Best restaurants on Singapore’s Dempsey Hill

Dempsey may be tucked away to some, but the dining enclave is always buzzing and full of great foodie options. Whether you’re in the mood for some evening cocktails or a degustation dinner, here are your best options.

1. Chopsuey Cafe

Fancy some Sino-Anglo nosh? Chopsuey Cafe makes some pretty great, albeit toned down, renditions of our childhood favorites. From a smoky sweet & sour pork with pineapple compote, to DIY lettuce cups (San Choy Pau) with a cornucopia of pork, chicken, corn, mushroom, beansprouts and sugar snap peas in a rich, dark sauce. It also doesn’t hurt that the colonial-looking space is decorated with plenty of vintage items that take us back to yesteryear.

2. The Disgruntled Chef

Blink and you’ll miss this hidden restaurant. A staircase encased in greenery hides a hillside subterranean restaurant with lots of great food. Whether you fancy something small or big, they have conceptual but comforting food like seared scallops with crackling pork belly, carrot puree and picked daikon; steak tartare with quail eggs and truffled hash browns; as well as decadent brunch items like the Ultimate Beef Burger, with candied bacon, cheddar cheese and caramlised onions. 

3. Jones the Grocer

There’s nothing more leisurely than a warehouse-like space with communal tables, gourmet groceries and a cheese room. We admit that the place may be better suited for lunches, but what they do have on their menu is pretty solid. Whether you opt for a duck confit salad or a rigatoni pasta, the food is light and easy. Don’t miss their make-your-own cheese board or cold cut platter – you can even try samples from the cheese room and deli.

4. La Ventana

Michelin-starred Spanish chef Carles Gaig’s Spanish tapas restaurant serves traditional Catalan dishes like Canelon, a cannelloni-style dish stuffed with foie gras, beef and pork in truffle cream; Carabinero paella in a dark brown sauce; crispy boneless suckling pig and pigeon cooked two-ways—confit and josper-grilled. Oh, and the airy space has lots of sangria.

5. Long Beach Seafood

Few can pass up Chinese and Singaporean-style seafood. This huge seafood restaurant serves up some of the island’s best pepper and chilli crabs as well as other favorites like garlic razor clams, succulent steamed prawns and plenty of fish. For those who don’t really like seafood, fret not —they’ve got other classics like roast chicken, fried rice and oodles of noodles, too.

6. Samy’s Curry

Established by the late Mr M. Veerasamy in the ’50s, this unpretentious and casual Indian eatery is pretty much an institution at Dempsey Hill for South Indian food lovers. Here, you’ll be dining on signatures like masala curry chicken, fish cutlet and fish head curry, all on banana leaves. The affable wait staff circle the floors with buckets of sides and rice, so if you’d like a top up, just raise your hand and you’ll have food heaped unceremoniously on your table. 

7. The Green Door

This garden-inspired bar not only has kooky cocktails but tons of light bites and weekend barbecues. It’s a great place for afternoon drinks or weekend chill out sessions with its Alice In Wonderland-inspired decor and beautiful semi-alfresco space.

8. Open Farm Community

Chef Ryan Clift teams up with urban farmers Edible Gardens for this farm-to-table(ish) restaurant. The expansive 5,000 sq m space has its own herb and vegetable garden, as well as an airy dining room serving hearty and fresh pastas, salads and meat dishes. Don’t skip the creamy rigatoni with local mushrooms, as well as the charred lamb rump with garden peas and mash. The place also encourages people to picnic in the garden while playing a game of lawn bowling or ping pong, too.

9. Portico Prime

An off-shoot of European, produce-driven restaurant Portico, the Dempsey outpost has a small and focused menu highlights like the Wagyu A4 ribcap and the pan-seared Pulau Ubin sea bass, that uses fresh barramundi farmed off the shores of Pulau Ubin. Other must-try mains here include the braised Wagyu beef cheek in mulled wine and chilled truffle-scented angel hair pasta. 

10. PS. Cafe

This Dempsey Hill institution has close proximity to the rainforest, with long timber walkways, huge flower arrangements and floor-to-ceiling windows. Great for brunches, lunches, suppers and everything in between, the easy and breezy space is a favorite hangout for any Dempsey-goer. Although everyone has their favorites, classics like their Green Goddess pesto penne, PS. burger and truffle fries never go out of style. They’ve also got a pretty neat list of cocktails like their basil & lemon mint mojito, sangrias and extensive wine list.

11. Red Dot Brewhouse

This large structure perched on a hill is part of Singapore’s growing microbrewery scene. Admittedly, they’re better with bar snacks and light bites than full-on meals, but the place is pretty and weekend atmosphere buzzing. No one can go wrong with chicken wings, pork belly, fries and a pint of beer, but their grilled sausage platter is pretty legit, too. For heartier meals, they have pastas, pizzas and burgers that go well with brews like the lime wheat, weizen, and kolsch.

12. Roadhouse

An all-American diner and restaurant, Roadhouse serve up grub like Mac ‘N’ Cheese, bacon marinated burgers and crispy Cajun shrimp sandwiches. The Simple Brie-vine Burger is something pretty special with a josper-grilled wagyu patty, grilled poached pear, brie cheese, rocket and sundried tomatoes. 

13. The White Rabbit

Destination dining spot for those special occasions, this converted church is now home to a modern French fine dining restaurant. Once you stop admiring the stained glass windows, white-washed space and tiled floors, the food should grab your attention. Think wagyu beef carpaccio with truffle cream sauce, balsamic pearls and shaved parmesan; a savoury-sweet foie gras duet with apple and cherry compote; an Alaskan king crab and pork broth tagliette; or a 36-hour Brandt short ribs. For those who like cocktails, meander over to The Rabbit Hole to try their 18 different types of gin and tonic.