What to eat in Bugis
Good Bugis food is like a cherry on the cake for me. I’m often in this part of town for the boutiques, and a little food break in between my hunt for the best bargain deals at the shopping malls is inevitable. Fortunately, the quest for a good meal proves to be an easy task in this food and clothing paradise, with the array of hawkers, restaurants, cafes and more at Bugis+, Bugis Junction, and Haji Lane area that’s near Bugis MRT. Here are some of my favourite Bugis food places to hit up and refuel for part two of an intense shopping spree.
1. Sticky Rice
Most of the food at Sticky Rice costs below $10, so if you’re craving Thai food, you know where to go! We loved the Chicken Pad Thai ($6.90+), which had a strong wok hei fragrance and a slice of lime on the side to enhance the dish with a sour kick. Thai food tends to get a little fiery, and a cold and creamy cup of Thai Iced Milk Tea ($3.50+) will help ice the burn. Dessert’s a must as well, when there’s Mango Sticky Rice ($7.50+) involved! We loved how fresh the mangoes tasted, and the velvety texture of the sticky rice, which was soaking in silky coconut cream.
Check out our full review of Sticky Rice!
Address: 23 Bali Lane, Singapore 189859
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 2:30pm, 5:30pm to 9pm
Tel: 6294 0118
Sticky Rice is a halal-certified eatery.
2. Eleven Finger
Look no further than Eleven Finger for a hearty plate of curry rice! There’s an interesting story behind the name of this stall. Turns out, the owner of Eleven Finger has an extra finger! One meat and vegetable costs $3, while a small add-on such as an egg would cost $0.50 extra. Some recommended ingredients include Chap Chye, Tau Pok, Curry Chicken, Fried Egg and Braised Pork Belly. Come early if you’re hungry, because queues start forming even before the store opens for business.
Find out more in our full review of Eleven Finger!
Address: 269B Queen Street, #01-235, Singapore 180269
Opening hours: Sat-Thurs 11am to 6:30pm, Fri 11am to 2pm
Eleven Finger Scissors Curry Rice is not a halal-certified eatery.
3. Mrs Pho
Get transported to the streets of Hanoi at Mrs Pho, a hidden gem of a Vietnamese joint. A bowl of Sliced Beef and Brisket Pho ($8.90+) is served piping hot, with tender beef slices and brisket simmering in a wholesome, flavourful broth. If you’re looking to grab a small bite, try sides such as Mamma’s Lucky Meat Balls ($4.90+), skewered meatballs marinated in a delightful sauce. It also comes with a peanut dip, although you might be too busy savouring the meatballs to try it. Another alternative would be their Fresh Summer Roll ($4.90+), fresh spring rolls stuffed with vermicelli, pork, prawns and lettuce.
Find out more in our full review of Mrs Pho!
Address: 73 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199486
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Tel: 9666 5514
Mrs Pho is not a halal-certified eatery.
4. Man Man Unagi
Unagi lovers should definitely not miss out on Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee Man Man Unagi. Fresh eel is grilled right before your very eyes, so you can be sure this place takes pride in its quality servings. We tried their Hitsumabushi ($29.50+), which comprised of smoky unagi marinated in salty-sweet tare arranged atop plump Japanese short-grain rice. Apart from rice bowls, Man Man also offers Umaki ($14.10+), pillowy pan-fried, rolled egg with a slice of unagi wrapped in its core. What sets the egg apart from regular tamago is that it’s actually more savoury than sweet!
Check out our full review of Man Man Unagi for more details.
Address: 7 Fraser Street, #01-48, Duo Galleria, Singapore 189356
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 2:15pm, 6pm to 9:30pm, Sun 12pm to 2:30pm, 6pm to 8:30pm
Tel: 6702 1500
Man Man Unagi is not a halal-certified eatery.
Another unagi restaurant on the list, UnaUna is a cheaper alternative to Man Man Unagi. Located at Bugis+, the restaurant serves one of the cheapest Hitsumabushi in Singapore at only $10.80++ for a small serving. Get the double portion, which is priced at $19.80++, if you’re looking to share. Aside from unagi bowls, you can also find other Japanese dishes such as sashimi and sushi rolls.
Find out more about UnaUna here!
