12 Exotic Restaurants in Singapore for the Bold & Adventurous

For the thrill-seeking Singapore foodies who are perpetually plagued with this dreadful question “What should we eat?”

This is probably the most dreaded part of going out because firstly, it takes ages to settle and secondly it probably just leaves everyone frustrated after choruses of “anything” or “you decide”.

Being spoilt for choice also makes it difficult for us to choose because there is just everything yet nothing comes to mind. To remedy this, let me point you to some pleasantly peculiar foods from various nations that might spark your interests in Singapore’s F&B scene.

So in case you’re bored of the same old same old in need of some jazzing up of your usual food repertoire or  just simply looking for something out of the ordinary for your intrepid palate, here are some exotic restaurants in Singapore to take your eating experience to a whole new level (really a whole new level if you have some of their bizarre meats).

1. Russian Cuisine: Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar

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When we hear Russian we think VODKA, loud aggressive accents and hostile people like Putin and his predecessors  but one trip to Buyan, Singapore’s last standing Russian restaurant, made me change my mind about such stereotypical associations. Well maybe except for the Vodka part because damn their vodkas are amazing. I was sad I didn’t discover its existence earlier.

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Buyan Beef Straganov

You might have heard Buyan from the news for they were written about for their most expensive champagne on display. It is also a place caviar-lovers go to to get their caviar supply. But don’t let those expensive fancy sounding things scare you away even more!

 You’ll be surprised to know Buyan serves hearty Russian food that neither tastes odd nor derives itself from any weird meat/source. Surprisingly, Russian cuisine actually draws parallels to certain European and Asian food styles. 

If you’re not up for their food, you can be all up for their vodkas.

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Just admire the glorious bar.

Buyan boasts a stellar bar holding Singapore’s largest Vodka collection with bottles hailing from Poland, Kazakhstan and of course the mother of Vodkas- Russia. Apart from the traditional crystal clear vodka, you’ll get to see coloured and flavoured vodkas and vodka infusions like chili infused vodka and horse radish infused vodka just to name a few.

On the bar roster are also Georgian wines and the unconventional Russian sparkling wine. An impressive lineup of alcohols and an opportunity to try Russian food right here in our island – a perfect chance for you to experience a little magical bit of what it’s like to eat what Putin eats. 

Check out our review on Buyan for more about their food.

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Buyan Russian Restaurant & Caviar Bar: 9 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089593 | Tel: +65 6223 7008 | Website

2. Spanish Offal Dining: Dehesa

Absolutely not for the weak hearted,

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Be prepared for a gastronomical ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not’ as Dehesa brings nose-to-tail dining to you, so organic and unorthodox that you’ll never see “head to toe” the same way again.

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Dehesa Cold Meat Platter ($25) consisting of Pig Head, Pig Ear, Pate, Homemade Saussison, Pickles, Soft Eggs, Rillons, Scratchings
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Bone Marrow

You get to literally dig in to parts you never imagined you would like bone Marrow, shoulder skins, pig head, ears etc. You can ensure maximum usage of the entire animal almost no part goes to waste. Dehesa is one of the very few restaurants (if not only after WOLF) offering nose to tail dining. The restaurant is the materialisation of Owner and Chef Jean Phillipe Patruno’s fascination with offal dining.

Also, lesser known about Dehesa is their odd selection of cheese where you’ll get to witness cheese acrider than the infamous blue cheese. Ultimately, be prepared to see, smell and taste things you probably never got the chance to.

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Duck Hearts on Toast ($10)

Absolutely not for the weak-hearted unless maybe eating duck hearts would strengthen your heart then yeah, Dehesa could give you that.

Check out our review on Dehesa for more about their food.

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Dehesa: Singapore: 12 North Canal Rd, Singapore 048825 | Tel: +65 62217790 | Website

3. Greek Cuisine: Blu Kouzina

Enjoy a taste of Greece in this beautiful restaurant. The storefront sticks out like a shiny manicured thumb as the rich blue and whites of the 4-storey shophouse are so characteristically something out of a travel catalogue.

Step inside – the central white-blue theme of beach ‘taverna’ seemingly transports you to one of the Greek Islands like Santorini as the casual beach décor makes you feel as if you’re right by the ocean, sipping wine and enjoying feta.

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Spanakopita ($12.30++) | Credit

 

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Souvlaki me Pita ($21.80+)

Blu Kouzina has been lauded for their superb feta, Tzatziki and other exceptionally authentic Greek dishes.

