January 23, 2021

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Simply The Best Food

A dining guide to Clarke Quay: Best restaurants and bars in Singapore’s riverfront entertainment enclave, Lifestyle News

Sandwiched between posh Robertson Quay and gritty Boat Quay , Clarke Quay still has a soft spot in our hearts as the riverside party central. With its wacky themed bars and cuisines of all kinds, this well-trodden stretch hasn’t quite dulled its glamour yet.

To get your night started, here’re the best (and possibly rowdiest) restaurants and bars in Clarke Quay to hit up.

Restaurants

1. Red House Seafood

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If you’re digging a crab feast, swing by one of Singapore’s oldest seafood restaurants for tried-and-tested Chinese classics. It goes without saying that the Red House Chilli Crab is a hot favourite here, but updated recipes like Lobster in Creamy Custard Sauce also make the list.

What’s more, travel might be off the cards, but Red House is currently hosting a culinary journey with a six-course Scottish Seafood Set Menu ($388++ for five).

Available till Jan 31, 2021, this seasonal menu features oceanic gems like Chilled Scotland Brown Crab and Steamed Scotland Razor Clam with Minced Garlic .

From now till Jan 31, 2021, all diners get a complimentary Prawn Ball with Mango Dressing with a minimum spend of $150++. Those feasting with the Scottish Seafood Set Menu can also take home a 500ml pack of fish collagen broth from AO Broth – low-cholesterol, MSG-free, and packed with umami.

Red House Seafood (Clarke Quay) is located at 3C River Valley Road, #01-02/03 The Cannery, Singapore 179022, p. +65 6442 3112. Open daily 12pm–2.30pm and 5pm–10pm.

2. Tomo Izakaya

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The first thing that’ll catch your eye when you step into Tomo Izakaya is a giant ‘tree’ of sake bottles, soaring from floor to ceiling. With paper lanterns everywhere and horigotatsu-style seating, it makes for an atmospheric spot to knock back some post-work sakes.

The grub ranges from sashimi and skewers to yakimono and dons, including the crowd-pleaser Aburi Wagyu Onsen Tamago ($13) sushi and the tender Unagi Shirayaki ($34). As for the booze, you’ll find a good selection of sakes and Japanese craft beers.

Tomo Izakaya is located at 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay #01-14, Singapore 179020, p. +65 6336 0100. Open daily 12pm–10.30pm.

3. Capital Kitchen by Zouk

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Turning its hand from dancing to dining, Zouk recently launched a post-COVID pop-up restaurant in its luxe Capital lounge. Capital Kitchen serves up Asian and Western nosh hot from RedTail Bar’s kitchen, alongside cocktails, sake, and wines.

Zouk regulars will fondly remember comfort fare like the Signature Broth Congee ($15), but the new dishes steal the show: Luscious Eggplant Parmigiana ($15), @Liski_Li’s Fiery Gamberi Aglio Olio ($25) courtesy of Zouk Group’s CEO, and more.

Since no Zouk trip is complete without booze, don’t forget cheeky local cocktails like Asam Guava and Milo Gao (both $68/500ml bottle). Check out our review here .

Capital Kitchen is located at 3C River Valley Road, The Cannery, #02-05, Singapore 179022, p. +65 9006 8793. Open Wed-Sat 6pm-10.30pm.

4. Zorba The Greek Taverna

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Set beside the river and decked in airy blue and white, this alfresco taverna oozes Santorini charm in spades. Set sail on your Mediterranean experience with their Dips Platter ($22) of classic dips like tzatziki, hummus, and taramasalata, mopped up with perfectly fluffy pita bread.

Mains run meaty with an array of grills, from Ladolemono Lamb Rump Steak ($24) to Lavraki or oven-baked sea bass ($28).

To pair, think Grecian cocktails that’ll have you drinking like the gods – Poseidon ($20) is a breezy affair of Monin cucumber and sea salt, while Hades ($18) goes dark with ouzo and crème de cassis. 

Zorba The Greek Taverna is located at 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-02, 179024, p. +65 8879 0688. Open Tues-Fri 8am -10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-10pm. Closed Mon.

5. Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill

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Craving Peranakan fare ? Cooking doyenne Violet Oon has expanded her repertoire of Nyonya delights to include satay and tipples with a local twist.

