Lately Singapore has morphed from a street-food paradise into a culinary capital heaving with gastronomic temples of high cuisine, thanks in no small part to the deluge of outposts by chefs wielding clutches of Michelin stars. But should you want to veer off the beaten path of big-name chefs, options are plentiful if you know where to look. The exchange rate to the pound is roughly S$2 = £1.
£££ Shinji by Kanesaka (1)
Japanese restaurants are a dime and a dozen in Singapore and Shinji by Kanesaka, an outpost of the two Michelin-starred sushi bar from Tokyo is, by far, one of the best. Here you feast on exquisitely crafted zen plates prepared by a team of clean-shaven Japanese chefs.
The omakase shin (£225-plus) will leave a sizeable dent in your credit cards but for the pleasure of tucking into multiple courses of warm, hand-pressed sushi and a succession of seafood plates such as botan ebi sashimi and steamed abalone, why not?
Restaurant Andre (2)
His eponymous restaurant is hardly two years old but Andre Chiang, a Taiwan-born chef who trained with French culinary luminaries such as Pierre Gagnaire and Joel Robuchon, is already winning international plaudits for his principle-guided 'Octaphilosophy' cuisine.
His tasting menu, which might include zucchini gazpacho with fromage blanc and pristine seafood, often tips 12 courses and spans three hours. With only 30 seats in the house and a one-month reservations list, this is one restaurant that must be booked well in advance.
Jaan offers cutting-edge French cuisine and much more. Perched on the 70th floor of Swissotel, the 14-table restaurant also serves up some of the city's most awe-inspiring Marina Bay views through floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Yet the panorama plays second fiddle to the artisan-inspired cuisine by Julien Royer, the French chef, whose seasonally changing menu features such toothsome creations as avocado-crafted cannelloni stuffed with chorizo-flecked prawn tartare or gently steamed whiting fish with baby squid and crayfish tail with dolce forte sauce.
££ Hua Ting (4)
There is no lack of Cantonese restaurants in Singapore - the ubiquitous Crystal Jade chain of restaurants is a fine example - but when it comes to refinement and consistency, Hua Ting is truly first rate.
Twenty years after its inception, Hua Ting at Orchard Hotel still serves up consistently good Cantonese cuisine, thanks mainly to the head chef, Chan Kwok, who has been at the helm from the start. Don't miss the crispy roasted duck, wasabi-spiked fried prawns and collagen-rich double-boiled shark's bone soup.
Address: Level 2 Orchard Hotel, 442 Orchard Road, SingaporeContact: 0065 6739 6666Prices: Set lunch from £35; Set dinner from £40Opening times: Mon to Fri 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pm; Sat, Sun and public holidays 11am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10.30pmPayment type: Cash and major credit cards
Saint Pierre (5)
If you want a refined French meal without the hefty price tag, seek out this place. Owned by the celebrity chef, Emmanuel Stroobant, Saint Pierre has been dishing out wallet-friendly modern French fare from its humble perch at Central Mall for 12 years.
Since early 2012, the newly installed chef de cuisine, Leandros Stagogiannis, a Fat Duck alumnus, has been adding his touch of modernist pizzazz to the menu - think veal sweetbreads encrusted in edible burnt hay that cracks to unveil a milky lobe. For the full monty, ask for the 10-course degustation menu.
Brasserie Gavroche (6)
If you're seeking a brasserie experience that teleports you momentarily to Paris, Brasserie Gavroche is your ticket. The chef-proprietor, Frédéric Colin, is the former executive chef of St Regis Singapore and he has spared no expense in recreating an authentically French dining experience - from the high-ceilinged dining room adorned with gilt mirrors to the original Café de la Paix main bar, sourced from Paris.
The menu, too, plays the part, with rustic signature dishes such as braised ox tongue in a piquant horseradish cream sauce, and seasonally changing creations such as warm salad of sautéed bamboo and venus clams with hunks of artichoke.
£ Esquina (7)
Jason Atherton, the Michelin-starred chef-owner of Pollen Street Social and former right hand man of Gordon Ramsay at Maze, is spreading his wings mightily in Asia. His first outpost in Singapore - and second in Asia after Table No 1 in Shanghai - is Esquina, a 15-seat tapas bar set in a narrow strip of space on the fringe of Chinatown's red light district.
Besides Atherton's signature scallop ceviche in a yuzu-scented dressing, the bijou eatery also turns out some sublime Josper-grilled dishes, such as confit of lamb chop. Come early to beat the queue as reservations are not permitted.
Wild Rocket (8)
For a uniquely Singaporean dining experience, a trip to Wild Rocket is a must. Started by a lawyer-turned-chef, Willin Low, this restaurant is tucked in a ground-floor unit of a hip budget hotel at Mount Emily.
It serves up Low's haute interpretations of popular local fare - also called modern Singapore cuisine - such as laksa pesto pasta, or foie gras and wonton lounging in a peppery bak kut teh (pork rib) consommé. Come with an open mind and be blown away by Low's playful creations.
True Blue Cuisine (9)
No trip to Singapore is complete without a Peranakan (Straits Chinese) feast of ayam buah keluak (braised chicken with Indonesian black nut), chap chye (mixed vegetables), bakwan kepiting (crab and meatball soup) and ngoh hiang (five-spice meat roll).
One of the best venues to tuck into these lush fusion dishes is the ornately decorated True Blue Cuisine, set up by Benjamin Seck, a chef-owner, craftsman and businessman who also owns a Peranakan souvenir shop and the lovely new Pantry at the Peranakan Museum nearby. When Seck is not busy cooking, you'll find him fussing over Peranakan craftwork or beading Peranakan slippers and handbags.
Wok & Barrel (10)
You've graced those fine establishments and all you want is a hearty plate of local food - sans the sweltering heat. Wok & Barrel, a whitewashed local bistro at Duxton Hill, beckons with fragrant nasi lemak (coconut rice) flanked by tongue-searing chunks of beef rendang (with spicy paste) or roast pork rubbed with aromatic five spices.
The owner and chef, Shen Tan, is a beer aficionado and offers an eclectic collection of craft beers - such as the Kinshachi Aka Miso Lager. This humble eatery may not offer sommelier service but beer/wine pairing notes are offered in the extensive menu.