Address: 201 Victoria Street, #04-10, Bugis+, Singapore 188067
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm, Sat-Sun 11am to 10pm
Tel: 6238 1011
6. Japanese Curry Express
Unlike what its name suggests, Japanese Curry Express doesn’t only offer curry rice, but also other rice and noodle bowls. Try their Salmon Mentai Don ($11/$14), vinegared rice which comes with mentaiko mayo drizzled over raw salmon, before it is torched to release a smoky flavour. The Pork Katsu Curry Rice ($7.50) comes with crispy pork katsu and a huge side of Japanese curry, a truly hearty dish that is bound to fill your belly.
Read our review of Japanese Curry Express.
Address: 190 Middle Road, #03-04, Fortune Centre, Singapore 188979
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am to 2pm, 5:30pm to 8pm
Tel: 9689 6314
Japanese Curry Express is not a halal-certified eatery.
7. Sumo Bar Happy
Image credit: Sumo Bar Happy
Ever since Circuit Breaker, Sumo Bar Happy has pivoted from Japanese cuisine to Japanese-Mexican fusion to create food better suited for delivery. Of their revamped menu, the Char Siew Unagi Burrito ($24.50) is a crowd-pleaser. Char siew lovers will enjoy their slow-roasted unagi, that is wrapped with classic burrito toppings such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and more. Diners also have the option of smothering their burritos with chilli and cheese before it’s grilled for $2.50, to make every bite even creamier and spicier. Vegetarians have the option of the Impossible Quesadilla ($18), which sees the mock meat slow-cooked in a butter teriyaki and chilli bean sauce.
Here’s our review of Sumo Bar Happy’s old menu!
Address: 111 Middle Road, #01-05, National Design Centre, Singapore 188969
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 8pm
Sumo Bar Happy is not a halal-certified eatery.
Image credit: @indobowlofficial
IndoBowl, Singapore’s first Indomie-themed cafe, gets what this well-loved instant noodle brand is all about. Most of us have spent many a night slurping down a pack (or two) of Indomie for a guilty supper, but IndoBowl ups the sinful factor with their mammoth Indomie Mumbo Jumbo ($49.90).
The platter grabs the spotlight with a mountain of kecap manis-glazed noodles before delivering the knockout punch with its assortment of grilled meat. Consider your Indomie dreams fulfilled with this impressive set.
Address: 39 Sultan Gate, Singapore 198487
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 3:15pm, 5pm to 9:15pm
Tel: 6291 7152
Indobowl is a halal-certified eatery.
9. Belle-ville Pancake Cafe
For all the hype surrounding Gram Cafe & Pancakes, Belle-ville Pancake Cafe remains my top pick for a satisfying and IG-worthy tower of souffle pancakes. Perfumed with a rich aroma of meringue, their Millefeuille Pancake ($7.90++ for four, $11.90++ for eight pieces) literally melts in your mouth, dissolving into a pool of buttery and eggy goodness.
To get that extra splash of colour, and a dose of fruity sweetness, fork out that extra dollar and treat yourself to the Strawberry and Mixed Berry Pancake ($11.90++ for two, $14.40++ for four pieces) instead.
Check out what we think of Belle-ville Pancake Cafe.
Address: 230 Victoria Street, #01-01B, Bugis Junction Towers, Singapore 188024
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 11am to 8pm, Fri-Sat 11am to 8:30pm
Tel: 6255 5456
Belle-ville Pancake Cafe is not a halal-certified eatery.
10. Box n Sticks
Nestled on a quiet stretch in Kampong Glam, Box n Sticks has become a preferred night haunt for many with their chill vibes and cosy ambience. If that isn’t reason enough to visit this cosy izakaya for a relaxing post-work tipple, most of their dishes also taste superb with a pint of beer.
Pair their beer or sake with their signature Spicy Aburi Seafood Maki ($18.90+), which features a sushi roll crammed with torched salmon, prawn tempura, and crabstick. A dash of house-made chilli sauce caps off this kaleidoscopic treat, cutting through the richness of the seafood and fizziness of the beer with its tangy bite.
Read our review of Box n Sticks here!
Address: 28 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198889
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 11:45am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm, Fri-Sat 11:45am to 3pm, 6pm to 10:30pm
Tel: 6341 7780
Box n Sticks is not a halal-certified eatery.
11. Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee
Image credit: @jcbellyneverfull
For my family, no trip to Bugis is complete without a meal at Ah Heng’s Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee. This popular eatery gets every aspect of their Chicken Curry Noodles ($5/$6/$7) down pat—from the satisfying tussle offered by the poached chicken to the smooth and aptly spicy curry broth. For an extra kick of fieriness, mix the curry with a pinch of their house-made chilli paste and savour the smoky burn that lingers on your tongue.
