Besides being the gold standard for world-class meals, many of us tend to associate the word ‘Michelin’ with hefty bills and exclusive dining experiences.
But stellar flavours don’t always come with a steep price tag, particularly in our food paradise of Singapore.
Not only is our city home to the world’s most affordable Michelin-starred meal, it also boasts a plethora of Michelin-starred and Michelin Bib Gourmand-listed restaurants serving up affordable and exquisite dishes.
Here’s our guide to value for money Bib Gourmand establishments and Michelin star restaurants that are perfect for your next gathering with friends or family.
Michelin Bib Gourmand
Eminent Frog Porridge
A popular haunt among late night diners, Eminent Frog Porridge is a pocket-friendly option for foodies hankering for a unique eat after dark.
This humble coffeeshop stall serves up succulent frog legs in traditional clay pots. Order their signature kung pao (a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish) frog, packed with dried chillies for that spicy kick and best eaten with plain porridge.
Eminent Frog Porridge. 323 Geylang Road, Singapore 389359. +65 9842 2941.
Established in 1992, Hjh Maimunah offers authentic Malay and Indonesian cuisine. The family-run establishment boasts more than 40 mouth-watering delights such as beef rendang (braised meat cooked in coconut milk and spices), tahu telur (fried beancurd in sweet sauce) and lemak siput sedut (sea snails in coconut gravy).
We recommend visiting this establishment in a large group, so that you can share and enjoy the food in true kampong (village) fashion.
Hjh Maimunah. 11 and 15 Jln Pisang, Singapore 199078. +65 6297 4294.
As pioneers of the traditional Cantonese-style fish soup in Singapore, Ka-Soh offers value for money and hearty fare in a relaxed restaurant setting.
Your visit would not be complete without trying the signature sliced fish soup with noodles. The rich texture and colour of its milky white broth is achieved through the painstaking process of boiling the snakehead fish and bones over high heat for many hours.
Other noteworthy dishes to share include prawn paste chicken and deep fried pork ribs.
Alumni Medical Centre. 2 College Road, Singapore 169850. +65 6473 6686.
Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-9pm.
Click here for a full listing of locations.
This well-loved institution in Little India has been dishing out its iconic fish head curry for more than 50 years. Now run by its second-generation owners, the blend of spices used in its curry paste continues to be a closely guarded secret.
Featuring a distinctly south Indian menu, the portions at Muthu’s Curry are suitable for sharing and make for a heart-warming meal with your family.
Muthu’s Curry. 138 Race Course Road #01-01, Singapore 218591. +65 6392 1722.
Sik Bao Sin (Desmond’s Creation)
If you’re hankering for a taste of tradition, gather your friends for tze char (a style of dining where local dishes are cooked to order and eaten communally) at Sik Bao Sin.
Helmed by second-generation chef Desmond Chia, the restaurant’s menu comprises just over a dozen Cantonese staples, ranging from steamed pork with salted fish, kailan (Chinese kale) with beef and prawns with tofu.
All the food at this cosy restaurant is painstakingly cooked by chef Desmond himself, and some of the more complex pork dishes may take up to an hour to prepare. Nonetheless, the authentic flavours you’ll experience here make it well worth the wait.
Sik Bao Sin (Desmond's Creation). 592 Geylang Road (between Lorong 34 & 36), Singapore 389531. +65 6744 3757.
Tue-Sun 11.45am–2.30pm, 5.45–9.30pm.
Since its beginnings as a humble eatery in 2000, Putien has now developed into a popular chain of casual restaurants presenting Heng Hwa specialities. Originating from China’s Fujian province, the cuisine is characterised by clean and light flavours that showcase fresh seasonal produce.
Crowd pleasers include their drunken cockles, “100-second” stewed yellow croaker, and fried Heng Hwa bee hoon which uses sun dried vermicelli specially milled by hand to ensure a fine springy texture.
Putien. 127 Kitchener Road, Singapore 208514. +65 6295 6358.
Daily 11.30am-3pm, 5.30-10pm.
Click here for a full listing of locations.
For classic Peranakan* food with a modern twist, treat your loved ones to the unique “ahma-kase” course at one Michelin starred Candlenut. A play on the Japanese word omakase, ahma is local lingo for “grandmother” and it refers to chef Malcolm Lee’s tasting menu, which is served family-style and designed to be shared with the entire table.
Expect rich aromatic flavours with standouts such as blue swimmer crab curry and buah keluak (black nut indigenous to Southeast Asia) ice cream.
Though the restaurant is located in the upscale Dempsey enclave, its prices are fairly reasonable and is worth a trip for family celebrations and special occasions.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
Candlenut. 17a Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249676. + 65 8121 0176.
Daily 12-3pm, 6-10pm.