Fusion cuisine is the headline act at some of the most fashionable eateries, all housed within the glittering Marina Bay Sands resort (+65 6688 8857) at Sands SkyPark, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue. Sky on 57 is Singaporean celeb chef Justin Quek’s glassy, classy Asian restaurant, perched loftily atop Marina Bay Sands, with a sublime view of the skyline and a gorgeous space that’s ideal for a power lunch or romantic tryst. The menu champions local ingredients and traditional dishes: try king prawn laksa, chicken rice and fried lobster (noodles). You won’t find renditions quite as luxe in such a prime locale anywhere else.
Chilli crab extraordinaire
A must for seafood lovers – the humble mud crab gets its star turn in this famous Singaporean dish, in which stir-fried crab is slathered in spicy tomato sauce and teamed with steamed (or deep-fried) buns. Your dietitian may not approve, but your taste buds certainly will. A reliably good place to start is No Signboard Seafood (+65 6842 3415) at 414 Geyland Road; don’t scrimp on the (buns), as you’ll need them for sauce-soaking purposes. Pepper-crab fans head to Long Beach Seafood Restaurant (+65 6445 8833) at 1018 East Coast Parkway (you can opt for white or black pepper), but the restaurant’s take on chilli crab is lip-lickingly good, too.
Style with substance
If you want your dinner and drinks to come with a generous side of sophisticated Singaporeans, follow the fashion pack to Catalunya (+65 6534 0886) at 82 Collyer Quay in the Fullerton Pavilion. You’re in good hands here: the creative team behind Catalunya hails from elBulli, Santi, Drolma and Sketch.
Trad street food to Mod Sin
Chinese, Malay, Eurasian and Indian culinary traditions can be sampled everywhere, from hawker street-stall centres selling and oyster omelettes to formal restaurants offering elegant, modern creations. For something truly unique, head to the Katong quarter for the cuisine of the Peranakans (Nyonyas or Straits Chinese), a sophisticated blend of Chinese and Malay flavours. The city also has a dazzling new crop of entrepreneurial, superstar chefs dazzling critics and crowds alike: lawyer-turned-chef Willin Low, for example, whose five-restaurant empire includes Wild Rocket, or Janice Wong, who has won acclaim for 2am:dessertbar and 2am:lab,’ says Mr & Mrs Smith’s Amira Morgan.
Chicken Rice in Chinatown
INSIDER TIP: ‘For the fullest-flavoured local-dining experience, have a cheap and cheery meal at a food centre. I love Maxwell Road Hawker Centre in Chinatown – with more than 100 stalls it offers one of Singapore’s biggest varieties of cuisines. Don’t miss Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice – considered a national dish this is where to taste it at its very best. Just look out for the longest queue forming in front of the stall every day… even American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain loved it, saying that that it’s ‘so fragrant and delicious that it can be eaten on its own’ – and I totally agree.’ Maureen Ow is food blogger Miss Tam Chiak.
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