You wouldn’t generally associate Ubi with good food, so it may come as a surprise that the neighbourhood has some of the best places to eat at in Singapore.
Fact: even before it was known as an industrial estate, Kampong Ubi was a rather large village whose roads and side-lanes within the kampong were named after vegetables. After Singapore’s housing and industrial developments were set in motion, the villagers there were resettled to the nearby Bedok and Bedok Reservoir.
In recent history, you probably relate Ubi to the numerous times you went to ComfortDelGro Driving Centre for your driving lessons, with all the surrounding industrial complexes that look pretty much the same.
It also doesn’t really help that the word sounds similar to ulu (which means remote or deserted in Malay), and up until a couple of years ago, was a pretty difficult part of Singapore to get to because of the lack of transportation options. Now that the Ubi Station of the Downtown Line has been up and running for a good five years, an increasing number dining options serving up delicious food have opened up.
Which means it’s high time you pay a visit to the area if you haven’t already done so lately. The neighbourhood is home to tons of delicious joints that range from old-school western delights and scrumptious Japanese fare, to some refreshing pints at a local craft beer brewery.
Read on for the full list.
11 joints to eat and drink at in Ubi:
(Hero and featured image credit: @yamato_izakaya via Instagram)
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Yamato Izakaya is made up of three concepts: Man Man Unagi, Ramen Hitoyoshi, and Tora-Tora. Here, hungry diners can enjoy Japanese fare such as unagi don and sashimi both indoors and alfresco, but if you’re one for light bites, they also offer izakaya dishes that pair well with beer and sake too. There is ample parking, and the establishment is pet-friendly too.
(Image credit: @yamato_izakaya via Instagram)
Yakiniku has been the talk of the town lately, but you wouldn’t expect to have it served just next to your ol’ driving centre, that’s for sure. Mr Yakiniku offers a whole range of affordable grilled meat against the backdrop of fairy lights and a torii gate, and is a great space for friends and family to gather at. Sets here range from S$8.80 to S$25.80 depending on the size and type of meat, and come with a bowl of rice, salad, and soup.
(Image credit: @mryakinikusg via Instagram)
Saturday House is a casual bistro that we’d definitely hang out at if we found ourselves around the Ubi neighbourhood. After all, it’s air-conditioned (perfect in Singapore’s sweltering heat) and armed with good service and a wide selection of food that’s great for full meals and a quick afternoon bite. A must-order for us? The -3-degree, ice-cold Sapporo pint on tap.
(Image credit: @juniorlim via Instagram)
Pink Blossoms Brewing, a homegrown brewery, was founded in 2018 by a former accountant and tax advisor in training, Hong Han. After a trip to USA and 100 brewery tastings later, he came back to Singapore to set up one of his own. This year, he also launched a beer truck that brought fresh pints to beer lovers in the CBD. Here at the Ubi tasting room, guests are welcome to bring their own food.
(Image credit: Pink Blossoms Brewing)
If you’re at the DMQ Coffeeshop here, you’ll find that just about every table here is scattered with red and orange bowls from Ubi DMQ Eating House, which is a testament to how popular it is. The humble joint serves hearty, handmade noodles at affordable prices, and we enjoyed having the mee hoon kway and ban mian here; the bouncy noodles and luscious fish and prawn broth it was served in really elevated the entire dish.
(Image credit: @yutinggrecommends via Instagram)
Lee Do Restaurant is famous for the Sri Lankan crabs that are served cold and packed with meat and crab butter. The locale, popular for their old school Hockchew dishes, also serve classics like Red Wine Chicken, Fish Head with Bean Paste Sauce, Crispy Fragrant Duck, and Fried Fuzhou Noodle — best shared amongst multiple diners at the table.
(Image credit: @leedorestaurant via Instagram)
If you’re looking for another cafe around the area, why not take a look at Griddler & Grinder? Yes, the choice of name may sound a little sus, but we can assure you that the wallet-friendly dishes they serve here are worth the trip. A worthy mention is that the staff here go above and beyond when it comes to service, and diners are always treated with utmost sincerity.
(Image credit: @griddlerngrinderpteltd via Instagram)
Traditional baos can be found at just about any coffee shop, but not many make them fresh daily. Owners Samuel and his wife Irenaus Yee start their day at four in the morning, kneading dough for their menu of handmade baos. Besides traditional options like char siew bao, they also have a couple of interesting flavours such as tutubao (coconut) and while chocolate too.
(Image credit: @j3s1in via Instagram)
Family Ayam Goreng & Western Food, formerly known as Ubi 325 Fried Chicken & Western Food, is where we’re getting our old-school western food fix in Ubi. Highlights here include the Black Pepper Chicken Chop, the Fish and Chips, and the Fried Chicken Cutlet. All portions are generous in terms of size and are served with fries, baked beans, coleslaw and a bun. The queue can get pretty long during peak hours, so be prepared to wait if you’re here around at mealtime.
(Image credit: @ollollollolloll via Instagram)
There’s nothing we love more than an ugly delicious plate of roast meat and rice. The ducks, which are sourced from a farm in Ipoh, Malaysia, are fattened weeks before slaughter to create a meatier texture and flavour. While you could only have hoisin sauce, roast duck and rice, we suggest ordering a plate of fatty roast pork and caramelised char siew to supplement your meal with too.
(Image credit: @discoburg via Instagram)
We love the light, milky and sweet broth here at Thai Seng Fish Soup. The Double Sliced Fish Soup Bee Hoon is a foolproof option if you can’t decide between fresh or fried fish, but diners can choose to go for an entire bowl of either too. Doesn’t matter really, because the fish meat is incredibly tender either way. On a rainy day, the Tom Yum Soup is deliciously comforting with its sour and spicy tang.
Love fish soup? We compiled a list of favourites in Singapore here.
(Image credit: @enochfang via Instagram)