Among the many great reasons about living in Singapore, the one I am constantly gratefully reminded about is the fact that Singaporeans are so spoiled for choice when it comes to food options.
From humble hawker fare to avant garde celebrity-chef designed menus, Singapore has it all. I remember in 2017 when almost everyone was blown away by the news that Liao Fan Hawker Chan, first established at Chinatown Food Centre, was awarded the coveted one Michelin star for its fragrant soy sauce chicken rice and roast pork. I tried it a couple of times and I liked it enough to reckon that the public hype was well-deserved.
Anyway, as a fan of beautiful food platings and as someone who had suffered a serious bout of I Am An Independent Woman I Need No Man/ I Am Dying Every Second existential crisis, I have researched hard on the list of celebrity-chef restaurants alongside those establishments that have been awarded the elusive Michelin star for the most affordable deals. I think this will be useful for days when you think you deserve a treat or simply when you go all carpe diem cause life is goddamn short so you go for lunch and dinner.
When speaking about French fine dining in Singapore, the best restaurant that comes to mind would be L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Started by the most starred chef in the world, the three Michelin stars L’Atelier located at Resorts World Sentosa, is the place to explore French gastronomy at its best. Good news for the ladies, you get the best deal with a 4 course dinner at $118+ alongside free flow of Bellini cocktail or sparkling wine on Ladies Night every Thursday. With the 5-course dinner menu priced from $228 and up, enjoy dinner at almost half the price on those special nights with the girls.
Unbeknownst to many, Spago’s rooftop lounge offers the value-for-money Sundowners Menu every Monday to Thursday from 4 to 7pm. I have been fortunate enough to be able to get off work to reach Spago in time to score this deal twice. Located at level 57 of Marina Bay Sands, the lounge offers an almost full 360 degree view of the Marina Bay financial area and the South China sea. Cocktails such as The Garden of Eden that is made with mango black tea infused vodka and lemon priced at $16 a glass from the usual of $26 and light bites such as the Grilled Cheese Sandwich at $14. It is no surprise then to see office workers working nearby to pop by Spago for business meetings or after work drinks. Good for the sea breeze, the chill vibes and the smug pat on the back for getting up close to the iconic infinity pool view at Marina Bay Sands without paying for a room or paying the $23 sky deck observation fee.
Spago also has an express lunch deal going at $45++ for a 3 course meal. There are 6 options to choose from the mains alone, a generous number of food options for the picky diner.
Helmed by the gypsy chef, David Myers – who prides his wanderlust as inspiration to his food – Adrift takes a leaf out of a modern Izakaya. Serving food with a twist on the classics, Adrift sets itself apart from the stiff celebrity chef glamour with affable staff, a relaxed ambience and the affordable lunch set for the savvy foodie.
Priced at $19 (before GST) for a 3 course lunch meal, it includes the addictive Japanese rice crackers made in house and served on the house. With the refillable tart iced tea served with the lunch set, the seduction of a return visit to Adrift for a lunch treat is ever present. In fact, the temptation to return there for a fifth time for lunch is real.
Db Bistro is one restaurant which I have been eager to try for lunch because it is an incredible deal besides the fact that I wouldn’t mind earning more points on my Marina Bay Sands membership card. Owned by Chef Daniel Boulud, who also owns the star-studded DANIEL – a three Michelin-star Relais & Châteaux restaurant – in New York, the
express lunch set at the bistro comes up to $32++ for 2 courses and $42++ for 3. With the mains going at an average of $30 and up, I think the set lunches are worth the occasional sneaky long lunches.
Located at the side of Goodwood Park Hotel, Alma by Juan Amador is established by Juan Amador, an acclaimed Spanish chef that has been ‘awarded three Michelin stars in quick succession.’(Alma by Juan Amador website)
On its own, it has been awarded one Michelin star both in 2016 and 2017. Serving up Spanish–European dishes combined with Asian influences, the 3 Course Lunch Menu goes easy on the wallet at $ 39++. Compared to the dinner menu with 6 courses going at $158++, not inclusive of wine pairing, I think the lunch course is a great introduction to the taste of food served at Alma. I have been there once for lunch and I was impressed with the little details.
From my friendly server’s inquiry to my dining partner and I if the lunch was a special occasion (is it common for people to celebrate a special occasion there for lunch, I wonder?) to the warm bread that was thoughtfully served in this wooden box that was also lightly warm to the touch. The food plating was dizzily beautiful, especially on this large plate of geometric motifs.