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Mackerel Dosa at Thevar
Alex Ang

The 14 Hottest New Restaurants in Singapore

Where to find curried mackerel dosa, foie gras xiao long bao, and Indonesian fried rice in what might be the planet’s ultimate food town

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Mackerel Dosa at Thevar
| Alex Ang

Here now, Eater returns to Singapore to discover the hottest drinking and dining options the city has to offer. “Singapore’s dining landscape took a slight beating when Restaurant Andre and Joel Robuchon’s two restaurants shuttered last year, wiping out seven Michelin stars within a short four-month period,” says local food writer Evelyn Chen, who blogs about Singapore’s dining scene at BibikGourmand.com. “But the downturn didn’t last long. Buoyed by the city’s new-found status as a lifestyle hub for Crazy Rich Asians and gastro tourists, new restaurants continue to come on the scene unabated.”

Among her picks, a contemporary taste of the rustic Basque country (Basque Cuisine by Altor), a packed natural wine bar (Le Bon Funk), and a monochrome-inspired tasting menu (Preludio). Here now, in geographic order, the Eater Heatmap to Singapore. (Want to catch up with the city’s most essential dining experiences? Visit the Singapore 38.)

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Magic Square

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5B Portsdown Rd
#01-02, Singapore 139311

Magic Square launched in May as a 12-month incubator pop-up to showcase three previously unknown young chefs in a 1,000-square-foot space at Portsdown Road. Each month, one of the three chefs — Desmond Shen, Marcus Leow, and Abel Su — drives the borderless menu, nine courses that draw from the flavors and produce of Singapore. Sponsorship by the kitchen-appliance company Miele means Loon is able to price the dinner menu at a relatively low $78 (plus tax and gratuity) per head, a rarity in inflationary Singapore. From the July menu, Su’s duck liver tart, made with local duck and spiked with Hua Tiao wine, was a hit.

Duck liver tart at Magic Square
Alex Ang

2. Restaurant Zén

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Restaurant Andre may have left the city, but its three-story conservation shop house space has been reimagined as the Singapore outpost of Stockholm’s three Michelin-starred Frantzen: Restaurant Zén. Recently opened with executive chef Tristin Farmer, Zen replicates the self-described Frantzen DNA of “Nordic kaiseki with French perfume,” rehashing signatures like the French toast with truffled consommé and the egg custard with 100-day-aged pork broth — with a few tweaks for the Southeast Asian audience. Prepare to set aside about four hours for Singapore’s priciest dining experience, which meanders from the kitchen to the dining room before ending in the living room.

A modernist dish at Restaurant Zén
Zén/Facebook

3. Thevar

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Plugging the gap between street food and upscale Indian, Thevar serves authentic Indian flavors repackaged as small plates, but not as you know them. Named for its Penang-born Indian chef-owner, Mano Thevar, the restaurant serves butter mushroom in place of India’s famed butter chicken, but with grated paneer cheese and a heavenly piece of naan. And while you will not find mackerel curry in any traditional restaurants, the chef cooks a refined version here and serves it sandwiched with tomato chutney in warm and fluffy dosa. Chase it down with one of the Indian-inspired cocktails.

Mackerel dosa at Thevar
Alex Ang

4. Esora

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Shigeru Koizumi spent five years with Ryugin, in Tokyo, before he landed in Singapore, where he then spent a year honing his French cooking techniques at Odette. Now the chef-owner of kappo eatery Esora, he wields modern kaiseki cuisine in an airy blonde wood dining room. The opening course of monaka (like a mochi waffle) sandwiched with marmalade jam, foie gras, and a puree of roasted peanuts and mikan (a Japanese citrus fruit) sets the tone for Koizumi’s sometimes-modernist style. But his best attempts are, more often than not, the classic dishes, complemented by Japanese rice wines or a booze-free tea pairing featuring teas cold-brewed on-site.

