Singapore Food FAQ

Can you recommend some good vegetarian restaurants in Singapore?

As you know, Singapore is a food paradise and we some terrific Indian and Chinese vegetarian restaurants! Here are some that you should definitely check out:

Chinese vegetarian restaurants
• Lingzhi (#01-01 Far East Square 7-13 Amoy Street / Tel: (65) 6538 2992)
• Grand Court Vegetarian Restaurant (Orchard Shopping Centre, #05-01/07 / Tel: (65) 6235 2102)
• Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant (North Bridge Road, #03-23 / Tel: (65) 6221 8153)

Indian vegetarian restaurants
• Komala Villas (76/78 Serangoon Road / Tel: (65) 6294 3294)
• Vansh (#01-04 Singapore Indoor Stadium, 2 Stadium Walk / Tel: (65) 6345 4466)
• Annalakshmi Restaurant (5 Coleman, Excelsior Hotel & Shopping Centre #02-10 / Tel: (65) 6339 9993)
• Raj Vegetarian Restaurant (76 Syed Alwi Road / Tel: (65) 6297 1716)
• Bukhara (#01-40 The Cannery, Clarke Quay, 3C River Valley Road / Tel: (65) 6338 1411)
• The Gangezs (B1-07D Peninsula Plaza, 111 North Bridge Rd / Tel: (65) 6333 5844)
• Bombay-Woodlands Restaurant (#B1-01/02 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Road, Tel: (65) 6235 2712)

I am a Muslim. Where in Singapore can I find halal restaurants? What about fast food outlets, do you have halal ones in Singapore?

Fast food joints such as McDonald’s Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut and Delifrance all offer halal food.

Halal food is also sold by Muslim stalls found all food centres and food courts in Singapore. In particular, Banquet owns the first chain of halal food courts. They are located at China Square Central, Raffles Hospital and Pakway Parade, and offer a full halal menu.

In total, there are over 400 halal food outlets in Singapore certified by the MUIS (Islamic Religious Council of Singapore), excluding some of the Muslim-owned outlets as it is not compulsory for outlets to apply for the halal certificate. For a more complete listing, please visit the MUIS website.

I heard that alcohol in Singapore is very expensive. Is this true? What is the average price for a beer?

Well, it depends on where you go to. Generally, beer is cheaper at the supermarkets, coffee shops and food centres, as compared to hotels and fine dining restaurants. The price for a 330ml can of beer ranges from SGD 2.50 to SGD 5, depending on the brand. Beers in pubs and clubs are sold from SGD 10 onwards. For great deals, do check out the happy hours in most pubs and bars.

Of course, you can’t miss a taste of our world famous local brew, Tiger Beer, available at most clubs, pubs or eateries. Visit the brewery of Tiger Beer and take a tour to see how an award winning lager achieved its cult status across the world.

Is there anything I should take note of when dining in a local food centre or food court? How much will a typical meal cost?

Eating well is a Singaporean national obsession, and there is no better way to delve into our local food culture than to sample the delights at a hawker centre. Many decades ago, they plied their trade from makeshift roadside stalls, but the street foods of old have since found homes under the permanent roofs of hawker centres. These bustling, convivial enclaves bring together a vibrant mix of traditional cuisines, from regional Chinese to Malay to Indian – and even local versions of ‘Western’ food, like fish and chips.

Follow these tips when visiting a hawker centre and you can’t go wrong!:

  1. First, find yourself a table. Sharing tables is common, especially at peak periods, so don’t be shy to ask about unoccupied seats.
  2. Next, it’s time to assemble your meal! For safety’s sake, don’t leave your belongings unattended. It’s easiest if someone stays behind to reserve – or as we say, ‘chope’ – the table.
  3. Remember to tell the hawkers your table number so they can deliver your food. At self-service stalls, wait until your order is ready so you can cart it off yourself.
  4. Explore the stalls to see what is being offered. Most display photos of their specialties, and you can watch them being prepared. Ask the hawker or other customers if you want to know more – they’ll be pleased by your interest. Stalls with long and persistent queues are usually worth the wait!
  5. Follow the locals and share a wide variety of dishes, for maximum pleasure!
  6. Do remember to keep plates and utensils from Muslim and Chinese stalls separate, in order to respect religious restrictions concerning food preparation.

For as little as SGD 5, you would be able to enjoy a full meal at the food court or hawker centre. However, if you are ordering barbecued seafood, do check the price with the hawker before confirming your order, as seafood is charged by weight, and the market rate per kilogram fluctuates.

