Singapore Food Blog by Ordinary People looking for Places to Eat. We are just ordinary people looking for places to eat in Singapore, and occasionally overseas. We are neither food connoisseurs nor restaurant critics; and we are not trying to write definitive restaurant reviews. We are simply writing as everyday folks about our own experience.
In an ideal world, we should have most of the amenities and services available in our respective neighbourhoods in Singapore. With everything within walking distance or a 10 minute bicycle ride, we can avoid overloading the transport systems and wasting time and money. Sadly this is seldom the case, especially when it comes to restaurants as they like to concentrate in malls and business areas like Keong Siak and Orchard. It is therefore always of great interest to us to learn of a new restaurant like Summer Hill Bistro which opened in the Sunset Way / Clementi residential area in early 2018.
Summer Hill Bistro at Sunset Way
Summer Hill Bistro is located in a cluster of shops and restaurants along Sunset Way near the junction with Clementi Road. There are a number of vet clinics in this area. There was a hobby fish shop at the corner which has recently been replaced by a dental clinic. Do not associate the Bistro with the Summerhill condominium which is a couple of kilometers away.
Like the restaurants in the area, Summer Hill Bistro is simply decorated. There were only two tables in the indoor area which was mostly taken up by the kitchen and storage. The main seating area is outdoors which is more pleasant. But the canvas awning was no match for the merciless Singapore afternoon sun. We picked a table inside which was messy and smells of cooking but at least there was air-conditioning.
Summer Hill Bistro Menu
Summer Hill Bistro at Sunset Way has wisely kept their menu simple. You can count the main food choices on one hand. The menu is posted on the wall. There was a choice of chicken, beef, pork, sandwich and daily special. Some other minor food items such as quiche and pastries were available. Here are pictures of the Summer Hill Bistro menu.
Summer Hill Bistro Menu
The speciality of the restaurant is the roast chicken which is apparently made with hormone and anti-biotic free birds. We decided on a half chicken ($23) and roast pork collar in creamy mustard sauce ($25). For drinks we had a Punchin Rye beer ($12) and a small San Pellegrino ($3.50). The beer bottle looks cute but the beer was quite unremarkable.
I am happy to report that the grilled chicken at Summer Hill Bistro was indeed top-notch. The skin of the chicken was lightly browned. The meat was totally moist. The chicken must be quite large as the pieces of meat were thick and substantial. There is always a good chance that such a large bird will turn out dry after grilling, but this was not the case. This is the best grilled chicken we have tried in recent memory. The place which we can think of which serves better grilled chicken is The Lokal, where we visited a couple of years ago.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat presented the Singapore Budget for the 2018 financial year on Monday, 19 February 2018. Not too surprisingly, a range of tax increases was announced (see the Budget in Brief). The sweetener is that every adult Singaporean will get a Singapore Bonus of between $100 to $300. The bad news for those who eat out a lot in Singapore is that Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be raised to 9% from 7%. The good news is that the GST increase will only take place sometime from 2021 to 2025. However, if you are already lamenting paying 7% GST on top of the restaurant menu prices plus 10% service charge, you may want to start keeping a list of Singapore restaurants with no GST. We share our list of restaurants and cafes that do not add GST to your bill.
Fynn’s is an all day dining café at South Beach Avenue. It has great looks, an interesting menu, good service and an inviting atmosphere. No GST would be added to the bill but there would be the 10% service charge. Read more.
Plentyfull at Millenia Walk caters to the office crowd by serving cafeteria style light meals, as well as cakes and coffee, in the day. At night it is a full service restaurant and bar. Service Charge would be added to the bill but there was no GST when we dined there. Read more.
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-79/80, Millenia Walk
Food For Thought at National Museum is a Singapore restaurant with no GST in a beautiful space. Encased within a glasshouse-like structure, it is lit with loads of bright natural light which makes it look effortlessly modern and beautiful. The menu offers all day breakfast, pasta, burgers and some mains Read more.