Hot off the grill are skewers like grain-fed Black Angus Beef Satay ($18) topped with grated pineapple, and Prawn Satay ($20) drizzled in fresh-squeezed calamansi juice.

For something meatier, opt for the Ayam Panggang Katong ($25) – a succulent grilled half-chicken brushed with gula melaka syrup. Wash it all down with some Peranakan-inspired cocktails – we love the Assam Martini ($20) with a tart punch of tamarind essence.

Violet Oon Satay Bar & Grill is located at 3B River Valley Road, #01-18, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179021, p. +65 9834 9935. Open daily 6pm–10.30pm.

6. Tsui Wah (Clarke Quay)

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Short of jetsetting to Hong Kong , Tsui Wah is the next best option when the Canto cravings hit. This cha chaan teng hailing from Hong Kong presents no-fuss, casual dining options that range from comforting buns to hearty grilled meats and noodles aplenty.

Looking for something to buffer a nightcap? You’ll polish off the Tsui Wah Signature Pork Chop Bun ($8.50) or Crispy Bun with Condensed Milk ($4) in no time. If you’re there for a pre-drinks dinner, fill up on the juicy King Prawns in XO Sauce with Tossed Noodles ($13).

Tsui Wah (Clarke Quay) is located at 3A River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-03, Singapore 179020, p. +65 6250 9270. Open Mon-Fri 11am–2.30pm and 5.30pm–10pm, Sat-Sun 11am–10pm.

7. Ramen Keisuke Lobster King

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Singapore is swimming in ramen shops , but household name Ramen Keisuke continues to be a crowd favourite.

Not much else really gets us going like a rich prawn stock, and the Lobster King concept in Clarke Quay delivers with broth inspired by French lobster bisque and simmered with French rock lobsters.

Slurp your way through with the Lobster Broth Ramen ($13.90++) with creamy or clear soups, or go all-out umami with the Spicy Miso Lobster Broth Ramen ($17.90) with flavoured egg.

Ramen Keisuke Lobster King is located at 3C River Valley Road, Clarke Quay, #01-07 The Cannery, Singapore 179022, p. +65 6255 2928. Open Sun-Thurs 11am–2.30pm and 5.30pm–9.30pm, Sat-Sun 11am–2.30pm and 5.30pm–11pm.

8. Motorino Pizza

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The famous pizzeria from New York has a Singapore branch smack in the middle of Clarke Quay madness, with a colourful alfresco area and oodles of cheery vibes.

With rave reviews from those who’ve tasted the New York original, there’s no need to worry about suffering from watered-down franchise syndrome.

The dough preserves its smoky char, bubbly crisp, and lovely chew – no soggy bottoms here. The Prosciutto & Roquette ($29) with fior di latte is a perpetual highlight, but classics like the Marinara ($17) are impeccable too.

Motorino Pizza is located at 3A River Valley Road, #01-01A, Singapore 179020, p. +65 6334 4968. Open Sun-Thurs 11.30am–11pm, Fri-Sat 11.30am–11.30pm.

9. Haidilao Clarke Quay

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Beloved for its stellar service and legendary noodle dances, Haidilao doesn’t need much introduction. This Sichuan-style hotpot chain serves up soup bases in varying levels of spiciness, a massive selection of sauces, and all the meatballs, sliced meats, and seafood you can down.

With opening hours extending long past midnight, it’s the perfect supper refuge for late-night tipplers. Keep in mind that it isn’t the cheapest option – you can expect to splash out around $50 per pax.

Haidilao (Clarke Quay) is located at 3D River Valley Road, #02-04, Singapore 179023, p. +65 6337 8627. Open daily 10.30am–4am.

10. Octapas

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Octapas doles out the Spanish experience in full force with its terracotta tiles, upbeat vibes, and warm hospitality. Here, you can get your fill of classic tapas and paellas, though there’s more unusual fare as well: Riojan Fire Roasted Lamb Rack ($24) with mint jelly, and Shrimp-Cargot ($18) featuring prawns stuffed in buttery button mushrooms.

Ever had charcoal churros? The Churros de Carbon ($13) is an inky black delight served up with vanilla ice-cream. Finish up with a silky Despacito ($22), laced with orgeat syrup and coconut milk.

Octapas is located at Block D, River Valley Road, #01-08 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179023, p. +65 6837 2938. Open daily 11am–10pm.

