Looking back at all the fab foodie spots we visited in 2018, we realize that we’ve had some pretty amazing dishes over the past 12 months. In fact, some of them still make our mouths water just thinking about them today. However, often when we write about eateries we focus on the overall experience including the atmosphere, food, and service, so sometimes those dishes don’t get the star treatment they deserve. That’s why we decided to put together this list of our absolute favourite dishes of 2018. As you’ll see, it’s not really the fanciest culinary creations that made our list, but rather a good mix of comforting dishes, which is more our style. If you’re also a fan of wholesome, homey food, we think you’ll love these delish finds.
Nasi Lemak at The Coconut Club
Nasi Lemak is a simple but oh so satisfying dish everyone loves in this part of the world, and The Coconut Club has one of the most authentic and tasty versions in town. The owners spent two years perfecting the recipe and sourcing the best coconuts from around the region, which they use to make fresh coconut milk. On the nasi lemak plate you have fluffy coconut rice, tasty fried chicken seasoned with fresh herbs and spices, crunchy peanuts and a fiery homemade sambal. And we’re not the only ones to love this spot… the Coconut Club has received plenty of accolades including a coveted Bib Gourmand.
The Coconut Club, 6 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069787. p. +65 6635 2999. Open daily 11am – 3pm, Mon – Sat 6pm – 9:30pm
‘Sunny Side Up’ Frittata at The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar
Dempsey Cookhouse continuously lands on many of our lists including 19 Restaurants With an Awesome Vibe and our Definitive Dining Guide to Singapore because the ambiance is lovely and the food is innovative and exciting. Although we have a few favourites here that we go back to time after time, we recently went for brunch and discovered the ‘Sunny Side Up’ Frittata with asparagus and smoked bacon, which we instantly fell in love with. We think it’s the dill that gives it that extra special touch.
The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar, Block 17D Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676. p. 1 800 304 5588 (local calls only). Open Mon – Fri: 12pm – 2:30pm, Sat – Sun: 12pm – 3pm, Sun – Thurs: 6pm – 10pm, Fri, Sat & PH: 6pm – 11pm
Caserecce Saffron Pasta at Amo
Amo is another restaurant that we keep going back to and adding to our top-picks lists because the Italian food here is oh-so hearty and full of vibrant flavours. Grab a seat outside in the courtyard or inside with views of the open kitchen and order up the Caserecce. We’d never tried a pasta with saffron in it before, but were pretty blown away by this delightful dish with short pasta twists seasoned with black pepper, guanciale (cured pork cheeks), and saffron. Delicioso!
Amo, 33 HongKong Street, Singapore 059672. p. +65 6723 7733. Open 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Coconut Cheesecake at Tiong Bahru Bakery
If you haven’t tried the treats at Tiong Bahru Bakery yet, you’re really missing out. Ther recently opened their Dempsey outlet, which is a super cool space decked out like a safari tent in the jungle. Every day they whip up the usual cafe favourites like fluffy croissants and chocolate tarts, along with new creations like our latest fave, the coconut cheesecake. Picture a buttery, crumbly shortbread cookie crust and creamy let somehow light coconut cheesecake, with an airy mousse centre, topped with coconut flakes and a cute spattering of caramel. This is hands-down our favourite sweet indulgence of 2018.
Tiong Bahru Bakery, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-74, Singapore 278115, p. +65 6877 4868 and other outlets
Broccoli Falafel Sandwich at Park Bench Deli
Park Bench Deli has some BOMB sandwiches, but they’re usually super filling and leave us feeling like we want a nap afterwards. If you’re looking for a healthier option that you can scarf down and feel like you have extra energy for the day, the broccoli falafel sandwich comes with nutritious toppings like tzatziki sauce, toasted pumpkin seeds, and dried sweet cranberries. It normally comes on toasted rye, but we like switching it up with sourdough.
Park Bench Deli, 179 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068627. p. +65 6815 4600. Open Mon – Fri 7:30am – 9pm, Sat – Sun 9am -3pm
Banana Walnut Pancakes at Clinton Street Baking Company
Looking for a classic brunch spot where you can find wholesome favourites? Clinton Street Baking Company comes to us by way of New York, where it has earned near cult-like status for its awesome breakfast and brunch dishes like pancakes and waffles. Lucky for us, the Singapore branch offers the same great fare. It may not be the healthiest dish in the world, but if you’re looking to indulge we highly recommend the pancakes topped with bananas, walnuts, and a generous pouring of warm maple butter.
Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant, 31 Purvis Street, Singapore 188608. p. +65 6684 4845. Open Mon – Thurs 8:30am – 6pm, Fri – Sat 8am – 9pm, Sun 8am – 6pm
Sushi at Sushi Ayumu
Yes, we realize that ‘sushi’ isn’t one particular dish, but it was so hard to narrow it down to just one at Sushi Ayumu because everything is so damn delicious here. We first discovered this stylish Japanese spot when we organised our ‘Day of Indulgence’ with Mandarin Gallery back in September, and we’ve been going back ever since. For our readers who have already been treated to a meal here, you know what we mean when we say this needs to be added to your sushi list for 2019.
Sushi Ayumu, 333A Orchard Road #04-16 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238897. p. +65 6733 2114. Open Tues – Sun 12pm – 3pm, 7pm – 10pm
Wagyu A4 Striploin Steak at Rizu
This hidden Japanese gem is tucked away in Duxton, and a fab spot to hit up if you’re craving modern creations made with primo ingredients. Start with ultra fresh slices of sashimi or colourful sushi rolls, then move on to heartier mains. We highly suggest the Wagyu A4 striploin steak, which comes perfectly seared with a slight crust on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. We’re telling you, this baby pretty much melts in your mouth.
