Located just off Orchard Road, this shopping haven is known for its cheap finds and delicious food offerings.
Named after the Orang Bugis—an ethnic group from South Sulawesi, Indonesia—seafarers who used to trade in a large canal that ran through the enclave, Bugis was one of Singapore’s most flourishing economic zones. After World War II, international popularity followed when hawkers transformed the street into bustling hotspot into wee hours of the night.
Albert Food Centre (270 Queen street)
Located on Albert Street that’s named after Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England. Albert Food Centre is a famous eating haunt among the Chinese, with Fu Lou Shou Complex—a Taoist and Buddhist centric mall—just next door. The hawker centre is also known for their dried goods sold on the third floor
Chuan Seng Kway chap (#01-96)
The star of the show at this stall is their aromatic bowl of kway teow ($4). The broth was bursting with umami goodness while the kway teow was al dente and smooth. The ingredients were fresh, although we wished they could be more generous with their pig innards.
Ser Kee Duck Rice (#01-43)
Best known for their braised duck rice ($4), the duck meat is tender to bite. The portions are quite good too, with a balanced ratio of meat to rice. Don’t forget to ladle up their spicy chilli for a nice tangy zing.
Shopping Mall Delights
Bugis is a haven for shopaholics out there with three shopping malls, as well as a shopping street, all within walking distance to each other. Each of the four retail havens also boast great dining options including popular Korean Cafe Churro 101 (#04-01 Bugis+), Everything with Fries (#04-05 Bugis Junction) as well as Ming Tang Jiu Gong Ge Hotpot serving their giant 9-grid mala hotpot that feeds four to five hungry diners (#01-02 Bugis Cube).
49 seats (#07-04 Bugis+)
Give your wallet a break and enjoy a value-for-money meal at this laidback bistro where prices are capped at $16.90 nett. Favourite among punters is the Tom Yam Pasta ($14.90) that’s crowned with mussels and juicy prawns, and leaves a tangy, spicy taste. Tel: 6225 4332
Ramen Champion (#04-10 Bugis+)
Offering an arena-style dining concept, the six ramen stalls located here are voted in by the public every year. The décor is distinctively Japanese, with timber fittings and lanterns, reminding us of family-run ramen restaurants in Tokyo. Current stores include Torimaru, Tonkotsu Ikkyu and three-time consecutive winner, Buta God. Tel: 6238 1011
Hood Bar and Café (#05-07 Bugis+)
This live music bar is a well-kept secret among gig-goers. The space is huge, with an al fresco garden at the back offering a view of Bugis. The food is not to be disregarded too with moreish delights including their signature Wagyu burger with bacon ($18) and homemade pesto angel hair pasta with Hainanese pork chop ($16). Tel: 6221 8446
Pancake Boss (#04-15 Bugis Cube)
You don’t have to fly all the way to Indonesia for their decadent Martabak Manis. True to the taste of this popular Indonesian street food, try the classic ($8) filled with choco rice and premium kacang. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, order the Red Robin ($14.80) featuring a tangy lemon cream cheese and crushed Oreo stuffed in a red velvet base. They are all freshly pan-fried on the spot. Best to order in advance via a phone call. Tel: 9066 2912
My Favourite Café (#02-10 Bugis Cube)
The second branch of the popular yong tau foo stall at Lucky Plaza, this lunch favourite (queues were still forming past 1pm) is best known for their deep-fried pork meatballs—it gets sold out real quick! We recommend waiting in line for their fresh batch to ensure the balls are freshly crisp. Prices are affordable at $4.80 for a minimum of seven yong tau foo pieces with noodles or rice.
