If you’re craving a delightful dining experience for the whole family in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant Bugis district, look no further than Bugis+ (formerly Iluma). This iconic shopping mall is seamlessly connected to Bugis Junction through a convenient overhead link bridge.
Bugis+ offers an array of fantastic dining options that will tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Whether you’re in the mood for local delights, international cuisine, or quick bites on-the-go, Bugis+ has got you covered.
Join us as we embark on a culinary journey through Bugis+, discovering the top 10 eateries that will satisfy your hunger while keeping your wallet happy.
1. Marutama Ra-men (#04-02)
Marutam Ra-men is the ultimate thick chicken soup specialist. They use a special pressure cooker, to extract the deepest flavours of the chicken, creating a sharp collagen-rich soup that imbues a wonderful flavour to anything added into it. Their noodles are made from an aromatic Japanese flour and I can attest to their perfect bite!
The classic Marutama Ra-men (S$14.90) is a good first-time dish. Despite the dangerous orange colour of the soup— courtesy of Thai chilli pepper— it is not as spicy as most would assume. The broth was luxuriously thick, though, and proved an excellent background to a well-rounded bowl. The generous helping of medium-cut shallots helped with both flavour and texture.
Variations include Aka Ramen (S$S$16) which is ramen with 7 ground ingredients, including nuts and chilli, in chicken soup and the indulgent Zenbu Nosé Ramen (S$20.90). This bowl comes with all the special toppings such as Kakuni (stewed pork belly), Char Siu, Negi (spring onion), Ajitsuke Tamago (soft boiled egg) and Aosa (seawater-farmed seaweed).
2. Pizza Maru (#04-03/04)
Pizza Maru’s 3 stores in Singapore join 650 more in its native South Korea. The iconic brand delivers an excellent range of fare that includes fried chicken (of course, right?), pasta, pizza, soups and salads.
Definitely, definitely, definitely try the fried chicken! My first encounter was with the Garlic Gangjeong (S$19.90 for wings, S$21.90 for Half-Chicken). Gangjeong is a tangy, sweet sauce that packs a dose of spice as well. The aroma when it is served is absolutely mouth-watering.
Pizza is also a good idea. My recommendation is the Garlicky BBQ Pizza (S$21.90 for 9’’ Regular, S$26.90 for 12’’ Large). You get a lovely mix of smoked chicken, turkey bacon, onion, mushroom, bell pepper and mozzarella atop their wonderful base. Pizza Maru is known for its uniquely healthy dose that includes green tea, flaxseed, chlorella, barley and 12 other healthy grains.
If, like me, you crave rice for lunch, the Spicy Chicken Risotto (S$16.40) will do the trick.
3. Aburi Kaisen Don Keisuke (#04-01)
Chef Keisuke Takeda is one of the most versatile masters of the game and Aburi Kaisen Don Keisuke is just one of his 18 outlets spanning 13 unique dining concepts. His aim with this one is to bring fresh and authentic Japanese Kaisen Don at an affordable price.
Dishes here are cooked in the Warayaki style. This unique approach uses burning Japanese Rice Straw to create big flames on which the ingredients are placed to imbue them with a wonderful smoky aroma.
A good dish to begin your journey is the Warayaki Aburi Salmon & Minced Maguro Don (S$11.90). Here, the main ingredients are aburi Salmon and negitoro (minced tuna). All their Kaisen dons come with a half-boiled egg and sesame soya sauce.
On the other end of the spectrum is the elaborate and beautifully-presented Kiwami Warayaki Aburi Kaisen Don Special (S$22.90). This is a diverse medley of aburi salmon, aburi maguro (tuna), aburi hamachi (yellow tail), monga ika (squid), negitoro (minced tuna), tobiko, ebi soboro (minced prawn), snow crab flake, shoyu ikura (soy sauce marinated roe).
4. Meow Barbecue (#01-17)
I have to admit, I am very biased towards Meow Barbecue! From the time that it opened in Sep 2022 at Bugis+, my colleagues and I have made our way there several times. Part of the reason, of course, is the cuteness of the mascot cat but the food and the cooking just blows everything away.
One of the best options is the Meow Signature Spicy Beef (S$23.80). So thinly and precisely cut that it changes colour almost immediately upon touching the hot plate, this is my favourite. A close second is the Iberico Pork Collar Marinated in Pineapple Sauce (S$22.80), which is delicious and filling.
I find chicken usually too ‘ordinary’ for hotplate dining but the Meow Signature Chicken with Cheese Dip (S$15.80) bucks the trend. It’s insane how wonderfully the melty cheese transforms the taste and texture, making this a must-order every time I’m here.
5. Pratunam PLUS by Soi Thai Soi Nice (#04-09)
Inspired by the world-famous Pratunam district of Bangkok, Pratunam Plus by Soi Thai Soi Nice brings the same expansive variety of scrumptious street food to Singaporean diners. Step instantly into the Land of Smiles with their classic mains which include the Signature Tom Yum Mama, Thai Wonton Noodles and the Signature Thai Hot Pot.
