We’re huge fans of hip and happening restaurants with a good buzz, but every so often we want something a bit more under the radar. When we’re in the mood for something quieter, we make a beeline to these hidden restaurants that offer up awesome food and atmospheres minus the crowds. If you’re looking to dine off the beaten path, these are some of our favourite hidden dining gems in Singapore where you can sample amazing Thai, Italian, Korean, French, and Japanese cuisine along with some stellar Singaporean favourites.
A-Roy Thai Restaurant
Everything about A-Roy Thai is homey from the unpretentious dining room with long rows of tables that can seat families and large groups to the authentic Thai cuisine made with fresh ingredients that are flown in from Thailand on the regular. The Thai chefs whip up a great variety of dishes like zesty salads, warming soups, vibrant curries, and tons of rice and noodle dishes. Pair your meal with a Thai ice milk tea, coconut milkshake, or fresh lime juice.
A-Roy Thai, 238 Thomson Road, Novena Square #03-61, Singapore 179097. p. +65 6338 3800. Open daily 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
The Cheese Ark
If you love wine and cheese, then a visit to The Cheese Ark is an absolute must. Situated in a block of HBD flats in Queenstown, the space is sparsely decorated, but delivers large on gorgeous cheeses that you can try in shop with charcuterie and wine or grab by the gram to take home. Owner and head cheesemonger Ai Ming Syu is constantly adding new artisan cheeses to the collection, so you can sample a different array of soft and sharp varieties every time you visit.
The Cheese Ark, 49 Stirling Road #01-489, Queenstown Estate, Singapore 141049. p. +65 9175 0090. Open Tues – Fri 12pm – 9pm, Sat, Sun & PH 11am – 9pm
Family-run Da Luca is a cosy neighbourhood Italian joint where the food is straightforward and honest, the portions are generous, and the ambiance is warm and inviting. Don’t be surprised if Tuscan-born owner Luca or his wife stop by your table to give you personalised suggestions. Our favourite here is the chilled angel hair pasta that comes with Hokkaido scallops, truffle emulsion, and fresh uni. One bite and you can see why the place earned a Michelin plate.
1 Goldhill Plaza, Goldhill Plaza Mall #01-19/21, Singapore 308899. p. +65 6258 4846. Open Wed – Sun 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm
With a mere three tables in a shoebox-sized space, Marui Sushi is easy to miss amid the myriad of Japanese restaurants and KTV bars in Cuppage Plaza, but it’s definitely worth seeking out. In fact, this is one of our favourite hidden Japanese gems because Chef Katayama puts out some seriously amazing sushi. Be sure to ask him about what’s on special that day because he’s always bringing in seasonal delicacies like oysters, crab, and yagara.
Marui Sushi, 5 Keok Road, Cuppage Plaza #04-01, p. +65 8611 4636, Mon – Sat: 6:30pm – 10:30pm
The next time a noodle craving hits, make your way to this hole-in-the-wall spot on Smith Street for old fashioned, hand-pulled noodles. The noodle master has been honing his craft since he was 16 years old and serving up his signature springy la mian noodles to scores of loyal regulars from the Smith Street location since the 1990s. You can also fill your belly with steamed or fried dumplings, spicy Sichuan soup, and fried rice.
19 Smith Street, Singapore 058933. p. +65 6327 1286. Open daily 12pm – 3:30pm, 6pm – 10pm
Gather the whole family for a Korean BBQ feast at Seoul Restaurant in The Regent Hotel. You can choose from a great selection of meats including premium cuts like Wagyu strip loin, sliced pork jowl, and boneless beef short ribs from black cows. Grill it up at the table over your own charcoal-fired grill. Other options include marinated chicken, mackerel, eel, and king oyster mushrooms. They also have great value buffets for lunch and dinner.
Seoul Restaurant, 1 Cuscaden Road, The Regent Hotel #03-02, Singapore 249715. p. +65 6338 8548. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat, Sun & PH 12pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
This easy-going French bistro by chef Anthony Yeoh does hearty, rustic fare that’s perfect for a laid-back Sunday lunch or dinner. The signature roast chicken is the star of the menu and one of the best we’ve had in Singapore. It starts with an organic, hormone-free chicken that’s brined for 24 hours, then roasted to golden perfection and served with gravy and seasonal sides. Another standout dish is the Wagyu Tajima striploin with porcini cream sauce and duck fat fries.
Summer Hill, 12 Clementi Street, Block 106 #01-62, Singapore 120106. p. +65 6251 5337. Open Tues – Sun 11:30am – 9:30pm
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Chinese Rice
Ok, so this hawker stall on the second floor of the Tiong Bahru Market may not be the quietest, least crowded spot on the list, but it’s worth a visit for its amazing chicken rice. In fact, their version of the local delicacy is so good that it earned the spot a Michelin Bib Gourmand. The chicken has a dreamy silky texture and is perfectly juicy, the rice is fluffy with aromas of chicken stock, ginger, onion, and garlic, and the homemade chili sauce adds a welcome kick.
Tiong Bahru Market #02-82 , 30 Seng Poh Road, Singapore 168898. p. +65 9750 9846. Open Tues – Sun 10am – 8pm