Lip-smacking dishes ranging from premium steaks to buah keluak pasta await

Part of our Top Tables: Singapore Restaurant Guide 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

If you find yourself mulling over what to eat in City Hall and its surrounds, you'll quickly realize that you're actually spoilt for choice. There are numerous eateries within reach, all just vying to whet your appetite. We'll leave you to your devices to decide, but we've already whittled down what's worth your time and calories in the area here. 
 

Artichoke


Set in a sprawling single-story building in the courtyard space behind Objectifs gallery, Bjorn Shen’s Middle-Eastern-with-attitude restaurant has been a place we keep going back to for simple but fireworks-inducing dishes like the massive Lambgasm, the skillet prawns with harissa and the buttery-good Australian flank steak, not to mention a whole host of delightful little mezze. From the bustling environment and friendly service to the hearty and approachable grub, nothing is too precious at this casual, unpretentious restaurant and that’s just the way we like it. For brunch, you can’t go wrong with the shakshouka, it’s pretty darn delicious. 161 Middle Rd., 6336-6949. $$
 

Coriander Leaf


The long-famed pan-Asian small plates restaurant by Samia Ahad moved to a dramatic space in the revamped heritage building. The menu is cleverly divided into five flavor profiles—fresh, familiar, spicy, umami and sweet—and features dishes like Nepalese minced chicken momo dumpling with roasted tomato relish and Sichuan pepper, and soft shell crab with salted duck egg yolk sauce and curry leaves. The restaurant also has an extensive list of regional whiskies, craft beers, sakes and umeshu. #02-01 Chijmes, 30 Victoria St., 6837-0142. $$
 

Gunther’s


It’s not new and shiny, but Chef-owner Gunther Hubrechsen’s consistently great contemporary, simple-yet-refined French food has a loyal following. While the interiors here tend to the minimalist, conservative even, perhaps that’s so as not to distract you from the fabulous fare. The cold angel’s hair pasta with Oscietra caviar is legendary, and the meat mains are also excellent. #01-03 Talib Centre, 36 Purvis St., 6338-8955. $$$
 

Le Bistrot Du Sommelier


For a relaxed yet superb French dining experience, look no further. This is the place to hit for rustic, French comfort food with robust flavors. They have an impressive assortment of housemade rillettes including duck, pork, rabbit and mackerel, while their chicken liver pâté is to die for. Even a classic like pan-seared onglet beef with French fries deserves a mention. If it’s available, do yourself a favor and order an oven baked whole Vacherin Mont d’Or (choose between smoked chorizo, sautéed onion and bacon, or white wine). We especially love the vibe at the Rillette Bar upstairs, which always makes us feel at home. A real plus is owner and sommelier Maximilen Fedkiw, who is not only charming but incredibly knowledgeable as well. Heads up, remember to save room for dessert. 53 Armenian St., 6333-1982. $$$
 

Lewin Terrace


Located in a black-and-white house in the leafy heart of Fort Canning, Lewin Terrace is a serious date night spot. The setting is lovely, particularly when paired with a food menu which features changing seasonal offerings that highlight Japanese ingredients with French and Japanese cooking techniques such as sea bream marinated “konbu” with golden dashi jelly and black sesame powder, and saikyo miso cod with yuzu cream soup. This is the perfect spot to take that special someone when you want to pull out all the stops. Fort Canning Park, 21 Lewin Terrace, 6333-9905. $$$
 

Mikuni


Fairmont’s Japanese restaurant is a big, well-dressed space that elevates, not just covers, its bases with the teppanyaki counter, a sake/sushi bar, an intimate live robatayaki station (our pick), in addition to the main dining room. At its helm is Executive Chef Keisuke Uno whose kaiseki dishes are innovative yet restrained. Whatever you’re sampling here, it’ll be money well spent. 3/F Fairmont Singapore, 80 Bras Basah Rd., 6431-6156. $$$
 

National Kitchen by Violet Oon


As you’d expect from the doyenne of Nyonya cuisine Violet Oon, bold and full-flavored fare is the order of the day here. Classics such as beef rendang and fish head curry put up a strong showing, as do local-inspired dishes like baked cod in laksa sauce accented by coriander pesto and buah keluak pasta. They also do high tea sets made for sharing with sweet and savory nibbles including otak crostini, hae bee hiam finger sandwiches and kueh lapis legit. It’s a fetching, tastefully done up space, complete with framed traditional Peranakan mosaic tiles that highlight Oon’s heritage. #02-01 National Gallery Singapore (City Hall Wing), 1 St. Andrew’s Rd., 9834-9935. $$
 

Saha


Modern Indian restaurant Saha moved from Duxton Hill to the National Gallery, offering an inventive approach to a hard-to- change cuisine. Abhijit Saha’s restaurant takes time-honored regional Indian dishes and recasts them in interesting, light and sometimes deconstructed ways for both vegetarians and ominvores alike. Try their take on the Kerala vegetable stew, which comes espuma-style, with citrus pudding and garlic crumbs, or just get one of their tasting menus and let the kitchen take you on a familiar, but entirely new ride. #01-03 National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Rd., 6223-7321. $$-$$$
 

Tono Cevicheria


Peruvian slang for “party”, Tono certainly delivers on its promise with a good time and a party of Peruvian flavors in your mouth. Specializing in ceviche, this is the brainchild of Peruvian Chef Daniel Chavez, who also heads the popular Ola Cocina del Mar. Aside from ceviche made using the freshest seafood—get a tasting platter which comes with three different ceviches, you can also find a large variety of classic Peruvian specialties on the menu such as huatia (slow roasted pork served with bean stew and mint coriander sauce) and patacones (deep fried green plantains). Whatever you choose, expect only the most authentic flavors. #01-49/50 Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser St., 6702-7320. $$
 

Whitegrass 


Headed by Chef-owner Sam Aisbett, this modern Australian restaurant champions using native Australian ingredients, some of which are completely new to Singapore. The restaurant offers five- and eight-course degustation menus featuring an oft-refreshed selection of progressive dishes like the raw shaved yellowtail amberjack with smoked soy and white Vereduna beetroot, and Australian organic grass fed beef, fermented black beans, ice plant, veal broth and other delightful flourishes. This is easily one of the most handsome dining establishments around, elevated by stellar service. #01-26/27 Chijmes, 30 Victoria St., 6837-0402. $$$-$$$$
 

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse


The refined, but unstuffy, steakhouse is known for its selection of Australian Angus and USDA-grade meats. Aside from perfectly seared meats, the menu is kept to steakhouse classics including starters like crab cakes and prawn cocktail, and mains like lamb cutlets and fish. This reliable 140-seater also boasts a wine collection of over 150 bottles. 3/F Swissôtel The Stamford, Singapore, 2 Stamford Rd., 6338-0261. $$$