Last Updated: July 25, 2017
Located in the central of South East Asia, Singapore is home to people from all over the world, which makes Singapore truly cosmopolitan. Here, you can find a variety of authentic Asian cuisines without having to travel to its homeland.
Asia is a melting pot of diverse cuisines and sub-cuisines, from Indian food to Filipino food, there is something for everyone, no matter where you are from.
Featuring different flavours and spices, each Asian cuisine is unique in their own right and we’ve hunted down the most authentic restaurants you can find, started by native chefs. A Filipino restaurant owned by a Filipino? Of course it’s legit.
Here is a list of the most authentic Asian restaurants in Singapore that will never leave your gastronomic expectations dull. As we discover the Asian food scene, don’t forget how an ice-cold Coca-Cola® can pair with your meal to make it even more special.
Adobo Pork Belly & Rice ($10)
Although not many people talk about Filipino food, it is a cuisine that definitely tops my list, especially since my best friend is Filipino. Hailing from a melange of Chinese, Spanish, Malay and American influences, Filipino food truly embodies the best of South East Asian into its own unique food culture.
My favourite Filipino dish is Adobo Pork Belly with Rice because of how simple it is. Marinated in soy sauce, vinegar and garlic, stir fried to perfection by restaurant owner and chef, Mr. Rino, the pork belly consists of soft fats and firm meat that melts in your mouth when eaten with fluffy rice.
While you’re at it, take a sip from a can of refreshing, ice-cold Coke light® to complement the savoury plate of porky goodness and Singapore’s scorching weather!
Filipino Fiesta: 450 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427663 | Opening Hours: Mon & Wed – Sun 11am – 10pm, Tues 5pm – 10pm | Tel: 9612 4306 | Website
Well known for its curry fish head, Muthu’s Curry was founded by the late Mr Ayyakkannu S. back in 1969. What started out as a simple family cooking tradition from India became a family business in 1969.
Muthu’s Curry’s Curry Fish Head ($22 for small, $27 for medium, $32 for large) is cooked in a South Indian style. Choose any fish on season and be dazzled by its rich gravy. Mixed with chunks of pineapple and juicy okra, the curry fish head is best enjoyed with Briyani Rice ($4) or a basket of Assorted Naan ($14) and a glass of bubbling, fizzy ice-cold Coke® to ease the intense curry kick.
The briyani rice is really authentic. Cooked with cashew nuts, it is a burst of flavours and adds a crunchy texture. If you’re more of a fan of Indian breads, the naan is the best option. Fluffy and comes in various styles, I like the garlic naan the most.
Muthu’s Curry: 38 Race Course Rd, 218591 | Opening Hours: Daily 10.30am – 10.30pm | Tel: 6392 1722 | Website
Dim Sum Price: $35/pax
Hailing from Hong Kong, Masterchef Lap Fai was crowned Asian Cuisine Chef of the Year 2012 at the World Gourmet Series Awards. Hence, there is no surprise that Hua Ting is an excellent choice for mid-high range authentic Hong Kong dim sum.
Typically packed, you have to make reservations at the restaurant 2 days beforehand. The baked mango with chicken tart ($4.50), and liu sha bao (salted yolk lava buns, $4.20) are some of the must-try dishes. Ask for their homemade XO chilli sauce, you won’t regret it, I promise.
For the youngsters, maybe hot tea isn’t the thing for you, so consider having a refreshing ice-cold Coke zero® with the piping hot dim sum.
Hua Ting Restaurant: 442 Orchard Rd, Level 2 Orchard Hotel, Singapore 238879 | Dim Sum Hours: Mon – Fri: 11.30 – 14.30 | Sat- Sun: 11.00 – 14.30 | Website
Headed by Executive Chef Moon, who has a strong passion for Japanese cuisine, the restaurant is known for three specialties: teppanyaki, sushi and robatayaki. The set lunches here are definitely worth its price, especially the Australian beef steak set ($70). A refreshing glass of ice-cold Coke® to go with the Japanese cuisine makes for a great pairing with Japanese food too and especially refreshing in the hot Singapore weather.
