January 9, 2017
To me, Cantonese food is intricate and involves a certain form of fine art to whip up dishes for a wholesome experience behind the long culinary history. I often dub it as the French cuisine of the East, with its close attention to details that will play with all five senses.
For those who are huge fans of Cantonese food, like myself, here is a list of restaurants that will capture the essence of this sophisticated cuisine that often does not gain as much recognition as it probably should.
Located on the 33rd floor of OCBC centre, Peach Garden @ OCBC Centre impresses with the view that it offers. The panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline will definitely elevate your dining experience!
The dim sum selection is a little limited here, so if you are looking for variety, this restaurant might disappoint. However, the food taste and quality still meets the most expectations, as it should be with a restaurant that has had its name so established amongst Singaporeans.
With a name that means “stairway to heaven”, expectations are immediately raised for Hai Tien Lo. Once located on the top of the Pan Pacific Hotel, it was the most beautifully set Cantonese restaurant to me. It was sky dining at the finest for me and I fell in love with this restaurant back then.
The restaurant was shifted a few years back to level three of the hotel, taking it a little further away from “heaven”. While the view was such a huge part of the experience, the quality and taste of food is still first and foremost. I feel that food standards have fallen a little at this restaurant, but not significantly.
The culinary experience here is still one of the finest amongst all Cantonese restaurants in Singapore. I would recommend the dishes more than the dim sum here!
For some reason, this restaurant is really popular with the “uncles” and I infer that this means that the Wah Lok name has been really established in Singapore for decades.
Another restaurant that is the go-to place for many Singaporeans who are craving for a hearty dim sum fix, Wah Lok is always packed during lunches and you will definitely need to make advanced reservations during lunch.
Some dim sum favourites are the bo lo pau (baked barbecued pork buns) and the fried carrot cake with XO sauce. This restaurant also serves excellent fine-Cantonese cuisine in the evenings for dinner.
Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant: 76 Bras Basah Rd, Carlton Hotel, Singapore 189558 | Opening hours: Mon – Sat; 1130am – 230pm, 630pm – 10pm Sun; 11am – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm | Tel: +65 6311 8188 | Website
Cherry Garden is highly rated in Singapore and is a favourite amongst many. The restaurant’s ambience has a very traditional and antique flair, this helps it stand out from most of the other Cantonese restaurants in Singapore with regards to restaurant interior.
Many choose to come here for their renowned dim sum buffet that serves up both unique and conventional dishes. The buffet offers so much great food that translates into high levels of customer satisfaction linked to this restaurant.
Cherry Garden: 5 Raffles Ave, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Singapore 039797 | Opening hours: Mon – Fri; 12pm – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm Sat – Sun; 11am – 330pm, 630pm – 1030pm | Tel: +65 6885 3500 | Website | Facebook
Another chain in Singapore, Crystal Jade has an entire range of Chinese restaurants with their Golden Palace being one of their premium editions. The restaurant’s interior exudes an opulence befitting its majestic name.
To live up to its name further, Crystal Jade Golden Palace strives to serve up food fit for a king. Expect dishes that spell out Cantonese fine dining and intricately crafted items from the menu.
The dim sum here is reasonably priced for its quality and restaurant ambience. It gets really crowded during lunch as throng of people flock here for the dim sum, so remember to make a reservation in advance.
Crystal Jade Golden Palace: 290 Orchard Rd, #05-22 Paragon Shopping Centre, Paragon Shopping Centre Singapore 238859 | Opening hours: Mon – Fri; 1130am – 3pm, 6pm – 1030pm, Sat; 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 1030pm, Sun; 1030am – 3pm, 6pm – 1030pm | +65 6734 6866 | Facebook
I love roasted duck and this restaurant located in the Four Season’s Hotel serves up a Peking duck that ranks amongst the top few in Singapore. Well, it probably is THE BEST to many actually.
Jiang Nan Chun uses a traditional method of slow roasting the duck in a mesquite-wood fired over and this brings out a flavour and texture that is out of this world.
While I highlighted the Peking duck as the signature dish, you can be assured that you will be getting great quality and taste in the other Cantonese dishes served at this restaurant.
Jiang Nan Chun: 190 Orchard Blvd, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore 248646 | Opening hours: Daily; 1130am – 230pm | Tel: +65 6831 7220 | Website
Imperial Treasure has a chain of various Chinese restaurants. For Cantonese food, I would recommend the Super Peking Duck restaurants, which is has only two outlets in Singapore.
The food served has an amazing consistency to it no matter which day or which outlet you choose to eat here. As a fan of roasted meats, I particularly enjoyed the Peking duck. Another dish to note is that the soup of the day here is simply brilliant. The flavours from the nourishing soups (all of them!) are always so intense from the long hours of simmering.
For reliable and well-cooked Cantonese cuisine, this restaurant is the place for you.
Situated within CHIJMES, the beautiful colonial-style building and church, Lei Garden is sure to impress even before you taste their food. This is definitely one of the best restaurants where you can get picture perfect photographs both within and outside.
Fear not about the food quality as this restaurant originates from the long-renowned Michelin-starred Lei Garden in Hong Kong.
While the prices get really steep during dinner times, I recommend that you try their set lunches as there are some very reasonably priced ones that will most probably convert you into a frequent patron.
A restaurant that is named after the famous Chinese poet, Li Bai presents itself with traditional fine-dining opulence that will catch your immediately when you walk in.
While the poet was famous for his many classical writings, the restaurant seeks to impress with its intricate and exquisite Chinese dishes. I would joke with the waitresses and ask if the food is supposed to inspire me to write a poem of my own.
Touted as one of the finest Cantonese restaurants in Singapore, head down here as long as you are willing to splurge on some great food.
Li Bai: 39 Scotts Rd, Sheraton Towers Singapore, Singapore 228230 | Opening hours: Mon – Sat; 1130am – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm, Sun; 1030am – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm | Tel: +65 6839 5623 | Website | Facebook
Summer Pavilion was awarded 1 Michelin Star in 2016. No matter how skeptical of Michelin Star ratings, that should still speak volumes about the culinary experience that this restaurant offers.
The interior design is based on a concept of a modern Oriental feel, while emphasizing a close attention to making customers feel like they are dining around nature. Natural light seeps in from all around during the day, and this is what all food photo fanatics will rave about.
The food at Summer Pavilion is pricey, but its taste is the very reasons to justify the Michelin Star earned. The food plating is beautiful and filled with details, as expected of a fine dining establishment. More importantly, the taste of the food does not disappoint.
Summer Pavilion: 7 Raffles Ave, Ritz Carlton Hotel Singapore 039799 | Opening hours: Daily 1130am – 230pm, 630pm – 1030pm | Tel: +65 6434 5286 | Website