The counter at Esora
Esora

5. Le Bon Funk

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Natural wines are growing in popularity in Singapore, and Le Bon Funk is where you want to indulge. Choose from the constantly evolving list of 100 to 200 labels curated by head sommelier Josée Yeomans, whose current picks are mainly from Europe and Australia. Don’t miss the rustic dishes by Canadian-Japanese chef-owner Keirin Buck, the former sous chef of Burnt Ends, including a beef tongue gribiche sandwich and the cavatelli in tripe stew with ’nduja.

Beef tongue gribiche sandwich at Le Bon Funk
Alex Ang

6. Kimme

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A stablemate of the one-Michelin-star Meta, Kimme serves modern interpretations of well-loved Korean flavors constructed with solid French cooking techniques, brought to you courtesy of Korean-born chef de cuisine Seok Hyun Ha. Set in a multistory conservation shophouse along Amoy Street, this bistro goes against the grain of most modern accolade-chasing restaurants by shunning the tasting menu, but nothing is missed a la carte. Highlights include dishes like kampachi sashimi in chive oil and gochujang and Korean-style steak tartare with sago (tapioca pearl) chip.

Kampachi sashimi at Kimme
Alex Ang

7. Basque Kitchen by Aitor

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A year after snagging a Michelin star for Iggy’s, chef de cuisine Aitor Jeronimo Orive left to open Basque Kitchen by Aitor. This time, he’s steering the ship as chef-owner into the virgin territory (at least for Singapore) of Basque cuisine. Informed by his childhood in the Vizcaya and Irun regions, Orive’s menu delivers contemporary iterations of the chef’s native cuisine in a series of short- and long-format tasting menus. His porrudalda (leek broth) is a smoky concoction perfumed by katsuoboshi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), and is best washed down with a glass of txakoli or Basque cider. It goes without saying that txuleta (the giant bone-in Basque steak) is on the menu too, carved and portioned for easy sharing.

Basque Kitchen
Basque Kitchen

8. Bacchanalia

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A major kitchen remodel and a chef change later, the one-Michelin-star Bacchanalia has re-emerged with black-and-white-checkered kitchen tiles and head chef Vianney Massot (formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Singapore), who brings with him a flair for contemporary French cooking. For his opening amuse bouche, Massot pays tribute to Robuchon by way of foie gras crowned with smidgens of parsley-topped corn puree, while later courses show off his own style, like the yellow wine-glazed artichoke with foie gras mille-feuille. Mind the drinkable suggestions of sommelier Roberto Duran.

Foie gras “symphony” at Bacchanalia
Bacchanalia

9. Preludio

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182 Cecil St
#03-01/02 Frasers Tower, Singapore 069547

At his Frasers Tower restaurant, Colombian chef-owner Fernando Arevalo offers a seasonally changing thematic menu that showcases rarely seen gourmet ingredients like white beetroot and Piennolo tomatoes. His opening chapter, called Monochrome, is an inspired journey of black-and-white courses crafted mostly with produce from small producers. Lack of color doesn’t mean lack of flavor, however, as evidenced by the intensely savory squid ink powder-coated, slow-roasted pork with charred Piennolo tomato relish on a bed of apple and carrot puree. The monochrome-themed wine list by sommelier Chip Steel is just as striking.

Pata negra at Preludio
Alex Ang

10. Lerouy

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Christophe Lerouy was propelled to the spotlight after he snagged a Michelin star for Alma as its chef de cuisine in 2016. A year later, he has stepped up to become chef-owner of his eponymous eatery at Stanley Street, where he has been steadily gaining attention for his unorthodox, modern French cuisine served in a 26-seat counter-only dining room. Perhaps it’s all the better to put the focus on the Alsatian chef’s daily changing carte blanche menu, full of light and punchy flavors like salt-baked cabbage with lardo, egg yolk puree, and lime gel in a parsley- and garlic-scented brown butter sauce.

A cabbage dish at Lerouy
Alex Ang

11. LeVeL33

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8 Marina Blvd
#33-01, Singapore 018981

With the arrival of new executive chef Archan Chan, Singapore’s tallest microbrewery and restaurant has introduced a revamped menu that de-emphasizes meat and embraces beer-making ingredients. Chan infuses her sourdough bread with beer malt, and the accompanying butter is whipped with oven-roasted yeast. Using wheat beer, katsuobushi, and kombu, the Hong Kong-born chef concocts a dashi that she fields as an umami broth with pan-seared Hokkaido scallops. Of course, she suggests you pair each course with the city’s freshest beer, brewed on-site.