Through the gorgeous themed decor and authentic Greek food, owners of Blu Kouzina, Effie and Dennis Tsakiris, want to bring a piece of beautiful Greece to the diners of Singapore.

To uphold quality and authenticity, Blu Kouzina uses their family’s Greek ‘Green Gold’ olive oil, imported feta and of course other Greek products essential to the taste of honest-to-good genuine Greek food. 

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Blu Kouzina: 10 Dempsey road (Blk 10), #01-21,  Singapore 247700 | Tel: 68750872 | Website

4. Nepalese Cuisine: New Everest Kitchen

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Momo, traditional Nepalese dumpligs | Credit

Everest Kitchen offers a slice of the Himalayan and Nepalese food at wallet-friendly prices. Not only have reviews raved about the food from this underrated restaurant, they also wax lyrical about the prices and service.

Be spoilt for choices with tons of grilled meat, masalas, daals, naans and gravied vegetables. Also don’t forget to try the Nepalese version of potstickers – the momo.

They have a cheeky little cup of coffee, the Mustang Coffee, that is infused with little bit of rum, a nice drink to warm you from your belly to your toes to finish of your meal. If you yearn for something ice cold, try their sweet Lassi then.

Comforting food, affordable prices and friendly service, this Everest seems like an easy one to approach!

New Everest Kitchen: 55 Chander Road, Singapore 219550 | Tel:  +65 62990745 | Website

5. Carribean Cuisine: Lime House

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Fancy ‘liming’? I know I do.

Lime House got its name from the Caribbean term ‘liming’ which means hanging out with friends, the fundamental concept behind their restaurant. Lime House offers casual and finer Caribbean cuisines as well as tropical island cocktails, guaranteed to bring your taste buds to the breezy Caribbean paradise.

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Here’s your chance to try traditional Caribbean food and snacks Jerk meat – a traditional Jamaican cooking style which uses Jamaican jerk spice to dry-rub or marinate the meat, Fried Plantaians – Caribbean banana snack,  Caribbean Fishcakes and Curry Goat – a North Indian influenced dish in the Caribbeans.

To ensure maximum authenticity, Trinidadian owner Chris Moris invited a Trinidadian chef to be Lime’s consultant chef and even brought the restaurant’s local Head Chef to the Caribbeans to experience the culture and food scene first-hand.

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Almost wholly dedicated to liming, Lime has multiple corners for you to just chill and hangout. From the first storey casual dining area to the 2nd storey pre-club lounge with a laid-back open area concept and to the Limeyard, their outdoor tropical garden lounge, you know Lime means serious liming business.

So for a temporary escape to the Caribbean islands without the expensive tickets, Lime House is the place to go.

Lime is stocked with the wild Caribbean favourie – RUM! – being the largest rum collection in Singapore.  Spoilt for spots to just sink your butt down and relax with a tropical cocktail in hand, would you wanna leave this temporary respite?

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Lime House: 2 Jiak Chuan Rd, Singapore 089260 | Tel: 6222-3130 | Website

6. Punjabi and North Indian Cuisine: Pind Balluchi

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A successful chain of restaurants in India that is known to serve hearty Punjabi food, Pind Balluchi has opened its doors in Singapore with a modern fine dining concept. Swanky interiors in earthy resort-like hues might make you forget that you’re in a Punjabi restaurant but forget not, for their food is Punjab through and through.

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Tadoori Prawns cooked over traditional tandoor

Pind Balluchi still retains age-old traditional methods of cooking by pounding meat by hand, marinating spices over multiple times and slowly grilling meat over charcoal to give that smoky charred aroma so distinctively authentic.

Have Punjabi classics like Galouti Kebab – lamb meat minced assiduously over 32 times, marinated with a medley of over a hundred spices giving you a veal so tender yet packs firepower – Tandoori Prawn – tiger prawns marinated with yellow chilli, homemade yoghurt and Kashmiri saffron grilled in a traditional Indian tandoor.

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Peshawari Naan

Other than a strong repertoire of traditional Indian food, you can find modern adaptations  like Chilli cheese Naan, Peshawari Naan and and Pind Balluchi’s rendition of Tandoori Aloo. To cater to the lunch crowd that seeks convenient yet deliciously energising meals, Pind Balluchi also made several set menus of smaller portions and lighter flavours at acceptable prices. 

