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Lunch in Singapore: Fabulous restaurants for dates with the girls, by area

There’s nothing better than wiling away a leisurely lunch with your lady pals and, here in Singers, we are well-equipped when it comes to great places to catch up with friends over scrummy food and a drink (or two, or three, or twelve). Whether you prefer an cute, intimate bakery or all-out posh nosh, there are heaps of restaurants to choose from in Singapore. Here are a few of our favourite spots across the island for girly dates (and we’ve even organised it by neighbourhood, just to be super-duper helpful).


Spacious outdoor vibes at Gusto, Orchard

Alfresco Gusto
Orchard Turn #01-15 ION Orchard
Tel: 6509 9380

Chef Kelvin Lee of Alfresco Gusto marries his passion for robust Italian ingredients with his French training, simultaneously introducing Asian flavours to cater to a lighter palate.

Start with the burrata ($23) – an oozy mixture of mozzarella and cream served with a side of bacon, crostini and caramelised onion. The sea urchin risotto ($32) exemplifies East-West fusion; it retains the traditional creamy consistency expected of this Italian staple with a subtle hint of truffle oil, while the sea urchins add the Asian element.

The menu also boasts 13 varieties of pizza (from $18 to $28) if you’re in the mood for paper-thin crispy dough doused with lashings of basil pesto and ribbons of stringy mozzarella.

Sharp service, an elegant setting and a “dare to be different” take on old favourites make Alfresco Gusto an ideal choice for a mid-shopping respite with the ladies.

Also try:
Marmalade Pantry
2 Orchard Turn #03-22 ION Orchard
Tel: 6636 1816

For great Western mains and just as tasty desserts, centrally located in ION Orchard too – a bonus.

We love Wild Honey's cosy ambience 

Wild Honey
6 Scotts Road, Scotts Square, Level Three (also at Level 3, Mandarin Gallery, #03-02)
Tel: 6636 0903

Their expansive menu contains so many gorgeous brunch dishes we wish we could try them all in one sitting. A great place for healthy juices, teas and a hearty meal. Lovely seating, great service and ambience to boot.

Jones the Grocer
Mandarin Gallery, 333a Orchard Road Level 4, #21-23
A great place to head for brunchy meals, awesome coffee, desserts and milkshakes to die for.

Where to park:
Enter the ION car park via Orchard Boulevard. Weekday rates from $2.67 (for the first hour); and from $3.74 on weekends.


Chop Suey is expanding! 

ChoPSuey Café
Block 10 Dempsey Road, #01-23
Tel: 9224 6611

ChoPSuey Café clearly belongs to the PS Café family: it has a colonial black-and-white colour scheme, smart wicker chairs, beautiful floral arrangements and high ceiling fans. On the dinner menu is a mix of Chinese favourites with a twist and there is a dim sum brunch at weekends.

The service is charming and full of character. A cracking start to the meal, prawn toasties ($12) – king prawn paste crisped on artisanal whitemeal bread with black and white sesame – are a surprisingly delicious and good-looking version of that old prawn toast from Chinese takeaways. Next, the grilled pork and roasted coconut salad ($16) is a delight and packs a mean punch of sweet and sour flavours with both soft and crunchy textures.

Desserts, which PS Café traditionally excels in, were indeed very good. The ginger pudding ($15), a steamed old ginger root pudding served warm with crème anglaise, offered a real chopsuey moment: that quintessential mix of English comfort food and exotic Asian flavours.

Also try:
The Pantry
75 Loewen Road
Tel: 6474 0441
For one hell of a coffee and delicious brunchy-lunchy dishes, The Pantry is a lovely, casual cafe in a cool, jungle setting. These guys lay on entertainment for little ones while you sip on a latte with the ladies, so check out their schedule and time your visit accordingly.

Culina Bistro
Block 8 Dempsey Road #01-13 Dempsey Hill
Tel: 6474 7338

For yummy and modern gourmet food in a cute, snazzy setting. These guys also have a butchery and farm shop, so you can pick up some tasty goodies to take home while you’re at it.

