Singaporeans love seafood and we have so many excellent seafood places around our little island. For most of us, it’s usually a luxury to enjoy a sumptuous seafood spread; it’s a delicate balance between treating yourself and spending within a budget. So when you make that long-awaited trip, whether as a small group or a big family, the meal should be worth every bit.
From esteemed seafood restaurants to the daintiest of zi char places, we’ve cast a wide net to scour for 11 seafood spots that deserve to be on your list of favourites, listed in no particular order.
The locale of Good Year Seafood Village will momentarily transport you to Malaysia. Staged in a row of shophouses and laid against the backdrop of sprawling greenery, its atmosphere feels almost anachronistic. Fittingly, it’s here where you’ll find Malaysian-style zi char with both all’aperto and air-conditioned indoor seating.
Their Assam Style Sea Bass, which can weigh around 900g, is subject to seasonal pricing. Given the restaurant’s proximity to a fish farm and ability to obtain them on short notice, the freshness of the fish is pretty much guaranteed, which makes the then S$38 price point quite reasonable.
The dish is kept piping hot throughout the meal with a lit flame underneath so you can take your time relishing the plump sea bass and its rich, tangy assam gravy.
Clam heads might just reach nirvana with Good Year Seafood Village’s Nai Huang La La with Fragrant Garlic (S$20) coated in a creamy sweet, salted egg gravy and spruced up with fried curry leaves.
A whole rock lobster is plopped into a massive bowl of porridge filled with lobster meat, ginger slices and coriander. This titanic Lobster Porridge (S$138) may be a sizeable chunk from your pocket, but if there’s anything worth splurging on, it would be on the succulent flesh and Chinese wine-infused porridge.
They also serve a whole host of other zi char dishes, some being original creations like Marmite Chicken (S$15) and Big Prawn Yin Yang (S$13), which is a blend of crispy bee hoon and hor fun drenched in an eggy gravy.
If you’re up for some travelling, Good Year Seafood Village should be another place to consider not just for their zi char and seafood, but also Pontian bak kut teh. Head for the left-most corner if you’re intent on dining there, as another similarly-named eatery just next door sells almost the same dishes.
2. Kin Hoi
Moving from the far-flung East of Singapore, this next entry has a more central location in Holland Drive. Kin Hoi is a success story epitomised. Nestled in a comfy coffeeshop, this zi char stall began as an e-commerce business that sprouted to take physical form through rave reviews and numerous accolades.
If you haven’t been clued in already, they specialise in a massive array of Thai dishes — seafood options aside. But before we drift from the topic at hand, allow me to cast some mainstays. The Thai-style Deep Fried Golden Seabass (S$29.90) is topped with a sweet-savoury fish sauce with a helping of mango salad.
Mollusc maniacs can feast on Savoury Sea Conch (Gong Gong) (S$8/S$16), Half-Half Flavoured Cockles (S$19) of both Signature Spicy and Thai-Teochew flavours, Tiger Clams (S$10), and Full-shelled Cockles with Signature Chilli Sauce (500g) (S$15), meticulously cleaned and splashed with their own delicious sauces.
If you’re more keen on variety without ordering too many dishes, their Tom Yum Hotpot (S$28.80) reels in a variety of seafood from under the waves — sotong, la la, and prawns furnished with makrut lime leaves, enoki mushrooms, lime slices, tofu cubes and at least 2 (discernible) yolks atop a base of mama noodles.
This glorious amalgamation subjects your taste buds to a tempered tom yum sourness with citrusy jolts and a mild sweetness underscoring every sip. Even better is the spice level, which aims not to harm but pleasure. Expect this to be a contentious dish at your dinner table as each diner becomes enchanted by the tantalising aroma.
No need to waste a flight to Bangkok as your Fluffy Crab Meat Omelette (S$16.80) cravings can be satisfied right here. Even Sotong is given an appropriately Thai spin, cooked in Special Lime sauce (S$28.80) and served atop a flame. Grilled Tiger Prawns (S$28.80 for 5-6pcs) can be dipped (if you so choose) in Kin Hoi’s proprietary nam jim, an original concoction that gives each dish an added piquancy and zest.
They are currently offering a massive Christmas set (S$88.88) that feeds up to 6 pax for delivery. It comprises a Large Pineapple Fried Rice (Seafood Based), 1kg of Gong Gong, 8 pcs Mid Wings, Signature Plain Street Style Vermicelli, Deep Fried Signature Sea Bass with Thai Mango Salad and a Regular Double Fried Pork.
B.B.Q Seafood can be found on the third storey of Taman Jurong Food Centre. This unassuming stall with an admittedly generic name has, as you would expect, barbequed seafood. Before you turn up your nose in a snobbish ‘harumph’, the stall has a reputation for serving up some killer seafood.
Their Sambal Sotong (S$4), served right off the sizzling wok, is slicked in a dominantly sweet sambal which brings out the chewy sotongs’ texture. The sotong aren’t so tough that the sambal’s flavour fades well before swallowing is possible. If you’re sharing, though, just having this dish won’t be enough.
Consider their hot-seller, Sambal Stingray (S$15), topped with a generous layer of sambal and decently large onions, for a more hearty dish.
A purposeful tug will reveal delicate, white flesh underneath that turns a bright orange from the leaky sambal. The buttery meat is further taken up a notch if you opt to have some of the onion for mildly earthy, sweet depth.
Their menu is quite streamlined, but the quality is undeniable. The less spice-tolerant also get to enjoy more of the dishes as B.B.Q Seafood’s sambal is less spicy. Other great picks are Sambal Kang Kong (S$8) and BBQ Rabbit Fish or Red Snapper (S$18), which should all be drizzled with some chinchalok.
3 Yung Sheng Rd, Taman Jurong Food Centre, #03-178, Singapore 618499
Mon to Fri: 2pm – 8pm
Sat to Sun: 10am – 8pm
4. The Boiler
The Boiler is named as such for their seafood boil using rich sauces infused with local and Western spices. With heavy inspiration from Cajun culture, you can expect the bold fusion flavours to stand out magnificently from the seafood crowd.
Their secret recipe, consisting of 11 spices and ingredients, was created through rigorous trial-and-error to achieve the refined taste that has made them as popular as they are now.
Parsing through restaurant menus can be tiresome, which is why The Boiler’s Bombdiggity Bag (S$179) is a huge draw for dining groups. Feeding up to 4, this mouthwatering platter is served in a bag filled to the brim with Dungeness crab (or seasonal crab) weighing in from 900g to 950g, prawns, mussels, clams, smoked sausages, sweet pearl corns and mantou buns on the side.
It’s going to boil down to you and your buddies/family getting hands-on with gloves, picking the entrees apart in a messy yet hearty feast.
Their original flavours are refreshed monthly, so look forward to something different every visit.
5. JUMBO Seafood Gallery
If you’d like a seafood meal with a view, head over to JUMBO Seafood Gallery at The Riverwalk. Lay eyes on the scenic Singapore River as you nibble on the restaurant’s fresh catches.
Since their first (and now flagship) outlet opened at East Coast Seafood Centre in 1987, JUMBO Seafood has brought Singapore-style seafood to multiple countries across Asia with outlets in China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.
The Award-winning Chilli Crab isn’t the only way you can enjoy JUMBO Seafood’s fresh crabs. Their Live Crab Cooking Styles include Signature Black Pepper Crab, Stir-fried with Golden Salted Egg Crab, Steamed Crab with Chinese Wine and Egg White and Stir-fried Crab ‘Kum Hion’ Style.
Pick from their roster of Dungeness Crab (S$9.80/100g), Mud Crab (S$10.80/100g under 1kg, S$11.80/100g at 1kg and above ), or Alaskan Crab (S$29.80/100g) to savour the different flavours and textures unique to each species.
HOLYCRAB was started in 2009 by Chef Elton, offering a unique dining experience at his abode. The eatery (or concept) has come a long way, having moved from its previous 25-seater location at Tan Quee Lan Street to a bigger space at Arcade @ The Capitol.
The menu here definitely inspires the term ‘holy crab’. As the signature pick, Green Mumba (S$108/kg) is Chef Elton’s original make of savoury green chilli with bold traditional Asian flavours, backed by makrut lime leaves to add a citrusy element. For a taste of non-spicy Sri Lankan crab, you have the suggestively-named Orgasmic (S$108/kg), which is a coat of browned salted egg yolk with lite cream butter sauce infused with curry leaves. Mantou (S$2) can be purchased at 5 pcs for S$6.
You can also choose (to) Succumb or Holy (S$108/kg), both feeding up to 2; the former has a charred bed of vermicelli topped with fried eggs, spring onion and lard while the latter douses the crab and vermicelli in a rich broth with a shot of sherry wine. A non-crab option is OctoPussy (S$48), a titillating plate of tender-grilled octopus tentacles made even spicier with sauteed peppers.
No, we didn’t pick them just for the raunchy names.
