Singapore – The ever vibrant CBD enclave of Amoy and Telok Ayer Streets has tons of cafes and restaurants with many new additions over the past few years. With so many options, it is impossible for first time visitors to Singapore or even the discerning locals to decide on a dining venue. Here are some of our recommendations if you are looking for a good place to hang out in this enclave.
1. Ding Dong
This Asian cuisine restaurant perched at the top of Ann Siang Hill has moved, now to the recently much-hyped Telok Ayer. Together with it, the relaxing and fun chill-out vibes of the old restaurant can still be felt in the new location, now all summarized into a single floor concept – as opposed to the multi-floor restaurant in its previous life. The menu has been revised, although you can expect nothing less than what you had enjoyed. Admittedly, we love the decor in the new outlet a whole lot more.
Where: 01-02, 115 Amoy Street, Singapore 069935
Under the same group as Ding Dong, Bochinche has moved to be new neighbours of its sister restaurant and has recently introduced its weekend brunch menu. Their earlier location at Robertson Quay has now been revamped into a part-yoga part-cafe, with them moving to a move centralised location in town. No change in kitchen directions, still serving up Argentina steaks, although in a much more intimate setting of just under 40 seats.
Where: 115 Amoy Street #01-02, Singapore 069935
3. Birds of a Feather
If we were to pick one of our favourite restaurants in this area, Birds of a Feather (read our full review here) easily ranks amongst our top recommendation. This contemporary Szechuan restaurant has been opened since late last year in this buzzing food street, serving up modern Szechuan inspired fares such as Crispy Pork Trotters in a Bag and Tofu Burger with MAPO Meat Sauce. It also helps that the space here boosts a nice natural lighting in the middle, with wooden tabletops and lush interior. The restaurant has recently introduced a new weekend brunch menu too.
Where: 115 Amoy Street #01-01, Singapore 069935
Located in a back alley of Gemmill Lane, Gemmills (read our full review here) is a hole-in-the-wall café and drinking venue which you will probably walk past without noticing its presence. The cafe serves up fresh bread and pastries in the morning for dine-in or takeaways and it serves a pretty good cuppa coffee. The cosy space, though small, makes it ideal for a nice coffee moment early morning before work or post lunch to zone out before heading back to desk.
Where: 110 Amoy Street, Singapore 069930
5. Maggie Joan’s
By the same team behind Moosehead, Maggie Joan’s (read our full review here) is located at the same back alley as Gemmills, serving Mediterranean cuisine. The space here is small and cosy, and exudes an eclectic and underground restaurant dining vibe. This is an ideal venue to head down with a group of friends to try the small plates dishes.
Where: 110 Amoy Street, Singapore 069930
6. Le Binchotan
If you walk past a restaurant along Gemmill Lane which resembles an underground tunnel, you have found Le Binchotan (read our full review here). The concept here is French-Japanese inspired bar bites and dishes, so expect a wide variety of skewers to go along with cocktails.
Where: 115 Amoy Street #01-04 (Entrance via Gemmill Lane), Singapore 069935
We shouldn’t take restaurants which can survive for more than three years for granted in the CBD. Moosehead (read our full review here) sounds like a vague name if you merely walk past it, but this Mediterranean restaurant dishes out delicious small plates with a focus on Mediterranean style yet infused with global influences. The portions are ideal for sharing, especially if you have a party size of three or four. The dishes are cooked and presented in ways we never really imagined, like the Cauliflower with garlic miso and leek confit and Bone marrow with Ortiz anchovy and garlic on sourdough. This is a must try restaurant at least once.
Where: 110 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068579
8. Free The Robot
A cafe by day and bar by night, the charm of Free The Robot is that it retained the old rustic look of the shophouse for its interior, which in our opinion is a nice respite from the modern CBD surroundings. Expect dishes such as Avocado and feta cheese toast, French toast and burger.
Where: 118 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068587
9. The Market Grill
Mention grilled dishes in the area and The Market Grill (read our full review here) will inevitably come to our minds. This popular restaurant has been around the past few years, and enjoys a strong lunch crowd despite its higher price tag as compared to the neighbouring dining options. Other grilled meats, the grilled seafood platter is good for sharing.
Where: 208 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068642
It sounds too heavy for lunch but Meatsmith (read our full review here) along Telok Ayer street is quite the ideal venue for one of those chillax Thursday or Friday night with a group of friends or colleagues, where you get to enjoy and share the good meats with its wide range of craft beers, cocktails and wine. The smoked meats here come in a wide variety, from beef brisket to chicken and we remembered leaving the restaurant feeling all satisfied.
Where: 167-169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068620
11. ShuKuu Izakaya
We didn’t expect to find a good Japanese izakaya in this area, but Shukuu Izakaya (read our full review here) surprised us. It is easy to walk past the restaurant along Stanley Street without much notice, but this reminded us one those random Japanese izakaya we stumbled upon while in Japan. Expect a casual and noisy ambience for a casual night of good food at wallet friendly prices. Some of the highlights here include the kushiyaki (grilled meat skewers), hot udon and tori kara-age. Order some sake to go along with the food, and the night is complete.
Where: 8 Stanley Street, Singapore 068727
13. Aloha Poke
One of the first few Poke restaurants to start the Poke trend is Aloha Poke (read our full review here), which serves up the Hawaiian rice bowls during lunch time and becomes a restaurant bar in the evening. It’s a small and cosy space here, which can be quite packed during lunch hours. It is more ideal for lunch takeaways rather than a big group dine-in.
Where: 92 Amoy Street, Singapore 069911
14. K Tower
One of the newest restaurant to open at Amoy Street is K Tower (read our full review here), a Korean restaurant which specialises in its multi-tier seafood tower concept. The seafood tower concept is an imported trend from Korea which has seen its popularity on social media recently. If you are not into seafood, fret not as the restaurant also serves other Korean dishes such as Ginseng chicken soup and Korean fried chicken. If you work in the vicinity, there is also a Weekday Set Lunch, inclusive of a drink and side dishes. The weekday set lunch options include army stew, Shake Shake rice box, Korean ginseng chicken and bulgogi, available from 11.30am to 2.30pm, excluding public holidays. Prices start from S$9.90 onwards.
Where: 74 Amoy Street, Singapore 069893
15. Goldleaf Restaurant
This old-time restaurant has been around for more than 40 years, having first opened near Wisma Indonesia (now Wisma Atria). According to the owners, Goldleaf Restaurant (read our full review here) was the first to bring the Taiwanese Porridge into Singapore’s food scene, with their first batch of chefs from the popular Shin Yeh Restaurant. Goldleaf definitely serve up a more refine take on Taiwanese Porridge, unlike the more street-styled teochew porridge I am familiar with while growing up.
Where: 103 Amoy Street, #01-01, Singapore 069923
Ranted by The Ranter & Rantee