An especially notable addition is the BBQ grill station. There are few better ways of getting the texture and smokiness of Thailand in your meat than this. If you love seafood, the indulgent Tomyum Kway Tiao Seafood is heaped full of it. The Chicken Noodle bowl is another example of one of their affordable but filling bowls. My final recommendation from the mains is the Dry Tomyum Noodle, especially because the half-boiled egg that comes with it is so good!
If you want to share a meal, the Pratunam Thai Hotpot (S$39.80) is perfect for 2 to 3 people.
6. Lau Wang Claypot (#04-13)
I laughed out loud when I first saw the Lau Wang Claypot logo at Bugis+. The food here, though, is no laughing matter. This place specialises in local dishes and beverages and, for a mall-based operation, does a commendable job in bringing the authenticity of the hawker stall to the urbanites.
It’s hard to go wrong with any claypot dish here. If you like to burn your tongue, the Super Mala Chicken (S$7.80) is a formidable opponent. I’m a bit tamer than that and the Mala Chicken Mix (S$9.30) is more in line with my tender palate.
If you aren’t a fan of veggies, this place may just change your outlook on life. The Tofu with Salted Fish & French Beans (S$6) is the best place to start. With its silky-soft tofu pieces crumbling to delicious nothingness with a bite, it accompanies the other claypot dishes very well.
7. New Manlee Bak Kut Teh (#01-12)
Originally from KL, New Manlee Bak Kut Teh has a history stretching back over 40 years across the Causeway. You don’t find the authentic taste of Malaysian bak kut teh very easily in Singapore but this is the place to go when you crave it.
Their Bak Kut Teh Set Meals (from S$8.90) arefilling. You get a choice of 1 bak kut teh, dough fritters and pea sprouts, 1 bowl of rice and 1 Houji tea. Go for the Premium Pork Ribs Bak Kut Teh (S$12.90 A La Carte, S$16.90 Set Meal). The Salted Egg Chicken (S$10.90 A La Carte, S$16.90 Set Meal) and the Black Vinegar Fish (S$10.90 A La Carte, S$16.90 Set Meal) are also worth a shot.
On the side dishes menu, you will find Steamed Assorted Eggs (S$5.90), Fried Cuttlefish (S$6.90), Fried Tofu (S$5.90) and Dough Fritters (S$2).
8. ROCKU YAKINIKU (#04-06)
Rocku Yakiniku at Bugis+ is a casual Japanese BBQ grill outlet that blends traditional Japanese dining with modern entertainment inspired by Japanese pop culture. Their new Premium Meats menu is full of specialties such as unagi, scallops and salmon sashimi and costs just $10.90++.
Most times, I just opt for the Buffet (S$24.90++ for Lunch (100 mins), S$29.90++ for Dinner (100 mins), Additional S$3++ Fri-Sun, PH and PH eve). It comes with standard staples – curry udon, wakame udon, garlic fried rice and steamed rice; meats – US short plate, beef chuck roll, teriyaki chicken, pork belly, pork collar and more. You also get appetisers, vegetables, seafood and desserts.
If you really want to indulge, there is also a Premium Buffet (S$52.90++ for Lunch (100 mins), S$62.90++ for Dinner (100 mins), Additional S$3++ Fri-Sun, PH and PH eve). This gives you everything on the standard buffet and adds MS5/6 Australia Wagyu Oysterblade, MS5/6 Australia Wagyu Short Plate, Tiger Prawns, Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, Truffle Wafu Onsen Tamago, and much more.
9. Xin Wang Hong Kong Café (#01-02-K1)
Craving some strong Hong Kong vibes? Xin Wang Hong Kong Café located just outside of Bugis+ will give you all the Cantonese classics you can handle till the wee hours of the morning. On Saturdays, they are open 24 hours and make for the ideal mid-city centre afterhours RV point after a night on the town. The menu has been expanded to include popular dishes from Macau and our very own Singapore favourites.
Delectable dim sum dishes are the ideal starting point for my forays here but communal dining dishes such as Claypot Fish Head Steamboat and HK Sizzling Chicken Claypot come strongly recommended. The classic signature Homemade Papaya Soup Bee Hoon is insanely good if you favour traditional flavours like I do. There is no shortage of Western delights, either.
All said, I prefer Xin Wang Hong Kong Café for the light snacks and finger foods rather than their heavier options.
10. Blackball (#01-14)
Blackball describes itself as the ‘Best authentic Taiwanese desserts in Singapore. No. 1 grass jelly desserts and teas’… and I find it hard to disagree!
Among the Blackball Signature desserts are Grass Jelly Shaved Ice (S$6.50), Wintermelon Shaved Ice (S$6.50) and Tofu Beancurd (S$6.50). They take first, second and third place respectively in my eyes. Toppings choices include chewy pearls, fragrant yam and sesame balls.
Then, there’s the Qffle Series (1 for $2, 3 for $5). I love these wonderful waffles served with vanilla ice-cream, night or day.
I’m not the biggest fan of winter melon fan but I find the Melon Lemon with Aiyu Jelly (S$3.20) quite nice. On the other hand, the Fresh Milk Series is my favourite. From here, I just can’t get enough of the Red Bean Smoothie (S$4). A close second is the Grass Jelly with Fresh Milk (S$3.50), a combination that I didn’t think I would like when I first read it. Lovely to be proven wrong on it!
201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067
201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067