Rizu, 39 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089617. p. +65 6904 8880. Open Tues – Sun 6pm – 11pm
Soft Serve Ice Cream at Blue Label Pizza
We’d been searching for a solid soft serve ice cream for years before Blue Label Pizza came on the scene with their awesome homemade version and ended the search for good. Their soft serve ice cream is seriously spot on and available in a number of flavours like spiced pumpkin with your choice of toppings like brownie chunks and salted caramel. Our fave? Plain old vanilla, but paired with a Luke’s soft chocolate chip cookie served warm.
Blue Label Pizza, 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708. p. +65 9821 9362. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2pm, Mon – Sat 6pm – late
Carrot Cake at Cedele
Cedele has some divine desserts including cupcakes, bar slices, and classic cakes made from scratch with high quality sugar, flour, creams, fruits, and chocolate. The carrot walnut cake is some of the best we’ve ever had and one we keep going back for to satisfy our sweet tooth cravings. They also offer tasty lunch dishes like fresh salads and sandwiches that you can get from any of their multiple locations around the island, through their website for delivery or on Deliveroo.
Cedele, 12 Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 #01-07, Singapore 018982. p. +65 6443 8553. Open Mon–Fri: 7.30am – 8pm (and various locations)
Fried Artichokes at Blu Kouzina
We’re huge fans of Blu Kouzina for its bright and cheerful space decked out in Mediterranean white and blues and delicious Greek cuisine like grilled octopus, flavourful dips, and souvlaki skewers. They recently added a new menu item that you have to try next time you pop in—the fried artichokes that come lightly crisped on the outside and drizzled with sticky balsamic and Greek extra virgin olive oil from the owner’s family olive grove estate.
Blu Kouzina, 10 Dempsey Rd, (Blk 10) #01-21, Singapore 247700. p. +65 6875 0872. Open daily 6pm – 10pm, Fri – Sun 12pm – 2:30pm
Mentai Wings from Bincho
When the craving for chicken wings sets in, not many people would think of Bincho, but this yakitori spot does some of the best wings we’ve ever had in Singapore. Their mentai wings are stuffed with mentai (salted roe), then grilled beautifully on the outside so you have a nice golden tone going on. They’re also served with an amazing yuzu relish that adds to the taste explosion. The wings may be a bit pricey compared to pub grub versions, but they’re worth every dime.
Bincho, 78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-19, Singapore 162078. p. +65 6438 4567. Open Tues – Sun 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – late
Meatballs at Bar Cicheti
Like we told you earlier, we’re all about classic comfort food dishes done really well, so it should probably come as no surprise that meatballs made their way into this list. Bar Cicheti just opened in 2018 and quickly became our go-to spot for pasta and wine. We try to switch it up every time we pop in, but somehow keep falling back on our fave, the meatball appetizer. These ample-sized meatballs are made with juicy brisket and served with a zippy tomato paprika sauce and a generous sprinkling of parmesan and gremolata.
Bar Cicheti, 10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264. p. +65 6789 9801. Open Tues – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sun 11am – 3pm
Butter Chicken Hot Pockets at Meatsmith Little India
You’ve got to love places that do things outside the box like Meatsmith Little India, where the dishes are a fusion of American BBQ and Indian flavours and cooking techniques. One dish that you absolutely have to try here is the butter chicken hot pockets. To make them they start by removing the bones and stuffing the skins with meat and paneer cheese. Then they deep fry them, finish them in the tandoori oven, and serve them with butter chicken dipping sauce. Are you drooling yet?
Meatsmith Little India, 21 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209894. p. +65 9625 9056. Open Wed – Fri 5pm – 11:30pm, Sat – Sun 11:30am – 11:30pm
Chili Oil Wontons at Qi House of Sichuan
If you love Sichuan cuisine, then Qi House of Sichuan should be at the top of your list. New to Marina Bay Financial Centre, this Hong Kong transplant offers up the same menu as their flagship location, which has won a Michelin star every year since 2016. The must-try dish here is the chili oil wontons, which come with a five-alarm chili oil sauce that gets its heat from special chilis imported from Sichuan province. Warning: it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Qi House of Sichuan, 8A Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Link Mall #02-01, Singapore 018984. p. +65 6634 8277. Open daily 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Roast Duck at Yellow Pot
Yellow Pot has tons going for it including a gorgeous dining room located in the new Six Senses Duxton boutique hotel, an extensive menu of classic and modern Chinese dishes, and a commitment to using ingredients that come from sustainable sources like local farmers and fishermen. One of the standout offerings on the menu is the roast duck, which puts a modern spin on this traditional dish by using fermented bean paste as a marinade and then smoking the duck over hickory wood chips.
Yellow Pot, 88 Duxton Road, Six Senses Duxton, Singapore 089540. p. +65 6914 1428. Open daily 6:30am – 10:30am, 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 11:30pm
Crab Curry at Tandoor
There’s a reason that Tandoor is still going strong after 34 years, and that is that this warm and welcoming spot puts out authentic Indian dishes that are consistently good and fabulously flavourful. If you’re craving a curry, you can’t go wrong with the crab curry made with sweet chunks of crab meat cooked in coconut milk and flavoured with curry leaves and mustard seeds. Be sure to pair it with some fragrant jasmine rice or butter naan.
Tandoor, 11 Cavenagh Road, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, Singapore 229616. p. +65 6733 8333. Open daily 12pm – 2:30pm, 7pm – 10:30pm