Craving a hearty clam chowder? Or maybe a light and chilled gazpacho? Here’s where to get the best soups on the island.
Is there anything better than a tasty bowl of warm, comforting soup on a cold day? But regardless of the weather, a great bowl of soup makes a quick, convenient meal on it’s own, or a perfect tum-warming accompaniment when poured over rice, used as a dip for breads, or even a marinade to impart rich flavours into noodles and meats. Not to mention, soup’s a homely dish that’s garnered worldwide appeal – spicy Asian broths, light European consommés, even cold thick soups to combat the heat in other countries! Thankfully, Singapore’s got ’em all, so we’ve sussed out the restos that do brilliant renditions of all our favourites. Slurp away!
Bak Kut Teh – Sin Heng Claypot Bah Kut Teh
Singapore’s a hot sweltering country, but that’s never stopped our editor from gulping down a hearty claypot bowl of bah kut teh at his favourite joint, Sin Heng. The broth here is peppery – unlike the herbal rendition more commonly found in Malaysia – and as a bonus, this Joo Chiat haunt always hits its patrons up with free-flow soup. As for the pork ribs, they’re so tender that they literally slide off the bone; dip these in chilli padi black sauce for pure heaven in your mouth. Order some juicy pig innards too if you’re not squeamish!
Sin Heng Claypot Bah Kut Teh, 439 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427652
Borscht – Shashlik
Tuck into Russia’s iconic borscht soup at Shashlik, a Russo-Hainanese restaurant that recently won us over. Though it does swap out beets for tomato to better cater to Singaporean tastes, we can hardly complain. The borscht here is richly flavoured and includes an ample portion of tender beef chunks. To contrast the tomato’s zing, a dollop of sour cream is added to the to round off the taste and add a little creaminess.
Shashlik, 545 Orchard Road, Singapore 238882. p. 6732 6401; Open Tue-Sun 12pm-2.15pm, 6pm-9.15pm.
French Onion Soup – Bistro Du Vin
This perhaps the worst dish to have on a first date. For starters, it’ll do no wonders for your breath, and it’s a rather messy affair. But we admit we have a soft spot for Bistro Du Vin’s faithful French rendition of this classic. The French onion soup here is intensely flavoured with stewed onions and topped with a slab of toasted bread stacked with cheese. Talk about a flavour explosion!
Bistro du Vin, 1 Scotts Road, #01-14 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208. p. 6733 7763; Open daily 12pm-2pm, 6.30pm-10pm.
Casa Tartufo – Mushroom Soup
How could we forget this comforting classic? Most of us would have sorted out at least a couple of our childhood suppers with a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup and a few slices of toast. Craving that nostalgia again? Elevate the experience with Casa Tartufo’s rendition of this classic, the tartufata. In addition to the lovely chunks of porcini mushrooms, these truffle mavens have added fresh black truffles into the mix for a divine, aromatic soup that’ll keep you coming back for seconds.
Casa Tartufo, 33 Erskine Road, Singapore 069333; Open for lunch daily 12pm-2.30pm. Open for dinner Mon-Thu 6pm-10.30pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm, closed for dinner on Sun.
Clam Chowder – Seattle Pike Chowder
What’s not to love about this hearty New England staple? It’s rich, creamy, chock full of clams and it’ll fill you up proper. This import from the famed Pike Place Market in Seattle will hook you up with a thick sourdough breadbowl filled with either a New England (cream-based) or Manhattan style (tomato-based) clam chowder. Rest assured, that they don’t skimp on the fresh clam chunks.
Seattle Pike Chowder, 1 Marine Parade Central #01-05 Parkway Centre, Singapore 449408; Open daily 8am-11pm.
Lobster Bisque – The Naked Finn
We’d love to go back a hundred years when lobster was considered a working class food. But since we can’t, we’ll take any opportunity to grab a lobster-centric dish like the classic lobster bisque at The Naked Finn. Prepared with American lobster (head and roe included for an intense flavour) as well as a nice bit of brandy, this thick, creamy soup ticks all the boxes for us.
The Naked Finn, 39 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442. p. 6694 0807; Open Mon-Thu 12pm-3pm 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm 6pm-10.30pm, closed on Sun.
Sliced Fish Soup – Han Kee Fish Soup
When we’re out for lunch at Amoy, our HoneyBrides editor is often the last to get back to the table. Why? She’s usually braving the snaking queues of Han Kee Fish Soup at the food centre’s second floor. We see why though: generous portions of thick, tender slices of fresh fish set in a light but flavourful broth. This one’s a prime pick if you’re after a light yet satisfying lunch.
Han Kee Fish Soup, Amoy Street Food Centre, #02-129 Singapore
Gazpacho – Sabio by The Sea
The searing heat of the Spanish summer is what birthed this culinary oddity. Think of soups, and it’s often a hot, hearty bowl of clam chowder or mushroom soup that’ll come to mind. The Spaniards, however, have gifted us with this light, chilled vegetable soup that’s ideal for lunch in Singapore’s searing heat. This refreshing soup is traditionally made of raw vegetables with a tomato base, but modern variations feature ingredients like avocados, cucumbers, parsley and even watermelon and grapes. The next time you’re baking on the beach at Sentosa, head down to Sabio by the Sea for some of their refreshing Gazpacho, served in a champagne flute no less.
Sabio by the Sea, 31 Ocean Way, #01-02 Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove, Singapore 098373, p. 6690 7568
Tom Yum Soup – Nana Thai
If it’s gloomy out and you want something light and spicy to perk you up, head down to the Thai enclave of Golden Mile Complex for steaming bowl of seafood tom yum soup. There are countless Thai eateries in the building, but our tried and tested favourite is Nana Thai. The soup here is perfectly balanced, hitting just the right amounts of spice and sourness. You’ll probably need something to cool off, so make sure you order a glass of their incredibly creamy and sweet Thai Milk tea, served with crushed ice.
Nana Thai, 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex, Singapore 199588
Bakwan Kepiting – Blue Ginger
So let’s move on from the classics to something a little more niche in exotic Asian cuisine. Bakwan kepiting is a traditional Peranakan clear, peppery soup filled with tender pork and crabmeat meatballs, as well as crunchy bamboo shoots for a little texture. Whether drunk on its own or trickled over rice, this is comfort food even if you’re not a Baba or Nyonya. If you’re keen for a taste of this authentic Peranakan dish, Blue Ginger at Tanjong Pagar is your best bet.
The Blue Ginger, 97 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088518, p. 6222 3928; Open daily 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm.