We don't just love food in Singapore, we love food that we don't have to cook ourselves. Eating out is a big thing on our sunny island but can you blame us, with the plethora of options available? As if you need another excuse to go out and indulge in some sumptuous offerings, Singapore Restaurant Month (SRM) is exactly that so find time to check it out, before it ends on 31 July.
Organised by the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS) and held in collaboration with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), this year's festival aims to encourage the joys of healthier dining. So taking centrestage this year are dishes that are lower in calories and/or have a higher wholegrain content. There are 95 wholesome locally-inspired dishes to choose from, offered by 45 restaurant brands, including 10 heritage restaurants. We've picked 15 highlights for you:
Fatty Weng Restaurant
Almost every Singaporean has been to this restaurant when it was located at the Singapore Badminton Hall. Now in its new location in the heart of Chinatown, Fatty Weng still serves up delicious home-style Cantonese cuisine, as it has done so since 1967, at a modest roadside stall on Albert Street.
Prawns in Mushroom Sauce
37 Smith Street; tel: 6221 3822; www.fattyweng.com.sg
There's just something about briyani and Islamic's version is definitely one of the best. The restaurant celebrates its 95th birthday this year and has been visited by the likes of dignitaries and Sultans, while remaining a favourite among the common man and woman in Singapore too. It's so popular that it even has a Dial-a-Beryani delivery service!
Grilled Fish Beryani
745 North Bridge Road, #01-01; tel: 6298 7563; www.islamic.sg
What started as just a regular – albeit very popular – seafood restaurant at East Coast Seafood Centre in 1987 is now a chain of restaurants with several outlets. Locals and tourists alike rush here for their 'star dishes': Singapore Chilli Crab and Black Pepper Crab.
Steamed Cod Fish with Jin Hua Ham in Rice Wine
Various outlets, check www.jumboseafood.com.sg for details.
Known for the perfect way it integrates food and music, you're certainly guaranteed a unique experience here. But don't let the live music distract you from the food, the menu is definitely worth exploring.
Grilled Peach & Prawn Summer Salad
Various outlets, check www.timbregroup.asia for details.
A dish that is definitely on most Singaporeans' lists of top five favourite local foods, prata is both comfort food and a hearty meal too. But Prata Wala serves more than just prata, with a range of Indian cuisine on offer too.
Prata with Dal Gravy
Various outlets, check pratawala.com for details.
This restaurant chain serves exactly what it says in its name – Indonesian and Thai cuisines. So whether you're looking for some spicy tom yum soup or delicious rendang, you'll find them all here.
Braised Glass Noodles with Seafood
Various outlets, check balithai.com.sg for details.
Pies & Coffee
If pastries that crumble in your mouth are what you often crave for, this is where you should head for a meal. Choose from Western and Asian-inspired pies and wash them down with a cup of delicious coffee.
Charcoal Crust Curry Chicken Pie
Various outlets, check www.piesncoffee.com for details.
The Manhattan Fish Market
Choose from a range of fish dishes, served in a casual ambience and at affordable prices too. This is exactly where you should pop by if you're in the mood for something fishy – in a good way.
Island Grilled Black Cod
Various outlets, check www.manhattanfishmarket.com/singapore/ for details.
Who says vegetarians lack dining options in Singapore? LingZhi serves a range of hearty vegetarian dishes that are wholesome and feature the finest and freshest ingredients too.
Black Truffles with Organic Sweet Corn Bisque and Smoked Beancurd
#05-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road and #03-09/10 Velocity@Novena Square, 238 Thomson Road; www.lingzhivegetarian.com
One of the most popular Japanese dining venues on our island, there's more than good food here. You'll be entertained by the awesome culinary skills on display too, which certainly enhance your experience.
Various outlets, check www.sushitei.com for details.
Qian Xi Restaurant – Carpenter 29
The words 'Qian Xi' mean a thousand happiness and that's the kind of joy you can envision after a meal here. This is its first time taking part in SRM.
Double-boiled Abalone & Chicken Soup with Black Garlic
29 Carpenter Street; tel: 6532 4477; www.qianxi.com.sg
It's been around since the 1920s so you know you're getting good quality traditional Chinese food when you dine here. Whether it's a business meeting or a casual meal, the food and the ambience will impress you.
Golden Coin Beancurd
38 Maxwell Road; tel: 6226 2283; www.moilum.com/en/
Red Star Restaurant
The four chefs here were known as Singapore's culinary Heavenly Kings in the 1960s and 1970s. If Cantonese cuisine is up there on your yummy list, book a table here now.
Fish Head with Mustard Leaves & Tofu Soup
Blk 54 Chin Swee Road #07-23; tel: 6532 5266; www.redstar-restaurant.com/
Its name is a direct translation of the street it's on (Jalan Besar) and it created Singapore's original Chilli Crab Prata. Choose from a range of local street dishes and pick an item from its ice-cream parlour for dessert – we won't tell!
Ocean Heaven (Oven-baked Teriyaki Salmon served with Lobster Fruit Salad)
104-106 Jalan Besar; tel: 6100 2661; www.facebook.com/bigstreetsg
You'll get a good mix of authentic North and South Indian food here so if spice is your way of life, this is where you should go.
Biryani Rice with Chana Masala and Jaipuri
135/137 East Coast Road and 3 Gateway Drive #01-20; zaffronkitchen.com/