Bars

1. Chupitos Shots Bar

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With over 130 colourful libations on the menu, Chupitos is where you bring that one friend who thinks ‘shots’ just means doing body shots with cheap tequila.

More fun than fancy, their shots are split into wacky categories like Pleasure Alley, Go Hard or Go Home, Sweet Tooth, and even stuff that’ll give you Double Vision.

Playing a game of Truth or Dare? Treat your buddy to some Mysterious Dicky ($15) or turn up the heat with French Lingerie ($12). If you really want to go all out for a wild night, step it up with a flaming Russian Roulette ($60 for five).

Chupitos Shots Bar is located at 3B River Valley Road, Clarke Quay #01-05, Singapore 179021. Open Tues-Sun 3.30pm–10.30pm.

2. Holey Moley Golf Club

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Holey Moley promises a ball of a time with a mini-golf course and full-fledged bar rolled into one. Tee off with your buds at their 27 themed holes, where the pop culture references are aplenty. Take a shot at the Iron Throne, or putt your way down the Yellow Brick Green.

You’ll want to stay hydrated with golf-themed tipples like the Red Bull-laced On The Green ($19++) or the Sugar Caddy ($19++) topped with a giant candy kebab. Hungry? The Caddyshack also serves up greasy goodies like burgers and fries to battle the midnight munchies.

Holey Moley Golf Club is located at 3B River Valley Rd, Singapore 179024, p. 3129 0000. Open Mon-Fri 1pm–11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm–11pm.

3. Cuba Libre Café & Bar

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Famed for its spicy salsa dancing and punchy mojitos, a night at Cuba Libre is nothing short of electrifying.

Their mojito lineup ranks among the best in Singapore, with around ten variations from Lychee-Infused ($30) to the potent Bulljito ($28), not to mention a summer-worthy range of Cuban classics like the Caipirinha ($20) and the Tropicolada ($20).

Fuel up with their array of warm and cold tapas, or tuck into their slow-cooked Crispy Roast Pork ($23) for something more filling. Sundays get even more sizzling, with bar bites and booze starting from $5++.

Cuba Libre Café & Bar (Clarke Quay) is located at 3B River Valley Rd, Clarke Quay Blk B, #01-13, Singapore 179021, p. +65 8418 0203. Open daily 4pm–10.30pm.

4. Level Up

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Ever wonder how fun it would be if you could go to the arcade drunk? Arcade-bar concept Level Up is here to get you hammered while you hammer some moles, metaphorically speaking.

You’ll find classic arcade favourites like Metal Slug and X-Men VS Street Fighter alongside beer pong and foosball fun (note that the games are currently not operational during Phase 2 of Singapore’s circuit breaker).

Take a break with their sprawling range of bar bites like Typhoon Tater Tots ($8) and Sotong Ball ($8). Cocktails go for $16, and there’re daily promos to keep the good times flowing.

Level Up is located at 3A River Valley Road, #02-04 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179020, p. +65 6266 2276. Open daily 5pm–10.30pm.

5. Highlander

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Whisky lovers would probably have heard of Highlander for its impressive lineup of single malts, long before this casual bar became a one-stop entertainment spot.

With Scottish music, servers decked out in kilts, and an array of over 250 Scotch and other whiskies, it’s pretty much a piece of Scotland in Singapore.

With an extensive dine-in menu, you’ll be tempted to pair your whisky with appropriately Scottish fare like the Haggis Croquette ($18) with whisky mustard sauce or the hearty Pork Bangers & Mash ($26).

Highlander is located at 3B River Valley Road, #01-11 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179021, p. +65 6235 9528. Open daily 5pm–10.30pm.

6. McGettigan’s

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If you’re looking for a place to watch the big game on big screens, look no further. With a full schedule available on their website, this sports bar plays host to Premiership and Championship League Football, NFL, horse racing, tennis and more.

The drinks lineup runs the gamut from craft beer and house wines to classic cocktails (don’t forget to ask about the cocktail of the week, priced at only $10.20). Their all-day menu also puts up great mains like Fish & Chips ($24) and Beef & Guinness Pot Pie ($26).

McGettican’s Singapore is located at 3A River Valley Road, Merchant’s Court, Singapore 179020, p. +65 6837 0577. Open Tues-Thurs & Sun 4pm–10.30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm–10.30pm. Closed Mon.

This article was first published in City Nomads.