Lined with historic shop houses, Keong Saik Road is a colourful and lively pocket that's home to some of Singapore's most exciting restaurants and bars. From Korean haute-cuisine to local Zi Char favourites, rooftop bars to reformer pilates, here are Tatler's picks for the best in and around Keong Saik Road

Eat & Drink

Cure 

This intimate 40-seater restaurant is where founder and chef, Andrew Walsh, pays homage to his roots. Serving Nua Irish cuisine—Nua is both the old Gaelic term for “Irish” and the modern Irish word for “new”—the dishes at Cure are gorgeous, thoughtful and refined, with a focus on quality produce.

“We’re not all potatoes and beef. There are lots of Irish chefs who were trained in New York, Asia, Australia, and who have returned home and created a very exciting food scene in Ireland," Walsh told Tatler in an interview. "I thought about these guys back home and felt that I should be doing something to represent Ireland in my adopted home.”

The Elephant Room

Through creative cocktails and delicious food, The Elephant Room celebrates the culture, flavours and people of Singapore's Little India. For starters, all of their ingredients are freshly sourced from Tekka Market and its surroundings.

Pull up a seat at the bar, ask the bartender to recommend one of the rare spirits they acquire exclusively from India—they have a fabulous collection of Indian gin—and enjoy. 

Esquina

This lively tapas bar has an infectious energy that radiates from its open kitchen, which is helmed by head chef  Carlos Montobbio. 

At Esquina, you'll find favourites done exceptionally well—like saucy and flavourful garlic prawns and crispy croquetas—as well as some creative takes on Spanish cuisine, like the paella with sea urchin.

Kafe Utu

‘Utu’ is the Kiswahili word for ‘humanity’, and Kafe Utu aims to bring people together through its robust menu of dishes inspired by cuisines from various African countries, including Liberia, South Sudan and Kenya.

Spread over three stories in a classic shop house, the ground floor serves as the main cafe and restaurant while the second floor lounge is fitted with hand-carved wooden doors and large sofa seating areas. 

The Kafe Utu rooftop bar and terrace might be one of Keong Saik Road's best kept secrets. 

Kei Hachi

There are plenty of places to enjoy omakase in Singapore, but this Japanese restaurant on Keong Saik Road might be one of the best.

Featuring a 15-seat bar counter, the skilled chefs at Kei Hachi serve an exquisite set menu of sushi and other specialities using fresh ingredients imported directly from fish markets across Japan. 

Kok Sen Restaurant

This unassuming restaurant is something of a local legend, and a staple in the Singapore Michelin Guide. Owned by the Wong family, Kok Sen has  serving Zi Char cuisine for nearly 50 years.

When it comes to cheap and cheerful restaurants in Singapore, Kok Sen ticks all of the boxes. Locals love its quality Cantonese dishes, especially the 'Big Prawn' noodles which come in two styles: as bee hoon noodles in soup, and as crispy noodles wrapped in a fluffy omelette. 

Meta

South Korean chef Sun Kim’s culinary identity shines through at Meta, where he brings together Eastern and Western flavours, using Korean ingredients and condiments to produce haute interpretations of classics like gimbap, gyeran jjim (steamed egg) and a very impressive take on Korean BBQ.

The dishes are delightful, as they showcase Sun's proud heritage while remaining playful in its approach to the future of Korean fine dining. 

No Sleep Club

No Sleep Club was named one of Asia's 50 Best Bars, and for good reason. 

This achingly cool, all-day venue has an excellent selection of wines—we love that they have wines by Fin Wines, an independent winemaker from Melbourne, Australia— cocktails (try the Paloma), and a short but sweet dining menu that pairs perfectly with a couple of rounds of drinks. 

See Also: 6 Bars in Singapore Have Made it to Asia’s 50 Best Bars' Inaugural 51-100 List 2021

Olivia

This modern Mediterranean restaurant on Keong Saik Road serves a menu inspired by the cuisine in Barcelona, in a warm and casual atmosphere.  

There's something lovely and personal about Olivia—right down to the name, which is a tribute to chef an co-founder Alain Devahive's daughter.  Devahive has over a decade of experience in Michelin starred restaurants, including famed elBulli Restaurant in San Sebastien, Spain, and Catalunya in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Potato Head Singapore

Sitting at the intersection of Keong Saik and Teck Lim Roads, Potato Head Singapore occupies occupies a three-storey pre-war shophouse.

Like the original outpost in Bali, Potato Head Singapore is a multi-concept space that celebrates a sustainable approach to good drinks and great food, with a menu that features cocktails made from local ingredients and a menu with plenty of plant-based options. 

Throughout the venue, you'll find artworks by Australian artist David Bromley, including sculptures, chandeliers, paintings and murals. 

Thevar

Taking inspiration from his Malaysian-Indian heritage, head chef at Thevar, Manogren Murugan Thevar, elevates traditional Indian cuisine with a contemporary and innovative take flavours and spices.

The intimate 35-seat modern Indian grill restaurant and bar also offers an eclectic list of wines and Asian-inspired cocktails.

See Also: 5 Best Indian Restaurants in Singapore

Wellness

Be Pilates

Founded by Eugena Bey, Be Pilates is an exclusive boutique pilates studio equipped with top of the line reformer machines.

Be Pilates specialises in private and semi-private classes that promote strength and balanced muscle development. 

Salon Nu

This chic Singapore hair salon "combines science and state of the art techniques to bring out the very best in you". 

Salon Nu specialises in balayage, perms and colouring.

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