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where is the best place to have lunch in Singapore?

Question by cat: where is the best place to have lunch in Singapore?

a budget of each person $ 12/-

Best answer:

Answer by Schmorgen
There’s a cool little place called Papa Joe’s but it’s more of a bar. There’s a Hard Rock there. Try Boat Quay, too.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

4 thoughts on “where is the best place to have lunch in Singapore?”

  1. For dim sum, try the Crystal Jade Palace on Orchard Road. There is a nearby Starbuck’s if, like me, you need something to finish the meal. Oh, I believe it is either in the 300 or 400 block.

    Papa Joes’…didn’t think about them. However nearby there is also a good Indian place; can’t remember the name.

  2. Singapore has a well-deserved reputation for satisfying the most discerning gourmet. Cuisines range from spicy Indian favorites and tantalizing Chinese fare to Nonya (a combination of Chinese and Malay) delicacies and the finest in French and Italian cooking.

    However, restaurants in Singapore open and close with amazing rapidity, and key staff, responsible for a restaurant’s success, job-hop with similar speed. Independent establishments pop up everywhere, in everything from restored shops to warehouses, called go-downs. Try visiting one of Singapore’s neighborhood food centers—bazaars with stalls offering food from India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia, all at very low prices. The food centers are either open air, with a common area for diners, or air-conditioned food courts occupying the basement or the top level of shopping centers. Two enclaves along the Singapore River—Boat Quay and Clarke Quay—offer more than 35 alfresco establishments serving international fare. The Boat Quay is an especially lively place as the sun sets: Local workers from the financial district go there after they escape their offices.

    Most food outlets stop serving dinner by 10 pm, although some hotel coffeehouses are open 24 hours. Reservations at most of the restaurants are generally not required but are recommended for large groups, on weekends and during public holidays.

    Below is a sampling of restaurants in town. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of dinner for one, not including drinks, tax or tip: $ = less than S$ 15; $ $ = S$ 15-$ 30; $ $ $ = S$ 31-$ 75; and $ $ $ $ = more than S$ 75.

    FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

    Club Chinois—Fusion cuisine is extremely popular in Singapore, and Club Chinois is definitely one of the reasons for this. Fusion blends East-West ingredients and recipes, resulting in dishes that are as imaginative as their names. Expect to see exotic entrees like roasted marinated rack of lamb with braised five-spice shallots. There’s a well-stocked wine cellar. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. No. 02-18 Orchard Parade Hotel, 1 Tanglin Rd., Singapore. Phone 834-0660.

    Hai Tien Lo—Considered by many to be the best Cantonese restaurant in Singapore, it boasts a menu with prices to match that reputation. If you’re in the mood to splurge and indulge in some authentic Chinese cuisine, try the seafood noodles, mapo dofu (a traditional dish made from soybeans) and the stewed sliced bergamot. If you’re still not satisfied, you can always shell out S$ 14 for a small pancake with red bean paste for dessert. A wonderful experience in terms of food, service and ambience, but only if you’re prepared to spend. Monday-Saturday noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm, Sunday 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. Weekend reservations recommended. $ $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. 37/F Pan Pacific Hotel, 7 Raffles Blvd., Singapore. Phone 434-8338.

    Les Amis—A top-rated, Singaporean-managed French restaurant. Signature dishes are gateau de foie gras, souffle and charcoal-grilled rib eye and quail. Excellent wine list. Lunch and dinner are served Monday-Saturday noon-2 pm and 7:15-10 pm, closed Sunday. Reservations recommended. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. 1 Scotts Rd., Singapore. Phone 733-2225.

    Mezza9—Everything about this restaurant screams hip and trendy. Even its concept is unique. Nine different dining and entertainment areas are under one roof, all located on the mezzanine floor of the Grand Hyatt—hence the name. You can mix and match from the selection of Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes, including sushi prepared fresh right in front of you. Try the Japanese sashimi or the Chinese dim sum. There’s also an impressive wine list and a martini and cigar bar. Service is sometimes slow because of the crowds, but the chic decor and variety of food more than make up for the wait. Daily noon-3 pm, 6-11 pm. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10-12 Scotts Rd., Singapore. Phone 738-1234.

