Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew – doesn't matter what you're after, we've got Singapore's top Chinese restaurants all in one place
Yes we’ve got a damn good international food scene here in Singapore, but we’ve got a helluva soft spot for the Chinese restaurant. There’s just something extremely comforting about sharing a feast with a big gang of family or friends around the Lazy Susan. And who doesn’t love eating their weight in dumplings and dim sum, slurping on a bowl of noodles, tucking into steamed fish or digging into platters of the best peking duck in town. Hungry already? Thought so…
Po impressed us when it opened at the hip Warehouse Hotel at Robertson Quay a little over a year ago, and if mod-Sin is your thing, this one’s for you. It’s one sleek space with a menu that gives Singaporean favourites and Chinese classics a luxe twist, courtesy of celeb chef Chef Willin Low and Executive Chef William Lim. Take Po’s signature popiah, with a filling that’s braised over four hours and is served with plump prawns or hand-picked flower crab. Hokkien mee gets a lift with coveted carabinero prawns, konbu and lardon; and the super popular Paper Spring Chicken is available only in limited quantities, so our hot tip is to pre-order this fave. One last thing: keep an eye out for the nuggets of wisdom from Popo (the restaurant’s wry mascot), which prove that she knows best.
Po, The Warehouse Hotel, 320 Havelock Road, Singapore 169628.
A Szechuan restaurant with Japanese origins? Conceptualised by a Szechuan chef who settled down in Yokohama, the Singapore branch is spearheaded by his son, Chef Chen Kentaro, and it’s even scored two Michelin stars under its belt. Aside from dim sum like siew mai and radish cakes, Shisen Hanten’s menu also flaunts Chinese classics like suckling pig, Peking duck, marble goby, and Buddha Jumps Over The Wall broth.
Shisen Hanten, Level 35, Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Road, Singapore 238867, p. 6831 6262.
Empress at the Asian Civilisations Museum proves that works of art at museums are just as likely to appear on your plate. This smart casual dining establishment offers artfully plated, classic Chinese cuisine like king prawn dumplings in broth, lobster ‘mapo’ tofu and novel dishes like steamed pumpkin and pork skin dumplings. The restaurant’s decor contrasts the modern with traditional; the interior being vibrant and fun while managing to retain historical references to the museum’s façade.
Empress, 1 Empress Place, #01-03 Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 179555. p. 6776 0777.
East Ocean Teochew Restaurant
A go-to for Teochew families, this eminent establishment draws huge crowds during weekends, and it’s known for dishes like the Teochew cold crab, braised goose, and even dim sum dumplings moulded into animal shapes! Heads up: it gets pretty noisy and chatty in here, so be prepared to shout across the table! All part of the experience.
East Ocean Teochew Restaurant, #05-08/09 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, Singapore 238872, p. 6235 9088.
Unlike Cantonese, Teochew and Szechuan food, Hakka cuisine is a lot more elusive in Singapore. Plum Village is one neighbourhood restaurant in Thomson that keeps the tradition cooking, with authentic dishes like the Abacus Seeds – chewy rice cakes made from yam paste and tapioca – and pork belly with preserved vegetables.
Plum Village, 16 Jalan Leban, Singapore 577554, p. 6458 9005.
Forget about traditional Chinese plates; Mitzo takes a contemporary approach to crafting Cantonese cuisine. Most of the dishes are great for communal dining – highlights include black truffle crispy duck, grilled silver cod in Champagne sauce and an array of dim sum creations, such as lobster and shrimp dumpling with black truffle. Drink-wise, choose a cocktail from the Asian Inspiration menu. The mixes feature iconic Asian herbs and spices, as well as traditional Chinese medicine.
Mitzo, Level 4 Grand Park Orchard, 270 Orchard Road, Singapore 238857, p. 6603 8855.
Aside from boozy bars and street food joints, Clarke Quay is also home to this traditional Szechuan and Cantonese restaurant that’s popular for Chinese weddings. With dishes like roasted meats, live seafood and dim sum, it’s no surprise that this riverside restaurant caught the attention of Michelin’s Bib Gourmand Guide. A true treasure in the Chinese food scene!
Peony-Jade Restaurant, 3 River Valley Road, Level 2, Singapore 179020, p. 6338 0305.
Joël Robuchon isn’t the only celebrity chef that Resorts World Sentosa is proud to endorse; we can’t possibly exclude Sam Leong’s Michelin star-winning resto from this list! Chef Sam’s Chinese dishes tease a cosmopolitan approach, resulting in fusion dishes like the six-head abalone oven-baked with black truffle sauce in salt crust, beef shank slow-cooked in garlic soy sauce, and Sri Lankan crab claw steamed with egg white and vermicelli in Chinese wine. A true genius in the kitchen, this one!
Forest, Lobby, Equarius Hotel, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Singapore 098269, p. 6577 8899.
Lei Garden Restaurant
One of the best Cantonese restaurants in Singapore, this longstanding restaurant serves sophisticated Cantonese seafood dishes, nourishing double-boiled soups and smoky, tender barbecued meats. Other signatures include the braised whole deluxe fish maw in oyster sauce and preserved meat rice cooked in claypot; both of which attract large families on weekends for a feast.
Lei Garden Restaurant, #01-24 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria Street, Singapore 187996, p. 6339 3822.
Boasting an authentic menu and a prime rooftop location that attracts both locals and visitors, Yan at the National Gallery Singapore is the perfect spot for Cantonese fine dining in Singapore. Check out our full review where we sampled truffle and prawn dumplings, golden pumpkin broth with scallops, and Peking roast duck.
