There’s an undeniably relaxed atmosphere in this part of the island — perhaps it is the regular sight of pet owners strolling down the street or the quaint architectural style of single-storied eateries that line the road.
Before you while your hours away in this charming neighbourhood, you might want to get some grub to fill yourself with first. We’ve rounded some of the best dining spots in the enclave for your perusal.
Eat First is a humble eatery that serves a one-page laminated menu of just 14 dishes. Here, almost every table has a plate of steamed freshwater fish head (Asian bighead carp, also known as song he in Hokkien and Teochew dialects). Its sweet white flesh comes beautifully glazed with an umami black bean sauce and generous amounts of pork lard, making it the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of rice.
Other crowd favourites include the traditional Steamed Pork with Salted Fish and the silky smooth Bean Curd with Prawns. The spot can get quite busy during dinner service, so many regular patrons stand by the door just before they open (5.45 pm) to grab a seat.
Eat First, 891 E Coast Rd, Singapore 459094
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore is nostalgic. It used to occupy a much larger establishment along the same road, but it has since moved to a smaller space. What hasn’t changed is the Italian restaurant’s passion and dedication to freshly-made pasta and homely service.
Here, find a pasta guide — yes, you heard us right, an actual pasta guide with 16 different kinds of handmade pasta — that complements 21 mouth-watering sauces available on the menu. Two other wholemeal options (tagliatelle and penne) are also available. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with their crowd-favourite Tiramisu.
Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore, 9 Upper East Coast Road #01-01, Singapore 455203
This hole-in-the-wall haunt along Upper East Coast Road is a quiet, unassuming spot. Its name may not garner much favour, but those who visit once are bound to go back again. Since Turkish cuisine has much in common with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, expect to see some familiar items on the menu.
The Chef’s platter is a must-order; an assortment of beautifully grilled kebabs perfect for sharing. Don’t leave without an order of Kunefe (sometimes spelt as Kanafeh or Kunafa in other restaurants). This thin noodle-like pastry is soaked in a sweet syrup and layered with cheese for a mouthwatering experience unlike any other. The dessert is then garnished with hints of aromatic orange blossom water and a smattering of assorted nuts for the final touch.
Turkish Cuisine, 162 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore 45525
Dutch Colony Cafe
Besides restaurants, Siglap is also home to a selection of cafes perfect for brunch or a spot of afternoon tea. Dutch Colony Coffee serves smooth cups of joe together with some scrumptious bites for the perfect lazy weekend out.
Having serious hunger pangs? Get the hearty breakfast platter, complete with chicken sausage, turkey bacon, avocado, sweet potato, eggs and sourdough bread. Other favourites include their bagels and the Shabsouka and soft boiled egg toast. Apart from their coffee menu, non-coffee alternatives like the Tumeric Oat Latte is great for lactose intolerant diners.
Dutch Colony Cafe, 113 Frankel Avenue, Singapore 458230
Black Pearl Steakhouse
Black Pearl Steakhouse, previously known as Perle Noire Oyster & Grill Bar, is the place to be for a dependable plate of steak. The family-friendly restaurant has been serving customers in the area for over 14 years, testament to the quality of their food and service.
Choose between your favourite cuts of steak, all served a potato salad, spring onions and mesclun leaves paired with red wine sauce on the side. Other mains like the Grilled Salmon Fillet and the Chilli Crab Linguine favoured amongst diners here.
Black Pearl Steakhouse, 85 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455222
After dinner (or lunch, we don’t judge), head to Bar Room for a tipple or two. During the current Phase 2 re-openings, take note there will be strictly no consumption of alcoholic beverages after 10.30 pm. The quiet drinking hole is home to deliciously crafted cocktails and bites at affordable prices, making it a pocket-friendly option for diners looking for a quick drink.
Bar Room, 899 E Coast Rd, Singapore 459102
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