What are some of the local dishes which I should try when I visit Singapore?

Where do we start? Singapore has a large range of local delectable delights to offer. Singapore food is a tasty tale about the country’s unique cultural tapestry, and the way individual strands have woven into others, and changed hue in the process. Food preparations that came to Singapore from India, China and other countries in the region may still bear the original names – but they are indelibly transformed by being ‘Singaporeanised’.

Our list of local food is endless, but if we must narrow down the list, here are the “Must Trys” which should find time to sample while in town:

  1. Chilli Crab
  2. Hainanese Chicken Rice
  3. Laksa
  4. Satay
  5. Fish Head Curry
  6. Bak Kut Teh
  7. Roti Prata
  8. Rojak
  9. Char Kway Teow
  10. Fried Carrot Cake (also known as “Chai Tow Kueh”)

Where can I go for a romantic dinner with my partner?

Surprise, surprise! There are countless F&B locations which are perfect for wining and dining your loved one. Choose the environment to suit your tastes – whether dining by the river, in lush greenery, on the top of the world (literally)! Here are some favourites:

  • Au Jardine Restaurant, Singapore Botanic Gardens
  • The Cliff, Sentosa
  • Indochine Waterfront, by the Singapore River
  • Equinox, 69th floor of the Swissotel
  • Sky Dining on board the Singapore Cable Car
  • Chijmes Centro 360
  • Colours By the Bay
  • Pierside Kitchen
  • Mango Tree

Where can I find authentic Singaporean local food?

Almost anywhere and everywhere! There are over 120 food centres (also known as hawker centres) and countless food courts* and kopitiams** dotted all over the island, housing over 17,000 food stalls in total. As the national pastime, local food is easily accessible in Singapore.

Some food centres popular with tourists include: Newton Circus Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown Food Street, Lau Pat Sat Festival Market and the East Coast Lagoon Food Village. There is also a food court – or two – in almost every shopping mall, so you can be assured there’s always food a stone’s throw away.

*Food Courts are air-conditioned halls which feature a range of different stalls selling different kinds of food, of the SIngapore variety, and of the international kind.

**Kopitiam is a local term for coffee shop. Found in every residential town centre, kopitiams sell a variety of local food.

I want to chill out or party the night away with my friends. Where can I go?

Party animals will be right at home in Singapore! Our city is home to Zouk, Asia’s premier nightspot, and has enough pubs, clubs and discotheques to keep urban revelers out and about. Nightspots tend to be centralised in selected areas, making club-hopping convenient and fun.

The newest and hottest place in town is the Fullerton Hotel – a fully restored former colonial-era post office, which is now a stylish five-star hotel. Complete with a delectable array of dining facilities, the Fullerton is also home to Post Bar. Right across from the hotel is One Fullerton, a stretch of up-market establishments for wining and dining. Embargo and Lola are located there as well.

Boat Quay and Clarke Quay, home to a host of pubs and eateries, continue to be a favourite haunt for both tourists and locals like us. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, The Penny Black, Six, Mad Monk’s Bar, Hideout, Harry’s Bar, BQ Bar, Brewerkz, Cafe Iguana are some not-to-be-missed waterholes.

Tanjong Pagar, encompassing the Chinatown districts of Club Street, Pagoda Street and Trengganu Street, has experienced a renaissance of sorts. Trendy wine bars, cafés, art galleries and media houses occupy the premises of former shop houses. Home to advertising and design firms by day, the pub-strewn neighbourhood comes alive after dusk for those in search of a quick fix. Indochine along Club Street and Beaujolais on Ang Siang Hill are popular with those in the creative business. Look out for Union Square, Union Bar, Bar Sa Vanh, Beaujolais and The Club by Aphrodisiac.

For a candle-lit courtyard ambience and prices to match, CHIJMES, a short walk from City Hall MRT station, is hard to beat. Refurbished from an old Gothic-style school and chapel, it offers a unique experience on its own. Other than a chic assortment of fine restaurants and cafés, the wine bars and pubs are worth checking out – Isomnia, Liberte, Maracas, Ocho and China Jump, just to name a few.

Mohammad Sultan Road and Robertson Walk, with its stretch of bustling pubs and clubs, are popular with the younger set of students and 20-something professionals. Chock-a-block on weekends, nightspots like Double O, Madam Wong, Siam Supper Club, Newsroom Bar, En Louge, Coyote Ugly, East Side, Front Page, Liquid Room and Soundbar @ the liquid room in the nearby Gallery Hotel, are choice picks in the area.