Explore flavourful Indonesian-style dishes to authentic Vietnamese food within the heritage-rich Kampong Glam district.
A perfect balance of old and new, Chinatown is one of Singapore’s hottest dining enclaves.
The list of choices is endless, from hip cafes to local stalls serving up legendary bites; you’ll be hard-pressed to decide which establishment to visit when you’re looking to have a meal in the area. Fret not though, this guide to where and what to eat in Chinatown should come in handy!
Iconic culinary creations
Singapore’s local fare is to die for, plus, the fact that many dishes are extremely affordable is a major bonus. For a plethora of mouth-watering options, visit venues like Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, Chinatown Food Street, and Maxwell Food Centre. These open-air eating spots are home to stalls that serve up must-try classics like chicken rice (Tian Tian at Maxwell Food Centre is highly recommended); fried oyster omelette (go to Katong Keah Kee Fried Oysters in Chinatown Food Street); and laksa (noodles in a spicy coconut milk-based broth; get it at Terry Katong Laksa in Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre).
Up for dim sum (bite-sized portions of food)? A style of Cantonese cuisine that’s popular in Hong Kong, dim sum traditionally comes served in small steamer baskets. Tuck into items like egg tarts, carrot cake, pork buns, and dumplings at Yum Cha Chinatown. Pro tip: It’s a great breakfast idea so pop by in the morning instead.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mei Heong Yuan Dessert. This joint specialises in Chinese desserts such as bird’s nest soup and yam paste, but you could also opt for other treats like durian mochi and one of their snow ice creations (which come in an array of flavours, from lychee to green tea).
Delights from around the world
Those in the mood for something fancy can book a table at Majestic Restaurant. Award-winning chef-owner Yong Bing Ngen puts out prettily-plated Cantonese dishes that come with a bit of an interesting twist, including a peking duck with pan fried spiced foie gras (fatty duck or goose liver), Boston lobster with stewed noodles, and crispy durian ice cream.
For delectable seafood creations, there’s Chinatown Seafood Restaurant, which serves up creations like chilli crab, black pepper crab, and cereal prawns. Best enjoyed with a side of rice or, for the chilli crab, mantou (fried buns) to sop up the thick, sweet-spicy gravy.
If you’re in the area during the day, check out the cafes in Chinatown. Crepe connoisseurs can while the day away at The Daily Roundup, while dessert lovers can pop by patisserie Mad About Sucre for their European-inspired pastries. For Western fare, make a beeline for Potato Head Folk – a fab dinner spot for you to chow down on juicy burgers at Three Buns Kitchen before heading up to the rooftop for heady cocktails and a killer view of the city skyline.
Thanks to this guide, there’s no need to be confused when it comes to dining out in Chinatown. For more things to see and do in this iconic ‘hood, read this guide.