Singapore is known for its fantastic cuisine, so much so that it is home to 41 Michelin star and 58 Bib Gourmand restaurants. WIth so many options that cover a wide variety of cuisines, Singapore provides new experiences for foodies right in their own backyard. The best part is that while Michelin star restaurants are typically seen as expensive, there are quite a few affordable options that are available for any budget. With travel still postponed for a few months, we take a look at how much you can expect to spend if you want to discover some of the top cuisine in the world without getting on a flight.
If you're looking for highly rated cheap eats, then you can choose from nearly 60 Bib Gourmand options. Most of these eateries are street food places like Na Na Curry and Chef Kang's Noodle House, but there are also specialised hawker stalls like Shirokane Tori-tama for yakitori and Chen's Mapo Tofu for Sichuan cuisine. Since most of these places are hawker stalls and takeaway spots, the average price per dish is around S$11-S$27. Some cheaper options cost less than S$5, like Bedok Chwee Kueh and J2 Famous Crispy Curry Puff, but you can definitely spend a pretty penny at places like Bar-Roque Grill, Yhingthai Palace where typical dishes range between S$40-S$100.
1 Star Dining
If you are looking for a sit-down experience and you don't want to break the bank entirely, then you have plenty to choose from. Singapore boasts 34 1 Michelin star restaurants. Around half of the restaurants offer contemporary cuisines (with European cuisines like Italian and French being quite common), and around half are East Asian cuisines like Chinese and Japanese. For a typical set lunch menu, you can expect to pay S$98-S$159, while dinner will set you back S$191-S$275. You can also add a wine pairing, but it will cost you on average over S$100 for a few glasses of wine. A few of the restaurants, like Alma, Putien and Summer Pavilion offer a la carte dining as well, if tastings aren't your cup of tea.
2 and 3 Star Dining
If you can spare S$200 or more for a meal, then you can visit any of Singapore's 2 and 3-star restaurants. There are five 2-star restaurants offering Cantonese, Japanese, and French cuisine. Shisen Hanten offers an a la carte menu and is fairly reasonably priced, with the average main costing S$41. Otherwise, you'll have to budget at least S$160 for 4-6 course meal. Singapore also boasts two 3-star restaurants, both of which offer French cuisine (Odette and Les Amis). You'll have to be committed with the reservations, as it can cost you S$150-S$250 if you cancel right before your reservation. You should also note that some of these restaurants require a smart casual dress code, meaning trousers and appropriate footwear for men.
How to Save on Dining
Whether you are on a budget or you're able to spend hundreds for the best meals, you should always be smart with your money. While you may not be able to save directly on the meal, you may be able to get as much as 6-8% cashback with a credit card that provides dining rewards. Another way you can save money is to see if your credit card is partnered with participating restaurants or hotels. For instance, Standard Chartered cardholders can get 10% off with a S$250 spend at Waku Ghin, a 2-star Michelin restaurant located in Marina Bay Sands. If you don't want to get a new card just to save money on dining, there are other ways to save.
First, you can avoid getting alcohol. We found that a bottle of wine can set you back anywhere between S$50 to hundreds of dollars. Since the markups for a bottle can get higher than a 5-course meal, we recommend skipping the alcohol unless you're committed to a wine pairing. Another way is to opt for lunch over dinner. We found that in most cases, lunch at a Michelin star restaurant costs 38-48% cheaper than dinner. However, regardless of where you go, you should keep in mind that the most important thing is whether you enjoy the food. You should look at the menu beforehand and ensure that you will be excited about what is offered. That way, you won't feel like you spent money for prestige rather than for culinary enjoyment.