Singapore’s Lavender district was once the site of British colonial settlements in the early 19th century. The area has since gone through dramatic changes and now has many places serving cheap, local food. Here are the best places to grab a bite to eat in the district.
Laksa is one of the most iconic dishes in Singapore The dish consists of noodles served in a spicy broth of curry and coconut milk, with seafood and various other ingredients. Sungei Road Laksais a stall that has been at Lavender for decades, a local favorite due to its authentic taste and inexpensive price. Their noodles are cut into shorter pieces so that they can be eaten with a spoon. Chopsticks are unnecessary, making it much more manageable for visitors who are unfamiliar with using chopsticks.
A favorite restaurant of locals, Thien Kee Steamboat Restaurant is a Hainanese restaurant that has thrived in the district for several decades. Steamboat is a must-try Singaporean dish, where uncooked food such as meat, dumplings and noodles are placed into a boiling pot of soup on the table to cook. Thien Kee offers both steamboat and other dishes, allowing for a fun and local experience.
Located in Little India, Lagnaa Barefood Dining is a little far from the Lavender MRT station but offers a great dining experience. Here, visitors can – you guessed it – remove their shoes and sit on cushions on the floor. For those who prefer a more conventional restaurant setting, regular shoes-on dining with chairs is also available. To create a warm and homely atmosphere, the family-run restaurant can only seat 37 guests, so be sure to make a reservation, especially on weekends.
A small bakery opened by a group of friends, Room For Dessert specializes in cakes. What the shop may lack for in variety it makes up for with quality and price; the delicious cakes they serve – all homemade – are made with fresh ingredients and are sold at more than reasonable prices. Whatever your preference is for cakes – and even if you don’t particularly have a sweet tooth – these are sure to satisfy you.
Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Fast Food, Beer, Wine, $$$
The Refinery interior | Debbs/Flickr
This trendy restaurant, located a short walk from Lavender MRT station, mainly serves Japanese fare, but mixed with local flavors. Their menu features the Japanese donburi (rice-bowl), Singaporean spicy mee noodles, and Western waffles and ice cream side by side. The interior of The Refinery is decorated in industrial style and it has a relaxed ambience which makes it an equally great place for a brunch hangout and an intimate dinner.
Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant is a low-budget seafood restaurant that serves humble but delicious seafood. They serve classic Singaporean dishes such as chili crab and black pepper crayfish, generally cooked in a Chinese or Malay style. The dishes are flavorful and generous with spices and sauces, but the fresh taste of the seafood is still tangible. With its open-air seating, you can feel the energy of local Singapore.
Windowsill Pies is a young business opened by a pair of talented brothers. Like the name suggests, this establishment specializes in artisanal pies. The ingredients used are fresh and very little artificial flavoring is used, allowing the natural taste of the ingredients to manifest. With their careful eye for detail and decoration, their pies are almost too beautiful to be eaten. Almost.
One of the most authentic American diner-style restaurants in Singapore, Suprette serves amazing burgers and fries, as well as having a wonderful cocktail list. The decor is a hybrid between an American diner and 20th-century Singapore or China, paying tribute to the historical Kam Leng Hotel it is situated in. Try the Ken’s Heart Attack Burger – two beef patties served with bacon, gruyere cheese and fried mushrooms.
A restaurant that serves typically Western dishes and seafood inspired by sunny California, Morsels gives a local twist to familiar dishes. For example, the squid ink risotto is served with salted egg sauce, giving it an unmistakably Asian flavor. Morsels is boldly experimental with food and flavors, and their bravery more than pays off.
Situated in the Golden Mile Complex, a commercial and public housing building, the Golden Mile Food Centre serves mostly Asian food, from Hainanese chicken rice to Thai stalls to claypot rice to desserts. Worth a visit as much for the dining experience as for the delicious cuisines, Golden Mile Food Centre is a typically Singaporean experience.