A scallop dish at LeVeL33
Alex Ang

12. Labyrinth

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8 Raffles Ave
02-23, Singapore 039802

At four years old, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Labyrinth at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay is hardly a new restaurant, but its recent menu reboot by chef-owner Han Li Guang that digs deep into Singapore’s little-known terroir makes it a more compelling destination than ever. Singapore may be small, but it’s home to a bevy of dairy farms and a clutch of kelongs (offshore fish farms), all of which you will discover when you commit to Han’s revamped 11-course tasting menu — think local clams served as a tart on deep-fried wonton skin and, for dessert, velvety sweet bean curd with local goat’s milk yogurt.

13. Chinoiserie

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2 Bayfront Ave #B1-15, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

One-time Les Amis co-founder and former principal chef of the now-defunct Sky on 57 Justin Quek steps out of his French fine dining comfort zone to merge his Teochew heritage with modern French cooking. Aptly named Chinoiserie, the omakase-only restaurant at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands revives Quek’s former signatures, like foie gras xiao long bao (soup dumplings) in Jinhua dry-cured ham broth. There are also seasonal dishes, including a riveting summer showcase of Japanese ayu, or sweet fish, stuffed with wild mushrooms, scallop mousse, fermented soybeans, garlic, and chiles.

Stuffed ayu, or sweet fish, at Chinoiserie
Alex Ang

14. Folklore

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700 Beach Rd
Level 2 Destination Singapore, Singapore 199598

Eurasian-Peranakan chef Damien D’Silva makes his strongest debut yet with the arrival of Folklore inside the Destination Singapore Beach Road hotel. Taking residence in a corner of the perennially crowded hotel lobby, the restaurant doubles as the hotel’s breakfast venue, but the chef’s sought-after special menu — which showcases near-extinct historic local dishes — is only available at lunch and dinner. Be sure to try D’Silva’s buah keluak (Indonesian black nut) fried rice served with a sunny-side-up egg.

A dish at Folklore
Alex Ang

1. Magic Square

5B Portsdown Rd, #01-02, Singapore 139311
Duck liver tart at Magic Square
Alex Ang

Magic Square launched in May as a 12-month incubator pop-up to showcase three previously unknown young chefs in a 1,000-square-foot space at Portsdown Road. Each month, one of the three chefs — Desmond Shen, Marcus Leow, and Abel Su — drives the borderless menu, nine courses that draw from the flavors and produce of Singapore. Sponsorship by the kitchen-appliance company Miele means Loon is able to price the dinner menu at a relatively low $78 (plus tax and gratuity) per head, a rarity in inflationary Singapore. From the July menu, Su’s duck liver tart, made with local duck and spiked with Hua Tiao wine, was a hit.

5B Portsdown Rd
#01-02, Singapore 139311

2. Restaurant Zén

41 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore 089855
A modernist dish at Restaurant Zén
Zén/Facebook

Restaurant Andre may have left the city, but its three-story conservation shop house space has been reimagined as the Singapore outpost of Stockholm’s three Michelin-starred Frantzen: Restaurant Zén. Recently opened with executive chef Tristin Farmer, Zen replicates the self-described Frantzen DNA of “Nordic kaiseki with French perfume,” rehashing signatures like the French toast with truffled consommé and the egg custard with 100-day-aged pork broth — with a few tweaks for the Southeast Asian audience. Prepare to set aside about four hours for Singapore’s priciest dining experience, which meanders from the kitchen to the dining room before ending in the living room.

