While the west of Singapore may sometimes get a rep for being far from the hubbub of the city centre, it makes up for it by being home to some of the city’s best hidden-away dining destinations.
Start your gastronomic journey at the charismatic neighbourhood of Holland Village, where you’ll find rows of charming shophouses and a variety of food options. Tuck into delicious vegetarian Mediterranean cuisine at Original Sin at Chip Bee Gardens—choose from a wide range of salads, traditional Middle Eastern Mezze sharing platters and all the falafel you can eat.
Then, make your way to Sunday Folks (brought to you by the folks behind local favourite ice cream and sorbet chain Creamier) to satisfy your sweet tooth. We’re talking handcrafted soft-serve ice cream creations that are truly Instagram-worthy, in an array of flavours such as roasted pistachio, Madagascan vanilla, and good old dark chocolate.
Another of Singapore’s charming, tucked-away neighbourhoods is Tiong Bahru, which has become the go-to hangout spot for young, hip locals. Stop by COO Bistro for Mod-Sin (modern Singaporean) food inspired by the neighbourhood. Try the Tiong Bahru platter—a sumptuous serving of roasted pork belly, chicken satay (grilled skewered meat), salt and pepper fish, and mackerel keropok (crackers). Or, sink your teeth into some Tiong Bahru “Chwee Kuey”—a dessert of panna cotta, walnuts and strawberries assembled to look like the traditional steamed rice cake dish.
Hit up Tiong Bahru Bakery for baked goods that are a fusion of French and local food, influenced by the neighbourhood and its heritage. Here, you can get anything from pandan flan (the classic egg tart with pandan filling instead of custard) to squid ink sandwiches.
Located near Botanic Gardens MRT station, Atlas Coffee House has become a beacon for pancake-lovers, with their signature pancakes that are highly lauded by local food critics. There are savoury delights on the menu too, such as cereal prawn pasta and summer chicken stew.
For true Singaporean comfort food, head to My Cosy Corner at Coronation Plaza. Tuck into their classic local dishes such as kueh pie tee (a Peranakan snack of deep fried pastry cups filled with shredded turnip and prawn) and their famous and vegetarian-friendly popiah (spring rolls), which they’ve been serving since 1998.
Or, head to Adam Road Food Centre for delicious Halal local fare. Try rojak (spicy Indian salad) from Adam’s Indian Rojak, mutton broth with chunks of tender meat and rich soup at Bahrakath Mutton Soup King, or tuck into hearty nasi lemak (fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, accompanied with an array of side dishes like omelette, fried fish and anchovies) from one of the many nasi lemak stalls there.
Swing by urban food hall Timbre+ at night and be greeted with live music, bustling crowds and casual specialty food. Gourmet highlights at this gastropark include fishball noodles by local hawkerpreneur Douglas Ng (the brain behind The Fishball Story), Japanese cuisine at The World Is Flat by Tanuki Raw, and local chef Chung Deming’s Kush, which serves up skewer bowls and wagyu ribeye.
Known for its delicious, Halal-certified chicken rice, Evertop Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice has a handful of outlets islandwide, making it one of the more well-known chicken rice eateries in the city. Head to the one at Clementi Avenue 2 for an authentic taste of Singaporean fare within the heartlands.
Another favourite of residents in the West, Muslim-owned Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak serves up highly-sought after, fragrant coconut rice, with crispy deep-fried chicken wings, delectably spicy otah (grilled fish paste), sambal chilli and other toppings—bring a big appetite for this one.