7. Hua Yu Wee Seafood Restaurant
Hua Yu Wee Seafood Restaurant has quite a storied history. They’ve been open since the 1950s, which has allowed the interior to hold on to its old-school charm of a colonial bungalow. You’ll certainly feel it when you’re dining at this long-standing East Coast restaurant.
Most seafood places are anchored by their chilli crabs. You’ll find the rendition here to be Crab w/ Ketchup & Chilli Sauce (S$73.50 for 800g), with Crayfish offered in Butter, Black Pepper, Sambal, or Chilli Crab sauce (S$30.24++). A more interesting dish, though not seafood, is the Feng Sha Chicken (S$36.72) — featuring a whole chicken that’s been deboned and deep-fried, served with a green chilli dip to amp up the flavours.
If hearty with heritage is how you like your family meals, Hua Yu Wee Seafood should be at the top of your list.
8. Yaowarat Seafood
Craving for Thai food but don’t have the time to travel? Yaowarat Seafood is another eatery that delivers on the authentic taste of Thai-Chinese cuisine. They only just recently moved to Lavender Street in Mar 2023 from their old location at Teck Chye Terrace.
Yaowarat Seafood is perhaps most famous for Crab Bee Hoon Soup, offered with Flower Crab (S$7 per 100g), Mud Crab (S$10 per 100g), or Alaska King Crab, subject to seasonal pricing. For an extravagant meal, XO Treasure Pot lets you pick Flower Crab (S$86), Mud Crab (S$90), Boston Lobster (S$108) or Australia Lobster (S$158) within a bountiful claypot of fresh prawns, squid, flower clams, thick vermicelli, and a shot of XO.
Just like how they used to serve it in Chatuchak Night Market, the Chatuchak Coconut Ice Cream (S$7) comes in a coconut husk. The coconut ice cream is layered with roasted cashew nuts, corn and mung beans as the supporting cast that is sure to bring things to a creamy close.
9. Zai Shun Curry Fish Head
As another zi char place on the list, Zai Shun Curry Fish Head should not be missed – they were just awarded a 6th consecutive Michelin Bib Gourmand rating this year. Locating them isn’t too much trouble as they are a few steps away from Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre and occupy an entire coffeeshop.
Their titular Curry Fish Head, priced according to market rates, is steeped in a spicy and tangy assam gravy, lighter on the palate than regular curry and goes well with rice. As you would expect from an eatery with Michelin’s approval and toting the signature dish in their name, the fish is notably fresh with nary a fishy smell. Another highly-raved dish here is Bittergourd Egg (S$10), which strikes a good contrast against the salted egg.
One thing to note is their rather early closure at 3pm, so dinner is definitely out of the question. Instead, you can visit for a hearty breakfast as they open early from 7am but do note that they get extremely packed during lunchtime.
253 Jurong East Street 21, #01-205, Singapore 600253
+65 6560 8594
Thu to Tue: 7am – 3pm
Closed on Wed
10. Greenwood Fish Market
Greenwood Fish Market was first established in 2003 at Bukit Timah as both a dine-in restaurant and a fresh seafood retailer. While this first outlet is more comfy with a neighbourhood setting, their newer location at Sentosa offers a great view of the sea.
The Bukit Timah branch remains popular for Oyster Tuesdays, wherein they offer House Oysters at just S$2.50++, available for unlimited orders with an order of a main course. Lobster Mondays brings Live Boston Lobsters down to S$59.95++ from S$74.95++, at 500g to 550g per order with a choice of steamed or grilled.
Given that they double as a seafood supplier, expect only the freshest tasting seafood menu like the Alaskan King Crab (S$89.95 for 300g) and Cold Seafood Platter (S$109.95) that comes with Half Boston lobster, marinated swordfish with furikage, oysters, clams, mussels, prawns and cold-smoked salmon.
11. G7 Frog Porridge & Live Seafood
Hankering for porridge on a rainy day? G7 Frog Porridge & Live Seafood is a household name that serves exactly that. They’ve gone from cooking just frog porridge to whipping up premium zi char and seafood dishes over their 20 years at Geylang.
The frog legs are marinated in a blend of soy sauce, cornstarch and spring onions, and served alongside another claypot of congee. Ideally, their Frog Porridge (S$18/S$28/S$38) should be paired with side dishes like Marmite Pork Ribs (S$22) and Green Dragon Vegetables (S$14) for bigger groups or those looking to splurge.
Take it a step further with an order of Sri Lanka Crab (Chilli/Black Pepper/Salted Egg/Steamed), subject to seasonal pricing, with some Mantou (S$1.50).
If you haven’t had frog legs before, this is unquestionably one of the best places in Singapore to take your first leap. The best part is, they are open till late.