1. W39 Bistro and Bakery – Jalan Mas Puteh
Tucked beneath walk-up apartments at Jalan Mas Puteh, a sleepy street in the west, this bright and inviting bistro could pass off for a beach cottage. Surrounded by white clapboard walls and shelves lined with colourful knick-knacks, try jazzed-up local dishes such as mee siam (rice noodles in a spicy gravy) with a blend of 20 fresh spices and ingredients. This is cooked for at least three hours and topped with a poached egg.
Nearest MRT station: Clementi
2. South Union Park – Jalan Kembangan
An unlikely culinary destination ensconced in the quiet residential estate of Kembangan, this unpretentious nook showcases a small but well-thought-out menu of dishes. The quality of the contemporary western cuisine here is a reflection of young chef-owner Terrence Chuah, who has interned at Spain’s 2-Michelin-star Mugaritz. Though they rotate their menu from time to time and introduce specials on a regular basis, do try the popular homemade duck confit tagliatelle (above), drizzled with hazelnut cream and garnished with roasted hazelnuts and lemon zest.
Nearest MRT station: Kembangan
3. Woody Family Cafe – Andrews Avenue
Lovers of spicy food will find a haven in this little corner of Sembawang. The eatery specialises in Peranakan (Straits Chinese) fare with a twist, so go if the thought of umami-laden dishes such as buah keluak (black nuts) omelette excite, rather than intimidate you. Do also order their signature dish, nasi ulam (rice mixed with shredded herbs such as wild betel leaf and turmeric leaves).
Nearest MRT station: Sembawang
4. Le Binchotan – Amoy Street
Inconspicuous Gemmill Lane has become the go-to place for cool, concept restaurants in Singapore. One of the more talked-about is this French-Japanese tapas joint, which has a bunker-like bar that feels like a secret whispered among the cool set. Whet your appetite with sharing plates such as The Madai – Japanese red bream, lightly smoked over binchotan (white charcoal), served with eggplant – and Tenkasu (below), deep-fried mushrooms with homemade truffle mayonnaise and pickled daikon.
Nearest MRT station: Telok Ayer
5. Whisk and Paddle – Tebing Lane
Take a breather from the city’s hustle and bustle and chill out while dining by the tranquil Punggol waterway. This family-friendly cafe looks out towards the scenic Lorong Halus wetlands and is perfect for a lunch out with the kids. It’s likely that they will enjoy the cafe’s top-seller, the macaroni and cheese.
Nearest MRT station: Punggol
6. Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant – Woodlands Jetty
This remote halal restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy beautiful sunset views from a jetty. Pick from hearty local fare like satay (barbecued meat skewers), chilli crab, mee goreng (fried noodles with seafood) and barbecued stingray.
Nearest MRT station: Woodlands
7. Morsels – Dempsey
Kick back in this unpretentious eatery tucked inside lush Dempsey. As its name suggests, Morsels dishes up small plates of fusion fare. Highlights here are the Hokkaido scallop ceviche, the Firecracker Duroc pulled pork shell pasta, and the sakura chicken with chicken liver mousse, pickled beet and beetroot vinaigrette (above).
Nearest MRT station: Holland Village (free shuttle available)
8. Camp Kilo Charcoal Club – Kallang Basin
Offering a hearty, carnivore-friendly menu, this fusion eatery and bar by the Kallang river is a great place to get away from the bustle of the city. Seating is outdoors only, so dress comfortably to enjoy the atmosphere and food. Don’t forget to snap an Instagram shot of the majestic 30kg hog roasting on a spit.
Nearest MRT station: Lavender