3. Thevar

9 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089117
Mackerel dosa at Thevar
Alex Ang

Plugging the gap between street food and upscale Indian, Thevar serves authentic Indian flavors repackaged as small plates, but not as you know them. Named for its Penang-born Indian chef-owner, Mano Thevar, the restaurant serves butter mushroom in place of India’s famed butter chicken, but with grated paneer cheese and a heavenly piece of naan. And while you will not find mackerel curry in any traditional restaurants, the chef cooks a refined version here and serves it sandwiched with tomato chutney in warm and fluffy dosa. Chase it down with one of the Indian-inspired cocktails.

4. Esora

15 Mohamed Sultan Rd, Singapore 238964
The counter at Esora
Esora

Shigeru Koizumi spent five years with Ryugin, in Tokyo, before he landed in Singapore, where he then spent a year honing his French cooking techniques at Odette. Now the chef-owner of kappo eatery Esora, he wields modern kaiseki cuisine in an airy blonde wood dining room. The opening course of monaka (like a mochi waffle) sandwiched with marmalade jam, foie gras, and a puree of roasted peanuts and mikan (a Japanese citrus fruit) sets the tone for Koizumi’s sometimes-modernist style. But his best attempts are, more often than not, the classic dishes, complemented by Japanese rice wines or a booze-free tea pairing featuring teas cold-brewed on-site.

5. Le Bon Funk

29 Club St, Singapore 069414
Beef tongue gribiche sandwich at Le Bon Funk
Alex Ang

Natural wines are growing in popularity in Singapore, and Le Bon Funk is where you want to indulge. Choose from the constantly evolving list of 100 to 200 labels curated by head sommelier Josée Yeomans, whose current picks are mainly from Europe and Australia. Don’t miss the rustic dishes by Canadian-Japanese chef-owner Keirin Buck, the former sous chef of Burnt Ends, including a beef tongue gribiche sandwich and the cavatelli in tripe stew with ’nduja.

6. Kimme

47 Amoy St, Singapore 069873
Kampachi sashimi at Kimme
Alex Ang

A stablemate of the one-Michelin-star Meta, Kimme serves modern interpretations of well-loved Korean flavors constructed with solid French cooking techniques, brought to you courtesy of Korean-born chef de cuisine Seok Hyun Ha. Set in a multistory conservation shophouse along Amoy Street, this bistro goes against the grain of most modern accolade-chasing restaurants by shunning the tasting menu, but nothing is missed a la carte. Highlights include dishes like kampachi sashimi in chive oil and gochujang and Korean-style steak tartare with sago (tapioca pearl) chip.

7. Basque Kitchen by Aitor

97 Amoy St, Singapore 069917
Basque Kitchen
Basque Kitchen

A year after snagging a Michelin star for Iggy’s, chef de cuisine Aitor Jeronimo Orive left to open Basque Kitchen by Aitor. This time, he’s steering the ship as chef-owner into the virgin territory (at least for Singapore) of Basque cuisine. Informed by his childhood in the Vizcaya and Irun regions, Orive’s menu delivers contemporary iterations of the chef’s native cuisine in a series of short- and long-format tasting menus. His porrudalda (leek broth) is a smoky concoction perfumed by katsuoboshi (dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna), and is best washed down with a glass of txakoli or Basque cider. It goes without saying that txuleta (the giant bone-in Basque steak) is on the menu too, carved and portioned for easy sharing.

8. Bacchanalia

39 Hongkong St, Singapore 059678
Foie gras “symphony” at Bacchanalia
Bacchanalia

A major kitchen remodel and a chef change later, the one-Michelin-star Bacchanalia has re-emerged with black-and-white-checkered kitchen tiles and head chef Vianney Massot (formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Singapore), who brings with him a flair for contemporary French cooking. For his opening amuse bouche, Massot pays tribute to Robuchon by way of foie gras crowned with smidgens of parsley-topped corn puree, while later courses show off his own style, like the yellow wine-glazed artichoke with foie gras mille-feuille. Mind the drinkable suggestions of sommelier Roberto Duran.

