Singapore's Top Restaurants
The latest in a destination that prizes its foodie culture
Set atop the roof of The Outpost Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island, the recently opened 1-V:U gives visitors the sense they’ve been transported to a beach club, with fun, music and gourmet Asian bites keeping the party going. Attendees can sip cocktails and socialize while overlooking Palawan Beach and the surrounding Singapore Straits.
The revamp of the famed Raffles Hotel included BBR by Alain Ducasse, the French master's first Mediterranean sharing and grill restaurant. The legendary chef, who now owns more than 60 establishments globally, was the first to operate three-Michelin-star restaurants in three different cities.
Combining classic ingredients with modern touches, Lino Pasta Bar offers a menu of Italian delights, enjoyed in an intimate atmosphere (with art covering the walls and carefully designed lighting) ideal for VIP groups or executive gatherings.
Marina Bay Sands has introduced New York City’s Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer to the Singapore populace. The opening marks the Asian debut for the chain, which went from a 15-seat gourmet burger joint in SoHo just three years ago to seven restaurants around the world today — including a spot in the Venetian Las Vegas, also owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp. The 140-seat restaurant offers its acclaimed burgers, craft beers and over-the-top CrazyShake milkshakes, in addition to salads, vegan options and, soon, items unique to Singapore. More than 15 shakes are on the menu at the CrazyShake bar. The adult-beverage bar includes 20 craft beers, including local brews, and a variety of signature cocktails. Read more here.
The LAVO Italian Restaurant and Rooftop Bar debuted atop the towering Marina Bay Sands early last year, in partnership with the TAO Group. Don't miss the famous LAVO Meatball, made from Imperial Wagyu beef and Italian sausage. The space offers a 180-degree view of the cityscape from 57 stories up, and a DJ keeps the scene lively at night at the outdoor bar and terrace.
Singapore is campaigning to nominate its hawker culture for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status. The nation is famous for its hawker centers, which are indoor markets packed with traditional street-food stalls, where hawkers prepare and serve inexpensive, traditional dishes. The centers have come to be representative of Singaporean culture as a whole, with their multiethnic mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian specialties, among others, served and enjoyed in a communal space. To be awarded a place on UNESCO’s 2020 list, Singapore will need to submit the official nomination by March 2019. Officials are seeking to preserve the culinary traditions and skills for which hawkers are known, and ensure they are passed down to future generations. Read more here.
Uncle Tour Guide
Walking tours are an ideal way to discover Singapore's colorful ethnic enclaves, but you can likewise experience the sights, sounds and scents from the comfort of a trishaw, which seats two alongside the guide who does the pedaling. Trishaw Uncle is licensed by the Singapore Tourism Board and provides a variety of tour experiences, including in Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam, the Arab quarter. Trishaw Uncle is experienced in creating customized tours for groups as well, from corporate outings to special occasions, team-building exercises and more.
Extending Your Trip in Singapore
The Singapore Zoo now remains open after sunset to offer Rainforest Lumina, a multimedia night-walk experience among the sleeping tenants of the zoo. The half-mile trail takes guests through 10 interactive light installations and multisensory zones. The experience, which is S$22 for adults and S$16 for children, kicked off on July 1.
City in a Garden
Gardens by the Bay is a sprawling, 250-acre swath of waterside botanical gardens and futuristic structures, combined into a colorful indoor/outdoor extravaganza. Visitors can tour countless ecosystems, explore the Flower Dome, ascend the suspended walkways within a Cloud Forest conservatory and much more. A number of spaces within can be rented for private events. Or check out the Supertree grove, filled with man-made tree-like structures as tall as 165 feet — which provide shade during the day and light up at night for a Vegas-like light-and-music show.
For those iconic views of Marina Bay, you'll want to ride the Marina Bay Sands elevator up 57 stories to the Sands Skypark. A spacious wraparound observation deck provides a dramatic perspective of the bay and Singapore's city skyline. Even more dramatic is the world's largest rooftop infinity pool, just above the deck, although only hotel guests are currently permitted to immerse themselves.
Singapore is world-renowned for chilli crab; anyone who leaves without sampling the dish would be remiss. Chilli crabs are stir-fried with a slightly sweet, slightly savory tomato and chili-based sauce and served with steamed or fried buns on the side. Every local will have his or her favorite joints, but one good bet is Jumbo Seafood, which has five locations throughout the city. Try the Riverside Point branch, an expansive restaurant and patio on the river amid a slew of tourist-friendly sites, and with five private dining rooms available within. Pro tip: Ask for the crab market price to avoid financial surprises following the feast.
The fact that Sentosa — known as Singapore's getaway island resort — is only 15 minutes away is testament to the compact allure of the city. The 1.2 million-acre island is owned by the Sentosa Development Corp. and designed for fun: It's home to Resorts World Sentosa and a Universal Studios theme park, as well as luxury hotels, spa retreats, rainforests, beaches, golf courses, a deep-water yachting marina and swanky vacation homes. Arriving via cable car from Mount Farber provides the best views.
National Parks maintains and cultivates four nature reserves and more than 300 parks across Singapore, allowing for countless opportunities to convene with nature. The MacRitchie Nature Trail offers one popular hiking option just three miles from the city center and populated with macaque monkeys. Free guided tours are available for MacRitchie and many of the popular trails, but National Parks also makes it easy for visitors to explore on their own: Download a free walking guide and map — complete with hike times (from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the hike), difficulty ratings and explanations of all of the sites on each trail. At last count, 40 DIY walking guides were available.
Down on the Farm
The D'Kranji Farm Resort, in the northwest of Singapore, provides a full-on local farm-stay experience, with an atmosphere that seems a million miles away from the city. The resort offers a wide variety of tours, workshops, prawn fishing and koi feeding, as well as 35 villas for those who wish to stay a night or two. There are three eateries on-site: a farm-fresh-ingredients restaurant, a vegetarian establishment and a pet-friendly café.
That's the Ticket
- Singapore has become known for some world-class events throughout the year. Consider these when planning your meeting.
- Singapore Food Festival (July): This food festival promotes the rich history and diversity of Singapore's local cuisine, from hawker centers to cafés to Michelin-starred restaurants.
- Singapore F1/Singapore Grand Prix (September): Formula 1's first-ever nighttime grand prix is held annually at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
- Singapore Art Week (January): The acclaimed event will hold its eighth edition in 2020, a 12-day celebration with art fairs, gallery openings, exhibitions, lifestyle events and more.