Singapore's Culinary Adventure: Exploring Diverse Flavors, Michelin Stars, and Hawker Centers

20. Dec 2023
Singapore's Culinary Adventure: Exploring Diverse Flavors, Michelin Stars, and Hawker Centers

Immerse yourself in our city's culinary passion and discover a realm of new flavors and extraordinary dining experiences. Our guide to Singapore's vibrant food scene will ignite your appetite for exploration.

For first-time food enthusiasts visiting the Lion City, it can be overwhelming, but our guide will expertly introduce you to a diverse range of world-class eateries, Michelin-starred restaurants, and global dishes.

1. Explore the Rich Tapestry of Local Cuisines

Similar to Singapore's multicultural identity, our local cuisine is a tantalizing blend of flavors from various ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Malay, Eurasian, Peranakan*, and Indian influences.

Chinatown, Little India, and Kampong Gelam are ideal starting points to taste our local Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisines, respectively. Meanwhile, Joo Chiat/Katong is brimming with restaurants serving classic Peranakan dishes.

If you're in Singapore for several days or a week, we recommend dedicating each day to sampling iconic dishes from one of our local cultures. Whether you're a spice lover seeking the rich flavors of chili crab or craving the South Indian flatbread roti prata, you're sure to find a dish that will tantalize your taste buds.

*Peranakan is an Indonesian/Malay term meaning "local born," generally referring to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.

2. Secure Reservations at Michelin-Starred Restaurants

For a truly world-class dining experience, book a table at one of our numerous Michelin-starred restaurants. In 2021, Singapore raised the bar as a global food capital with 49 entries on the Singapore Michelin Star list and a host of restaurants and eateries receiving the Bib Gourmand award.

Whether you wish to indulge in modern French cuisine at Odette or uncover the subtleties of Japanese culinary techniques at Waku Ghin, you're guaranteed a once-in-a-lifetime meal.

If you crave Singaporean flavors with a twist, visit Labyrinth, where Chef Han Li Guang presents local flavors with a modern twist, or Candlenut, the world's first Peranakan restaurant to receive a Michelin Star.

We advise securing a seat before arriving, as reservations at these restaurants are known to take months.

Visitors seeking a comprehensive list of establishments can refer to our guide to the 2021 Bib Gourmand winners and Michelin-starred restaurants.

3. Savor the Twists of Our Local Chefs' Creations

As a global metropolis, Singapore brings together a myriad of cultures, evident in the culinary creations of our local chefs.

Experience hawker fare with global influences at A Noodle Story, a Michelin Bib Gourmand-awarded eatery that serves a noodle dish inspired by Japanese ramen (Japanese noodle soup) and local wanton mee (egg noodles with slices of barbecued pork and bite-sized dumplings).

Dine at these homegrown restaurants and uncover the artistry and innovation behind Singaporean fusion cuisine.

4. Venture Beyond Restaurants to Uncover Our Food Obsession

Food-themed tours, experiential dining experiences, and annual food festivals are just some of the immersive activities awaiting you. Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes by searching for the guerrilla restaurant The Dragon Chamber, indulge in a feast surrounded by the sea's splendor at Ocean Restaurant, or catch your own dinner at Smith Marine.

Budding chefs can refine their skills with Cookery Magic, while adventurous foodies can embark on special tours tasting ethnic dishes like Wok N' Stroll or Singapore After Dark.

Plan your trip to coincide with our packed calendar of food-themed events, such as the Singapore Food Festival or the Singapore Cocktail Festival.

5. Meet Our Passionate Chefs, Bartenders, and Restaurateurs

Beyond being a city of restaurants, Singapore is home to passionate chefs, restaurateurs, and bartenders who live and breathe the culinary arts.

Whether you're savoring European omakase at Nouri or sampling a cocktail crafted with locally-made Brass Lion gin at NATIVE, don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with the chefs or bartenders—your engaging chat is sure to ignite your love for food.

6. Discover a World of Flavors at Our Hawker Centers

As a nation, Singaporeans take pride in our hawkers. Our local street food has been praised by a stellar array of celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, and personalities, ranging from Gordon Ramsay to Antony Bourdain.

A visit to Singapore would be incomplete without exploring our local hawker centers. We highly recommend visiting Chinatown Complex Food Centre, which houses 260 food stalls, including Liao Fan Hawker Chan and Ann Chin Popiah.

Lau Pa Sat and Amoy Street Food Centre are two other hawker centers worth considering for foodies, offering everything from satay (grilled meat skewers) and char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles in dark soy sauce) to fishball noodles and curry puffs. For more Michelin-worthy fare, stop by beloved establishments like Tai Hwa Pork Noodle or Hong Kee Beef Noodle.

7. Master the Local Lingo and Order Like a Pro

Singlish—our colorful local vernacular—is an integral part of our local food culture. To delve deeper into our nation's food obsession, learn the local lingo and immerse yourself in our vibrant food culture. Check out our guides to ordering coffee like a local and dining like a true-blue Singaporean.


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