No confit or sous vide here – it’s old school Western food that Singaporeans love. Think fish and chips or chicken cutlet paired with baked beans, eggs and coleslaw!
When we talk about Western food in Singapore, we’re usually referring to a humble yet delish plate of fish and chips or grilled meat accompanied by coleslaw, fries, baked beans and a toasted bun. An amalgamation of Hainan influence and British food, the old school Western fare is a reflection of our colonial past. And it can be found at most hawker centres across the island. History lesson aside, here are our top picks for your Western food fix.
Best Western food in Singapore
1. British Hainan
Nestled in a private estate at Joo Chiat, British Hainan is a blast from the past. Step in and you’ll be whisked down memory lane. The cafe is decked out in a hodgepodge of antiques in a way that almost feels like a museum. Take your time to look at vintage telephones and radios, black and white photographs of old Singapore, and beautiful portraits of legends from yesteryear. But don’t miss out on the signature traditional oxtail stew, grilled rosemary lamb shank, Hainanese pork chop or mutton soup!
British Hainan, 75 Carpmael Road, Singapore 429812
History takes centre stage at this humble spot. Previously a canteen for the British Army back in 1953, Colbar serves Hainanese-style Western food. Tasty highlights include sirloin steak with chips, egg and peas, bacon sammie, pork chop and cutlet. We say stay and enjoy the nostalgic ambience with a couple of beers. From the clay roof tin and timber walls to the historic photos of Colbar Football Club and the vintage knick knacks adorning the place, this hidden gem delivers a slice of old Singapore. Psst: don’t forget to check out the nearby Wessex Estate for its black and white colonial buildings.
Colbar, 9A Whitchurch Road, Singapore 138839
3. Western Barbeque
Here’s an example of what to expect from a popular hawker stall: snaking queues and a collage of media newspaper clippings and certifications plastered on its stall front. Not to mention, this Old Airport Road Food Centre stall has been around the block for decades. Go for the mixed grill platter, which features a trio of meats: pork, chicken and lamb alongside crinkle-cut fries, sunny-side-up and coleslaw. Don’t forget to pair them with the famed homemade garlic sauce.
Western Barbeque, #01-53, Old Airport Road Food Centre, 51 Old Airport Road, Singapore 390051
4. Apollo Western Food
Located at Hainanese Village Centre at Hougang, Apollo Western Food needs no introduction, having been in the business for over 30 years. Whether you’re in the mood for something grilled or deep-fried, you can’t go wrong with dishes like pork chop drenched in gravy or chicken cutlet, which is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. All mains are paired with fries, baked beans and a fluffy toasted bun.
Apollo Western Food, #02-32, Hainanese Village Centre, 105 Hougang Avenue 1, Singapore 530105
5. Wow Wow West Genuine
It’s a little out of the way for those of us who don’t live in the Queenstown area but we say it’s worth the jaunt. Starting out as a canteen stall at Raffles Institution in 1999, Wow Wow West is now a mainstay at ABC Brickworks. Most of the items on the menu are well under $10, including the chicken chop, pork chop and fish and chips. Plus, the portions are huge!
Wow Wow West Genuine, #01-133, ABC Brickworks, 6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006
6. Ye Lai Xiang, Tasty Barbecue
This massive dining enclave is home to over 100 food stalls, all with a focus on different specialities. But if you’re in the mood for simple Western grub, make your way to Ye Lai Xiang, Tasty Barbecue. The secret sauce to its popularity? Well, it’s literally a secret sauce. The sweet and savoury brown sauce is sloshed on every plate before it’s served. And don’t be shy to ask for an extra serving – you won’t be the first to do so.
Ye Lai Xiang, Tasty Barbecue, Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur Street, Singapore 069184
7. Tiong Bahru Hot Plate Western Food
Now, here’s an excuse to head to this ‘hip hood… not that we need one. Situated in Tiong Bahru Market, the stall takes things up a notch by serving Hainanese western goodness on sizzling plates. Enjoy classics like chicken chop with slightly charred bits that hit the spot. Just expect to wait in line during peak dining hours!
Tiong Bahru Hot Plate Western Food, #02-54, Tiong Bahru Market & Food Centre, 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898
Which Western food spot is your fave in Singapore?