Bugis has made a name for being a place of many vices. In the ‘80s, the area was a buzzing nightspot full of pasar malams and bars, a place popular with the LGBT community and tourists alike.
Today, it hosts a different kind of vice. Whitewashed streets are filled with shopping malls and shops. At night, streets lock up for crowds of diners looking for steamboat dinners and drinks.
With new hotel openings and the upcoming re-launch of Raffles Hotel, Bugis is welcoming a new stream of restaurants ranging from casual to fine-dining. Here’s where to grab a bite.
Best cafes & restaurants in Bugis to dine at –
Bjorn Shen’s Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant is dude-food heaven. Familiar dishes like shawarma, hummus and falafel are re-interpreted in unexpected ways. Take for example the cuttlefish shawarma which comes with a rich dressing of chicken fat and hummus comes spiked with miso and skhug hot sauce. A popular spot for after-work drinks with fried chicken wings and lazy brunches over the weekend.
JW Marriott’s buffet restaurant is a glistening display of the day’s offerings and fresh produce. Buffet stations are mostly open-kitchens, and diners will get most dishes cooked to order. The dessert station is a must: there’s a colourful selection of tarts and pastries to go with sundaes.
Chikuyotei has been around for a while but continues to put out quality fine-dining Japanese kaiseki fare. The menu features a long list of items — from sashimi to hot pot. Yet, the restaurant is most popular for its unadon. The unagi is prepared in two different ways: simply grilled for more bite or steamed and grilled for softer flesh.
Idlewild is InterContinental’s latest retro-luxe cocktail bar inspired by the golden age of travel. The bar, led by Andy Griffiths, offers a menu of drinks inspired by cities along the Transatlantic Route. There’s also a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ featuring rare, vintage spirits from around the world. Expect live jazz performances at night. Find out more here.
The one-Michelin-starred restaurant is a popular spot for Italian fine-dining. Chef Roberto Galetti serves up modern interpretations of traditional recipes, prepared with ingredients imported from Italy. The wine list here is worth checking out too.
Just next door is French fine-dining outfit, Gunther’s. Chef Gunther Hubrechsen, who has trained with renowned names like chef Alain Passard, introduces modern French cuisine with a focus on natural flavours of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Must-tries here include angel hair pasta with caviar and roasted suckling pig with hibiscus sauce.
Renowned French chef Anne-Sophie Pic makes her Asian debut of Le Dame de Pic at Raffles Hotel. The fine-dining French restaurant sees a more ‘feminine approach’ to interiors and cuisine. Expect to find local ingredients and influences peppered around the menu. Find out more about La Dame de Pic here.
This ornate restaurant is Hong Kong-based restaurateur Alan Yau’s first Singapore venture. Madame Fan offers contemporary Chinese food, with items such as its signature wok-fried crispy duck, jasmine tea-smoked ribs and white pepper crabs. Dim sum is also a must-have here.
For more traditional Chinese fine-dining, head over to Man Fu Yuan. Dim sum is a popular affair at this Cantonese restaurant, which sees a range of modern and classic bites. Besides live seafood, the restaurant offers some truly luxurious dishes such as Duroc pork char siew and crab bisque with bird’s nest.
Salted and Hung is a modern Australian restaurant championing nose-to-tail dining. Chef Drew Nocente has introduced cured sausages, charcuteries and unusual offerings like deep-fried tripe to drive home the philosophy. The menu now also goes for a more sustainable approach, using everything from prawn shells to bone for dishes. Find out more here.