PS Café
28B Harding Road
Tel: 6479 3343

The original. For hearty and reasonably priced brunch food, truffle fries (oh, glorious truffle fries) and delicious slices of cake as big as your hand.

Where to park
Parking spots are available all over Dempsey Hill but they are uncovered, so bring your umbrella in case it rains.




The Verandah @ Singapore Polo Club
80 Mount Pleasant Road
Tel: 6854 3999

Some people’s idea of a restaurant with a view is one from which you can see the ocean, or one that’s located at a dizzying height. On the Clubhouse verandah, a glass of sauvignon blanc in hand, you’ll delight in the  expansive view of the lush polo field and its tropical surroundings. One of the great things about the Polo Club is that you don’t have to be a member to dine there. Non-members are welcome every weekday (and Saturdays after 8pm), so you could happily go along to watch one of the late afternoon polo games on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The club hosts a real mix of expats and locals, which is reflected in the Western and Asian menu. Try the Singapore tandoori chicken pizza ($18) with yoghurt, mozzarella and coriander – a gourmet-style pizza with a deliciously thin and crispy crust; and crispy cereal prawns ($18), another delight from the local menu. Craving a healthy accompaniment? Order the caprese di bufala ($17), gratifyingly light and fresh buffalo mozzarella with sliced tomato and basil.

Theres no way you’ll want to pass on the dessert menu, which features two classic favourites – crème brûlée ($7.50) and crostata di lava ($10) and finish it all off with a great cappuccino.

Canopy's central eating area, shared with three other dining spots


Also try:
Canopy Garden Dining & Bar
Bishan Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Tel: 6556 1533

For Australian-style café food in a peaceful garden setting. FYI, you can bring your furkid along too! Check out even more dog-friendly restaurants and cafes in Singapore right here.

E-sarn Thai
9 Thomson Ridge
Tel: 6554 4174

Visit this centrally-located Thai resto for north-eastern Thai cuisine and an excellent tom yum goong.

Where to park:
Parking at the Polo Club and Canopy is never a problem; both have on-site car parks. For E-sarn, you’ll have to try your luck on the side streets.



Window shop while drinking tea at TWG 

TWG Tea Garden
2 Bayfront Avenue #B2-89 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
Tel: 6565 1837

Got a cancelled lunch date in the CBD at last minute or looking for a lounging spot? Head on down to TWG Tea Garden in Marina Bay Sands, one of their most impressive outlets. Surrounded by orchids and suspended on a circular platform with a moat-like pool of water below, the restaurant is designed to evoke an afternoon tea-party setting – one with Prada and LV stores within a stone’s throw, that is.

Whether infused into the salad dressing or the ice cream, every dish hosts one of TWG’s 800-plus teas. Start with the seaside salad ($26), a fresh plate of greens topped with calamari beignets and flavourful anchovies, paired with pots of white Earl Grey ($20.50) and Oriental Empire ($11) tea. The summer quiche ($19) is a generous portion of French-style pie filled with large chunks of seasonal vegetables, and the Wagyu burger ($24) and matchstick potatoes are portioned perfectly for carnivorous lady lunchers who want something filling yet not overwhelming

Alongside Tea Party tea ($11), a black tea with a note of sweetness, try ordering a slice of Singapore surprise cake ($9.50) and a Normandy apple tart ($12) for dessert. You won’t regret it.

Also try:
Pizzeria Mozza

B1-42-46, Galleria Level
Tel:  6688 8522

For unpretentious, seriously good Italian food – we recommend the pizzas (big selection) and fresh paninis.

The gorgeous airy interior of Pollen

Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive
Tel: 6604 9988
Fresh produce is used liberally in all the options on Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton’s vegetarian menu at Pollen, located in the scenic Flower Dome in Gardens by the bay (what other restaurant boasts its own herb garden?) Meat lovers, have no fear – there are non-vegetarian options available on the menu too.

