Singapore is home to all manners of cuisines. Food is an integral part of our culture and heritage, much like monuments of bygone days preserved throughout the island—even our hawker centers and the hands that make them have been recognised as Singapore’s first element on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2020.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up one of the island’s best kept secrets: Restaurants tucked away in heritage sites that serve delectable morsels, breathtaking views and delicious libations. They might surprise even the most patriotic foodies.
First on this list is Restaurant Eclipse, which sits at the rooftop of Yue Hwa Building. Constructed in 1927, this property used to be a hotel, a cabaret nightclub and now, the Chinese department store we now know it as.
Founded by head chef Samuel Quan in 2021, this restaurant serves dishes that fuse familiar local flavours with European elements that Quan mastered during his time at Michelin-starred restaurants Les Amis, Joël Buchon and Aponiente. For example, the Duo Beef dish (pictured here) consists of short ribs prepared with sweet Hoisin glaze and Kampot Pepper Jus paired with an assortment of locally-farmed vegetables and lightly whipped mash potatoes on the side.
There’s also a glorious bar and spectacular view of Chinatown to boot.
Restaurant Eclipse is located at #06-01 Yue Hwa Building, 70 Eu Tong Sen St, Singapore 059805
Hailed as one of the oldest Indian restaurants of Singapore, Tiffin Room is also touted as one of the best places to satiate cravings for North Indian cuisine on the island. Their most popular dishes include: Lamb Awadhi Korma, Goan Fish Curry, and Jhinga Dum Briyani.
The restaurant was founded in 1892 by the Sarkies brothers, who also founded the iconic Raffles Hotel Singapore at Commercial Square before moving to its current location within the hotel in 1910.
Tiffin Room is located at 1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673
Once a coconut plantation, the Joo Chiat area is now an ever-evolving, bustling brunch hangout that Singaporeans flock to. Café Natsu is one of the newest restaurants on the block, serving Japanese-Western dishes from Wagyu Sandos ($26) to Cereal Crusted French Toast ($22).
Café Natsu is located at 283 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427537
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Indulge in alfresco dining while sipping on ambrosian cocktails at Dusk Restaurant & Bar. Located 100 metres above sea level at the peak of Mount Faber, this restaurant is perfect for dates and offers a much welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life—especially at sunset when the restaurant is bathed in golden, saffron hues.
Dusk Restaurant & Bar is located at Level 2, Faber Peak Singapore, 109 Mount Faber Road, 099203
The Fullerton Bay area might be known for its luxurious hotels and fine dining experiences, but in the early 1900s, it was a port, vital to Singapore’s economy. After closing in 2006, the pier was converted into a sophisticated restaurant fit for formal luncheons, galas and weddings.
The Clifford Pier is located at 80 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049326
Tucked between two shophouses along Emerald Hill, Alley Bar is a cosy hole-in-the-wall that serves bespoke cocktails and bites inspired by Singaporean flavours such as kueh pie tie and chicken satay. The food and decor is also influenced by the street’s history of being a peranakan enclave in the 1930s.
Alley Bar is located at 2 Emerald Hill Road Peranakan Place,Singapore 229287
Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong is one of the best places in Singapore to get the fresh seafood. Co-founder by Wong Jing Kai, it’s the first fish-farmer-owned restaurant on the island, and gives new meaning to the term farm-to-table.
Tucked along the streets of Jalan Besar, this restaurant serves original, Singapore-inspired recipes dreamed up by co-founder and chef, Ron—including Seabass Puttanesca ($26) to Namjim Grouper ($27) and Curry Mussel Pasta ($20). Suffice to say, Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong is a must-visit for seafood lovers.
Scaled by Ah Hua Kelong is located at 8 Hamilton Rd, Singapore 209179
Tiong Bahru is home to some of Singapore’s best cafés and restaurants. One such establishment is The Butcher’s Wife. It’s helmed by Chef Mariana Campos D’Almedia, who hails from Brazil and has a background in wild fermentation—kefir, kombucha, yoghurt and butter. Her approach to cooking veers towards natural sustainability, resulting in the restaurant specialising in gluten-free grub with influences from Europe and Brazil.
The Butcher’s Wife is located at 19 Yong Siak St, Singapore 168650
Nothing beats a hearty steak for dinner. In the heart of Holland Village, which was Singapore’s first satellite town for the British, Black Marble’s grill fires up steaks from Australia, Argentina and the United States. And if you are not a meat lover, the restaurant also serves seafood options such as grilled cod and lobster and scallop risotto.
Black Marble is located at 118 Holland Ave, #02-01 Raffles Holland V Mall, Singapore 278997
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