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Three special dinners in Singapore?

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We will be in Singapore for 3 nights celebrating a very special occasion. We would like to have 3 special dinners in wonderful restaurants with outstanding ambiance (perhaps with a view), terrific food, and great service. Two things must be considered. My very special guest does not eat everything...he is primarily a vegetarian, but does eat some fish (not shellfish). Also, although budget is not of major concern, I was shocked to see that Dover sole (that my guest would love) is 125+ SGD at the Raffles Grill...the kind of restaurant I'm sure we would like. What are 3 outstanding restaurants in Singapore where 2 can eat wonderfully, in terrific style for no more than...say, 400 SGD or so for 2 with perhaps a drink and a glass or two of wine. If there is one restaurant that's more than this for a very special splurge, we'll do it, but then will need 2 others that are more modest.

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  1. I'd recommend Pita Pan for one of your more modest options - fab food, albeit casual environment. I brought 2 visiting Jewish friends there a fortnight ago (one of them is vegetarian) and they loved the place so much, we went back there again 2 days later:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859693

    The view was fabulous!

    1. Equinox, 1-Altitude & LeVel33 - these trio should fit your budget, and give you FANTASTIC views of Singapore.

      http://www.equinoxrestaurant.com.sg/o...
      http://www.1-altitude.com/
      http://www.level33.com.sg/

      1. Catalunya (which just opened in a glass dome on the water across Marina Bay from the Sands) has what I suspect may well be one of the best views from any restaurant in Singapore. I was there for tapas a couple of nights ago and will be writing something up here soon.

        And the food isn't half-bad either. Quite traditional Spanish with modern flourishes - the chef spent over a decade at El Bulli but hardly any molecular trickery in sight. You should get away with well under S$200 a head unless you go mad with the drinks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Julian Teoh

          Yum, Catalonian tapas - must check that out :-)

          1. re: klyeoh

            Indeed. Should clarify that it is not just tapas, and they also serve a proper dinner.

        2. You can try Original Sin at Hollan Village. There is a cool vibe about the restaurant, and when the weather is good, you can sit outdoors. It is set in a quiet housing estate so it feels rustic. The food is completely vegetarian, but oh-so-good you wouldn't miss the meat. It is also very affordable at S$160 - S$180 for two with starters, mains and dessert, and wine.

          1. After reviewing the responses and checking the websites, I've sort of narrowed down my choices and am wondering what CH's think. Remember that this is a special birthday trip, my guest is a vegetarian who will sometimes eat fish (no shellfish), and we would like wonderful ambiance preferably with a view.

            Dolce Vita @ The Mandarin Oriental - we'll be staying nearby at the Ritz-Carlton Millennia, and thinking that our first night we'll be tired after a long flight. This is nearby, and Italian restaurants always offer multiple possibilities for vegetarians.

            LeVel 33 has an interesting menu with many vegetarian choices.

            Equinox also looks wonderful with a great view and many vegetarian choices (as does it's sister restaurant Jaan, but this appears to be way too expensive for us).

            Indochine Waterfront seems to have a nice view and has extensive vegetarian choices.

            Original Sin looks nice, but it doesn't seem to have a view or especially wonderful ambiance, does it. On the other hand, it is completely vegetarian.

            At this point, I think my 3 choices will be Dolce Vita, Equinox, and either Indochine or LeVel33. Please help! I want this to be very special with memorable settings, but I'd hate to walk into a restaurant where my guest will not find suitable choices on the menu. If there's something else I should consider, please let me know. Which 3 places would you pick? Thanks much!

            2 Replies
            1. re: josephnl

              Also considering Ku De Ta. Help!

              1. re: josephnl

                The views (you'll love them) from Equinox and Level 33 will be stunning, and more impressive than the food will be. Same goes for Ku De Ta.

                Call ahead to book for each of these places, especially if you're dining over the weekend. Tell them of your dietary requirements and make special requests for vegetarian options - it won't be a problem in Singapore since the majority of Singaporeans are Buddhists, where vegetarianism is common, and with a growing number of young people turning vegetarians these days.

                Enclosed some views from Level 33 taken during lunch a fortnight ago.

                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
            2. We have just returned from Singapore, and wanted to thank those CH's who helped us select our dinner restaurants. We had our 3 dinners at Indochine Waterfront, Equinox and LeVel33.

              Indochine has a wonderful riverside setting, but the food was at best, very mediocre. We did sit outside so that we could enjoy the view. For Californians, it was quite steamy and uncomfortable outside but would have been worth it had the food be terrific...it wasn't.

              Equinox was superb! Great setting with a truly stunning view, terrific service, and really quite nice food. Because we were celebrating a special occasion, they gave us perhaps the best window table in the house. We had a wonderful view of the bay, and enjoyed the laser, light show from the MB Sands. They also brought a very nice birthday dessert to our table. Everything was first rate including the food, and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

              Our final dinner was at LeVel33 and this was perhaps a notch below Equinox, but still very enjoyable. We had a small beer outside, then moved indoors to a very nice window table for dinner. The food and beer were really quite good. I had delicious sea bass, and my vegetarian partner had excellent gnocchi. They were featuring pumpkin beer which sounded awful, but was really excellent. We had a very good time!

              3 other things of note! Tourists must be forewarned to not go to the Raffles Long Bar for a Singapore Sling. Not only is the drink not especially good...it is an incredible rip-off which is taking advantage of visitors (like us) who are stupid enough to go there. $62 (SGD) for 2 drinks!!!

              On the plus side, we stayed in a marina bay room at the Ritz-Carlton Millennia, and this hotel remains wonderful. I had been there twice before (about 10 years ago), and it still looks terrific, has great service, an outstanding breakfast, beautiful artworks, and of course, a terrific view.

              One last thing of note. The new Gardens by the Bay are incredible, and not to be missed. They are totally different from the also wonderful Botanic Garden, and are strongly focused on educating visitors on the ecologic impact of plants. Outstanding!!!

              4 Replies
              1. re: josephnl

                As I read the thread I was going o warn you off Indochine, unfortunately too late. I agree mediocre at best and that is charitable. Good location, shame about the food and I thought the service was especially bad. Agree about Raffles bar and the sling - it was a rip off ten years ago and seems to have got worse. The only bit I like about Raffles is the curry buffet but have not been for many years.

                1. re: josephnl

                  Thanks for reporting back - it's to good to hear your impressions of the places you tried.

                  Pity about Indochine - it *is* becoming a corporate account place, favoring form over substance.

                  Singapore Sling @ the Raffles Hotel - ugh, major, major rip-off these days. Pity, because the Raffles Hotel & its Long Bar are such a large part of the Singapore lore to foreigners, much like the Author's Lounge at the Oriental Bangkok.

                  I agree with you - Gardens on the Bay is spectacular indeed. Some pics I snapped of those man-made "Super-trees" using my little digicam. Wished I had a proper DSLR then ;-)

                   
                   
                   
                  1. re: josephnl

                    Did you try Shiraishi Japanese at your hotel? It's one of the best in Singapore. So's the buffet at Greenhouse. And also the Chinese restaurant, Summer Pavilion.

                    1. re: M_Gomez

                      We had the breakfast uffet at the Greenhouse each morning. Excellent! We did not go to Japanese or Chinese restaurants...my partner is not a fan of these cuisines, and we do have some very excellent choices in southern CA where we live.