Escape the crowds at Singapore's coolest hidden restaurants, from an izakaya concealed behind a nondescript wall in a faded mall, to a Thai eatery in lush Labrador Park.
1. Rasa Istimewa Waterfront Restaurant - Woodlands Jetty
This remote halal restaurant leads to beautiful sunset views from a jetty.
Pick from hearty local fare like satay (barbecued meat skewers), chilli crab, mee goreng (fried noodles with seafood) and barbecued stingray.
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2. Lewin Terrace - Hill Street
Housed in the former quarters of the fire chief of the Hill Street fire station, the black-and-white colonial mansion that holds this restaurant is obscured from view by lush greenery.
Fine-dining Japanese-French fusion is the star here, with a focus on seasonal ingredients. You can also enjoy the multi-course sampling menu, or wine-pairing.
3. Morsels - Mayo Street
Kick back in this unpretentious eatery tucked inside a quaint wooden shophouse on the outskirts of Little India.
As its name suggests, Morsels dishes up small plates of fusion fare. Highlights here are the Hokkaido scallop ceviche and Firecracker Duroc pulled-pork shell pasta.
4. Camp Kilo Charcoal Club - Kallang Basin
Offering a hearty, carnivore-friendly menu, this joint by the Kallang river is a great place to get away from the bustle of the city.
Seating is outdoors-only, so dress comfortably to enjoy the atmosphere and food.
Don't forget to snap an Instagram shot of the majestic 30kg hog roasting on a spit.
5. Yorimichi Yakitori Bar - Golden Mile Tower
Yorimichi (which means detour in Japanese) has its hidden entrance located right before the ramp leading to the carpark. This dimly-lit, narrow joint could be mistaken for one found in a Tokyo alley.
Read also: Top 5 hidden izakayas in Singapore
Wash down affordable sushi and yakitori (grilled skewers) with ice-cold Kirin beer. Favourites include grilled scallop with cheese.
6. Tamarind Hill - Labrador Villa Road
Traditional and modern Thai cuisine is prepared skillfully here.
Housed in a colonial mansion in verdant Labrador Park, this off-the-beaten-track spot makes for a romantic night out.
7. The Flying Squirrel - Amoy Street
Blink and you may miss The Flying Squirrel. The hip eatery with a concrete-meets-brick interior has its entrance located in a narrow alley off Amoy Street.
Savour Japanese fusion food here, especially its chirashi dons (sashimi rice bowls).
8. Tims Restaurant and Cafe - Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
Run by a Nepali, this humble joint in the heartlands of Toa Payoh serves up lip-smacking Nepalese fare like chicken momo (dumplings), as well as value-for-money comfort Western food like steaks and lamb chops.
9. The Boiler - Howard Road
The Boiler brings Cajun boiled seafood to the warehouse-filled estate of Tai Seng.
Here, you can messily dig into bags of boiled seafood - including seasonal crabs, prawns, mussels and clams - without shame. The Boiler also has a good selection of sides, including crispy fish skin (coated in salted egg yolk).
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10. Meyer House - Changi
Overlooking Changi Beach, Meyer House occupies a colonial bungalow built in 1927. Inside, the decor recalls the 1930s with an elegant bar and dark wood panelling.
Enjoy generous portions of pizzas, pastas and burgers.
11. Cacio e Pepe - Chu Lin Road
Ensconced in a quiet residential neighbourhood, Cacio e Pepe serves up rustic Italian fare in a cosy space with cheery yellow walls.
Dishes here feature time-honoured pairings like prosciutto ham and melon, while there are also sumptuous pizzas, pastas and risotto. Look out for their weekend specials like hearty lamb shank.
This article was first published in Singapore Airlines’ travel magazine, SilverKris. Go to silverkris.com for more travel stories.