted greys, off-pinks, mirror finishes and bold artwork is, to some, a little heartsinking but nobody can accuse this two-Michelin-starred kitchen of falling short on the culinary fireworks. Be amazed by the depth of flavour in the likes of turbot with Obsiblue prawns and Kaffir lime, or foie gras with abalone, smoked eel broth, cut through with the tangy flavours of yuzu. Cooking at its most exquisite.
Where: East Coast Seafood Centre, Block 1206 East Coast Parkway #01-07/08, 449883
What: David Thien’s beautifully executed Asian food wrapped in French technique is a treat for any Francophile. Think Foie gras with grapefruit, apple, rice cracker and ginger or Hokkaido sea urchin emboldened with crevettes, spring peas, yuzu, pork crackling and caviar. The Botanic Gardens setting is rather nice, too.
Where: Sofitel Singapore Sentosa, 2 Bukit Manis Road, 099891
What: Gorgeously old school brasserie with a coterie of old school decorative touches means candles, soft lighting, bare brick walls and a studious absence of cutting edge. Add in an ambient terrace and a menu of bistro classics – think French spring chicken, charcuterie and black angus ribeye – and you could be in Les Halles.
Where: 165 Tanjong Pagar Road #01–00, Singapore, 088539