These seven ‘hidden’ restaurants offer tasty meals in unexpected locations around Singapore – and at affordable prices too!
Singapore is a foodie’s paradise, with no lack of dining options to be found no matter where you look.
So much so that some eateries actually choose to sequester themselves in locations off the beaten path, or behind unexpected facades, hiding in plain sight. The better to add an air of mystery and the thrill of discovery to their appeal, perhaps?
No matter the reasoning, we’ve sniffed out these seven hidden establishments with delicious and affordable food and drinks that you can check out the next time you’re hungry – both for sustenance and adventure.
7 amazing diners, restaurants and cafes ‘hidden’ all over Singapore
|Yorimichi Yakitori||Golden Mile Tower||Japanese yakitori||S$20 to S$30 per pax|
|MYO Restobar||Oxley Tower||Local Chinese||S$25 to S$35 per pax|
|Kabuke||Telok Ayer||Japanese sake and gastrobar||Lunch: S$25 to S$35 per paxDinner: S$50 to $100 per pax|
|Tims Restaurant and Cafe||Toa Payoh||Nepalese and Western||S$10 to S$15 per pax|
|The Boiler @ Howard Road||Tai Seng||Western seafood boil||À la carte: S$15 to S$30 per paxSeafood bag: From S$56 for 2 pax|
|Whisk and Paddle||Punggol Promenade||Burgers, pasta, Western mains||S$20 to S$35 per pax|
|The Dragon Chamber||Circular Road||Hong Kong||S$35 to S$50 per pax|
Address: 6001 Beach Road #01-02, Golden Mile Tower
Opening hours: Mon to Thu: 6pm – 12am, Fri & Sat: 6pm -1am, Sun: closed
Whatsapp: 8399 0587
Budget: S$20 to S$30 per pax
Nestled among all the mookata restaurants that Golden Mile Tower is famous for is this little gem of a Japanese grill bar.
Tucked in a small nook on the first floor, Yorimichi Yakitori is a cheery little eatery that serves up authentic Japanese style yakitori – skewers of meat, fish, seafood and vegetables doused with salty-sweet sauce and grilled over smoking hot coals.
Besides yakitori, the eatery’s menu also includes a selection of agemono (deep fried items), mains, rice and noodle dishes, as well as ice cream and sherbet – perfect for cooling off after your meal.
With prices starting from S$5.80 for two skewers, a decent meal should cost you around S$20 to S$30 per pax.
Address: 138 Robinson Road, Oxley Tower, Lobby 1, #19-01
Opening hours: Mon to Sun and P.H.: 11am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm
Tel: 9026 0718 or 6931 1247
Budget: S$25 to S$35 per pax
Heritage Chinese restaurant MYO Restobar does many things right, but the dish that put them on the map continues to be their stellar Claypot Chicken (S$23 or S$35).
Originating as a staff meal prepared by the owner, the chance addition of leftover cabbage into a chicken dish bubbling away in a claypot resulted in an unexpected winner.
Think fork-tender chicken, wrapped in sweet braised cabbage, all held together with a savory and caramelly sauce – in other words, the perfect comfort dish to eat with a bowl of white rice.
Besides the Claypot Chicken – these days prepared with organic, lactobacillus-fed, free-range chickens – the restaurant’s other highlights are its dim sum (from S$4.80) and à la carte selections.
To find such culinary treasures, you’ll need to head all the way to the top of Oxley Tower in the CBD.
Address: 200A Telok Ayer Street (Level 2)
Opening hours: Lunch (Mon to Fri): 11.30am to 2pm, Dinner (Mon to Sun): 6pm to 9.30pm
Tel: 8822 5525
Budget: S$25 to S$35 per pax
Telok Ayer Street is home to many notable restaurants, so it’s easy to miss Kabuke – especially since it’s tucked away on the second floor, accessible only through a narrow flight of stairs.
But make the effort to find it, and you’ll find a stylish Japanese sake gastrobar complete with neon lamps and vibrant décor featuring traditional Japanese artwork.
As much of a visual feast the aesthetics are, the true treats lie in their menu, which serves up an assortment ranging from bar bites and finger food to heartier fare like rice bowls.
We recommend the lunch menu’s Kabuke Rice Bowl series, which offers a selection of sensible and budget-friendly fare like Unagi Tempura Don (S$15), Bara Chirashi Don (S$18) and Wagyu Suki Don (S$18).
For a more indulgent meal, look to the Kabuke Wagyu Bowls, lovingly prepared premium beef bowls which start at S$28 and go all the way up to S$58 for the aptly-named Pleasure Bowl.