Food for Thought
93 Stamford Road #01-04/05,
Tel: +65 6338 9887
Sunday – Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday – Saturday 10am to 10pm
Nearby Stations : Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah
The Quarters creates interesting unique dishes by incorporating Asian flavours into familiar Western food – with items such as salted egg french fries, buak keluak capellini and the signature durian creme brulee. It is also a restauarnt without GST. Read more.
16 Enggor Street #01-09
Tel : +65 6834 4174
Located in the Botanic Garden, Casa Verde is a casual diner with a menu that is quite comprehensive – a good mix of western (pizza pasta etc) and local food items (including hor fun, bak kut teh and laksa). Read more.
Casa Verde Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road
Chillas Restaurant is an Indian restaurant located on the second level of the Galaxis building in Fusionopolis, One North, Singapore. They serve traditional Indian cuisine in a large modern space. No GST was charged when we dined there but there was a 10% service charge. Read more.
1 Fusionopolis Place
We googled “best beef noodles in Taipei” and Yong Kang Beef Noodles (永康牛肉麺) was one of the names that often appears. On TripAdvisor, they are rated #96 of 12,000 restaurants in Taipei. It was an easy decision to pay them a visit as they are centrally located in Taipei City, just a short walk from the Dongmen MRT station. There were no surprises at Yong Kang Beef Noodles Taipei, but we were pleasantly surprised by how interesting this area around Yong Kang Street is. It is an area filled with good food places. We will show you some pictures are the end of our story on Yong Kang Beef Noodles.
Yong Kang Beef Noodles Taipei
Yong Kang Beef Noodles Taipei
Fearful of crowds and long queues that often form at famous food places, we visited Yong Kang Beef Noodle Taipei at around 4.30 pm. The restaurant was busy but there was no queue, we were ushered to a corner table which had just been vacated. The exterior of the place looks old and run down, but the inside was not bad at all. It looks very retro but was clean and tidy.
Here is a picture of the Yong Kang Menu. Apart from the famous beef noodles, there were a few other items. Having the beef noodles was compulsory. We were asked if we preferred meat, tendons or both. To hedge our bets we placed an order for a mix of meat and tendons. For variety we also decided to try some dumplings.
Here are pictures of the famous Yong Kang Beef Noodles of Taipei. It costs NT$240 (about S$11) for this bowl of noodles. It was quite a large portion. We were glad to be sharing it.
There were large chunks of meat and tendons. The beef was well cooked. Tender but still having texture. The beef taste in the meat and the broth was good. By then, we had already tried a few other beef noodles in Taipei and the quality was consistently high. We cannot say that the beef at Yong Kang was streets ahead of their competitors. I think I may face difficulties in a blind test. But what was certain was that the tendons were amazing. They were cooked so soft yet with enough bounce to resist the bite. The tendons were the best part of the Yong Kang Beef Noodles.
Here are pictures of the dumplings that we ordered. This bowl (NT$120) contained around eight dumplings. They were nice but not extraordinary. But they did provide a break from the beef noodles.
The Yen Restaurant Taipei W Hotel was the best restaurant in Taipei that we tried during our recent trip there. This fine dining Chinese restaurant at the top of the W Hotel in the Xinyi District of Taipei is currently ranked by TripAdvisor as the #3 of 12,163 restaurants in Taipei. There is currently no Taipei Michelin Guide list of restaurants but there are expectations for a first edition – 2018 Taipei Michelin Guide (see Straits Times story Taipei to get its first ever Michelin guide). We are pretty sure Yen Restaurant Taipei will do very well when the Michelin Guide get published for the city.
Yen Restaurant Taipei is a modern restaurant. With wide-open spaces and clean lines it is almost minimalist in design. The all round natural light and 31st floor views provide sufficient decorations. It is a luxurious restaurant, not because of ornaments but the sheer expanse of space.
Yen Restaurant Taipei Menu
Here are pictures of some pages of the Yen Restaurant Taipei menu including the lunch time “Delectables” dim sum menu. We ordered a mix of dim sum and other items from the main menu.
