Ask any Singaporean where to find the best local food and they’ll most probably point you to their favourite hawker centres.
But don’t forget about these stellar Singaporean restaurants either, dishing out not only hawker favourites, but also modern Singaporean fare, authentic Peranakan cuisine, and more.
Watch our video below and then read on for more details.
1. National Kitchen by Violet Oon
Most Singaporean households will be familiar with food ambassador Violet Oon – and this is where to go for true blue Peranakan fare. Robust flavours infuse dishes like Buah Keluak Ayam (a spicy chicken stew) and Beef Rendang (beef in a tangy Tamarind gravy).
#02-01 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrews Road, Singapore 178957
2. The Quarters
The Quarters serves up locally inspired dishes, and is known for sweets like The Wonderffle, a waffle topped with gula melaka (palm sugar), lemongrass and pandan ice cream.
Icon Village, 16 Enggor Street, #01-09, Singapore 079717
3. Quentin’s Eurasian Restaurant
Try this respected resto’s fusion of Portuguese, Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisines, which has resulted in eclectic recipes like Devil’s Curry. Finish with the Sugee Cake, made with butter, almonds and semolina flour.
Level 1 Eurasian Community House, 139 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429744
4. Blue Lotus
A departure from the usual renditions you’d find at most other restaurants, the Blue Lotus Signature Chilli Pomelo Crab is its menu star. (It’s also Masterchef Asia finalist Lennard Yeong‘s favourite rendition of chilli crab in Singapore!)
#01-13 Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way, Sentosa, Singapore 098375
5. Straits Kitchen
It can be hard to decide what to eat sometimes. Solve that by heading to this buffet line, where you can sample local classics including Nasi Goreng (fried rice), Laksa and plenty more.
Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Road, Singapore 228211
6. Kelly Jie Seafood
While chilli crab gets all the attention as Singapore’s national dish, the rich and umami Crab Bee Hoon Soup is our favourite dish at this restaurant (formerly known as Mellben Toa Payoh). But, why choose? We recommend going in a group to order as many dishes as you like!
#01-11/15 Blk 211, Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Singapore 310211
7. Jumbo Seafood
Jumbo seafood is one of Singapore’s most recognisable home-grown restaurant brands, and rightly so. Die, die must-try dishes: the Steamed Bamboo Clams, Fried Prawns with Cereal and more.
#01-16 Blk 11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673
8. Restaurant Labyrinth
At Restaurant Labyrinth, Chef LG Han showcases local Singaporean flavours and culture encapsulating his roots and memories of growing up in Singapore, combining them with culinary techniques from across the globe.
#02-23 Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039802
9. Home of Seafood
For a restaurant so named, they’re promising a lot. And they deliver – try their signature Black Pepper Crab, a succulent crustacean doused in viscous, fragrant black pepper sauce.
1 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427739
10. New Ubin Seafood
Despite its name, New Ubin Seafood offers much more than just seafood, including US Angus Ribeye Steak. Its all-rounded menu makes it an incredibly family-friendly option.
18 Tampines Industrial Crescent, Singapore 528605
11. Palm Beach Seafood
This gem goes way back (to 1956!), and it’s a familiar place for locals for family gatherings even today. Classics like Sri Lankan crab can be prepared in 11 different ways, while signatures like the Honey Tangy Fish is great just the way it is.
#01-09 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road, Singapore 049213
A version of this article first appeared in The Finder.