If you’re coming in for dinner, the a la carte favourites, such as the Mikuni Chirashi ($90) and Prawns with Golden Sauce ($40) are some dishes you shouldn’t miss. These signature kaiseki dishes are so exciting, you’ll leave wanting more.
Mikuni: 80 Bras Basah Road Singapore 189560 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sat, 12pm – 2.30pm & 6.30pm – 10.30pm | Tel: 6339 7777 | Website
왕대박 Wang Dae Bak Korean BBQ Restaurant is the best place to experience a taste of authentic Korean food culture. With smoke and the strong smell of barbecue in the air, you know you’re going to need a bib to save your shirt from the mess you are going to make.
왕대박 Wang Dae Bak has two different menus: one for lunch and another one for dinner. For dinner, the BBQ is a must try. Go for either Set A or B (both $48). Set B is highly recommended because you get a taste of everything, from prime ribs and pork belly to marinated shoulder!
The pork belly right off the BBQ is sinfully delicious and the smokey goodness paired with the bubbling fizz of an ice-cold Coke® is something you cannot miss.
What makes the BBQ experience different at 왕대박 Wang Dae Bak BBQ is also the fact that they have steamed egg on the edges all around the central BBQ pit. Other than the BBQ, the a la carte menu is worth trying. The Ginseng Chicken Soup ($16) in particular stood out. Homemade and hearty, I wish I had soup like this to get me through harsh Canadian east coast winters.
Wang Dae Bak BBQ: 98 Amoy St, Singapore 069918 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 11.30am –2.30pm, 5:30–10:30pm | Tel: 6226 0450 | Website
Plain Rice with Crispy Fried Egg, Lontong and Chicken Rendang ($7.50)
Despite being owned by a Singaporean, Warung M Nasir serves one of the most authentic Indonesian Nasi Padang I have tasted because of its Indonesian chefs.
For the side dishes, the beef and chicken rendang is highly recommended. I chose the chicken because although rendang is traditionally eaten with beef, the chicken seemed a lot more tender.
The lontong was really great too. You could taste the strong coconut milk and spices but it was balanced out by the smoothness and blandness of tofu that can be found inside it too.
As with most Indonesian cuisine, the meal is punchy and fiery. Imagine how good it would be with the chilling bit of an ice-cold Coke light®. Refreshing!
Warung M Nasir: 69 Killiney Rd, Singapore 239526 | Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 10pm | Tel: 6734 6228 | Website
Pho Dac Biet ($8)
It is incredibly difficult to find a good bowl of pho in Singapore. Having had pho on a weekly basis back in Canada, not getting authentic pho was something I struggled with during my first month of living in Singapore.
Fret not, I eventually went out of my way and searched for authentic pho and was lucky to have stumbled across Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant. Owned by a Vietnamese family, this restaurant is located in Singapore’s Little Vietnam.
The soup was really balanced with the right amount of pepper and the paper-thin noodles didn’t break apart. The beef was really tender and I could feel it slip and slide in my mouth. At last my cravings have been satisfied.
With such a rich and slurp-worthy broth, what better to have it with than an ice-cold Coke® for a balanced taste.
Long Phung Vietnamese Restaurant: 159 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427436 | Opening Hours: Mon, Wed -Sun 11am – 10pm, Tues 5om – 10pm | Tel: 6440 6959
One of my favourite go-to Myanmar restaurants with my Burmese friends is the Inle Myanmar Restaurant.
A mixture of Chinese, Thai and Indian cuisine, Burmese food blends some of Asia’s best cuisines into its food culture. At Inle Myanmar Restaurant, the food is not only authentic but value for money.