Here are pictures of the dim sum items that we tried. They looked exquisite and the taste was very refined. The high level of craftsmanship can be seen in the details of the dumplings. The dim sum items costs around NT$200 each.
The XO radish cake (NT$220) looked like the usual ones we have in Singapore. But on closer examination, there are tiny Sakura shrimps sprinkled all over it. These small crustaceans make their presence felt with a crunch of seafood flavour.
Auntie’s Wok & Steam is said to be “an ode to Singapore’s tze char food culture”. Like looking for a hard to find street side tze char stall of old, we walk along a narrow alley to locate Auntie’s Wok and Steam in Alley on 25 Andaz Hotel. The alley is, however, a spiffy one and Auntie’s Wok & Steam is a very nice contemporary Chinese dining space.
The restaurants at Alley on 25, Andaz Hotel Singapore is a collection of food and beverage outlets on the 25th floor of the hotel by the Hyatt group. Auntie’s Wok & Steam specialises in dim sum, rice, noodle and meat dishes. There are several sitting sections in the restaurant. There are seats at a bar counter which allow you to look at the chefs performing in the open kitchen. Most of the other tables will allow diners a good view from the vantage point of the 25th Floor of the Duo.
Auntie’s Wok & Steam Menu
Auntie’s Wok & Steam Menu is not extensive. It offers rice and noodles with a few items of soup, seafood, meat and vegetables. Zhajiang Mian, Jiao Zi Dumplings, Ma Po Silken Tofu and Kung Pao Chicken are examples of the Chinese food served at the restaurant. Here are pictures of some portions from the Auntie’s Wok & Steam Menu.
Auntie’s Wok & Steam Menu
Dinner at Auntie’s Wok & Steam
We had dinner at Auntie’s Wok & Steam and ordered a Crispy Organic Cucumber ($9), Steamed Sea Bass Fillet ($25) and Double Boiled Beef Short Rib Noodles ($18).
Like eating in a tze char stall, we could hear the food being prepared and see smoke rising from the hot woks. We cooked food arrived promptly like it would in an old school tze char stall.
The Crispy Cucumber was like an appetizer. The cucumber was crunchy and drizzled with a delectable chilli sauce and generously sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. It seemed like a simple dish but there were layers of tastes and textures.
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is probably the most celebrated festival in Singapore. Chinese New Year in Singapore 2018 promises a host of events and activities. What to Do & Where to Eat during the festive holidays are questions we ask because of the surfeit of options, not for lack of choices. You can join the crowd at River Hongbao 2018 – 首页 at The Float @ Marina Bay from 14 to 24 February 2018 (see ST Article) or go and admire the Chinatown Street light-up (from 7pm, till 16 March 2018 at Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge) featuring handmade sculptured lanterns of dogs, flowers and greetings including contemporary designs of students of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
We highlight a few other things to see and do this Chinese New Year in Singapore 2018 and of course where to eat during the festive season.
The Istana Open House
Source : Gallery of Istana Website
The grounds of The Istana, the presidential palace and office of the President, is open to the public in celebration of Chinese New Year. There will be a variety of performances on the grounds during the Open House. For an entrance fee of $2 for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents and $4 for others, visitors could tour selected function rooms in the Istana building and view a special display of gifts presented to the President and the Prime Minister.
Sign up for the Nature Guided Walk during the Istana Chinese New Year Open House. This guided walk is a collaboration between the President’s Office and the National Parks Board (NParks), which will showcase the Istana’s flora, fauna and biodiversity. The guided walk starts from 10am to 4pm, and is conducted hourly ($2.00 for each child aged 3 years & above; $4 for Singaporeans / PRs aged 13 and above; $10.00 for foreigners (aged 13 & above).
When: 17 February 2018, 8:30am – 6pm
Where: The Istana, Orchard Road, Singapore 238823
How much: Free for Singapore Citizens and PRs, $2 per person for other visitors.
Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Singapore Art Museum! Experience SAM and the #cineramaSG artworks in new and fun ways and also enjoy lion dance performance, family-friendly art and craft activities and Chinese calligraphy demonstrations.
Lion Dance Performance
Date: 17 February 2018
Venue: SAM at 8Q, Plaza
Create a 3D Pop-Up House
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: Hourly sessions from 11am to 6pm. (Last session starts at 5pm)
Venue: SAM at 8Q, Workshop Space 1, Level 2
Make Your Own Chinese New Year Shaker
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: 11am to 6pm
Venue: SAM at 8Q, Workshop Space 2, Level 2
Chinese Calligraphy Activity and Demonstration
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: 3pm to 6pm; demonstrations at 4pm – 4.15pm and 5pm – 5.15pm
Venue: SAM at 8Q, Plaza
Join the complimentary tour of The Learning Forest, which features a network of boardwalks and elevated walkways that allow visitors to explore habitats ranging from a freshwater forest wetland to a lowland rainforest.
Date: 17 February 2018
Time: 9 am
Registration: Visitor Services, Tyersall Gate (required 15 minute before session starts)
Admission Fees: Admission to the Learning Forest as well as the tour is free.
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall’s Lunar New Year celebrations!
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall’s Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2018 presents festive offerings suitable for the young and old, including energetic Lion and Dragon dance performances, auspicious calligraphy, geomancy talks, and craft bazaars for the little ones. Toss to good fortune in a mass lohei session, challenge your friends in Kampung Games, get your fortune predictions, enjoy an evening concert of contemporary and traditional performing arts, and more.
Auspicious Lion & Dragon Dance Performance
Date: 16 Feb Time: 10.00am (lion and dragon dance)
Date: 24 Feb Time: 1.30pm (lion dance); 7.30pm (LED dragon dance)
Date: 25 Feb Time: 1.30pm (dragon dance); 7.30pm (LED lion dance)
Festival of Spring Prosperity Toss
Join visitors from all walks of life in the Memorial Hall’s first-ever mass outdoor lohei, and toss to bountiful luck and prosperity for the Lunar New Year!
Date: 24 Feb
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
Admission: Available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration starts at 1.00pm on the Lawn.
Festival of Spring Family Telematch
Gear up for some family fun in our festive telematch! Four parent-child teams will get to compete in a series of interactive games, with plenty of prizes to be won.
Date: 25 Feb
Time: 5.30pm – 7.00pm
Admission: Available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration starts at 4.30pm on the Lawn.
Balestier Heritage & Food Trail
Uncover the history of Balestier and embark on the Balestier Heritage & Food Trail to explore heritage sites and sample delicious local delights along the way.
Date: 25 Feb
Time: 4.30pm – 6pm
Venue: Reception Area
Admission: $5.00 (includes bottled water and a traditional snack). Register here. Conducted in English and Mandarin.
Dahlia Dreams features elegant display of dahlias, camellias and bromeliads in a courtyard garden setting, intricate diorama cutouts, exquisite driftwood sculptures and ornamental topiaries in the shape of dogs can be spotted in the display. Adding to the majesty are palace lanterns and umbrella curtains that embellish the garden.
Date : 19 Jan 2018 – 4 Mar 2018
Time : 9am – 9pm
Venue : Flower Dome (Admission charge to the conservatories applies).
Spring Surprisecelebration will include performances from the Ultraviolet (UV) Northen Lions and Lotus Dragons.
Date: 14 Feb 2018 – 25 Feb 2018
Venue : Supertree Grove, Flower Dome, The Canopy
(Programmes are free, Admission charge to Flower Dome applies).
Gardens by the Bay
18 Marina Gardens Drive
Saturdays@ACM is a family-friendly programme on the last Saturday of every month at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Families can spend a full day exploring the wonders of Asian art and folklore. Enjoy creative, hands-on activities, interactive performances and drama, and storytelling in the museum’s galleries. Each month features a different theme – and the theme for February 2018 is the Golden Dog.
