Last Updated: February 14, 2021
With the world still in lockdown, festive and cultural celebrations this year feels a little less joyful. Restrictions on the number of visitors one can receive at home mean that your Lunar New Year festivities might end earlier than usual and you may find yourself at home with your family over the long weekend and wondering which restaurants open during CNY.
That’s where our handy little guide of restaurants and cafe that operate through this holiday comes in. We have curated a gamut of F&B establishments to satiate every dietary and cuisine preference—ramen, halal-friendly fare, cakes, European, and even the good ol’ hotpot (if you’re not already suffering from hotpot/steamboat fatigue).
Pass along this handy-dandy list to your favourite family WhatsApp/Telegram/FB messenger groups and make easy the task of finding out which restaurants in Singapore are open during CNY 2021.
First opened in 2016, the folks behind Neon Pigeon brought us this opulent Istanbul-themed restaurant. With the dawn of a decade, Fat Prince has taken over the space, bringing the seating up to a comfortable 90 diners. And of course, the Saturday brunch menu is one of the highlights of the revamped Fat Prince, especially if you’re looking for a Middle Eastern restaurant that open during CNY,
Don’t expect your basic brunch items like avocado toast or eggs Benedict. Fat Prince brings us modern Middle Eastern dishes tweaked for the Singaporean palate, with the option of a la carte items, a course menu called the Fat Funky Brunch (S$49++), and free-flow booze for S$69++.
The Fatteh Breakfast (S$24++) is a Middle Eastern twist on the usual brunch classics. Poached eggs with perfectly runny yolks are served on a bed of baby spinach and avocado slices, with toasted pita and halloumi on the side. This is certainly lighter than most Middle Eastern dishes, though, for diners who generally skips breakfast, this would be more substantial than expected. The poached eggs were well-cooked and delicious, and the toasted pita was mouth-watering (as expected).
48 Peck Seah Street, Singapore 079317
+65 6221 7794
• Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10.30pm
• Sat & Sun: 11.30am – 3pm & 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Did someone say “Enough hotpot!”? I didn’t think so. If queueing is Singapore’s national past time, then hotpot would be the cultural icon that would come to symbolise this nation’s psyche. Apparently, when it comes to hotpot, there’s never too much of a good thing.
The demand for hotpot related services in Singapore is so high that perennial purveyor, Hai Di Lao, found it fitting to have one of their outlets open on the first day of CNY to cater to the throngs of millennials and Gen Zs who lust after the institution’s signature customer service—both pre and post-consumption. Thankfully they’re one of the very few hotpot restaurants that open during CNY—crisis duly averted. Get dippin’ and cookin’ and stewin’.
313 Orchard Road, #04-23/24, Singapore 238895
+65 6835 7227
• CNY Fri: 10.30am – 6am (limited to two hours per seating)
• Sat: All outlets business as usual, opening hours differ outlet to outlet
One step into Da Paolo Dempsey and you can’t ignore the overhanging olive tree that lords over the premise. Great effort has been submitted to preserve the trunk of a real olive tree, which makes this ornament commendable and impressive. Diners have the opportunity to gawk at Da Paolo Dempsey’s offerings while awaiting their order, from their pasta display to their Italian cheese and cured meat case, and to even their varied assortment of gelato.
The pizza at Da Paolo Dempsey is made with semolina flour and crackles upon delicate manhandling. The 8 Cheese (S$35) (yes, you read that right, EIGHT CHEESES) is an indulgent production of Sottocenere cheese with truffle, Taleggio DOP Valsassina, Stravecchio, mozzarella, Oro Rosso, Pecorino Romano DOP, Provolone, Gran Kinara, smoked date cream, truffled honey, and cracked black pepper (try saying that in a single breath).
Hopping on the humble train is the ever-reliable Spicy Italian Shakshouka (S$26). Loaded with skillet free-range eggs, homemade meatballs, chorizo, nduja, charred eggplant, chickpeas, and a side of sourdough toast, it’s a glorious mess that you’ll want to mop clean.
8 Dempsey Road, #01-13, Singapore 247696
+65 6261 3128
• Mon to Thu & Sun: 8am – 10.30pm
• Fri & Sat: 8am – 11pm
When it comes to restaurants that open during CNY, one would be remiss not to mention the new kid on the block, EATcetera. EATcetera brings ‘Pan-European cuisine’ to the heartlands of Redhill, which perhaps raises more questions than it answers. It’s nestled comfortably under ARTRA, a high-rise condominium complex which screams all things modern and new. Playful palindromes aside, there’s quite a contrast between the weathered walls of Redhill MRT and the building’s chic grey aesthetic, much like the restaurant’s seemingly out-of-place offerings.
Across the border in Belarus, we have the Draniki (S$8). Here, potato pancakes are laboriously pan-fried till golden-brown and crispy around the edges. Think rosti, but more bite-sized and with a smooth, buttery inside. Opt for the sauteed mushrooms iteration, which boasts a delightful serving of saucy sliced mushrooms to go with your draniki.
At EASTcetera, happily-ever-after comes in the form of Kaiserschmarrn (S$18). Fluffy, souffle pancakes are made only more decadent by being finished off in the pan for a crisp exterior. Add on a scoop of vanilla ice cream (S$6) to make the whole affair even more sinful, and save the self-deprecation and shame for later in the night.
12 Alexandra View, 01-02/03/04, The ARTRA, Singapore 158736
+65 6977 7515
• Daily: 11am – 12am
It’s hard to think of Singapore weather as ever chilly, but hey, when the monsoon season hits or when you’re down with the flu, nothing lifts your mood like a wholesome bowl of noodles or soup. You now have one more option at your disposal, with Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen, nestled in the basement of Suntec City. When it comes to restaurants that open during CNY, one can never go wrong with ramen.