    Ristorante Bologna—Member of ORPI, an association of top Italian restaurants from around the world. As the name suggests, this restaurant specializes in Northern Italian cuisine, prepared by Italian chef Giovanni Ciresa. Select Italian wines complement the meals. Open daily for lunch and dinner, except for Saturday lunch. Closed Sunday. Reservations recommended. $ $ $ -$ $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Blvd., Singapore. Phone 845-1113.

    Shrooms—A distinctly yuppie and expatriate hangout, Shrooms opened in February 1999, adding to the already bustling restaurant and night scene at CHIJMES. Its name comes from its unique menu: Every dish contains mushrooms of some kind. The food served there is fashionably fusion, and signature dishes include the house wrap (chicken, mushrooms and other vegetables in rice paper) with rib eye, lobster, chile and black mushrooms; tandoori salmon with a cucumber-chile raita (yogurt-based relish); and braised veal shank. Daily noon-3 pm and 6-11 pm. $ $ . Most major credit cards. CHIJMES, West Manor, 30 Victoria St., Singapore. Phone 336-2268.

    Tandoor—Popular for its authentic North Indian tandoori dishes cooked (in an earthen oven) with mild but rich spices. An idyllic Mogul garden with a lotus pond is in the center of the room. Indian musicians entertain with sitar, tabla and harmonium. Open daily for lunch and dinner noon-2:15 pm and 7-10:15 pm. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Holiday Inn Parkview Singapore, 11 Cavenagh Rd., Singapore. Phone 730-0153.

    Thanying—Top-notch Thai specialties prepared by a former royal chef and served with special care. The phar goong (grilled prawns mixed with lemongrass, shallots, mint, chilis and lime), is a delicious taste of the complex, harmonious mingling of flavors for which Thai food is well-known. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Clarke Quay, No. 01-143, Singapore. Phone 336-1821.

    LOCAL AND REGIONAL SPECIALTIES

    Blue Ginger—Serves up traditional Peranakan fare like sambal chile prawn and otak otak (fish grilled in banana leaves). Order lots of water or lime juice because the chile factor can be quite unfriendly to foreign taste buds. However, there are several items on the menu for the chile-intolerant: the steamed sea bass Nonya style, tahu (bean curd) and grilled boneless chicken are all pretty safe. For dessert, try the infamous durian chendol—a kaleidoscope of colors and tastes that may not appeal to everyone. Open daily 11 am-2:30 pm. Dinner Sunday-Thursday 6-9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-9:30 pm. Reservations recommended on weekends. $ $ . Most major credit cards. Heeren Shopping Centre, No. 05-02, 260 Orchard Rd., Singapore. Phone 835-3928.

    China Square Food Centre—Try the gigantic China Square Food Centre near Boat Quay. It is Singapore’s largest air-conditioned food court and houses more than 100 food stalls spread over three floors. Local foods such as beef noodles, fried kway teow (flat noodles) and nasi padang (Malay rice and vegetables) can be found there. Open daily. $ . No credit cards. 51 Telok Ayer St., Singapore.

    Ivins Restaurant—Economical and good Indonesian, local and Nonya food—fairly hot and very rich, with the mixed influence of Malay and Chinese cooking. Specialties include sotong (cuttlefish or squid) and prawn sambal (prawns in a spicy chile sauce), beef rendang (dry beef curry) and fish head curry. Nonya cakes and desserts are also recommended. Open daily 11 am-3 pm and 5-9 pm. $ . Most major credit cards. 19 Binjai Park, Bukit Timah, Singapore. Phone 468-3060.

    Lau Pa Sat Festival Market—Also known as Telok Ayer Festival Market. A huge, non-air-conditioned food center, it sells everything from local food to Japanese and Korean cuisine. At night, a side road next to the food center is closed off and transformed into an open-air food street. Open daily. $ . No credit cards. Robinson Road, Singapore.

    People’s Park Complex Food Centre—For authentic Chinese food, try this food center in the heart of Chinatown along Eu Tong Sen Street. Daily 11 am-2 am. $ . No credit cards. Eu Tong Sen Street, Singapore.