Date: 24 February 2018
Time: 1 pm – 5pm
Venue: ACM (Asian Civilisations Museum) 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Free Admission for all
The Prive empire is well spread out in Singapore. They have restaurants in several locations, including this one in the NUS Kent Ridge Campus – the Prive Grill University Club. Despite its name, it is open to the public, although we suspect their main patrons are the staff and students of the National University of Singapore. It is situated on the 4th level in a building next to the NUS Guild House in Kent Ridge. It is not the most visible of places to the casual passerby.
Prive Grill University Club at NUS
There is a patio area which looks out at the sea off West Coast. The restaurant had recently undergone some renovations and a name change. It used to be known as The University Club. The Prive Grill which used to be at Keppel Bay has been converted into a new seafood restaurant, the Bayswater Kitchen. I guess it makes sense to keep the name going with the Prive Grill University Club.
Prive Grill University Club Menu
Here are pictures from the Prive Grill University Club dinner menu and a page of the drinks menu. Diners can opt for a two or three course set dinner ($42 and $48 respectively) or order items a la carte. The menu is described as set dinners with a French flair. We decided to order specific items to be shared as we were not very hungry.
An amuse bouche was served. I cannot remember what it was, just that it was quite good.
The lobster bisque ($17) was served in a generous portion. It was enough for two persons. The seafood taste was deep. We thought this was a good lobster bisque.
The ribeye steak ($33) arrived with the plate full. Most of the space was taken up by the large amounts of fries and a healthy portion of salad. The steak itself was quite small. But that was fine with us as it was adequate. We opted for the Prive steak sauce. The taste of the steak was decent but not exceptional.
For dessert we tried the chocolate lava cake ($14). I am not a baker but I am pretty sure a lava cake should not be flat. Other than its looks, it was a good piece of chocolate cake. The molten innards were lava like and with a chocolate taste. A strange looking cake but with the correct taste. Coffee costs $4.20 each.
What is romance? The Oxford English Dictionary definition of romance is “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life“. So we guess that a romantic restaurant must be one which is something a bit different from your usual eating places and one with a certain element of charm. While the food is important, the best romantic restaurants must also provide great service and details such as interior decorations, tableware, lighting and noise levels, or in short ambience, are crucial for that romantic experience. Of course, all experience is subjective. Some people find rollercoaster rides romantic. So here is the totally subjective list of our favourite romantic restaurants – The Ordinary Patrons (TOP) Romantic Restaurants in Singapore.
The Fine Dining Collection
These are the best places we would go to if we really have to make an impression and if budgetary consideration is not relevant.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Joel Robuchon needs no introduction. This charming multi-Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant in Sentosa is tastefully furnished without being ostentatious. There is nothing we do not like about the restaurant, except maybe the prices. Read about Lunch at Joël Robuchon Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
8 Sentosa Gateway
Hotel Michael Level 1
Resorts World Sentosa
Les Amis, the fine dining restaurant with modern and simple decor, is the place to go if we really need to impress or if there is serious making up to do. This is definitely one of the top romantic restaurants in Singapore, with good quality food, great service and excellent atmosphere. Read about our recent visit to Les Amis here.
#01-16 Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road
Having a meal high up in the sky with a spectacular view is a great way to set the mood for a romantic evening. There are many nice romantic restaurants in Singapore perched on top of our skyscrapers.
JAAN is a modern French restaurant in Singapore that is a top French restaurant in so many ways. Perched on Level 70 of the hotel tower at Raffles City, it has the best view among the restaurants in our list of the best French restaurants in Singapore. Its position as one of the top restaurants in Singapore is reinforced by the 1 Star awarded by Singapore Michelin Guide, its inclusion in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 and its appointment as Krug’s First Restaurant Ambassade in Singapore. Read JAAN Restaurant – a Top Restaurant in so many ways.
