Renowned as a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, Singapore is world famous for its fine dining options. The latest Michelin guidebook named 44 starred restaurants in the city-state, including two three-star restaurants for the very first time in its history. While some of those locales command eye-watering price tags for their fare, many of them can be snapped up for a song.
Indeed, one of the five criteria upon which a Michelin star is awarded is value for money (the others include quality of ingredients, consistency of output, mastery of cooking techniques and communication of chef’s personality). Boasting the cheapest Michelin starred meal available anywhere in the world, Singapore is sure to have something to suit all bank balances and taste buds. Here is a selection of the city’s hotspots for those looking to expand their epicurean horizons while visiting.
Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle
Officially the world’s most affordable Michelin starred meal, this hawker stall has forged an international reputation for excellence from humble beginnings. It’s most famous for the soya sauce chicken rice in its name, but the sticky pork ribs and roasted pork are also supremely popular options on the menu. Be prepared to join a lengthy queue to sample exquisite cuisine for under 5 bucks.
Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre, 335 Smith Street
This mid-range priced one-star restaurant is housed on the top two floors of a quaint quayside shophouse, with an open kitchen and seating area occupying one and a rooftop bar dominating the other. Starters like beef tartare, bone marrow and baby gem lettuce can be gobbled up for around £24, while mains include sole fish with yuzu and zucchini (£38) or Te Mana lamb with leeks and taggiasche olives (£45). Alternatively, a degustation menu costs £118 for five courses.
52 Boat Quay Level 5/6
Ostensibly a restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, internationally trained chef Cheung Siu Kong offers a range of fusion items including South African, Japanese and plentiful other influences. Among the chef’s extensive list of recommendations, there are mouth-watering dishes such as double-boiled fish bone soup with fish maw and wolfberries, sautéed Dong Xing grouper fillet with shredded sweet peas and bean sprouts or poached rice with Canadian lobster meat.
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Avenue
Japanese chef Chen Kentaro brings his own country’s twist to traditional Szechuan food, which is famous for its fiery flavours and hearty fare. Housed inside a multimillion-dollar property, the restaurant offers family recipes such as its mapo doufu (spicy tofu chunks in meat sauce) and stir-fried beef wagyu with green peppers. The range of dim sums is not to be missed, either.
Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Road Level 35 Orchard Wing
Come to Singapore for a taste of Scandinavia. A sister restaurant to Sweden’s only three-star eatery (Frantzén), Zén is a newcomer to the Michelin guide, having only opened its doors last year, and shoots straight into the two-star pile. The three floors of the premises are mapped out against its cuisine, with appetisers on the first, mains on the second and desserts on the third.
41 Bukit Pasoh Road
Like the only other three-starred Michelin restaurant in Singapore (Odette), Les Amis serves up incredible French cuisine. The restaurant was opened in 1994 in collaboration with three friends (hence the name) and still attracts foodies from all over the world through its delivery of the ultimate in fine dining. Today executive chef Here, the highly decorated chef Sebastien Lepinoy is at the helm and the restaurant has garnered recognition from Asia’s 50 Best (Gin Mare Art of Hospitality Award), Forbes Travel Guide (5-Stars) and Wine Spectator (Grand Award) among others. Degustation menus start at around £100, while the wine cellar is stocked with over 3,000 varieties.
Shaw Centre, 1 Scotts Road #01–16