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Being a gateway to South East Asia and the nexus of regional commerce, Singapore attracts more than its fair share of visitors whether for business or leisure. And because of this, one often finds one’s diary chock-full of appointments to entertain said guests. Thankfully, our island state has an embarrassment of richness when it comes to fine restaurants — from piquant Nyonya dishes to refined Cantonese cuisine, modern French gastronomy to rustic Australian BBQ – however your visitor’s tastes veer towards and whatever their dietary requirements, there’s a spot that will suit even the most fastidious palate. In fact, the 10 best restaurants on this list will make the meal a memorable one for your guest and for you as well.
Some of the restaurants featured in this story have also made the cut for Top 10 restaurants in Singapore.
Luxurious ingredients don’t need too much adornment, perhaps that’s what chef-owner Gunther Hubrechsen means when he describes his cooking as “simple, honest and down-to-earth”. That aside, the eponymously named Gunther’s is one of those special celebration restaurants that you can depend on for elevated comfort food the likes of angel hair pasta with Oscietra caviar, roast rack of black pig, and fine apple tart. This Michelin listed restaurant is also ideal for business guests you’re looking to impress or need a private room to seal an important deal in. Consistently delicious food, a decidedly upmarket setting and effortlessly elegant service, a meal at Gunther’s takes the anxiety out of entertaining.
36 Purvis Street
Tel: +65 6338 8955, +65 9010 3075 (for reservations via SMS)
Flawless in food, service and ambience, the deservedly two-Michelin-star Odette at the National Gallery Singapore is the kind of restaurant that will have your guests still talking about long after the night is over. Not only will they coo over the handsomely turned out interiors, they’ll be enthralled by Chef Julien Royer’s dazzling contemporary French creations. Royer’s finesse shines through in every dish and his commitment to working with the world’s best boutique producers to bring only the most superlative ingredients is evident. The restaurant pays tribute to Royer’s maternal grandmother, Odette, who instilled in him a lifelong respect for seasonality, terroir and artisanal produce. Considering the dazzling meals Royer serves, she would no doubt approve.
National Gallery Singapore
1 St Andrew’s Road
Tel: +65 6385 0498
3. National Kitchen by Violet Oon
Singapore’s fixation with Peranakan cuisine is a well-known quirk and local food ambassador, Violet Oon has catered (literally and otherwise) to this national preoccupation with cookbooks, two restaurants at Bukit Timah and Clarke Quay, and, most recently, National Kitchen at the National Gallery. The restaurant is a stylish introduction to the Peranakan aesthetic for visitors with its rattan ceiling fans, intricate Peranakan tiles, opulent chandeliers and panelled walls. The menu has all the Straits Chinese favourites you’ll want your visitors to sample, like Sambal Timun Nanas, a cucumber and pineapple sambal with onions and lightly sweet rice vinegar and Buah Keluak Ayam, a stew of tangy chicken and the traditional buah keluak nuts. Don’t forget to order other local favourites like Eurasian Beef Brisket Semor and Hakka Abacus Beads.
National Gallery Singapore
1 St Andrew’s Road
Tel: +65 9834 9935
Helmed by Chef Malcolm Lee who learned how to cook in the kitchen of his Nonya grandmother and mother, Candlenut offers authentic Peranakan specialties with a modern twist. This is after all the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant and Lee has come a long way since his famously crowded Candlenut Kitchen in Dorsett Residences. Treat your guests to Candlenut’s signature ‘Ah-ma-kase’ tasting menu, a 10-course dinner tasting menu where Lee recreates the extravagant Peranakan banquets of old. A great entree especially for those unfamiliar with Peranakan food to taste the complex universe of the cuisine’s rich flavours, contrasting textures and unique tastes. The dining experience is further enhanced by the setting designed by world-renowned architect and designer, Paola Navone – a tasteful melange of modernity with intricate Peranakan details.
