Why go: Slabs of meat are put through a trial by fire to emerge as succulent steaks worthy of a World’s 50 Best Restaurants nod. Burnt Ends is a modern Australian barbecue joint that has evolved past throwing shrimp on the barbie. Expect everything that touches your plate to be kissed by its custom-made grills for that unbeatable smoky quality. Advance reservations are strongly suggested, especially if you’re planning to sit in front of the open kitchen – the best seats in the house.
What to order: Start your meal by popping a couple of smoked quails’ eggs topped with caviar (SG$6) in your mouth. But for something more substantial, the Wagyu onglet (SG$140/kg) covered in wobbly bone marrow and the Burnt Ends Sanger (SG$20) are a must. The latter is pulled pork shoulder sandwiched between pillowy soft brioche and finished with coleslaw for some added zing.
Where to find: 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore, 088391
Why go: Chilli crab is a definite must when you visit Singapore. A short ride to East Coast Park will lead you to a row of restaurants hawking the stuff. And while they’re all solid options, Jumbo Seafood stands out with its meaty crabs and sauce that’s the right amount of spicy, sour and sweet all in one bite. Plus, nothing beats alfresco by the sea with plates of fresh seafood on the table.
What to order: Mop up your chilli crab (market price) sauce with a plate of deep-fried mantou (Chinese steamed buns). The crabs are the main draw here but why limit yourself to just chilli? Try them with black pepper, salted egg yolk or steamed with Chinese wine. There’s also a host of other seafood dishes to stuff your face silly with.
Where to find: 01-07/08, East Coast Seafood Centre, 1206 East Coast Parkway, Singapore, 449883
Why go: Peranakan food, or dishes created and perfected by descendants of Chinese immigrants who married Malayan locals, is an essential part of Singaporean cuisine. And the best place to have a taste of it is at the house of Violent Oon, the doyenne of Nyonya food who’s both a chef and a former restaurant critic. Everything’s still done the traditional way, following recipes that have been handed down through generations so you’re guaranteed a taste of authenticity.
What to order: With a wide variety of Peranakan dishes on the menu, it’s hard to know where to begin. The kuay pie tee (SG$17), stewed root vegetables presented in a crispy shell, is a safe bet. But kick things up a notch with the buah keluak ayam (SG$23), a chicken and fermented black nut curry and beef rendang (SG$23), braised beef shin in a spicy coconut milk-based curry.
Where to find: 881 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore, 279893