When we finish drafting the 10 Best Casual Restaurants in Singapore 2017, we notice that there are also 10 different cuisines on the list, ranging from American-Southern food to organic food from a Shandong farm; from Catalan cuisine to Vietnamese cze char. Although it is not our intention, the list has turned out to be diverse which means that you can definitely find something for your family or friends’ gatherings.
Except for the vegetarian restaurant, all other restaurants on this list serve alcohol. What is celebration without a bit of fun juice? But when drafting this list ($20-$50), we only took the food pricing into account.
These 10 casual restaurants represent the best we have this year:
The Bird Southern Table & Bar
2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-07 & L1-82 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore 018972
tel: +65 6688 9959
Lunch M-F 11am-4pm, Dinner daily 4pm-11pm
Drinks & light snacks 11pm-2am
Weekend brunch 10am-4pm
To avoid being mistaken for Yardbird Yakitori restaurant in Hong Kong, the award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami has been renamed The Bird Southern Table & Bar at MBS. Their signature is their fried chicken from their 100 year-old recipe. You can order it as a 1/2 chicken ($35) or 1/2 chicken with watermelon and waffles ($45). They are big enough for 2. They also serve interesting cocktails starting from $20. [FULL REVIEW]
Canadian chef Aaron Foster helms Cook and Brew, serving Canadian food with Asian flavours. Recommendations: whipped buffalo milk ricotta ($14), pad Thai fries ($15), black truffles fried chicken ($32 half a chicken, 5 pieces/ $59 full). [FULL REVIEW]
FOC Sentosa is the offshoot of FOC at Hong Kong Street, which was on our Best Restaurants 2014. Most of FOC Sentosa’s Spanish-tapas menu is similar to the flagship except that FOC Sentosa has BBQ items, which makes sense. BBQ by the beach. The food is unpretentious, excellent, and fresh. The vibe is energetic and vibrant. The service is respectful and attentive. FOC Sentosa gets two thumbs up from me. [FULL REVIEW]
Garang Grill by New Ubin Seafood
15 Swan Lake Ave Singapore 4557111
Tel: +65 9245 0184
11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm, closed M
Chef-owner Jeremy Cheok of Slake restaurant has joined the management team of the Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee, New Ubin Seafood, to form Garang Grill by New Ubin Seafood, which took over the place of Slake. Initially planned as a pop-up restaurant, it is now permanent.”Garang,” as any NS boy would know, means “fierce” in Malay, and Cheok wishes to cook bold flavors from the $16000 charcoal grill oven by Spanish makers Mibrasa. Come in a big group and go for the grilled items. [FULL REVIEW]
133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point #01-01/02, Singapore 059413
tel: +65 6538 1068
The new Lotus Kitchen at Chinatown Point is an outpost of Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant (Quality Hotel) and is under the same management as Greendot, the vegetarian chain restaurants. Their experience in vegetarian cuisine puts them in good stead. They know what vegetarians want and do not want. Here, they use less flour and more mushroom, herbs, and oats to create mock meat. Many sauces are homemade and some ingredients are imported from Taiwan. Dim-sum is made upon ordering and noodles are handmade. [FULL REVIEW]
Chef Takashi Okuno, who used to be the head chef at L’Operetta, helms Ristorante Luka at Tanjong Pagar. He’s a second generation chef; his parents own an Italian restaurant in Tokyo. Like many Japanese chefs trained in Italian gastronomy, Okuno’s menu here reflects the itameshi cuisine of fusing Japanese ingredients and Italian cooking methods. Ristorante Luka has a wood-fired oven for pizzas and grilled meats. [FULL REVIEW]
Mahota Commune has an organic farm in Shandong that practises sustainable agriculture. Meaning: it’s environmentally responsible, so they make their own compost, returning organic nutrients to the land. In their farm, they grow certified organic vegetables, herbs and grains; and raise free-range chicken, pork and other poultry. On their farm, they also have an organic vineyard producing their own wines free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
They serve a variety of food here: pizzas, pastas, salads, or hotpot which is good for groups. Since they own an organic farm, the ingredients are particularly fresh, great for hotpots. [FULL REVIEW]
Mrs Pho has opened an offshoot, Mrs Pho House at Rangoon Road. Mrs Pho sells pho mostly, but Mrs Pho House focuses on Vietnamese seafood dishes–call it Vietnamese cze char, if you will–a concept that Singapore has not seen. [FULL REVIEW]
Upon my recommendation, my friends went to Mykonos on the Bay (MOTB) and loved it too. MOTB is part of the Mangiatutto Group, which specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, and which includes restaurants such as Cugini, Los Primos, and SolePomodoro. MOTB is helmed by Greek Head Chef Dionysios Michalopoulo. His signatures, the waitress informed us, are the dips, mousaka, and grilled meats. The portions are hearty and good for sharing. [FULL REVIEW]
60 Robertson Quay #01-04 Singapore 238252
tel: +65 6235 1225
T-F 5pm-12am, Weekends 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-12am
The team behind Neon Pigeon presents Summerlong at Robertson Quay, a “city beach” cafe and bar offering Eastern Mediterranean cuisine by Chef Justin Hammond. The food, I find, is quite different from the usual Mediterranean food I’ve tried: here, it’s lighter, easier on the palate, healthier, complementing the easy, breezy, casual vibe of the restaurant. Lovely atmosphere, great food. [FULL REVIEW]
To recap, these are the best casual restaurants this year:
-Cook and Brew
-Mrs Pho House
-Mykonos on the Bay
We hope your gatherings will be full of fun and joy and love! If you have any recommendations for gatherings, let us know.
You may be interested in…
–Best Food 2017 Part I: 10 Best Dishes of the Year
–Best Food 2017 Part II: 10 Best Desserts of the Year
–Best Food 2017 Part III: 5 Best Cafes of the Year
–Best Food 2017 Part IV: Best Meals Under $20
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.