    Satay Club—The present location for many of the hawkers from the original Satay Club at the Esplanade, demolished in 1995. A form of local Malay cuisine, satay is a must-try in Singapore. The mee goreng (fried noodles) and fresh coconuts are also well worth a try. Open-air seating. Daily 4:30 pm-3 am. $ . No credit cards. Clarke Quay, Singapore.

    ASIAN

    House of Sundanese Food—A satisfying taste of Indonesian cuisine in a casual setting with popular and traditional Indonesian music. Specialties include a range of charcoal-grilled dishes. Four locations, including one at the Boat Quay. Monday-Friday 11:30 am-3:30 pm and 6-10 pm, Saturday noon-3:30 pm and 5:30-10 pm, Sunday noon-3:30 pm and 5-9:30 pm. $ $ . Most major credit cards. 55 Boat Quay, Singapore. Phone 534-3775.

    Lei Gardens—A little pricey, but the service and food are legendary. Try the set lunches and dim sum, which leans toward the original Hong Kong dim sum in terms of preparation and taste. Unlike other Chinese restaurants, the food there is light, not too salty and sauces are used sparingly. Open daily. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. No. 01-24, CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St., Singapore. Phone 339-3822.

    The Rice Table—One of the few places in town that serves the Dutch-Indonesian cuisine called rijsttafel. The restaurant is decorated with hand puppets, face masks and carvings to give it an Indonesian feel. Try the buffet or the a la carte menu, but beware of the dishes with the words spicy or chile in them: These are not for the faint of heart or tongue. The tahu telor (bean curd with egg) is excellent, as is the sota ayam (chicken soup). Open daily noon-2:30 pm and 6-9:30 pm. Reservations recommended. $ $ . Most major credit cards. No. 02-09, International Building, 360 Orchard Rd., Singapore. Phone 835-3783.

    BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH

    For a North American-style breakfast of eggs, toast, pancakes and such, you’re best off at either a hotel restaurant or a fast-food restaurant such as McDonald’s, Burger King or DeliFrance. The more adventurous may want to try what the locals eat for breakfast. Just head for any suburban hawker center where you can choose from dishes including chui kway (round rice cakes), wan ton mee (dumpling noodles), roti prata (Indian bread and curry), Chinese porridge and an assortment of colorful cakes and pastries.

    Goodwood Park Hotel—The hotel has a 24-hour cafe that serves a large international breakfast buffet. $ $ . Most major credit cards. 22 Scotts Rd., Singapore. Phone 737-7411.

    Shangri-La Hotel—Enjoy an international breakfast in the scenic garden or dine in the 24-hour cafe. Open 24 hours a day. $ $ . Most major credit cards. 22 Orange Grove Rd., Singapore. Phone 737-3644.

    CONTINENTAL

    Alkaff Mansion—A spacious colonial mansion on a hill in a lush green landscape, with a spectacular view of the Singapore skyline. Continental and Asian cuisine presented beautifully in a large, antiques-filled dining room. Located in the western part of Singapore, the mansion comes alive with romantic music by a violinist or jazz duet. Specialties include rijsttafel, a feast of 13 spicy and aromatic courses inspired by the Indonesians and Dutch. Valet parking. Daily 7-10:30 pm. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore. Phone 278-6979.

    Compass Rose—Dine in one of the tallest buildings on the island, on the 70th floor of the Westin Stamford Hotel. The 360-degree view of the city and harbor is spectacular and (unfortunately) superior to the Continental cuisine. Nevertheless, it’s still a worthwhile experience. Daily noon-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $ $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. 70th Floor, Westin Stamford Hotel, 2 Stamford Rd., Singapore. Phone 338-8585.

    FRENCH

    L’Aigle D’Or—Here’s the reason most people have heard of the Duxton Hotel. Tucked away in a corner of the busy business district, the restaurant is known for its cozy decor and warm and friendly service. The food is light yet tasty, and everything is prepared in an original French style by a chef who hails from Brittany. Open daily noon-2 pm and 7-10 pm. Reservations recommended on weekends. $ $ $ -$ $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Duxton Hotel, 83 Duxton Rd., Singapore. Phone 227-7678.

