This year’s National Day calls for a double celebration — Singapore’s 54th birthday is in tandem with its bicentennial year, which commemorates the 200th year of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore. In honour of this, restaurants are pulling out all the stops with menus that celebrate local flavours, heritage, and culinary leanings.
Keep reading to find out where to dine this celebratory season.
This National Day, Mitzo delivers a modern Cantonese take for its menu. Available throughout August, the five-course meal begins with a trio of small bites: Scallop spring roll, prawn with red yeast mayonnaise and spicy chicken otah stuffed with lotus root.
The meal then progresses with an elevated abalone bak kut teh dish, cheese-baked chilli lobster and braised snow vegetables and sea bass with noodles. Sip on the longevity tea with sesame ball to round off your meal or toast to the festivities with the National Treasure cocktail, which melds chamomile-infused whiskey and dry curacao with maraschino bitters, grapefruit bitters, cream, lime juice, egg white and cranberry soda.
Available till 31 August.
Elegant and contemporary European restaurant Tablescape pays homage to Singapore’s birthday with a menu that highlights local cuisine. Whet your appetite with a cold amuse bouche of chilli crab mousse served in a mini ice cream cone before you slurp on a comforting bowl of ABC minestrone soup with seasonal, crispy vegetables. Traditional Sicilian arancini — typically served with a meat sauce and mozzarella cheese filling — is given a makeover, Singapore style. Like chicken rice balls, they’re served with three condiments of chilli, ginger-garlic sauce, and soy sauce.
Available from 3 to 11 August.
Pan Pacific’s hot favourite edges out its competitors this season with a buffet that promises to trump all others with a wide array of local flavours.
At Edge, pan-fried carrot cake with chai po, eggs, coriander and tobiko, and Xing Zhou bee hoon sit alongside Singapore-style peppery bak kut teh and grilled seafood served with chinchalok and calamansi. Other highlights include seafood Hokkien noodles as well as Hainanese chicken rice.
Available from 2 to 11 August. Includes unlimited servings of orange juice, teh tarik, bandung, coffee and tea.
Hotel Fort Canning is one of Singapore’s most storied properties, as it was once home to a British military administration site. It is no surprise then that the hotel’s National Day dining exclusive taps on the island’s storied heritage. The four-course menu at The Salon spotlights Singapore’s multi-cultural heritage.
The first two courses are served in a 1950s-style iconic tiffin carrier. Chow down on a trio of appetisers which includes masala chicken drumlets, pan-fried dumplings and tahu goreng, before moving on to Peranakan laksa with lobster, made rich with shrimp-infused stock, served with moreish tender lobster meat, and chunks of fish cakes, tau pok, hardboiled egg and spoonfuls of snipped rice vermicelli.
As a nod to Singapore’s colonial British history, the main course is a herb-seasoned oven baked salmon Wellington, baked in a golden brown puff pastry. End your meal on a sweet note with the classic, rich buttered bread and butter pudding, topped with vanilla ice cream.
Available until 15 September
French-Japanese restaurant Le Binchotan elbows in on the National Day action with three local-inspired exclusives.
The first is the beef cheek rendang, which features Australian beef cheek, bathed in a spice combination of galangal, lemon grass, dried chilli, ginger, garlic and shallots and stewed for four hours.
For dessert, the Corn & Toast is a delicious ice cream of sweet Japanese corn and dark chocolate cremeux, topped with ruby chocolate meringue and sandwiched between slices of fluffy French toast brioche, a nod to the humble ice cream offering from street peddlers.
End your meal with The Halia cocktail, which takes inspiration from teh halia. Fresh ginger syrup gives the tipple, which also combines pandan-infused vermouth and a dash of campari, a feisty kick.
Available until 31 August
A stalwart of Singapore’s cantonese cuisine, Yàn serves up five familiar flavours this National Day. One of its dim sums is a tribute to the humble hawker favourites — carrot cake and chwee kueh. The classic flavour of the steamed carrot cake is elevated with a combination of Chinese sausage, dried shrimp and radish.
Other highlights include the xiao long bao that oozes herbal herbal bak kut teh stock; the deep-fried mutton spring roll, and the lotus leaf glutinous rice dish. Unwrap to reveal a dumpling stuffed with tender chicken thigh, served with Hainanese chicken rice condiments such as chilli, dark sauce and ginger sauce.
Available until 31 August.
Tucked away in the idyllic ESPA is Tangerine, Resort World Sentosa’s little culinary secret. The Thai restaurant keeps to a farm-to-table ethos, with spices picked from a herb garden on-site, and produce that’s free-range and fresh.
This National Day, its four-course menu puts the crab — Singapore’s favourite seafood — front and centre. The crustacean is plated and prepared in three ways: In a pomelo salad, in salted egg with Thai coconut milk and red miso, with seared barramundi in a curry with rice noodles and betel leaves. For those with a sweet tooth, the meal ends with a light Thai tea panna cotta that’s delicate and sumptuous at the same time.
Seared meats cooked to perfection is Osia Steak and Seafood Grill’s speciality. The restaurant brings in only top-quality, sustainable ingredients from Australian boutique farms, and this includes pedigree pork and seafood.
This National Day, the menu here includes foie gras with orange chutney and cream, a choice of crispy pan-fried fjord trout with mud crab celeriac mayonnaise and crab cream or the chicken leg confit with cannellini bean, charred raddicchio and red wine sauce, and a bizarrely delicious dessert of hot chocolate soup with black pepper ice cream and sesame crisp.