Where chefs eat: A foodie's guide to Singapore

Alysia Chan, head chef of The Black Swan, a modern steakhouse in Singapore’s CBD area, shares her favourite restaurants, hawker food stalls and bars in the city.

The Black Swan food
  • Lee Sihan
  • November 2019

Chef Chan is the newest addition to The Black Swan, a modern chophouse favoured by the suit-cladded community for its Art Deco luxuries.

The Black Swan
The Black Swan

A butchery enthusiast, Chef Chan endeavours on a path of minimum wastage in the kitchen and this is showcased in an imaginative menu that highlights secondary cuts and ingredients that are often discarded. When she heads out to eat in Singapore, she looks out for the same attention to detail she pays to her food. Here are some of her top picks of local hawker food and restaurants.

Top fine-dining restaurant: ESORA


ESORA, an intimate 26-seater Kappo-style establishment combines micro-seasonal ingredients with Chef Shigeru Koizumi’s affinity with nature.

“I recently visited ESORA and I enjoyed it immensely. Not only was the food amazing, but everything was presented so prettily.”

Address: 15 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 238964
Telephone: +6563651266
restaurant-esora.com opens in new window

Favourite hawker stall: He Zhong Carrot Cake

He Zhong Carrot Cake
He Zhong Carrot Cake. Photo credit: aromacooker.com

Considered to be one of the best in the west, He Zhong Carrot Cake is a white carrot cake stalwart that subscribes to the practise of only using homemade turnip cake which they fastidiously steam in-house.

Address: #02-185 Bukit Timah Market and Food Centre, 51 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 588215
Telephone: +6564685398

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Best supper joint: Yong Kee Seafood

Yong Kee Seafood
Yong Kee Seafood. Photo credit: sethlui.com

“When tze char is in order, Yong Kee Seafood is my go-to and Chao Ta Beehoon (a flattened layer of crispy beehoon topped with deep-fried lard) is a MUST!”

Address: Shing Boon Hwa Food Centre, 43 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208804
Telephone: +6563965390

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Best bar: Manhattan Bar

Manhattan Bar
Manhattan Bar

Ranked the best bar on the Asia’s Best 50 Bars 2019 list, Manhattan Bar mixes old world glamour with contemporary finishings, and stellar cocktails with world-class hospitality.

“Some of my favourite drinks include the Four Pillars Navy Strength in a Gin & Tonic, Malaysia’s national cocktail, the Junglebird. I do have a soft spot for a good Whisky Sour too.”

Address: 1 Cuscaden Road, Singapore 249715
Telephone: +6567253377

Restaurant to watch out for: Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar

Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar
Kappou Japanese Sushi Tapas Bar

A 12-seater sushi restaurant in Fortune Center which only serves omakase sets at dinner service. This hidden gem is only celebrated within an in-group of connoisseurs and reservations are notoriously hard to secure. 25-year-old Aeron Choo is the chef and owner behind this tight operation.

“Kappou does really affordable omakases, done well by a young, driven and very talented chef.”

Address: #02-10A Fortune Centre, 190 Middle Road, Singapore 188979
Telephone: +6591704583

Top dish to order at The Black Swan: Vintage Beef Ribeye with Lobster Béarnaise

“I’m extremely passionate about where my meat comes from and in this dish, the beef comes from cows that are pasture fed for 60 months and more, which gives it a really deep meaty flavour. The lobster béarnaise is made using lobster tomalley (the green gunk) that is often a discarded (but delicious) part of the lobster that people neglect.”

Address: 19 Cecil Street. Singapore 049704
Telephone: +6564383757
theblackswan.com.sg opens in new window

READ MORE: These are the places Anthony Bourdain ate in Singapore opens in new window