(featured image: La Tapería Wine & Tapas)
You can still enjoy the finer things in life.
We’re constantly hearing rants about how expensive it is to survive in Singapore — much less enjoy a good meal out. But we’ve found solid proof that it’s still possible for two people to enjoy three-course fine dining or mains for less than $50 each.
Here are 11 contemporary and Western restaurants to dine out on the cheap.
P.S. Also check out our gems of budget Asian restaurants we discovered!
*COVID Update: Remember to check ahead to make your bookings at these restos! Also, let’s keep group gatherings to a maximum of 8 people, shall we? Mask up, practice social distancing, and embrace the new normal.
1. L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro
If you haven’t had L’Entrecôte‘s signature Classic Steak and Fries ($36.80, pictured). The recipe for success? The legendary signature sauce – a powerful peppery, slightly tangy elixir the chef is proud to call his secret. P.S. Unlimited fries, might we add.
Alternatively, give their Sunday Brunch menu (available weekly from 11am-5pm) a try! Their signature Steak and Eggs ($28) features Trimmed Entrecôte Steak with legendary L’Entrecôte sauce, unlimited French fries and mixed green salad with walnuts and French vinaigrette, topped with your choice of either: Omelette, Sunny Side-Up Egg or Creamy Scrambled Eggs.
L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro, 36 Duxton Hill, 089614
2. The Naked Finn
The Naked Finn‘s owner Tan Ken Loon has an obsession with sourcing for the best seafood in the world, yet he still manages to keep prices affordable.
The Barramundi Fillet ($20) is a sweet choice – pan-fried with grapeseed oil and finished with sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. It’s served with their signature chilled kang kong and chilled piquant vermicelli.
Meanwhile, the Basic Burger ($23 for 150g / $30 for 300g) is a blend of 100% grass-fed Aberdeen Angus (Argentina) & Kuroge Washu from Toriyama Umami Wagyu (Japan) A4 patty, grilled ‘a la plancha’. It is topped with red onions pickled in IPA, red onions cooked in wagyu fats, American cheese, bone marrow and house-made shio kombu mayo-based sauce.
The Naked Finn, Blk 39 Malan Rd., Gillman Barracks, 109442
3. Osia Steak and Seafood Grill
There’s a reason why this Australian grill restaurant received a Michelin star. Expect creative dishes, fresh ingredients and carefully plated meals in this modern restaurant that boasts a friendly atmosphere and an open kitchen. Come during lunch, where you get to enjoy its lunch sets under the glow of natural light in the day. Two courses cost $39 while three courses cost $49. Appetisers include a burratina arugula salad with jamón ibérico, tomato chutney, balsamic burnt butter, while mains include a spiced lamb rump with garam marsala dhal and cucumber apple mint yoghurt. Dessert is an intriguing hot chocolate soup with black pepper ice cream and sesame crisp that is a flavourful blend of sweet and spicy.
Osia Steak and Seafood Grill, #02-140 and 141, Resorts World Sentosa, Festive Walk, 26 Sentosa Gateway, 098138
4. La Tapería Wine & Tapas
Delight in traditional tapas and paella at La Taperia, a Spanish restaurant by the beloved Les Amis Group.
Some suggestions for the tapas are the Croquetas De Jamón ($15, for 4 pieces) – filled with suckling pig bechamel and chunky bits of Iberico ham, or charcoal grilled Welsh lamp rump, with piquillo pepper and natural jus. Indulge in the Marquesa De Chocolate ($14), topped with baked almond praline to end your meal.
La Tapería Wine & Tapas, #02-10/11, 1 Scotts Rd., 228208
If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Argentinean cuisine, it’s about time you should. Go for boCHINche‘s Gordal Olives with lemon, parsley and chilli ($13). Next comes a skillet of bubbling Provoleta con Sobrasada, garnished with almonds and drenched in oregano honey ($19). There’s focaccia bread to go with it – it’s simple and addictive.
To make sure you roll out of there stuffed, the Aged Beef and Foie Gras Burger ($29) is a signature dish that surprises. Served with chimichurri, caramelized onions, aged comté, bacon and pickled gherkin, you’re definitely in for a fine-dining treat.
boCHINche, #01-02, 115 Amoy St., 069935
6. Cheek By Jowl
While the restaurant is better known for its Beef Cheek served with with pommery mustard and herb salad ($29) – it’s head chef Rishi Naleendra’s treatment of vegetables which gets our attention. Take for instance the Oysters with Smoked Tomato Granita ($6 per oyster), the tangy topping melting into a chilly smokiness as it hits the palate.
Cheek By Jowl, 21 Boon Tat St., 069620
7. Super Loco
Mexi? Can! Mexican classics at Super Loco pack a punch – the Mango Ceviche with Barramundi ($18) has a clean taste favourably complemented by the acidic lemon juice that envelopes it; meanwhile, the Baja Fish Taco ($11) is spicy, but its combination of crispy fish fillet, mango salsa and chipotle mayo is a winner. You’ll love the vegetarian Huitlacoche Quesadilla ($16) with corn truffle, oyster mushroom, sweet corn, cojita and chimichurri.
For a sweet ending, get the crispy Super Churros ($13) with a rich chocolate dip.
Super Loco, 60 Robertson Quay, The Quayside, 238252
8. Mad About Sucre
Surprise – Mad About Sucre has a cost-conscious savoury menu, too! But, there’s no point in saving money (or calories), if you skip its seasonal sweets. Try the Pink Bow Cake ($22 with a choice or tea or $32 for cocktail), served with rhubarb, mixed berries, lychee and light yoghurt.
Get your hands on the Ribeye of Pasture-Raised Pork, served with grilled aged Halloumi Cheese ($43). Pair it with some in-house blended tea ($15) or cocktails ($19~37), if you prefer – the Lemon, Yuza and Elderflower Vodka is a unique spin ($19)!
Mad About Sucre, 27 Teo Hong Rd., 088334
9. Ash & Elm
A good introduction to the unique menu would be a regular serving of the Ash & Elm‘s Platter of Charcuterie ($30 serves 1-2) with five types of meat. A crowd-favourite is the German Pork Knuckle Flat Bread ($28). This is baked in the restaurant’s wood-fried oven and can easily feed two people as a main dish. In a group? Opt for its appetiser and weekday lunch menu (from $28).
Ash & Elm, Intercontinental Hotel, 80 Middle Rd., 188966
10. Dallas Restaurant and Bar
Dallas‘s new modern Mexican dishes really stand out. Pick starters such as the Snapper Fish Tacos ($12). The crispy deep-fried fish is fresh and juicy on the inside, with tangy pineapple salsa and spicy chipotle mayonnaise. Order the Dallas Fajitas ($28); the Grain-fed ribeye will not only make your mouth water but will leave you wanting more.
As do the mains, like the Baby Back Berry or Fiery Ribs ($30/half rack, $44/full rack), which is nicely barbecued and comes with red cabbage slaw and potato wedges.
Dallas Restaurant and Bar, 31 Boat Quay, 049820
11. Alma by Juan Amador
Located in Goodwood Park Hotel, the best time to try this fine dining restaurant’s Spanish-European dishes, combined with Asian influences, is during lunch. Check out their affordable 3-course lunch set ($49++), with Boston Lobster, ‘Kuhlbarra’ Barramundi and many more as your main course, and Pore Belle Helen as dessert.
Alma by Juan Amador, 22 Scotts Rd., 228221
From The Straits Times, last updated June 2019 / Updated by Willaine G. Tan, October 2020. Images: courtesy of the restaurants or from their social media pages.
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