The classic Ichikokudo Ramen (S$10.90) has a soy sauce base, with chicken and seafood. It comes with a delicate broth that, though light, is amazingly savoury and rich. Elsewhere, there’s the Daichi Tomato range, which pairs chicken broth with tomato puree and tomato juice. The Daichi Tomato Double Egg Ramen (S$12.90) features egg ribbons in the soup, topped with a soft-boiled egg, chicken chashu, spinach, fried garlic chops and white leek.
• Open throughout CNY 2021: 11am – 10pm
From the get-go, House Downstairs at Ghim Moh Road exudes homely vibes in the best way possible. Located inside Ulu Pandan CC, the quaint cafe is a lot more accessible than it sounds. Just a 10 minutes’ walk from Buona Vista MRT, natural lighting and charming wooden furniture make up the bulk of the scene here.
House Downstairs also has the standard drinks menu where you’ll find coffee, tea, juices, and blends. I’ve particularly got my eye on the Matcho Matcha (S$12) which is a blend of milk, banana, spinach, peanut butter, matcha powder, and vanilla whey protein. If you’ve got some “extra space”, as their dessert menu is so aptly named, grab a Croissant (S$4) or Earl Grey Pounder (S$6) which sees a generous blend of lavender and earl grey tea condensed into a dense slice.
*On CNY Friday, the kitchen is closed. But coffee, light bites, bakes, sweets, and savoury toasties are available.
170 Ghim Moh Road, Ulu Pandan CC, #01-03, Singapore 279621
+65 6970 3996
• CNY Fri to Sun: 9am – 6pm
Among the new Japanese eateries that are springing up these few days, this one’s a little different. Look out for your next hang out spot at Daya Izakaya, a Muslim-owned Japanese diner along Jalan Kayu. The diner is designed with wood furnishings and minimalist accents in the distinctively casual style of the izakaya. It all looks very welcoming, primed for being a place to unwind after a long day.
One of Daya Izakaya’s most inviting offerings so far is the Ebi Tempura, promising to be crispy and succulent at the same time. For a quick bite that’s not too heavy on the carbs, these shrimps fried in a light batter are a satisfying option.
254 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799481
+65 8321 5242
• Mon to Thu: 11.30am – 2.30pm & 6pm – 11pm
• Fri: 1pm – 11pm
• Sat, Sun & PHs: 11.30am – 11pm
A small cafe located along 71 Bussorah Street, The Malayan Council‘s tagline is ‘Talk, makan, chill”. This muslim-friendly restaurant that opens during CNY is quiet, dimly lit, and fortunately, open during CNY.
Start with the mouth-watering Cheesy Kupang (S$18) and order some fluffy bread to go with it for an additional S$5. This elegant dish features freshly baked mussels sprinkled with herbs and spices and soaked in delightful lemon butter and mozzarella sauce.
Save some space for the Smoked Duck Lemak Chilli Padi (S$29). A harmonious blend of Asian and Western flavours, this pasta dish features linguine tossed with mushroom, cherry tomatoes and arugula in a coconut chilli padi sauce. Presumably, this is a cream sauce with coconut milk instead of cream, topped with the smoked duck marinated in unagi sauce. Lightly coated with the lemak chilli padi sauce, the linguine was creamy and spicy with hints of pleasant sweetness. Coconut can be cloying if eaten in excess, but there was just the right amount of coconut, providing a very balanced yet complex flavour.
10 Winstedt Road, Singapore 227977 | Make a reservation here
71 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199484 | Make a reservation here
22 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209350 | Make a reservation here
• Daily: 11am – 11pm
PS.Cafe East Coast Park is by no means grand nor imposing; it’s rather quaint, cosy, and reminds me a lot of their Dempsey Hill outpost, but with more sand than greenery to look out to. You’d want to request a table by the windows or even al fresco, as the view and the atmosphere of being in and surrounded by elements of nature is truly their selling point here.
Our top pick here has to be the Chorizo & Calamari Stew (S$30). Its mildly steep price-point may deter you, but what you’re getting is a stew that’s savoury, rich, and incredibly mouth-watering. The fragrance of fire-roasted peppers and black garlic aioli wafted towards our table even before it was placed down.
There was an immense amount of textural variety in a single spoonful, something that I truly relished—from chewy, to tender, to starchy, and completed with crunch from the toasted bread. Once again, the stew’s broth didn’t go to waste with the handy charred bread. With each and every bite, the subtle heat from the chorizo and jalapeno blossomed and drew me in till the last drop.
110 ECP, Singapore 449880
+65 6708 9288
• Daily: 8am – 10pm
Juxtaposed against the humble Maccas, East Coast Commune’s interior is nothing short of mighty. The aesthetic of this restaurant that opens during CNY is textbook, almost—high ceilings, natural lighting, luscious plants, and stunning handcrafted teacups to go with. You’re basically well-equipped for the Instagram shot you’re very much here for in the first place, and getting a sofa seat on a bustling Saturday afternoon easily makes you feel like one of life’s winners.
A Fish Sourdough Sandwich (S$11) marks a piquant start to the morning—quite literally. The acidic blend of ponzu kangkong, pickled shallot, smoked barramundi, and garlic chive cream cheese still has me undecided, but it’s definitely an unconventional breakfast if you’re ever looking for one.
We intersperse bites with sips of coffee and chai, which is quite arguably one of the best ways to spend a sunny Thursday morning. There’s no question that East Coast Commune serves up a mean cuppa—balancing a perfect espresso-to-milk ratio on the Latte (S$5).
1000 ECP, #01-03, Singapore 449876
• CNY Fri to Sun: 9am – 3pm