Where to park:
The car park entrance is located at Sands Expo and Convention Center, via the Bayfront Link. Self-parking is free from 10am to 5pm on Mondays to Thursdays when you spend $20 in the stores or restaurants at The Shoppes. Valet parking is available at Hotel Tower 1 and the casino; first hour $12 plus $1 per additional half hour.



Garibaldi Italian Restaurant
36 Purvis Street #01-02
Tel: 6837 1468

Although Garibaldi doesn’t have a view, this classy Italian restaurant is sure to impress. At $38, the set lunch menu that changes weekly is good value and includes a choice of three starters, five or six mains, dessert and tea or coffee. For starters, try the generous portion of perfectly cooked deep-fried calamari with tartara mayonnaise or, if you’re watching your weight, opt for the beautifully presented mesclun salad with apple, orange, toasted hazelnut and lemon dressing. The hearty penne with pork sausage ragout, saffron and green peas is perfect on a rainy day. At the end of the meal a trolley of six or more delectable desserts is wheeled out, and you might find it difficult to choose just one! A selection of Italian wines is available by the glass, starting at $20. 

Where to park:
Raffles City has a 1,000 car parking lot at level-3 of the basement. $3 entry, $2.20 for the first hour (two hours at weekends) and 55 cents every 15 minutes after that.



Donna Carmela (loving those chairs!) 

Donna Carmela
2 Greenwood Avenue
Tel: 6463 4206

Refined Italian cuisine prepared with flair and reasonably priced drinks too boot – we wouldn’t say no.

16 Greenwood Avenue
Tel: 6763 4939

For an à la carte Japanese buffet experience, this is a delightful place to head. All the food is beautifully prepared and you can taste the freshness of the ingredients.

Where to park:
Parking is available right next to the Greenwood Avenue restaurants.



86 Robertson Quay, #01-01 Robertson Blue
Tel: 6737 9873

Former banker and trained barista Melanie Ng has paired up with her sister, Severine, to launch this combo bistro- boulangerie -café, and their offering baked goods a’ plenty. Breads –  which come in pumpkin seed, dark rye, ciabatta, croissants, you name it – can be ordered with preserves, hummus and eggs or to sandwiched up with pan-seared tuna and avocado salsa (the latter, $18). Pastries and cakes, like melty lemon profiteroles, vanilla raspberry Charlottes and macaroons, are priced between from $4.50 to $6.90, though you’ll need to ante cough up a bit more for the Fuji apple ice soufflé ($14).

We’re hearing good things about the mini breakfast mini-burgers with poached eggs and smoked salmon served on spinach Parmesan brioche buns ($16). For drinks, try hand-blended organic tea, a custom blend of coffee beans from Brazil, Guatemala and Sumatra and craft beer like Delirium Tremens, voted the best beer in the world at the Chicago’s World Beer Championships.

Also try:
eM By the River

1 Nanson Road  #01-05 Gallery Hotel
Tel: 6836 9691
For riverside sips, savouries and salads with a relaxing atmosphere – a great space to casually catch up with friends outdoors by the river.

#01-19/20, 95 Robertson Quay
Tel: 6634 5117
For great, authentic Italian food (think wood-fired pizzas, Italian wines and specialty meats and seafood dishes) – all with a view of the Singapore river from an expansive wooden al fresco patio.

Trendy, but relaxed Common Man Coffee Roasters 

Common Man Coffee Roasters
22 Martin Road #01-00
They’re known for their coffees, but the food here is just as amazing. Using nothing but organic ingredients and love, their Big Breakfast is one you’ll be coming back for again and again.

11 Unity Street #02-14 Robertson Walk
If you’re searching for ways to wind down from a busy week, why not spoil yourself with something from Hummerston’s? With heaps of options on the menu, you’re sure to find something to whet your palate.

Where to park:
Try your luck roadside on Mohammed Sultan or dip into one of the car parks at the Gallery Hotel, Riverview Hotel or Robertson Walk, to name a few.