If there were awards to be given out for the most oft-repeated questions in the whole of human history, “Where shall we eat?” would probably emerge tops. Indeed, with the abundance of gastronomic offerings in Singapore, it’s sometimes difficult to decide on where to dine at for one’s next meal.

Feeling in the mood for Japanese? Throw a stone, and you’re bound to hit a casual eatery, ramen joint or swanky omakase restaurant within close proximity. Craving a massive platter of Italian comfort food? Pasta and pizza places abound here — and we’re not even counting the fast food options. And don’t even get us started on hawker fare. The mention of classics such as chicken rice, laksa or bak kut teh is bound to incite a long list of recommendations from any local foodie.

To help you on your next dining expedition, we’ve consulted experts who probably know food better than any of us: Chefs, who have spent most of their lifetimes in the kitchen and can go on forever in extolling the virtues of ingredients and dishes. Compiled from our ongoing Pass the Salt column, here’s a list of food recommendations from some of Singapore’s finest culinary talents.

Food recommendations Andrew Walsh pass the salt
Andrew Walsh, chef-owner of Cure. (Photo: Ash Tay)

Andrew Walsh, chef-owner of Cure

JB Ah Meng, 534 Geylang Rd, Singapore 389490
What to order: Fried garlic chilli clams and black pepper crab.
Walsh: “It was amazing. We just had to finish everything. It was really tasty! I even had a picture taken with the chef.”

Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice, Maxwell Food Centre, 1 Kadayanallur St, #01 -10/11, Singapore 069184
What to order: Hainanese white chicken rice.
Walsh: “I love the white one. I go to Maxwell [often], because I live near there. The problem is, since Gordon Ramsay started to publicise the stall, there’s always a long queue.”

Jaan, Level 70, Equinox Complex, Swissôtel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore 178882, +65 6837 3322
Walsh: “I love Kirk’s cooking. It’s very nature-based and seasonal, which I really love.”

food recommendations Jaan
One of the dishes on Jaan’s winter-spring menu: Snapper with pumpkin. (Photo: Jaan)

Kirk Westaway, Chef de Cuisine of Jaan

Tian Tian Seafood Restaurant, 239 Outram Rd, Singapore 169042
What to order: Salted egg crab.
Westaway: “I had never tasted or heard of salted egg before coming to Singapore. But it’s really impressive and I like it.”

Les Amis, 1 Scotts Road, #01-16 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208, +65 6733 2225
Westaway: “Les Amis really excels in luxury. Every dish is cooked to perfection…I think [Chef de Cuisine] Sebastien Lepinoy has some of the best products in Singapore. He’s always one of the first in the country to get seasonal produce like white truffles — he’s always ahead of the game.”

food recommendations les amis
Camus artichoke, a seasonal dish at Les Amis. (Photo: Les Amis)

Paul Longworth, chef-partner of Rhubarb Le Restaurant

G7 Sin Ma Live Seafood, 161, 163 Geylang Road Lorong 3, #01-01/02, Singapore 389239
What to order: Frog porridge.

Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant, 583 Orchard Road, B1-13, Forum the Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884, +65 6732 6628
What to order: Dim sum, Peking duck, roasted pork.
Longworth: “The way the Chinese prepare the pork belly here is just incredible. The technique where they burn the skin, scrape it off, and have that roast pork belly hanging — it’s not shiny anymore and looks like sandpaper, but that leaves the perfect amount of crackling. And it just crumbles when you crunch into it.”

Bar-A-Thym, 18 Gemmill Lane, Singapore 069255, +65 6557 2224
What to order: Pâté en Croûte and bouillabaisse.
Longworth: “The bouillabaisse is phenomenal, and I love the food here because of its Southern French essence.”

food recommendations Bar-A-Thym
Pâté en Croûte at Bar-A-Thym. (Photo: Vincent Chan/ Lifestyle Asia)

Cheryl Koh, pastry chef of Les Amis

Hainanese Village Centre, 105 Hougang Ave 1, Singapore 530105
What to order: Nasi lemak, mee siam, kway chap and fishball noodle soup.
Koh: “I go there every weekend, so I try different things. It’s such a popular market that every stall has a long queue.”

Rhubarb Le Restaurant, 3 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089589, +65 8127 5001
What to order: Seared foie gras topped with smoked sturgeon.
Koh: “[Rhubarb is] very technique and ingredient-driven, and very classically French — which is similar to Les Amis. Its Michelin star is well-deserved.”

Pass the Salt François Mermilliod food recommendations
François Mermilliod of Bar-A-Thym. (Photo: Vincent Chan/ Lifestyle Asia)

François Mermilliod, owner-chef of Bar-A-Thym

Famous Sungei Road Trishaw Laksa, Hong Lim Market & Food Centre, #02-66, Blk 531A Upper Cross Street
What to order: Laksa.

Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant, 583 Orchard Road, B1-13, Forum the Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884, +65 6732 6628
What to order: Dim sum such as siew mai and xiao long bao.
Mermilliod: “Dim sum and champagne is the best combination. The wine there is amazing too.”

Terra54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993, +65 6221 5159/ +65 8523 2194
What to order: Bruschetta with sea urchin, pasta, fish stew.
Mermilliod: “[Chef-owner Seita Nakahara’s] food is a marriage of east and west cuisines. He uses the ingredients of the season, and makes sure his diners don’t eat the same thing every time.”

Pass the Salt food recommendations Francois Mermilliod
Crab pasta at Terra. (Photo: Vincent Chan/ Lifestyle Asia)

Seita Nakahara, chef-owner of Terra

Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, #01-04 East Coast Seafood Centre
Singapore 449881
What to order: Chilli crab.

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, 6 Raffles Boulevard, #04-102B Marina Square, Singapore 039594
What to order: White chicken rice.
Nakahara: “I only eat chicken rice there. I’ve tried a few places, but I like this place most. The sauce is quite nice, and the texture of the chicken is perfect.”

Shiraishi, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, 7 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039799, +65 6338 3788
What to order: Sushi.
Nakahara: “Shiraishi is my favourite place, and I go there often. The sushi is really good.”

seita nakahara
Octopus and sausage paella at Ola Cocina Del Mar. (Photo: Vincent Chan/ Lifestyle Asia)

Ola Cocina Del Mar, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, #01-06 12 Marina Boulevard, Singapore 018982, +65 6604 7050
What to order: Paella and ceviche.
Nakahara: “I love its ceviche, which has a fantastic balance of sourness and spiciness, and I think its paella is the best in Singapore.”

Sara Yap
Deputy Director, Digital Operations (Asia)
Sara Yap is the Deputy Director of Digital Operations at BurdaLuxury, and a contributing writer to Lifestyle Asia’s dining and jewellery beats. When she’s not on the lookout for exciting new restaurants or bejewelled trinkets, she’s probably buried in a riveting read, or reminiscing the good ol’ days with her favourite playlist of ’90s boyband hits.