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The 10 must-visit restaurants at Keong Saik Road

Chinatown is, and has always been, a bustling food haven. With all the hawker centres and eateries around the corner, it is little wonder why the area is such a tourist hotspot. But if one decides to go for a spot of exploring, Keong Saik Road would turn up as a pleasant discovery. Don’t just hear it from us: Lonely Planet’s even listed the district as one of its top 10 must-see Asian destinations.

Stowed away from the heart of Chinatown, the hip enclave is a relatively peaceful respite from the crowds. It’s also a cosy spot, compared to Telok Ayer, with colonial buildings all tightly packed together. Yet, each small pocket of space sees a unique dining experience from laidback bistros to innovative restaurants.

The best way to check out Keong Saik Road is to stroll down and try any restaurant. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bad time at any of these places. If time’s not on your side, this quick guide to Keong Saik’s star eats will prove helpful.

(Hero image: Singapore Tourism Board, Featured image: Singapore Tourism Board by Darren Soh )

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Serious Eats

For astute gourmands, date nights and special occasions.

1. Burnt Ends

While the chefs here are barbecue masters, there’s much more to expect at Burnt Ends than just expertly cooked meats. The ever-changing menu from this one-Michelin-star restaurant often sees creative bites (think brioche stuffed with bone marrow). There are only counter-seats here which are the best places to see the kitchen’s custom grills and ovens fired up.

(Image: Burnt Ends)

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Burnt Ends
Address
20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391
Phone
+65 6224 3933
2. Cure

Cure is a modern-European restaurant led by chef Andrew Walsh, formerly from neighbouring restaurant Esquina. The casual fine-dining spot is now promoting sustainability on its bistronomy menu. Expect different seasonal offerings each time. Biodynamic and organic wines are a must-have here. Find out more from our review here.

(Image: Cure)

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Cure
Address
21 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089128
Phone
+65 6221 2189
3. Esquina

Just a few steps away from Keong Saik Road is Esquina, a tapas restaurant showcasing Spanish and Catalan cuisine. The open kitchen counter seats are great places to catch chef Carlos Montobbio (an El Cellar de Can Roca alumnus) in action. Alternatively, you can enjoy cannellonis and paellas upstairs for a bit of privacy.

(Image: Esquina)

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Esquina
Address
16 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089267
Phone
+65 6222 1616
4. Meta

One-Michelin-starred Meta has moved to a bigger space just down the road. Here, you’ll find a fusion cuisine of French and Asian ingredients and flavours. Chef Sun Kim injects a bit of his Korean heritage in his dishes too.

(Image: Meta)

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Meta
Address
1 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089109
Phone
+65 6513 0898
5. Thevar

A new kid in town has taken over Meta’s old space. Thevar, a project between the eponymous chef Mano and Sun Kim, is a modern Indian restaurant with some fierce gastronomic creations on the menu. The selection of large and small plates makes for a semblance of communal dining in traditional Indian meals. Find out more from our review here.

(Image: Thevar)

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Thevar
Address
9 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089117
Phone
+65 904 0838

Casual Bites

Eateries with a more laidback vibe. Best enjoyed with a group of friends.

6. Bar Chicheti

The sister restaurant of Italian restaurant Chicheti prides itself on two things: pasta, and wine. The chic-elegant spot takes inspiration from the Italian trattoria and offers a good variety of pasta such as gnocchi, beetroot-infused sacchetti ‘dumplings’ and casarecce. Diners can go for tasting or sharing portions of each pasta.

(Image: Bar Chicheti)

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Bar Chicheti
Address
10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264
Phone
+65 6789 9801
7. Butcher Boy

Just a few doors down from Cure is sister restaurant Butcher Boy. It’s a much more casual concept serving up smokey grilled meats and sharing plates with heavy Southeast Asian influences. We recommend knocking back a few cocktails after dinner. Find out more from our review here.

(Image: Butcher Boy)

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Butcher Boy
Address
31 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089138
Phone
+65 6221 6833
8. Gaston

Gaston, a Burgundy wine bar and bistro, is one of the latest establishments along Keong Siak Road. Unlike most wine bars that tend to be on the luxury end, Gaston keeps things unpretentious. You can expect great pairings here with Burgundian dishes from the menu. Find out more from our review here.

(Image: Gaston)

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Gaston
Address
25 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089132
Phone
+65 6909 8120
9. Kafe Utu

You won’t be doing much cafe-hopping in this Keong Saik’s coalition of restaurants. But you should still put Kafe Utu on your radar. This cafe offers coffee brewed from Kenyan beans and has a list of African curries and stews (alongside cafe staples) to enjoy.

(Image: Kafe Utu)

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Kafe Utu
Address
12 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089265
Phone
+65 6996 3937
10. The Guild

The Guild bills itself as a craft beer bar, but has a fascinating menu to go along with drinks as well. It’s a stickler for working with local produce and farmers, and diners can expect items such as locally grown oysters (from Pulau Ubin) and bak chor mee-inspired pasta. The beers are, of course, a must-try. Find out more from our review here.

(Image: The Guild)

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The Guild
Address
55 Keong Saik Road, #01-01, Singapore 089158
Phone
+65 9042 3900
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