9. Preludio

182 Cecil St, #03-01/02 Frasers Tower, Singapore 069547
Pata negra at Preludio
Alex Ang

At his Frasers Tower restaurant, Colombian chef-owner Fernando Arevalo offers a seasonally changing thematic menu that showcases rarely seen gourmet ingredients like white beetroot and Piennolo tomatoes. His opening chapter, called Monochrome, is an inspired journey of black-and-white courses crafted mostly with produce from small producers. Lack of color doesn’t mean lack of flavor, however, as evidenced by the intensely savory squid ink powder-coated, slow-roasted pork with charred Piennolo tomato relish on a bed of apple and carrot puree. The monochrome-themed wine list by sommelier Chip Steel is just as striking.

182 Cecil St
#03-01/02 Frasers Tower, Singapore 069547

10. Lerouy

3 Stanley St, Singapore 068722
A cabbage dish at Lerouy
Alex Ang

Christophe Lerouy was propelled to the spotlight after he snagged a Michelin star for Alma as its chef de cuisine in 2016. A year later, he has stepped up to become chef-owner of his eponymous eatery at Stanley Street, where he has been steadily gaining attention for his unorthodox, modern French cuisine served in a 26-seat counter-only dining room. Perhaps it’s all the better to put the focus on the Alsatian chef’s daily changing carte blanche menu, full of light and punchy flavors like salt-baked cabbage with lardo, egg yolk puree, and lime gel in a parsley- and garlic-scented brown butter sauce.

11. LeVeL33

8 Marina Blvd, #33-01, Singapore 018981
A scallop dish at LeVeL33
Alex Ang

With the arrival of new executive chef Archan Chan, Singapore’s tallest microbrewery and restaurant has introduced a revamped menu that de-emphasizes meat and embraces beer-making ingredients. Chan infuses her sourdough bread with beer malt, and the accompanying butter is whipped with oven-roasted yeast. Using wheat beer, katsuobushi, and kombu, the Hong Kong-born chef concocts a dashi that she fields as an umami broth with pan-seared Hokkaido scallops. Of course, she suggests you pair each course with the city’s freshest beer, brewed on-site.

8 Marina Blvd
#33-01, Singapore 018981

12. Labyrinth

8 Raffles Ave, 02-23, Singapore 039802

At four years old, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Labyrinth at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay is hardly a new restaurant, but its recent menu reboot by chef-owner Han Li Guang that digs deep into Singapore’s little-known terroir makes it a more compelling destination than ever. Singapore may be small, but it’s home to a bevy of dairy farms and a clutch of kelongs (offshore fish farms), all of which you will discover when you commit to Han’s revamped 11-course tasting menu — think local clams served as a tart on deep-fried wonton skin and, for dessert, velvety sweet bean curd with local goat’s milk yogurt.

8 Raffles Ave
02-23, Singapore 039802

13. Chinoiserie

2 Bayfront Ave #B1-15, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
Stuffed ayu, or sweet fish, at Chinoiserie
Alex Ang

One-time Les Amis co-founder and former principal chef of the now-defunct Sky on 57 Justin Quek steps out of his French fine dining comfort zone to merge his Teochew heritage with modern French cooking. Aptly named Chinoiserie, the omakase-only restaurant at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands revives Quek’s former signatures, like foie gras xiao long bao (soup dumplings) in Jinhua dry-cured ham broth. There are also seasonal dishes, including a riveting summer showcase of Japanese ayu, or sweet fish, stuffed with wild mushrooms, scallop mousse, fermented soybeans, garlic, and chiles.

2 Bayfront Ave #B1-15, Galleria Level
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972

14. Folklore

700 Beach Rd, Level 2 Destination Singapore, Singapore 199598
A dish at Folklore
Alex Ang

Eurasian-Peranakan chef Damien D’Silva makes his strongest debut yet with the arrival of Folklore inside the Destination Singapore Beach Road hotel. Taking residence in a corner of the perennially crowded hotel lobby, the restaurant doubles as the hotel’s breakfast venue, but the chef’s sought-after special menu — which showcases near-extinct historic local dishes — is only available at lunch and dinner. Be sure to try D’Silva’s buah keluak (Indonesian black nut) fried rice served with a sunny-side-up egg.

700 Beach Rd
Level 2 Destination Singapore, Singapore 199598

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