Bangkok Jam (#02-46 Bugis Junction)
Modern Thai cuisine is the specialty of this this bistro restaurant. Dine on green papaya salad with deep fried soft shell crab ($12.90), tasty mixed grill of squid, prawns, chicken and beef short ribs ($25) and durian panna cotta with sticky rice ($8.90). Bonus for parents: The place not only offers a play area to entertain little ones, but complimentary children’s meals as well for every paying adult. Tel: 6337 3777
Coyoro singapore (eFl-4l, 4 new Bugis street)
Commonly known as the ”˜Dragon Breath’ dessert, this cool snack comes in Original (corn crackers; $6), Didi (cereal; $6.50), and Sweet Kiss (meringues; $7), all of which are made of liquid nitrogen, giving you a smoky mouthful with every bite.
The Cat Cafe (241B Victoria street Bugis Street)
Coffee, cakes and cats—what else could be better? Cuddle with friendly felines as you sip back a nice cuppa of latte. Entry fee is kept at $15 and comes with a soft drink. Only children above six years old are allowed in. Tel: 6338 6815
Ramen Keisuke (158 rochor road)
Run by Keisuke Takeda, this ramen chain is one of the better branches in Singapore and is very similar to ramen shops in Tokyo. As spice lovers, we like the Summer ramen ($13.90) that features three types of chilli—Japanese shichimi, cayenne pepper and Sichuan pepper. This outlet attracts a large crowd so expect to queue for about 20 minutes during dinner time. Tel: 6333 5740
Tan Quee Lan
Tan Quee Lan was a prominent Hokkien merchant and landowner who owned many fruit plantations along Bukit Timah as well as estates along Club Street. Among the quaint restaurants and bridal shops are six pre-war shophouses (9-14 Tan Quee Lan Street) built by Wee Chong Keng, a Hainanese community leader. These shophouses were given conservation status and preserved for their architectural heritage, only the timber windows from yesteryear have been replaced.
Joo Bar (5 Tan Quee Lan Street)
Nestled in a shophouse along Tan Quee Lan street, Joo Bar is your ideal place for after work dinner and drinks. One of their specials include the Makgeolli Sampler Set ($35) where you can try different flavours of their in-house fermented rice wine, such as yuzu and grape. To complement your drinks, they also offer nifty dishes such as warm kimchi with tofu and spam ($16) and Joo wings ($18). Tel: 8138 1628
Nunsongyee Korean dessert Café (534 North Bridge Road)
Get your bingsu fix at Nunsongyee. Situated along the main road facing Bugis Junction and open 24/7, take your pick from the variety of flavours such as oreo, cheesecake or Injeolmi ($12.90-15.90, $18.90 for premium flavours), and they also offer a range of signature toast bread ($8.90-12.90) and Korean rice cakes ($6.90-8.90). Tel: 9712 1122
Ah Bong’s Italian (#01-02, 103 Beach Road)
Ah Bong’s Italian never fails to surprise us with their menu changes. Pasta dishes start from an affordable $9 and you can’t miss out on their starters such as Almost There pork belly ($12) and Comfort eggs ($8). Tel: 9650 6194
Liang Seah Street
Named after late Teochew millionaire, Seah Liang Seah, the street is a foodie’s paradise, with steamboat restaurants and dessert shops among the many eateries occupying both rows of shophouses. It is also a car-free zone every Friday to Sunday from 7pm to 12am, so you can enjoy dining on the street itself.
Fat Bird (16 Liang Seah Street)
Specialising in Sichuan Cuisine, the restaurant is run by chef Tang De Hai, who is a distinguished figure back in his hometown, Sichuan. Great on a rainy day is their numbing and fiery chicken hotpot ($26/$34) that’s loaded with a variety of spices. Unlike the usual hotpot, this version is drier, with the ingredients simmered in a wok. Tel: 6337 0612
Ah Chew Desserts (#01-11 Liang Seah Place, 1 Liang Seah Street)
Expect a long queue at this famous eatery serving Chinese-style fresh fruit desserts. The refreshing mango sago ($4) is not too sweet and comes with chunks of fresh mangoes. The homemade black glutinous rice with vanilla ice cream ($4.20) is also a winner with its nice nutty flavour and smooth consistency. Tel: 6339 8198