Don’t let the raucous crowd of Clarke Quay put you off, trust in the Punjabi barbecue and take a leap of faith, at the end of the rainbow is a glorious pot of masala with a confetti of spices. Pind Balluchi is a place that wonderfully ties sophistication and tradition.

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Pind Balluchi Bar & Grill: 3B River Valley Road, #01-15 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179021 | Tel: 6337 7350 | Website

7. Alpine Cuisine: ZOTT’S True Alps

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A finer place beyond the alpines. ZOTT’S is a fine dining restaurant cum art gallery that serves alpine food inspired by German owner Christian Zott’s awe with the Alps during his trip there. In case you’re wondering what exactly is Alpine food, Alpine food consists of overlapping influence of surrounding alpine countries’ cuisines like those of the Swiss, German , Slovenian etc.

You can expect game meat, fishes native to the alps and fruits and vegetables grown on the alps as well. But this is no ordinary restaurant, it is Alpine fine dining with a (or many) modern twists.

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The first clue to its eccentricity is the interior decor. Decorated with a seemingly chic and modern theme in mind, the furniture follow clean cut lines, dark colours and uniform shelves but a taxidermy ox head in the middle of the open kitchen is atypical to the whole sleek innocuous decor.

On the brick walls hang rustic paintings behind modern glass frames. And to the whizz palace, you can see cow bells and hear them while you go about your toilet business.

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Bondage Chicken

Having established pretty clearly that ZOTT’S isn’t anything ordinary, on their menu are food that are fundamentally Alpine yet infused with modern quirks and mischievous creativity.

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Pan-fried Foie Gras

Prepare yourselves for Alpine fine dining with Swordfish Carpaccio with apple mousse, Pan-fried Foie Gras, Tellerfleisch – Austrian boiled beef served in 3 different courses presented in 3 different ways, Provencal or Bavarian  style bondage chicken, and Kaiserschmarrn “Sisi style”, an Austrian style shredded pancakes.

This place is really pricey but I would try it for its exotic flare and finesse.

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ZOTT’S True Alps: 97 Amoy St, Singapore 069917  | Tel: 62 23 09 13 | Website

8. Old Kuala Lumpur Cuisine: Old Mother Hen Herbal Soup

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Get a taste of old KL. Tad bit similar to Singaporean food since we’re neighbours but there will definitely be small differences infusing that unique KL taste. What’s definitely exotic there is their Pig Fallopian tubes. Yes you read that right, pig fallopian tubes. They stir-fry it like a Kung Bao chicken style – using sweet and savoury dark sauce and dried chili.  

Their signature dish is this herbal soup “ 十全老母鸡” which I suppose they take great pride it hence the name of the restaurant.  This soup directly translates to “ Old Mother Hen Complete Ten” probably suggesting that the soup has 10 nourishing properties and apparently, is very good for women.

Many have said it tastes a bit like Bak kut teh. Also, you can get the authentic KL dishes like dark sauce Hokkien Mee and smelly beans. Close border foods might be similar but it definitely isn’t pedestrian. 

* Old Mother Hen Herbal Soup has moved from Geylang to Bedok South.

Old Mother Hen Herbal Soup: 59 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 461059 (Near Bedok South) | Tel: 6841 8789 

9. Lebanese Cuisine: Cedar Grill

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Fancy sitting under rose-tinted drapes, indulging in Lebanese food and Mediterranean tapas, sipping wine while being entertained by an enchanting belly dancing performance along  a beautiful view of the Singapore river?  

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Cedar Grill aims to please you with an entire experience. They seek to give you food “fit for the Gods” with quality Lebanese sourced ingredients, healthy food preparations as far as possible and delicious ambrosia-like wines from the best vineyards in the world.

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Cedar Grill: 63 Boat Quay, Singapore 049851 | Tel : +65 64387322 | Website

10. Austrian-Hungarian Cuisine: Kaiserhaus

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Kaiserhaus is a restaurant specialising in cuisine of the Habsburg Empire which at the end of the 19th century extended over Austria, Hungary, Northern Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and parts of Poland, Serbia, Romania and the Ukraine. Here you are able to taste food both the common people and the royals adored.

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Stepping into Kaiserhaus, you’ll probably first notice the spaciousness then the grand winding staircase with gold resplendent ornamental carvings.

Although I guess the budget limits Kaiserhaus’ ability to dress their restaurant up in palatial style, with the plush red velvet chairs, dark oaks and gold trimmings, are telling of their efforts to class this place up to something sort of regal.

