Get yourself acquainted with the top-notch restos and cool bars of Boat Quay.
A stone’s throw from party central aka Clarke Quay – and not too far from Robertson Quay – Boat Quay is home to a dizzying array of restaurants and bars despite it being a tiny enclave. Come dusk, the street comes to life with imbibers, tourists and foodies. Don’t know where to start? We let you in on the best spots…
Guide to Boat Quay: Eat
Kinara West Frontier Cuisine
Craving North Indian deliciousness? Don’t think twice, just head here! Apart from offering the cuisine’s usual stars, such as tandoori grilled meats, biryanis, fiery curries and savoury naans, Kinara also has vegetarian-friendly options. Its assorted paneers and dals make it the perfect spot for a catch-up with your vegetarian buddies.
Kinara West Frontier Cuisine, 57 Boat Quay, Singapore 049846
Dallas Restaurant & Bar
Carnivores, this one is for you. The riverside restaurant puts out wicked plates of juicy steaks, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs and gut-busting burgers. With a group of friends? Dive straight into the meat platter, which features lamb cutlets, Angus prime rib and spicy braised pork ribs alongside garden greens, tomatoes and potatoes. Wash it all down with a few pints of beers.
Dallas Restaurant & Bar, 31 Boat Quay, Singapore 049820
Ramen Bar Suzuki
If you’re already bored of the conventional versions of ramen, Suzuki offers variations like emerald green tonkotsu (tonkotsu broth enhanced with fresh basil and cheese) and sakura pink tonkotsu (the pink comes from the addition of three types of shrimp). Otherwise, you can always go for the ‘safer’ options of cardinal red or jet black ramen. What colours will these chefs come up with next?
Ramen Bar Suzuki, #01-01, 61 Circular Road, Singapore 049415
Can’t decide between Peranakan and Japanese cuisine? Get the best of both worlds! Dig into a fusion meal at the uber-cool Babasan. After trying intriguing dishes like buah keluak ramen, sambal Iberico pork sando, unagi kueh pie tee and spicy rempah crab fried rice, you’ll be wondering why this culinary collaboration hasn’t happened sooner. If you’re the adventurous sort, go for the omakase meal. You won’t be disappointed (and we’re speaking from experience!).
Babasan, 50 Circular Road, Singapore 049405
Tom Yum Kungfu
If you love your Thai food like we do, Tom Yum Kungfu will definitely please you. The affordable menu is packed with classic dishes like tom yum soup, chicken basil and green curry. Hanging out late? Order the traditional mookata (which uses charcoal) – it’s the perfect belly-warming meal after a slew of drinks!
Tom Yum Kungfu, 16 Circular Road, Singapore 049372
109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo
For a good bowl of the local dish, make your way down to the famous 109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo. It’s been around for more than 30 years! For just under $10, you’ll be treated to a variety of classic ingredients including handmade fishballs, fried beancurd and lady’s fingers stuffed with fish paste to go with your noodles and broth.
109 Teochew Yong Tau Foo, 90 Circular Road, Singapore 049441
Meat and Green
For lunches that register high on the health-o-meter, make your way to Meat and Green to grab salad bowls with a dash of local flavour. These include pulled pork seasoned bak kut teh-style, chilli crab and fish, and Malay beef curry. Want a cheat day treat? Try the epic beef rendang mac and cheese!
Meat and Green, 84 Circular Road, Singapore 049436
Hans im Glück
The German burger joint takes great pride in its burgers. Sandwiching simple and tasty ingredients alongside the mysterious namesake sauce between sourdough or multigrain buns, the burgers are anything but pedestrian. Highlights include Grunes Gold, which sees a juicy beef patty topped with avo cream and aged cheddar cheese; and Geselle, a chicken burger with bacon and parmesan sauce. Vegans and vegetarians can get in on the action too with plant-based creations.
Hans im Glück, 71 Boat Quay, Singapore 049860
The Mask Restaurant and Bar
If you’re craving North Indian cuisine, The Mask hits the spot. Chicken reshmi kebabs, mutton rogan josh and samosas are great with an ice cold beer. And for that friend who doesn’t do spicy food, the menu also offers pizzas, burgers, bar bites and even quesadillas.
The Mask Restaurant and Bar, 23-26 Circular Road, Singapore 049379
With a Michelin star in hand, this Italian restaurant and rooftop bar features an open kitchen and progressive Italian nosh. Under the degustation menu, you’ll see seasonal ingredients like Alaskan king crab, venison loin, Miyazaki wagyu and scallop taking centre stage. After dinner, retire to the rooftop bar and take in the cool breeze with a cocktail in hand.
Braci, #05-01/#06-01, 52 Boat Quay, Singapore 049841
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore
This Italian chain continues to thrive with its dedication to freshly-made pasta and heartfelt service. Thirty years on, Pasta Fresca stays fresh by constantly revamping its menu, with current mainstays like alle vongole (pasta with clams sauteed in olive oil), crespelle al funghi (Italian-style crepe baked with mushrooms, onions and parmesan), and risotto al frutti di mare (seafood risotto).
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore,30 Boat Quay, Singapore 049819
BK Eating House
The 24-hour BK Eating House is your answer to getting a taste of Singapore in the neighbourhood. Grab a table along the road and catch all the Circular Road action from your seat while chugging bottles of beer. Food-wise, the bak chor mee is hands down the crowning jewel of this coffee shop.