    Salut—Restaurant and wine bar that serves French-Italian cuisine in posh but comfortable surroundings. This place has become a favorite with yuppies and expatriates who come to enjoy the food and the large selection of wines. Because it’s near the Central Business District, many of its clientele are from nearby offices. The grilled baby octopus and lamb shanks are menu highlights. Daily noon-2 pm and 7-10 pm, except for Sunday lunch. $ $ $ -$ $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. 25 Tanjong Pagar Rd., Singapore. Phone 225-7555.

    ITALIAN (INCLUDING PIZZERIAS)

    Prego—Delectable Italian food in an upbeat, casual setting with huge glass windows overlooking the sidewalk. Try the delectable antipasto and the pizza bomba, a Prego original creation of Parma ham and feta cheese. Daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $ $ . Most major credit cards. Level 1, The Westin Plaza, 2 Stamford Rd., Singapore. Phone 338-8585.

    LATE NIGHT

    Some of the five-star hotels have 24-hour cafes. Recommended are those at Goodwood Park Hotel (22 Scotts Rd.), Mandarin Hotel (333 Orchard Rd.) and Shangri-La Hotel (22 Orange Grove Rd.).

    Denny’s—This North American restaurant chain has three locations in Singapore. All are open 24 hours a day, are air conditioned, serve Western breakfasts (more selection than McDonald’s) and accept credit cards. You’ll find them at Marina Mandarin, phone 333-9606; No. 02-08 Orchard Tower, 400 Orchard Rd., phone 734-5363; and Holland Village, phone 467-5893.

    SEAFOOD

    UDMC Seafood Centre—For a huge choice of regional seafood dishes, head out to this food center on East Coast Parkway, halfway to the airport. In total, there are eight seafood restaurants there, the most popular ones being Red House Seafood and Long Beach Seafood. If you are new to seafood, start with the black pepper crab, steamed sea bass, drunken prawns and hot buns. Daily 11 am-2 am. Reservations required on weekends to avoid extended waits. $ $ . No credit cards. East Coast Parkway, Singapore. Phone 442-3112.

    VEGETARIAN

    Komala Vilas—Definitely one of the best places to go for South Indian vegetarian food. Located right in the heart of Little India. Don’t expect restaurant-style service there, but the prices reflect that: Nothing costs more than a few dollars. Menu highlights include vegetarian favorites such as poori (flour with filling), masala (potato, spices, curry and vegetables) and dhal (lentil curry). There’s also a counter selling traditional snacks and sweets. Be sure to try the tea tarik, which comes with a layer of froth on top. Open daily 7 am-10:30 pm. $ . No credit cards. 12 Buffalo Rd., Singapore. Phone 293-6980.

    ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES

    Crossroads—A very popular alfresco restaurant/cafe with possibly the best location on Orchard Road. Next to the junction of Orchard and Scotts Roads, it’s right in the hub of the shopping district, making it a favorite with both shoppers and people watchers. The menu is simple, with fairly standard Asian and Western fare like Vietnamese spring rolls and club sandwiches. But if you want to relax with a coffee or cold beer and watch Singaporeans from all walks of life, this is the place to be. There’s also an indoor dining area for nonsmokers and those who prefer air-conditioned comfort. Tuesday-Sunday 7 am-2:30 am, Monday until 10:30 pm. $ $ . Most major credit cards. Marriott Hotel, 320 Orchard Rd., Singapore. Phone 735-5800.

    Esmirada Mediterranean Restaurant—Located in a refurbished, old Peranakan home. (The Peranakans were descendants of the first wave of Chinese immigrants who settled in the Malay Peninsula and created a distinctive, Chinese-Malay hybrid culture.) The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine and wines. Try their garlic-bread baguettes, which are served whole and upright. Open daily noon-11 pm. $ $ . Most major credit cards. 180 Orchard Rd., No. 01-01/02, Singapore. Phone 735-3476.

    Imperial Herbal Restaurant—Chinese cuisine embellished with special medicinal herbs, all prepared by master chefs from China. There’s even a Chinese physician who gives advice on ailments and herbs. The menu also includes tonic soups, tonic liqueur and cooling herbal tea. For the truly adventurous, there are scorpions and stewed shin beef. Open daily 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6:30-10:30 pm. $ $ $ . Most major credit cards. Metropole Hotel, 3rd Floor, 41 Seah St., Singapore. Phone 337-0491.

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