Header image courtesy of Choo Yut Shing (via Flickr)
As the most popular neighbourhood in Singapore, Chinatown offers a plethora of things to see and do. With its extensive line-up of restaurants, set amongst heritage shophouses, and hanging lanterns, the region is popular amongst locals and tourists. The atmosphere is welcoming, and it’s the busiest during dinner time. Deciding where to dine? Here are the best hot spots in Chinatown, Singapore.
Run by chef and owner, Dave Pynt, Burnt Ends is a modern Australian barbecue restaurant, with an open-concept kitchen, featuring a custom four-tonne, dual-cavity oven, and four elevation grills. Changing its menu daily, the eatery curates delicious recipes cooked with wood. Holding a Michelin star close to its heart, the eatery was also listed on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018. What to expect? The Sanger Burger is a crowd favourite, featuring moist pulled pork, flavoursome coleslaw, and melted cheese, all between fresh buns.
Burnt Ends, 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391 | (+65) 6224 3933
As one of the cheapest places to eat, and amongst the most scrumptious, Chinatown Food Street received a multi-million dollar renovation, before reopening to the public back in 2014. Running along 100 metres, the food street features indoor and outdoor areas, with 24 hawkers manning their stations. The venue celebrates the diversity of Singaporean cuisine, with its neighbouring influences, where iconic food from all cultures comes together. Expect street eats, including satay skewers, roti pratas, and much more.
Chinatown Food Street, 335 Smith Street, Singapore, 050335, (+65) 6225 5632
When it’s dessert time, Tong Heng Confectionery provides the goods. Opening its shop in 1935, the eatery specialises in traditional Chinese pastries and is best known for its diamond-shaped egg tarts, as well as its wedding pastries and kaya spreads. Feeding Singaporeans for generations, the household stop serves unique iterations of the classic egg tart—using a delicious hybrid between a cookie tart, and a shortcrust. Opt to dine-in, or take-out—the choice is yours.
Tong Heng Confectionery, 285 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058833 | (+65) 6223 3649
Situated along Duxton Hill, a popular spot dotted with bars and restaurants, Sabio is a lively Spanish restaurant and bar, serving authentic, traditional tapas in an intimate setting. The eatery is known for its popular Gambas al pil pil (spicy garlic shrimp) and cured meats, but its drinking vibe is also a hit, with wine, beer, and homemade sangria on the menu. Cold tapas are displayed on the 14-metre long bar, and hot tapas can be made to order. Be prepared to line up though, as the restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
Sabio, 31 Ocean Way, #01-02, Singapore 098375 | (+65) 6690 7568
Situated in a small shophouse, L'Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro serves exactly what you’d expect—its speciality steak and fries. The Parisian restaurant is decked in a bistro-like setting and celebrates French time-honoured dishes, including foie gras, escargot, and walnut salads. There are 15 desserts to choose from, catering to every sweet tooth, so be sure to save room for it after the mains.
L'Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro, 36 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089614 | (+65) 6690 7561
Serving (arguably) the best xiao long baos in town, Jing Hua Xiao Chi has been wrapping dumplings since 1989. It began before there were many restaurants in the area, and its founders, Mr. and Mrs. Han, wanted to create home-style cooking for local Singaporeans. There’s an honest-to-goodness atmosphere, and diners can truly taste the restaurant’s decades of experience in noodles and dumplings. Come here dressed however you like—the casual ambience welcomes all.
Jing Hua Xiao Chi, 21/23 Neil Road, Singapore 088814 | (+65) 6221 3060
Relish the local eats at The Coconut Club, a peaceful eatery which takes you away from the bustling nightlife downtown. Favourites include the Nasi Lemak, a flavourful, regional concoction made from spicy Malay chicken, peanuts, Sambhal, and a fried egg. The rustic interiors will make you feel right at home.
The Coconut Club, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708 | (+65) 6635 2999
In Singapore’s business district, Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House offers the city’s best oysters, seafood, and chops, paired with five-star service. The eatery is one of the most vibrant spots, and its bar scene is popping too. Cocktails are a favourite for regulars, and diners can indulge in a healthy amount of fresh catch here, before a night out.
Luke’s Oyster Bar & Chop House, 22 Gemmill Lane, Singapore 069257 | (+65) 6221 4468