BK Eating House, 21 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058667
The Salted Plum
Housed in a two-storey shophouse, Salted Plum’s flagship restaurant serves delish Taiwanese plates such as XL fried chicken, braised spicy duck wings, fried omelette with pickled radish, and crispy salt and pepper squid. Not to mention, the food is pretty affordable as the menu is conveniently categorised into four price points: $5, $10, $15 and $20.
The Salted Plum, 10 Circular Road, Singapore 049366
Guide to Boat Quay: Drink
The Public House
Coasters and tawdry decorations are plastered all over this quirky drinking joint. Swing by for a casual drink with your mates – or by yourself. The vibe is extremely welcoming; you won’t even feel out of place coming here alone.
The Public House, 42 Circular Road, Singapore 049398
Inspired by the legendary party bar, Mogambo Tokyo, this watering hole attracts all kinds of party animals, from boozehounds to lightweights to weekend warriors who drink like a fish. Depending on your choice of poison, there’s a wide range to pick from, including premium spirits that go by the bottle. But before you start the night, down a shot or two. These are grouped in four flavour profiles: Juicylicious, milky, layered and lethal. Psst: We’ve heard that if you inhale 15 different shots in one night, you will enter Mogambo’s Shot Hall of Fame.
Mogambo, #01-01, 3 Canton Street, Singapore 049745
Guzzle freshly brewed beers at happy hour prices while chillin’ at RedDot BrewHouse’s riverside Boat Quay outlet. Try classic beer styles like the Weizen and English Ale, or more eclectic variations like the RedDot Lime Wheat ale and the eye-catching Monster Green Lager Beer.
RedDot BrewHouse, 33/34 Boat Quay, Singapore 049823
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
Knock back a few cold pints of stout while taking in live Irish music at Singapore’s oldest Irish pub. This institution, in all its warm, wood-panelled glory, has served as an authentic den of all that is Irish for over two decades. In addition to Guinness and Kilkenny, Molly’s offers quintessential Irish drams like Jameson, Tullamore Dew and Bushmills. It’s also the place for wholesome Irish feed like beef and Guinness pie or a plate of bangers and mash.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, 56 Circular Road, Singapore 049411
Oysters and alcohol? Best. Combo. Ever. If you’re like us, be sure to hit up Southbridge. The bar, which overlooks the Singapore River, serves up these glorious bivalves in four ways: Umami (with ponzu and yuzu sauce), nikkei (with tonkatsu sauce and tograshi), mignonette (with banana shallot and sherry vinegar), and natural (with lemon and hints of tobacco). Complement the experience with cocktails like the vodka-based Livin’ Va Lida or the fruity Catrina Roja, which is spiked with celery-infused tequila.
Southbridge, 5/F (rooftop), 80 Boat Quay, Singapore 049868
Two vastly different experiences, one fab location. That’s exactly what you get at Barbary Coast, which is set up by the founding bartender of 28 HongKong Street, Michael Callahan. Looking for a casual, no-frills spot? Take a seat at Deadfall, a watering hole inspired by the 1800s San Franciscan district, so be prepared for cheeky cocktails. The second floor Barbary Coast Ballroom is for discerning drinkers who have a keen eye for details. Each drink is concocted with finesse, from the spirits to the garnish.
Barbary Coast, 16 North Canal Road, Singapore 048828
This unpretentious, inviting riverfront bar provides both an upbeat ambience for a perfect TGIF, as well as a laid-back environment for you to chill at its alfresco seating area. Famous for martinis and mojitos, its refreshing cocktails and party shots are definitely ones to try and get tipsy for. Bottoms up!
BQ Bar, 39 Boat Quay, Singapore 049828
The Penny Black
This English-style pub at Boat Quay is our go-to spot when we’re down for mouthwatering London pub meals along with myriad beers on tap. Also, extra points for its cosy Victorian setting.
The Penny Black, 26/27 Boat Quay, Singapore 049817
One of Singapore’s most enduring dining and bar chains, Harry’s is decked out with memorabilia gathered from the owner’s globetrotting adventures. The vibe is relaxed and homely – great for an unpretentious, no-judgment session with the pals over beers and decent bites.
Harry’s, 28 Boat Quay, Singapore 049818
Guide to Boat Quay: Relax
Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa
This is the one that started it all. Having set up shop in Boat Quay back in 2013, Neko No Niwa is the pioneer that sparked off a slew of copycat (pun intended) cat cafes. The cosy shophouse space houses a clowder of adorable kitties – all lovingly rescued by owners Sue Lynn and Sam. We’re especially fond of brother-sister pair Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the mischievous tabbies with a penchant for stealing food and nibbling fingers when you’re not looking. Order up coffee, cake and smoothies, and proceed to de-stress by watching some kitty antics.
Cat Cafe Neko No Niwa, 54A Boat Quay (Level 2), Singapore 049843
Pamper yourself after a long day’s work at this massage parlour by the river. Its Thai-styled interiors, furnishings and fragrances will make you feel like you’re on a holiday in Bangkok. Worried about pain? Its team of experienced massage therapists knead with the right pressure to make sure you feel comfy and at ease throughout the session, which can range from 30 to 120 minutes.
Sabaai Sabaai, 49a Boat Quay, Singapore 049838
While you’re surrounded by go-getters and time-strapped execs, find peace and strength with a session at Hom Yoga. A cosy boutique yoga studio huddled inside a restored shophouse, Hom’s classes are a welcome respite from the bustle outside. Lift your spirit with a cleansing session of hot yoga or realign your chakras with a restorative yin class.
Hom Yoga, 3 Canton Street, Singapore 049745
There you have it. All the best places to check out in Boat Quay!