Each all-day set meal is priced at $14.90 per pax for an appetiser, a main course and a drink. For appetisers, try the Pickled Tea Leaves ($6 a la carte). In Myanmar, people eat and drink tea. This was quite an interesting experience for me. The tea leaves were clearly aromatic and had a crunchy texture.
For the main, go for the Golden Mountain Noodle ($8 a la carte). It is simply noodles in chicken curry gravy. The curry was slightly sweet and thinner than the usual Indian curries. It reminded me a lot of the hearty and spicy curry mee I usually have in Ipoh, which I will usually have with a glass chilling and refreshing Coke®.
Inle Myanmar Restaurant: 111 North Bridge Rd, #B1-07A Peninsula Plaza, Singapore 179098 | Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 10pm | Tel: 6333 5438| Website
From its humble beginnings selling packed lunch to Thai construction workers off a rented lorry to becoming one of Singapore’s most famous Thai restaurant, there is no question that Thai food at Diadin Luluk Thai Restaurant is super authentic.
To start off your meal, get the Crispy Catfish with Mango Salad ($15). The catfish is really fresh and when fried to golden, the contrast between the softness of the meat and the thickness of the outer layer really complements the freshness of the mango salad.
If you prefer something without salad, the Fish Cakes ($12 for 4pcs) is a pretty great alternative, or you can always cool off with a can of Coca-Cola® light instead.
For vegetables, the Dou Meow with Oyster Sauce ($10 for small, $15 for medium, $20 for large) is highly recommended. One of Thailand’s signature dishes, the dou meow is really unique. The crunchiness of the dou meow goes really well with my all-time Thai favourite, Stir Fried Minced Chicken with Basil Leaves & Chilli with Rice and Egg ($6 for small and $8 for large).
The minced chicken was fried evenly, ensuring that the meat wasn’t too tough. The basil leaves gave the meal a really aromatic fragrance, and the oozing egg yolk just made the entire meal amazing beyond words. I mean, who doesn’t love a little egg porn? Heavy and fragrant Thai flavours, this meal goes well with a glass of fizzy Coke for an uplifting sensation.
Diadin Luluk Thai Restaurant: #01-67/68/69, Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Rd, 199588 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sun, 24 hours| Tel: 6293 5101 | Website
Authentic Sarawak Noodle – Salty Version 干捞面–咸 ($4)
Being a Malaysian at heart, this was one of the places I had on my to-do list when I first arrived at the Lion City, and it didn’t disappoint. Sarawak Noodles was a large part of my life growing up in Malaysia despite living in the West, and Oil Town Sarawak Noodles’ version of the Kolo Mee wasn’t far off what I usually had in Malaysia.
Authentic, the noodles were chewy and springy, just the way they should be. Tossed in shallot oil, the dish may look plain but will come across as surprisingly tasty. The minced meat was cooked really well, there was no odour and the textures of both the noodles and the meat blended nicely together.
Along with a hint of spice to give the extra oomph, a glass of ice-cold Coke® really made the meal all that more enjoyable with its ice-cold fizziness complementing the spicy taste of chilli.
This Malaysian will definitely be coming back for more.
Oil Town Sarawak Noodles: 285 Yishun Avenue 6 #01-02, 760285 | Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 7.45am – 2pm | Tel: 9139 0089 | Website
Nyonya Mee ($8)
With four branches across Singapore, founder and head Chef Bob Seah has been sharing his passion for Peranakan food with Singaporeans for three decades. Inspired by his mother, you can expect nothing but the truest of Singapore’s Peranakan culture on his menu.
My favourite dish at any Peranakan restaurant is Nyonya Mee. The noodles were undeniably the star of the dish, flat yet bouncy, they were incredibly slurp worthy and you could really taste the wok-hei fragrance.
Have a can of ice-cold Coke to go with it, for the fizzy touch and refreshing taste from the drink with rich, smoky taste of Peranakan food will make for a great food pairing
Peranakan Inn & Lounge: 210 E Coast Rd, 428909 | Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 3pm | Tel: 6440 6195 | Website
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