There's life outside of town

Part of our Top Tables: Singapore Restaurant Guide 2018.






We’d like to use the term “inner-city suburbs”, but we’re not that big enough to warrant that kind of description of areas around the main shopping belt of Singapore. Nonetheless, places like Dempsey and Tanglin are lively districts with many hidden gems—and we’re not just talking about restaurants. Below is a list of where you should dine at after you’ve had your fill of shopping and exploring.


Italian restaurants in Singapore are a dime a dozen, but few are quite as dependable as Basilico. It’s swish, it’s swank, yet somehow it manages to be warm and inviting as well. Thanks to northern Italian Chef Luca Beccalli, you can expect delectable food options that are both upscale and comforting. Familiar Italian staples are executed with seasonal ingredients and interesting combinations if you decide to go the a la carte route. But what they do best are their buffets, featuring a dazzling display of antipasti, live stations and excellent desserts. Get in on their wine and cheese nights. They’re legendary for good reason. You can thank us after. 2/F The Regent Singapore, 1 Cuscaden Rd., 6725-3232. $$


Housed in Dempsey’s Como development, Candlenut is all about polished Peranakan food in a handsome space. We must say we’re glad to see Peranakan food getting the fine dining format, especially when it’s in the form of communal degustation dinner menus. Chef Malcolm Lee fuses innovation with the complex flavors of Nyonya cuisine passed down through his family to create dishes like Westholme wagyu beef rendang and tiger prawns with gula Melaka coconut sauce. 17A Dempsey Rd., 1800-304-2288. $$-$$$

Fat Cow

A meat specialist with an emphasis on wagyu, this Japanese-inspired spot is a heaven for carnivores. Walk in through the shoji doors, grab a seat at the centerpiece U-shaped counter and prepare to dig into a selection of premium wagyu. Chat with the chefs as they prepare your food and choose from prime cuts from several Japanese prefectures such as Ohmi from Shiga or Kobe from Hyogo. They do lunch sets, too. Our pick being the Fat Foa-gura Don: delightfully unctuous glazed foie gras and wagyu cubes over rice. #01-01/02 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Blvd., 6735-0308. $$$$


We’re always heartened to see strong female leadership in the kitchen (and look forward to the day when that is no longer something uncommon). In the case of Morsels, Singaporean Chef-owner Petrina Loh, a Cordon Bleu San Fran graduate, leads the charge. Since the move from Little India to Dempsey, Loh has kept some favorites such as steamed venus clams with fig chicken broth and kimchi, as well as introduced new creations like pulled pork pasta with habanero pesto. Their new home is relaxed and cozy, making it the perfect setting for a great evening with friends or that special someone. #01-04, 25 Dempsey Rd., 6266-63822. $$

Yan Ting

Just pulling up to The St. Regis’ driveway feels like a special occasion; few hotels scream luxe like it does. So it should come as no surprise that the dining hall at Yan Ting, replete with stained glass panels, chandeliers and plush booths, is as lavish as it gets. Under the guidance of Hong Kong-trained Chef Tony Wun, superb Cantonese cuisine is treated to delicate, contemporary plating. The weekend dim sum brunch is always packed, so book ahead. 1/F The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd., 6506-6887. $$