Singapore retains crown as Southeast Asia's food capital

Singapore’s cuisine is as eclectic as its cultural influences. Find out below what makes this city a food mecca and the top restaurants to visit in 2022

TableCheck

TableCheck

Sep 7, 2022 - 4 min read

Singapore retains crown as Southeast Asia's food capital

Whether eating street food or dining in a fine-dining venue or a Michelin-starred restaurant, Singapore has a culinary diversity like no other. Thanks to its geographical position, the cuisine is unique and eclectic as its neighboring cultures.

Singaporean cuisine has flavors similar to Malay, Chinese, and Indonesian food, which is also reflected in Singapore's race groups. Just look at the Hainanese Chicken, Singapore Laksa to the Indian Singaporean dish Roti Prata where all these Asian influences abound. But while Singaporean cuisine is hard to pin down to one specific culinary tradition, there is a form of familiarity when one comes to eat variations of its rice dishes, noodles, chili crabs, satay, etc. That’s because Singapore is truly a melting pot of flavors and world cuisines.

“I’d describe Singaporean food as an exciting taste of Southeast Asia. Singapore food consists of a variety of different cultures and flavors. People visiting Singapore will be spoilt for choices as there are a thousand exciting selections to choose from,” says Jane A., a Singaporean who lives in Tokyo, on describing what makes her nation's cuisine unique.

With a thriving community of ex-pats in the city, Singaporean cuisine has also evolved in a myriad of ways.

Chefs are continuously reinventing and elevating local staple dishes to the level of award-winning fine dining cuisine. International restaurants are also very much present with French, Italian, and other European venues tucked on every street corner–all this adds to why Singapore is considered one of the centers of culinary excellence in Asia.

This year, 52 restaurants have also been awarded Michelin stars– the highest the country has amassed since the introduction of the Michelin Guide in Singapore six years ago.

Happy birthday Singapore!

This August, Singapore also turned 57 years old as a city-state. And there’s much cause for celebration. While the global hospitality industry has plummeted for the past two years due to COVID-19, Singapore has managed to stay afloat. Thanks to its solid position as a business hub, there was still a local demand for staycations initiatives and accommodations, according to Jones La Salle (JLL). New luxury hotels have been springing up while vaccinated international travelers are starting to return. Aside from that, there is also continued demand for online deliveries which has become an additional revenue stream for restaurants.

The government is taking on many other initiatives to revive the food industry. The Ministry of Singapore refreshed its Food Services ITM Map 2025 to ensure that the food services remain vibrant and innovative to answer to shifting consumer trends and digitalization. 

The country also has set a roadmap for Hotel Sustainability in 2025, aiming to shift all hotel operations to go green, as part of the country’s ambition to become a leader in sustainability not only in Asia but worldwide.

All this development means good news for the restaurant industry. Leading the recovery in the hospitality industry are some of the TableCheck clients who are using the booking system platform not only to provide memorable experiences to guests but also to drive guest loyalty:

1. il Lido Group

Il Lido is a group of highly acclaimed Italian restaurants in Singapore. Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Beppe de Vito, il Lido operates six restaurants that offer a progressive take on Italian cuisine.

At the famed National Gallery of Singapore are two il Lido restaurants. Art is a one-Michelin-starred restaurant situated on the roof deck of the gallery and led by Executive Chef Daniele Sprenido. Meanwhile, one level below is GEMMA, which offers Mediterranean cuisine steak cuisine.

Il Lido boasts of other restaurants, each in very unique locations. Braci, a modern restaurant and rooftop bar, and Southbridge Rooftop Oyster Bar are both housed on a heritage shophouse along Boat Quay by the Singapore River with views of the Singapore skyline and the Parliament House. Meanwhile, Levant is nestled in Tanjong Pagar, a historic district in Singapore’s Business Centre.

And for those who just want to go casual dining, Amo at Hong Kong street is an Italian restaurant that serves artisanal antipasti and wood-fired pizzas

2. Saint Pierre and Shoukouwa of the Emmanuel Stroobant Group

At Saint Pierre, Belgian chef Emmanuel Stroobant combines the best of modern French cuisine with the flavors of local produce. Inspired by the Zen circle, the menu at this two-Michelin-starred restaurant pays homage to Stroobant's yoga practice and his search for the middle ground between the flavors of the East and the West.

Stroobant also owns two Michelin-starred Japanese Shoukouwa located at Fullerton Road, where guests can enjoy a fine-dining edomae sushi experience. It's another place to experience Zen this time in a Japanese setting.

3. Imperial Treasure Singapore

Imperial Treasure Group showcases the very best of Chinese fine dining cuisine in almost 50 of its restaurants around Asia. In Singapore, there are several Imperial Treasure restaurants nestled at top luxury hotels including one Michelin star Imperial Treasure Fine Teochew Cuisine in ION Orchard. The restaurant has garnered its Michelin stars five times (2017-2019, 2021) including in 2022.

4. Red House Seafood

Red House Seafood opened in 1976, just 11 years after the city-state became an independent nation from Malaysia. It’s one of Singapore’s oldest restaurants. The cuisine is deeply-rooted in Chinese flavors mixed with Malay, Indian and Peranakan influences.

5. Lime at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Pickering hotel

Lime offers a wide range of meat and seafood options for every type of guest. Open at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Lime serves a buffet of classic favorites plus signature cocktails from famed mixologist Andrew Pang.

6. L’Angelus Group

Opened in 1988, L’Angelus serves classic French dishes using high-quality ingredients paired with the best French wines and older vintages. L’Angelus is the oldest French restaurant in Singapore where guests can savor authentic French cuisine served in three-course meals during lunch and dinner.

7. Ristorante da Valentino

Ristorante da Valentino is a place to go to find authentic Italian family cuisine. Located at the Grandstand in Bukit Timah, it is run by Chef Valentino together with his mother, sister Perla and brother-in-law Alberto. Their ethos is to serve homely and classic Italian dishes paired with the finest Italian wines.

8. Burlamacco Ristorante
Burlamacco Ristorante is a trendy Italian restaurant that cooks up the best of Tuscan cuisine. Located in Chinatown Point, it is a place for families and for everyone. There are weekly set lunches, a degustation menu, happy hour delights, and four-course meals to choose from. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there's free corkage so guests are even free to bring their own wine to pair with a Burlamacco menu.

From managing online reservations to optimizing restaurant operations, these hospitality operators use TableCheck to provide an award-winning experience to their guests.

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