17a Dempsey Road
Tel: 1800 304 2288
5. Fat Cow
If your guests are committed carnivores, head straight for Fat Cow, reputed to be one of the best Japanese steak restaurants in town. While the environment veers more towards the minimalist, the decor isn’t what you’re there for — it’s the well-marbled and succulent steaks, various grades of Wagyu from three prefectures in Japan, namely Saga (A3), Ohmi (A4) and Iwate (A5), along with breeds from Australia and the US. With such top-grade meat, charcoal grilled is the preferred style of cooking but Fat Cow also offers sukiyaki or shabu-shabu. To ease you into the meat-fest, this Michelin listed restaurant’s appetiser of tai no kuro-toryufu (white bream slices laced with truffle oil and topped with black truffle) in particular is highly recommended.
Camden Medical Centre Singapore
1 Orchard Boulevard
Tel: +65 6735 0308
Celebrating 13 years of gastronomy this year, for many Iggy’s has become the go-to fine dining restaurant when one wants to spoil guests. While Iggy’s head chef has changed (the kitchen is now helmed by Spaniard Aitor Jeronimo Orive), the Michelin listed restaurant’s ethos of sourcing the finest locally and internationally sourced ingredients pulled together with modern European techniques remain intact. This bijoux restaurant has only eight tables and eight seats at the dessert counter so service is discreet but impeccable. Also if any of your party is an oenophile, award-winning sommelier and founder of the restaurant, Ignatius Chan’s 25,000-strong bottle wine list will thrill them to no end.
The Hilton Hotel
581 Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6732 2234
7. Waku Ghin
Born in Japan, forged in Australia, perfected in Singapore — that is how the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants guide describes Waku Ghin, which comes in at number 20 in case you’re wondering. Just one of the superlatives heaped on this one Michelin-star restaurant helmed by contemporary Japanese cuisine maestro, Tetsuya Wakada. A unique experience that is sure to delight even the most jaded of guests, diners are taken on a literal and culinary journey as they are escorted through a series of rooms. Be assured of the best sake to accompany this extraordinary evening, as Tetsuya is the first person to be appointed as Sake Ambassador outside of Japan.
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue
8. Burnt Ends
For guests who enjoy the uncomplicated pleasure of watching a solid slab of meat being cooked over open flames, Burnt Ends is sure to please. But while this Michelin listed modern Australian BBQ establishment has the characteristic Down Under casualness, it takes its craft seriously. The meats are top quality and once chosen and weighed, they’re cooked over four-ton, double-cavity apple and almond wood-burning brick kilns. Even as the steaks are cooked in front of you, there’s absolutely no worry that you’ll leave smelling of smoke due to superb ventilation. To accompany your meal, choose from a wine list focusing on small growers, regional styles and varietals from Australian native, Chef David Pynt’s homeland, although there are also craft beers to douse the flames.
20 Teck Lim Road
Tel: +65 6224 3933
Gift your guests a respite from Singapore’s concrete jungle with a trip to Cassia at Capella, easily one of Singapore’s classiest Chinese restaurants in one of its loveliest resorts. Capella’s grand colonial building is juxtaposed against Cassia’s sophisticated modern interiors by acclaimed interior designer Andre Fu and for an even more special meal, book the private dining room which overflows onto an outdoor terrace overlooking the resort’s lush grounds, with a view of the distant city as a backdrop for good measure. The dim sum here is famous but also have a look at the complete menu which boasts a combination of traditional and regional cooking elevated by haute Cantonese technique.
1 The Knolls
Tel: +65 6377 8888
Killer views and bragging rights of having dined at the highest restaurant in town are just two of the things your guests will take away from dining at Stellar, located on the 62nd floor of One Raffles Place. The restaurant acts as a platform for its executive chef, Christopher Millar to display progressive Australian gastronomy. In line with the produce-driven menu, Stellar also has its own cattle exclusively produced by Australia’s premier Wagyu farm Tajima and a different cut is featured every month on the lunch menu, grilled to perfection on the wood fired Josper oven.
1 Raffles Place
Tel: +65 6438 0410