Level 70, Equinox Complex
Swissôtel The Stamford
2 Stamford Road
Spago is chef Wolfgang Puck’s second restaurant in Marina Bay Sands (MBS). It is located at the Skypark, the giant surfboard-like structure that is perched right at the top of MBS. There are two sections at Spago – a casual bar & lounge at one end and a fine dining restaurant at the other. Read about our lunch at the Spago restaurant here.
We had high expectations for the Hokkaido Marche Gourmet Hall which opened in the basement of Orchard Central recently. The high quality of produce from Hokkaido is well-known. Some people go on holiday in Hokkaido just for the food there. We have come to expect high restaurant standards in Japan such that we rarely hear of bad restaurants in Japan. And so when we learnt that the Hokkaido Marche Gourmet Hall had recently opened in Singapore with eight f & b operators from Hokkaido, it was a matter of time before we checked it out.
Hokkaido Marche Layout
The Hokkaido Marche Gourmet Hall is right next to the Don Don Donki store. It is smaller than we had anticipated and looks like a food court. It was very crowded. There are eight f & b operators of which seven of them has opened. The remaining one is a sushi restaurant. Here is a picture of the layout of Hokkaido Marche. Of the seven stalls available, we ordered some food from four of them.
Layout of Hokkaido Marche.
Dot Cafe & Bar
Dot Cafe & Bar
Dot Cafe & Bar serves drinks and desserts.
Dot Cafe & Bar Menu
Kaisen Natsume serves rice bowls with seafood toppings.
Soba Maruki sells noodles and rice. They also offer a range of tempura as toppings. We selected a Kake soba ($8), ebi tempura ($2.50) and assorted vegetable tempura ($1.50 each). The taste of the selection from Soba Maruki was average. The tempura pieces were soft and lifeless.
Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou
Sapporo Ramen Shirakaba Sansou seemed like the most popular outlet at Hokkaido Marche. It had the longest queue and we waited for the food the longest. We tried the miso char siu ramen ($16) and some gyoza ($6). We did not think that the ramen or gyoza was any different from those from an average Japanese casual restaurant in Singapore. The prices seem high for what is..
There are many good steakhouses in Singapore. Finding the right one for the occasion is the challenge. It was a casual lunch and we were looking for a place that serves a good steak at prices that do not require an increase in our credit card limit. Several options came to mind and we ended up at Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse along Mohamed Sultan Road.
Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse
Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse is housed in a shophouse along the street. It faces UE Square. Like a typical steakhouse, it is furnished with dark furniture, giving the place a serious atmosphere. Some unusual artwork line the walls.
Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Menu
“Bistecca” is steak in Italian. There are no surprises in the Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Menu. A good range of steaks were on the menu including a $188 Fiorentina T-Bone steak. The a la carte choices are slightly more limited at lunchtime when an executive set lunch menu is also available. The two or three course lunch costs $38++ and $48++ respectively. We decided to combine a three course lunch with an a la carte order of the ribeye steak ($78) – a 300g grass-fed, 50-day dry-aged Charolais beef from France. Here are pictures of the lunch menu and the first page of the wine list.
Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse Menu.
A good steak lunch would be wasted without a nice bottle of red wine. Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse charges a $50 corkage fee per bottle. They also have a one for one policy. The wine that we decided to bring along for lunch that day was a 2006 Cos d’Estournel, a muscular Bordeaux that goes well with the meaty items we were having.
Some nice bread was served after our orders were taken.
For the set lunch starters we elected to have the slow cooked octopus with chorizo (above) and the risotto with roasted wild mushrooms and black truffle (below). The octopus was sliced into thin slices. It was a small dish but the taste was very good. The risotto was a more substantial item. We were happy with both starters.
For our main course of the set lunch we had opted for the 200g, flat-iron, Australian Angus that had been 30-days dry aged. The server, knowing that we were sharing our food, had wisely plated both beef items together. The ribeye is the larger one on the left corner. Presentation wise, it was attractively done.
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.