We’re constantly hearing rants about how expensive it is to survive in Singapore – much less enjoy a good meal out. But we’ve found solid proof that it’s still possible for two people to enjoy three-course fine dining for less than S$50 each.
Here are 12 contemporary and Western restaurants to dine out on the cheap.
P.S. Also check out our gems of budget Asian restaurants we discovered!
Not only does this elegant spot give you the best riverside view, dining here also evokes feelings of a bygone era. Lit warmly with old school bulbs and a rather over-the-top Art Deco chandelier, the European-style dining room housed in a colonial heritage building is an inviting spot for a quiet meal. And, its set menu is just $28 for two courses and $35 for three courses, where appetiser choices include a Trio of Saumon and Truffled Crab Pasta, mains selects include a Bar de Ligne of pan-roasted sea bass, dashi mushroom essence, potato mousseline and enoki crisp and dessert options include Cassis Noir of rich dark chocolate mousse, cassis sorbet with a mixed berry medley. What a deal!
3 Fullerton Rd #03-01, The Waterboathouse, 049215
To have only one item on your mains menu is a bold move, but that’s how this confident and classy French estab rolls – doling out platter after platter of its classic steak and fries ($34.90, pictured). The recipe for success? The legendary signature sauce – a powerful peppery, slightly tangy elixir the chef is proud to call his secret. P.S. Unlimited fries, might we add.
36 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089614
The Naked Finn‘s owner Tan Ken Loon has an obsession with sourcing for the best seafood in the world, yet he still manages to keep prices affordable.
Our choice of mains: the sweet eight-piece farmed Giant Tiger Prawns (S$30) coated in salted egg yolk sauce, and the Secreto Iberico Pork – a lean cut of meat that’s grilled and served with a side of in-house dried solefish salt (S$30).
Down the road, you’ll find Nekked, a neighbourhood bar to augment The Naked Finn for a solid late night supper.
Blk 39 Malan Rd, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442
There’s a reason why this Australian grill restaurant received a Michelin star. Expect creative dishes, fresh ingredients and carefully plated meals in this modern restaurant that boasts a friendly atmosphere and an open kitchen. Come during lunch, where you get to enjoy its lunch sets under the glow of natural light in the day. Two courses cost $39 while three courses cost $49. Appetisers include a cauliflower cream soup with milk bath salmon or a coconut lime cured kingfish with pineapple, while mains include a spiced lamb rump with garam marsala dhal and cucumber apple mint yoghurt. Dessert is an intriguing hot chocolate soup with black pepper ice cream and sesame crisp that is a flavourful blend of sweet and spicy.
#02-140 and 141, Resorts World Sentosa, Festive Walk, 26 Sentosa Gateway, 098138
Delight in traditional tapas and paella at La Taperia, a Spanish restaurant by the beloved Les Amis Group.
Some suggestions for the tapas are the Croquetas de Jamon (S$15) – croquettes filled with buttery mashed potato, bechamel and chunky bits of iberico ham, or a sizzling pan of Gambas al Ajillo (S$20) – prawns cooked with garlic, chilli, and extra virgin olive oil for a peppery kick (best mopped up with some toast). The hearty Huevoes Estrellados con Patatas (S$18, pictured) is simple fried eggs with chorizo, red peppers, mushrooms and crispy straw potato.
#02-10/11, 1 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228208
If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Argentinean cuisine, it’s about time you should. Go for boCHINche‘s sweet and savoury cold starter, an invigorating Watermelon Salad (S$14). The fruit is grilled to deepen the flavour, and it sits on mounds of mozzarella cream topped with watermelon and mint granita.
Next comes a skillet of bubbling Provoleta Cheese, garnished with almonds and drenched in oregano honey (S$17). There’s foccacia bread to go with it – it’s simple and addictive.
To make sure you roll out of there stuffed, the Chimichurri Steak Burger (S$29) is a signature dish which surprises us with a fairly juicy patty that has its smokiness amped up with bone marrow.
#01-02, 115 Amoy St, Singapore 069935
While the restaurant is better known for its Duck Confit with Waffles (S$32), it’s head chef Rishi Naleendra’s treatment of vegetables which gets our attention. Take for instance the Oysters with Smoked Tomato Granita (S$10 for two), the tangy topping melting into a chilly smokiness as it hits the palate.
21 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069620
Mexi? Can! Mexican classics at Super Loco pack a punch – the Mango Ceviche with wild snapper (S$18) has a clean taste favourably complemented by the acidic juice that envelopes it; meanwhile, the Baja taco (S$11) is spicy, but its combination of crispy fish fillet, jalepeno cabbage and chimmichuri mayo is a winner. You’ll love the Cordero quesadilla (S$16) with pulled lamb, mint, red onion jam and radish. The lamb is tender and well seasoned, and stands out despite the strong flavours surrounding it.
For a sweet ending, get the crispy Super Churros (S$13) with a rich chocolate dip.
60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside, Singapore 238252
Surprise – Mad About Sucre has a cost-conscious savoury menu, too! But, there’s no point in saving money (or calories), if you skip its seasonal sweets, which change six times a year. Its newest concoction: the Black San Domingue (pictured), made of dark Caribbean chocolate and topped with a chocolate rum box. Part of a pastry set ($21.70), it comes with Moroccan mint and Cambodian lemongrass tea.
27 Teo Hong Rd, Singapore 088334
You may actually feel like you’re in Italy when dining here, since most of the wait staff are Italians. Our recos: The Pappardelle with Pork Cheek and Red Wine ($32) and Duck Breast with Purple Sprouts, Endive, Honey and Yuzu Sauce ($26). End the meal with its Fine Italian Cheese Selection ($25).
55 Market St, Singapore 048941
A good introduction to the unique menu would be a regular serving of the Ash & Elm platter of charcuterie ($28) with five types of meat. A crowd-favourite is the Pumpkin and Pancetta Flat Bread ($24). This is baked in the restaurant’s pizza oven and can easily feed two people as a main dish. In a group? Opt for its appetiser and dessert buffet lunch menu (from $28).
Intercontinental Hotel, 80 Middle Rd, Singapore 188966
Dallas‘s promotional meat platter for two (S$70) is a heaping board of pork ribs, lamb cutlets, a quarter rotisserie chicken, and rib eye steaks, which is best for meat lovers with big appetites.
However, it’s the new modern Mexican dishes that stand out. So, pick starters such as the Snapper Fish Tacos ($16 for two). The crispy deep-fried fish is fresh and juicy on the inside, with a tangy pineapple chutney and spicy chipotle mayonnaise. Order the Pork Tacos too ($10 for two); the fresh jalapenos and housemade pickles cut through the fatty combination of belly meat and aioli.
As do the mains, like the Barbecued Barramundi ($30), which is nicely seared and comes with garlic sauce, and the Beef Fajitas ($28).
31 Boat Quay, Singapore 049820
From The Straits Times, last updated April 2018
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