Winning Cuisine & Wine Asia’s Restaurant of the Month for October 2015, their food must be pretty impressive eh?

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Kaiserhaus Tafelspitz

For starters, they offer Beef Aspic, Cold Cuts and Cheese, Gulyás Leves – a Hungarian goulash soup and mains like Austrian meat dumplings, Spinach Spaetzel and Tafelspitz – the Austrian Emperor’s favourite dish. They even have a page teaching you how the emperor eats his Tafelspitz.

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Apfelstrudel

The existence of Kaiserhaus is a pleasant surprise for me because having only recently developed a love for Austrian and German food after my trip there, I was absolutely crushed to part with their food and knowing I can’t taste anything remotely close to the real deal without flying over.

Now that I know of Kaiserhaus, I can’t wait to try their Austrian Apfelstrudel, it was literally the best applestrudel/pie I ever had at some nondescript random Austrian skii stop-over restaurant. Kaiserhaus oh Kaiserhaus I cannot wait to give you a try.

Ramblings aside, it’s great to be able to enjoy food you yearn for from a foreign country or even your homeland when you’re miles away. You go Globalisation

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Kaiserhaus: Capitol Singapore, 17 Stamford Road, #02-06 and #03-06, Singapore 178907 | Tel: 63770013 | Website

11. Argentinian Cuisine: boCHINche

BoCHINche Bar

Helmed by Chef Diego Jacquet of London’s Zoilo and Casa Malevo, boCHINche was founded from his passion for bold Argentinian flavours and quality food. Apart from being a restaurant, boCHINche also doubles as a gourmet market with products specially curated by Jacquet.

Look forward to sharing plates like Grilled Octopus with creamy potatoes leeks and tuna mayo, Caramalised Pork Belly with Grilled Prawns, Sweet Potato & Chorizo, Watermelon Salad with Cream Mozzarella and their popular Classic Provoleta with Almonds & Oregano honey. Sounds good, no?

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BoCHINche Steak Burger

Of course not forgetting Argentinean meat; OX Cheeks, Chimimurri Steak Burgers, and their widely adored, Signature Steaks of “grass-fed cattle bred according to traditional methods spanning three generations”.

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Caramelized pork belly, grilled prawns, sweet potato & chorizo

Being a lover of bodacious foods, Chef Jacquet not only expresses bold flavours but includes plays with exotic meat as well like Ox Tongue, Ox Cheeks, the Veal Sweetbreads (I googled it and found out that sweetbreads are not sweet breads.

Sweetbread is a part of an animal’s thymus gland or pancreas. Was a bit horrified after accidentally seeing the raw version of it) and Chicken skin with Liver Parfait. But to be honest,  I guess the initial details decorating the walkway leading into boCHINche was already telling of it’s meat oddity. 

BoCHINche Cocktail making

Inside, you’re greeted with quirky typographic quotes hanging on their chairs like “Don’t Cry for Meat Argentina” set up around a pretty spacious modern dining area. There is also a stretch of bar for you to order some signature South American cocktails.

boCHINche: 22 Martin Road,  #02-01, Singapore 239058 | Tel: 6235 4990 | Website

12. Modern Singaporean Fusion Cuisine: Labyrinth

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Meet local dishes with cleverly mismatched flavours and dramatic visual theatrical twists. Labyrinth indeed lives up to its name to create intricate dishes that enraptures and intrigues. A Chendol Xiao Long Bao? Whaaaaaat?

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Chendol Xiao Long Bao

Labyrinth aims to ignite your 5 basic taste senses – bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami – through consistent quality food yet with creativity and innovation atypical of the local Asian Fusion cuisine.

Apart from experimenting with food visuals, the Chef Han brings Science to the table, experimenting with molecular gastronomy to play with food textures and tastes. Expect the unexpected because labyrinth gives our local favourites that you might know like the back of your hands, a whole new interpretation.

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Labyrinth Chili Crab
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Labyrinth’s rendition of Hainanese Curry Rice

Look at their creations and you’ll know at a glance that Labyrinth is simply more than a restaurant. Their Hainanese Curry Quinoa Rice and Labyrinth Chilli Crab are just like modern masterpieces.

Be prepare to feast your eyes on vivid imaginative food presentation then feast your mouths on great Singaporean fusion. See Mom, playing with your food does good!

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Restaurant Labyrinth: Esplanade Mall, 8 Raffles Avenue #02-23, Singapore 039802 | Tel: 6223 4098 | Website

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