Nostalgic Dining

Open Since: Jan 1971
This local food institution is where you can try their widelylauded, award-winning Hainanese chicken rice, with some spicy chili sauce, fragrant rice and tender meat. Also worth trying are the lobster or seafood laksa and rojak. Be warned: Dishes here don’t come cheap.
5/F Mandarin Orchard Singapore, 333 Orchard Rd., 6831- 6291.
Gordon Grill
Open Since: Jan 1964
Fitted out in shades of cream and latte, Gordon Grill is one classy place to bring your wife (or that chick you’ve been trying to impress all year). The emphasis here is on clean, elegant flavors; highlights include the steamed garoupa fillet and chilled angel hair pasta with king crab, seaweed and caviar.
Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Rd., 6730-1744.
Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant
Open Since: Aug 1956
Palm Beach touts itself as the creator of Singapore’s famous black pepper crab, making its situation next to the Merlion along the Singapore River particularly apt. The Coco Lobo (lobster with vermicelli in superior stock), double-baked crab and chili crab are signature treats.
#01-09 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Rd., 6336-8118.
Pete’s Place
Open Since:
Jan 1973
The fact that Pete’s Place has been around since 1973 must mean it’s doing something right. Resembling a cozy, family-run trattoria, it serves up similarly rustic fare such as the seafood-laden cioppino and pizza pam pam (a two-inone special comprising a half calzone filled with mortadella, mozzarella and ricotta; and a half pizza with minced sausage, cherry tomatoes, fresh chili and mozzarella).
B/1 Grand Hyatt Singapore, 10 Scotts Rd., 6732-1234.
Prima Tower Revolving Restaurant
Open Since: Jan 1977
Singapore’s oldest revolving restaurant specializes in genuine Beijing cuisine—something you cannot easily find elsewhere. Besides the spectacular view, their signature dishes such as the crispy barbequed Peking duck and shredded scallops with fish and egg whites are also stunning.
201 Keppel Rd., 6272-8822.
Raffles Grill
Open Since: Jan 1923
Even though Raffles Grill has been around forever, the impeccable service, old world ambiance and a gourmet menu that reads like poetry all remain. From caviar, duck liver, lobster medallion to prime steaks, the food is one rich culinary delight after another.
G/F Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd., 6412-1185.
Rendezvous Restaurant Hock Lock Kee
Open Since:
Feb 1935
Over seven decades ago, Rendezvous started out as a small coffeeshop selling Western cuisine. Its Chinese owners then took a gamble and introduced Sumatran nasi padang; the rest, as they say, is history. Today, this grand old dame is still drawing crowds for its famous spicy curries. The juicy beef rendang, chicken curry and sambal sotong are musts.
#02-72/75/77/92 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen St., 6339-7508.
Rang Mahal
Open Since:
Apr 1971
This long-standing fine dining Indian restaurant is still impressive after all these years. Serving regional Indian cuisine (North, South and coastal), signature creations are the tandoori masala oyster, hot stone tandoori lamb chops, tandoori salmon tikka, smoked bharta (aubergine) and lal mirch ka paneer tikka (spicy cottage cheese). There are excellent and extensive vegetarian options, too. For a contemporary yet traditional vibe, we’d recommend the elegant Rang Mahal anytime.
3/F Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd., 6333-1788.
Samy’s Curry Restaurant
Open Since:
Dec 1970
Since 1970, Samy’s has been offering finger-licking curries in their very unassuming and casual environment, and the profusion of trendy eateries in this area hasn’t made a dent in their popularity. Don’t miss the house specialties: The fish head curry, along with Samy’s famous masala chicken, mysore mutton and tandoori prawns.
25 Dempsey Rd., 6472-2080.
The Tiffin Room
Open Since: Apr 1910
Hands-down the oldest of the lot, The Tiffin Room’s antiquated surroundings and ceiling fans whirring slowly overhead is redolent of the colonial era and almost seems like a place untouched by the passage of time. The food here is good too; the mulligatawny soup, butter chicken, Hyderabad fish and spinach with cottage cheese are ever delectable.
G/F Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Rd., 6412-1190.