Yan, #05-02 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrews Road, Singapore 178957, p. 6384 5585.
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck
The crown jewel of the Imperial Treasure group, and one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015, is worth the every penny. Must-tries here are, obviously, the Peking duck – knife-wielding servers slice it up right in front of you – as well as perfectly barbecued meats.
Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, #05-42/45 Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859, p. 6732 7838.
Inspired by founder, Norman Hartono’s, love for Chinese take-out dishes during his time in California, LOKKEE by the TungLok Group gives a playful spin to classic Chinese dishes that will please both traditionalists and contemporary Chinese eaters. Highly recommended is the Firecracker Chicken Nest, which is based on the fiery Chongqing and Kung Pao chicken; the deep-fried chicken dish comes with chopped dried chillies and mango puree.
LOKKEE, #03-01, Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839, p. 6884 4566.
Hai Tien Lo
What we really love about Hai Tien Lo is their amazing lunch deal. The a la carte dim sum weekday lunch buffet lets you choose from an extensive selection of dim sum, soups, signature dishes, and desserts. Help yourself to unlimited servings of dim sum (think steamed pork and prawn dumplings with crab roe, pan-fried rice flour rolls with dried scallops in XO chili sauce), and individual servings of other highlights, including a traditional double-boiled soup.
Hai Tien Lo, 3/F Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595, p. 6826 8240.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace
One of the few upscale Chinese restaurants in Singapore that offers Teochew cuisine, Crystal Jade Golden Palace is perfect for family reunions. Start your meal with the double-boiled chicken soup with fish maw & dendrobium, and follow up with classic Teochew dishes including stewed beef brisket with radish in claypot, and pan-friend oyster omelette. End the meal on a sweet note with the yam paste, a traditional Teochew dessert.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace, #05-22 Paragon Shopping Centre, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore 238859, p. 6734 6866.
Opened in January 2006, the award-winning Majestic Restaurant continues to be a stylish destination for modern Chinese dining, featuring Cantonese cuisine by internationally renowned, award-winning chef-owner, Yong Bing Ngen. Signature dishes include stewed noodles with boston lobster, ginger and scallion, and roasted Ireland Silver Duck in Peking Style.
Majestic Restaurant, 5 Straits View, #04-01 Marina One, The Heart (East Tower), Singapore 018935. p. 6250 1988.
Garoupa in lobster soup, squid ink-infused charcoal pork buns, and sweet and sour pork ‘on the rocks’ are just some unconventional creations cooked up by Chef Fung Chi Keung, who moved on from the Paradise Group to found his own Chinese restaurant. Kai Garden is a concept that marries tradition with the taking of risks, which, in our opinion, has paid off extremely well. Read our full review here.
Kai Garden, #03-128A/B Marina Square, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594, p. 6250 4826.
No posh interiors or fancy tableware at this longstanding establishment, but the authentic Hokkien cuisine more than makes up for it. Proof of its popularity is their loyal regulars who have been coming back for decades. Standout dishes include the fish maw soup, traditional Hokkien noodles, and kong ba bao. Most of their set menus offer good value and are great for big groups.
Beng Hiang, #02-337 Block 135 Jurong Gateway Road, Singapore 600135, p. 6221 6695.
Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House
Under the Emmanuel Stroobant Group, this waterfront dining spot specialises in both modern and traditional Chinese fare. Signature dishes at Blue Lotus include the chilli pomelo crab, lemongrass prawn sticks with citrus spicy dressing, and steamed sea treasure rice in lotus leaves.
Blue Lotus Chinese Eating House, #01-13 Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way, Singapore 098375, p. 6339 0880.
Chef Tony Wun helms the kitchen at the reliable and luxurious Yan Ting. On top of the excellent weekend dim sum brunch, this classy stalwart does mainstays of Chinese cuisine – like crispy roast pork and steamed fish – well. They also get top marks for presentation (think European plating), and service.
Yan Ting, The St. Regis Singapore Level 1U, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911, p. 6506 6887.
Si Chuan Dou Hua
Elegant surrounds, authentic Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine, and really good tea (the Tea Master’s theatrics with a long sprout kettle should entertain the kids) – it’s no wonder Si Chuan Dou Hua has been a family favourite since its inception in 1996. Take things up a notch and snag a table at the UOB Plaza outlet for a spectacular view of the city skyline.
Si Chuan Dou Hua, #60-01 UOB Plaza 1, 80 Raffles Place, Singapore 048624, p. 6535 6006.
Full Of Luck Club
One food trend that more than a few restaurants are jumping on is bao sliders, and Full Of Luck Club was one of the first that got us hooked. Using fried mantou buns, this Holland Village joint featured sandwiches like the salted egg yolk prawn bao, panko-crusted mushroom bao, and braised pork belly bao. What can we say: we’ve been won over by the modern Chinese restaurant scene. Check out our full review of Full of Luck Club for more of our faves from the menu.
Full of Luck Club, 243 Holland Avenue, Singapore 278977, p. 6208 6845.
Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant
This supper spot is definitely the grittiest on our list, but our tums are hardly complaining when they’re bellowing at 4am in the morning. Our reliable go-to for Cantonese dim sum fixes, this crowd favourite is known for its chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls), xiao long baos (soup dumplings) and liu sha baos (golden lava buns).
Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant, 191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882, p. 6225 7788.
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