Take your tummy travelling – feast on unique dishes like poke salad, chalupas, borsch and more at these exotic restaurants in Singapore
It’s no news that Singapore is a food paradise, home to all manner of Thai, Japanese, Indian and Korean food. But by now, you’ve probably had countless bowls of ramen and plates of kimchi fried rice, so how about trying something a little more exotic? From hearty Russian stews to fresh Hawaiian fish Poké, here’s our guide to exotic eats in Singapore.
For Russian food: Buyan
Shashlik’s Russian return has put the spotlight back on this little known cuisine that favours rich, well-seasoned dishes. Situated at Duxton Hill, the newly renovated Buyan sports a wood-panelled interior that gives off a homely log cabin vibe. Start off with something light and soup like the Stchi, a traditional Russian clear cabbage soup, or the rich and flavourful borsch, before moving on to mains like Zharkoye (Russian beef stew with a puff pastry lid) and chicken Kiev. If you’re after something lighter, or crave something to go with some vodka, Buyan is famous for its wide variety of Russian caviars, served with blinis (thin Russian crepes).
Buyan, 9 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089593. p. 6223 7008. Open Mon-Wed 5pm-11pm, Thurs-Sat 5pm-12pm. Closed on Sun.
For Argentinian food: BoChinChe
An exciting Argentinean restaurant by Chef Diego Jacquet and Cynthia (there-is-no-stopping-her) Chua of Spa Esprit Group, Bochinche celebrates a passion for food and the social custom of gathering to dine, at the same time, dispelling the notion that Argentinean cuisine is all about meat. Highlights on Chef Diego’s menu include Gambas al ajo (caramelised pork belly and chorizo); Queso de Chancho (braised pig head croquettes and quince); a mind-blowingly good Dulce de leche served with crème brulee and banana split ice cream. Prepare your palate for an explosion of bold yet delicate flavours.
boCHINche, 22 Martin Road, #02-01, Singapore 239058. p. 6235 4990.
For Nepalese food: New Everest Kitchen
Take your taste buds to all new heights at Everest Kitchen, one of Singapore’s foremost Nepali restaurants. Start your meal off with some momo (minced chicken dumpling) and sukuti, before moving on to heartier sharing plates like the hearty gorkha chatani, a potato dish seasoned with sesame seeds, popular with the Gurkha. The Nepalese also do a decadent dessert in the form of Kheer, a sweet, smooth rice pudding dish.
New Everest Kitchen Singapore, 55 Chander Road, Singapore 219550. p. 6299 0745. 10.30am-10.30pm daily.
For Hawaiian food: Aloha Poké
While Hawaiian sun, sand and surf might be an ocean away, traditional Hawaiian fare makes its way to the CBD at Aloha Poké. Founded by two Singaporean couples that were bitten by the Poké bug while vacationing in Hawaii, this casual, colourful eatery specialises in the traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad. Here, you’ll get to design your own tasty bowl by picking your choice of house-marinated poke (Ahi tuna, salmon and vegetarian), two complimentary add-ons and one superfood from its comprehensive selection.
Aloha Poké, 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911. p. 6221 6165. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm 5.30pm-late.
For Caribbean food: Lime House
Lime House introduces “liming,” which means to hang in a casual atmosphere. This Caribbean concept of living from Trinidad and Tobago has hit Singapore, and we couldn’t be more stoked. You’ll get a taste of Caribbean classics like slipper lobster cocktail, Caribbean fish cakes, and red snapper Escovitch. These guys also have a dedicated rum bar and rooftop bar – all the better for your happy nights out!
Lime House, 2 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089260. p. 6222 3130. Open Tue-Sun 12pm-12am. Closed on Mon.
For Greek food: Alati
Close your eyes, and you’ll almost feel a cool Mediterranean sea breeze waft through the rustic blue and white interior of this very Greek taverna. ALATI, helmed by General Manager Leong Khai Git and Athens-born Executive Chef Soutsos Dimitrios, makes use of fresh produce wild-caught by the fishermen of the Aegean Sea. Chef Dimitrious’ hands-on approach to cooking sees to it that every item on the menu is painstakingly and meticulously made by hand: from the beef mousaka (a traditional greek casserole) to the tzatziki (A yoghurt based sauce), and even quintessentially Greek desserts like the Ekmek Kataifi (phyllo pastry with mastika custard). The Greek Gods themselves will approve.
ALATI, 73 Amoy Street, Singapore 069892. p. 6221 6124. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm. Closed on Sun.
For Portuguese food: Boca
Portuguese cuisine isn’t easy to find in Singapore – that’s why we welcome Boca with open arms. Taking over the now-defunct Oca Grassa, Boca focuses on authentic Portuguese fare. Dishes like grilled sardines, Iberian pork cubes sautéed with clams, and – of course – Portuguese egg tarts pepper the menu, as do drink choices like espresso and Portuguese wine.
Boca, 6 Bukit Pasoh, Singapore 089820, p. 6221 0132. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-12am. Closed Sun.
For Costa Rican Food: Mamacita’s Authentic Costa Rican Cuisine
This one’s a firm favourite of our fashion-savvy team-mate Shairah, and without a doubt the most exotic stall you’ll find at the Amoy and Lau Pa Sat food centres. On days when she’s craving something other than chicken rice, carrot cake and other local favourites, she’ll often go for the Krunchy Chalupas – a fried tortilla bowl piled generously with salad, a choice of beef or chicken, salsa, and topped with melted cheese (extra $1). The owner’s signature dish, the arroz con mariscos (a seafood fried rice) is another dish well worth trying.
Mamacita’s Authentic Costa Rican Cuisine, #01-50 Amoy Street Food Centre.