What: The lobby-side setting within Straits Clan?at?Outram may not be the most inspired but the cooking of local dishes, seeped in folklore, is brilliant and demands a visit. Sharing dishes are made up of small and large plates, first-rate vegetables, rice and pickles, including Hakka fried pork served with red fermented beancurd and crispy shallots and a superb marinaded chicken served with garlic chilli relish.
Where: Where: Straits Clan Lobby, 31 Bukit Pasoh Rd, 089845
Violet Oon Singapore
What: Peranakan food, or dishes created by descendants of Chinese immigrants who married Malayan locals, is an essential part of Singaporean cuisine. And one of the best places to try it is at Violet Oon. Everything’s still done the traditional way, and flavours are blistering. Deep flavours and interesting textures in form the cooking, as with kuay pie tee, a stew of root vegetables poached in a prawn bisque and presented in a crispy shell topped with a prawn. Eating on the veranda adds further sparkle.
Where: 881 Bukit Timah Road, 279893
What: Chef Han Li Guang's new expression of Singapore cuisine at its most elevated is the real deal here at high-style Labyrinth at this spot within The Esplanade performing-arts centre. Commonly found local dishes, including chicken rice and chilli crab, are given a creative twist and largely use locally grown ingredients, such as locally reared quails and clams. Lunch is a bargain at SG$68 while dinner is a more extravagant affair at SG$178.
Where: Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue #02-23, 039802
What: A small rather unremarkable, riverside restaurant but one that delivers sensational cooking and flavours mixing French technique with Chinese and Nanyang spins. It’s all down to a team with rich and diverse skillsets, orchestrated by chef Woo. In a relaxed ambience the food sings joyously on the plate: think grilled squid with mala oil, lotus root and aioli, and black cod with roast lala jus, burnt broccoli and fennel salad.
Where: 18th North Canal Road, 048830
What: Mitzo is a contemporary take on a Cantonese restaurant, using innovative ingredients and a creative spin on familiar Cantonese dishes. Highlights include lobster claw stuffed with shrimps and sea cucumber, and black truffle crispy roast duck. Oh…and there’s a top list of artisanal cocktails too. Floor-to-ceiling windows on the fourth floor allows plenty of natural light at lunch, while an interplay of glass screens and vibrant lights ushers in added atmosphere in the evening.
Where: Level 4 Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Road, 238857
What: The world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant manages to perform the trick of delivering an exciting, contemporary experience while maintaining the essence and complexities of traditional Straits-Chinese cuisine. Clever twists performed by chef Malcolm Lee, together with the freshest seasonal produce, lift the often rich dishes to a different level.
Where: 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore, 249676