Feeling decadent? Pay a visit during dinner instead, when Kabuke opens up its full menu featuring dishes like Foie Gras Toast (S$22) and Wagyu and Uni Don (S$80).
Tims Restaurant and Cafe
Address: Block 95 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-52
Opening hours: Mon to Sun: 11.30am to 10pm
Tel: 6250 5246
Budget: S$10 to S$15 per pax
Those living in the vicinity of Block 95 in the Toa Payoh heartlands will no doubt have come across this cosy family-style café, with its deep red interiors and dark wood furnishings.
Tims Restaurant and Café offers home-style Nepalese cuisine such as Thukpa (S$11.50), a traditional noodle soup favoured by mountain sherpas, Chow Mein (from S$10,50), Nepali Roast Chicken (S$15.50) and Lamb Choila (S$16.80), grilled boneless lamb leg served with rice.
If you’re in the mood for something a little more conventional, the café also offers classic Western comfort food like Grilled Black Pepper Chicken (S$12.80), Fish and Chips (S$13.80) and Spaghetti Bolognese (S$12.80) in its Daily Budget Set Lunch menu.
Each entrée comes with garlic bread, Soup of the Day, dessert and drink – fantastic value.
The Boiler @ Howard Road
Address: 18 Howard Rd, #01-06, Novelty Bizcentre
Opening hours: Lunch (Mon to Sun): 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner (Mon to Sun): 5pm – 9.15pm
Tel: 6635 1285
Budget: À la carte: S$15 to S$30 per pax, Seafood bag: From S$56 for 2 pax
Tai Seng, off Paya Lebar, is known more for its industrial estates than as a foodie hotspot, so it’s a delight to find an outlet of The Boiler seafood bar here.
(There’s another outlet at The Esplanade, but this one is perfect for those who’d rather not take a trip into the city centre).
A veteran of the seafood boil craze that swept across Singapore not too long ago, The Boiler serves up sharing portions of its signature seafood bags containing fresh lobster, prawns, mussels, clams and all sorts of ocean goodies, accompanied by pearl corn and buns, and of course, its house special dipping sauces.
While the seafood bags are undoubtedly the star of the show, the supporting cast is not too shabby either.
Choose from à la carte favourites such as Fish & Chips (S$15.90), Baby Back Ribs (from S$17.90), Miyagi Jumbo Fried Oysters (S$16.90), Calamari Rings (S$13.90) and Miso-Dijon Salmon (S$16.90).
Whisk & Paddle
Address: 10 Tebing Lane, #01-01
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 12.30pm to 10.30pm, Weekends and P.H.: 9.30am to 10.30pm
Tel: 6242 4617
Budget: S$20 to S$35 per pax
Overlooking the tranquil Punggol Waterway, Whisk & Paddle is the ideal choice for a leisurely meal far from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The whimsically named café offers a surprisingly weighty menu. You’ll find many meal choices available here, from pastas (S$14.80 onwards) and pizzas (S$17.80) to burgers (S$23.80 onwards) and classic Western mains like duck confit (S$28.80), lamb shank (S$30.80) and pork ribs (S$28.80).
Looking to snack? Between the cafe’s selection of bar bites, finger foods, cakes and desserts, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The drinks menu is similarly extensive, offering everything from tea, coffee, sodas and other non-alcoholic options, right up to wines, house pours and cocktails.
The Dragon Chamber
Address: 2 Circular Rd
Opening hours: Fri: 5,30pm – 12am, Sat & Sun: 11am – 12am
Whatsapp: 6950 0015
Budget: S$35 to S$50 per pax
With a name like The Dragon Chamber, you know you’re in for some drama and excitement.
By day, it’s a nondescript coffee shop that sells roast pork and wanton noodles. But it is after the sun sets that the real action begins – hidden behind the door of a walk-in refrigerator, no less.
So far, so very gangster action flick. Inside you’ll find a neon-lit Hong Kong restaurant, done up to look like some high-end underground gambling den commonly seen during the roaring 80s (if Hong Kong movies are to be believed).
The menu effortlessly keeps up the theme, with entrée names even more dramatic than the décor.
Firecracker Chicken and Maple Fritters (S$16) is a modern twist on the Szechuan favourite chilli chicken, dressed up with maple-drenched fried dough sticks. Then there’s the ominous sounding Dragon Claw (S$55) , which features honest-to-goodness farm-bred crocodile claw braised in herbal sauce.
But it is in the soup section that you’ll find the most heart-stopping surprise (nope, we won’t spoil it for you).
As cheesy as it all sounds, The Dragon Chamber is well worth a visit, even if only for a few hours of escapism pretending you’re in a fictionalised version of Hong Kong.
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By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.