Address: Blk 269B Queen Street, #01-236, QS269 Food House, Singapore 182269
Opening hours: Fri-Wed 9am to 4pm
Ah Heng’s Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee is not a halal-certified eatery.
Not many Cantonese eateries today choose to prepare their roast meat the traditional way, making Eat3Cuts a breath of fresh air in the roast meat scene. Roasted in a charcoal-power oven, their Whole Roast Duck ($45) effuses a smoky aroma and gives fancier competitors a run for their money with its crisp skin and succulent bite.
Yet, delicious as the Whole Roast Duck is, the top accolades still belong to their Whole Pipa Duck ($50). Marinated for between four to six hours before being roasted at a fiery 300 degrees, the pipa duck is then brushed with hoisin sauce, such that every bite of this juicy bird offers a sweet and salty tang.
Find out more about Eat3Cuts here.
Address: 175 Bencoolen Street, #01-49, Burlington Square, Singapore 189649
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 9pm
Tel: 9384 5503
Eat3Cuts is not a halal-certified eatery.
13. Say Seng Cooked Food
Image credit: @followlin
Grab a quick meal at Albert Centre Food Centre and you’ll notice an unmistakable queue snaking around Say Seng Cooked Food. The hands behind this old-school eatery are tirelessly working during lunch hours, chopping down slabs after slabs of braised pork belly with methodical precision.
A splash of savoury braised sauce then washes over this Lor Bak ($5), sealing off a meaty treat that goes perfectly with a plain bowl of white rice. Simple comfort food at its best.
Address: 270 Queen Street, #01-92, Albert Centre Market & Food Centre, Singapore 180270
Opening hours: Tue-Wed 2pm to 8pm, Sat-Sun 2pm to 8pm
Say Seng Cooked Food is not a halal-certified eatery.
14. New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck Doubled Boiled Soup
Image credit: @aiohpue
New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck Double Boiled Soup not only stands as one of Singapore’s best spots for sio bak, but also one of the most affordable as well. A plate of Char Siew Rice only sets you back $2.50 back here while their “San Pin” set– a hearty combination of roast duck, char siew, and sio bak– comes at a wallet-friendly price of $5.50.
If these cheap dishes don’t give your dollar a good stretch, their selection of double-boiled soups surely does the trick. Priced as low as $2.50, these warm bowls of soup taste best on a rainy day.
Address: 269B Queen Street, #01-235, 3838 Eating Place, Singapore 182269
Opening hours: Daily 7am to 9pm
Tel: 9099 9489
New Rong Liang Ge Cantonese Roast Duck Double Boiled Soup is not a halal-certified eatery.
15. Supreme Pork Chop Rice
Churning up affordable plates of Taiwanese fare, Supreme Pork Chop Rice frequently pops up on the lunch list of CBD workers. Just as the name suggests, this hidden gem in Bugis prides themselves on their mouth-watering Pork Chop Fried Rice ($5). Their pork cutlets offer a resonant crunch with every bite, unfurling in a burst of garlicky and cinnamon-ey accents.
Take a look at our review of Supreme Pork Chop Rice here.
Address: 67 Beach Road, #B1-01, Bulkhaul House, Singapore 189688
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm
Tel: 9680 9606
Supreme Pork Chop Rice is not a halal-certified eatery.
16. Chef China Hua Chu
Image credit: @michellelim_star
A new kid on the block in Bugis, Chef China Hua Chu has unusual decor with its outer space theme. Enjoy an assortment of Sichuan skewers from $0.80 with their astronaut mascot which roams around the restaurant during peak hours. If you’re dining in a large group, share their Dahua Fat Intestine ($18.80) or Chongqing Spicy Chicken ($16.80), bound to set your tongue on fire with the copious amounts of dried chilli. Chef China Hua Chu is also a great spot for supper in town, as it opens till 3am daily.
Address: 101 Beach Road, #01-01, Singapore 189703
Opening hours: Daily 11:30am to 3am
Chef China Hua Chu is not a halal-certified eatery.
17. Husk Nasi Lemak
Husk Nasi Lemak takes the coconut rice dish to a whole new level with their modern and fusion interpretation of the typical nasi lemak elements. The highlight of the Signature Chicken Cutlet Set ($8.80) is the crispy chicken cutlet, which features a juicy slab of thigh meat coated in a batter perfected in Taiwan. That same batter is used a garnishing to add more crunch. Enjoy the ajitsuke tamago with their house-made sambal for a sweet and spicy kick. If you like your chicken grilled instead, opt for the Grilled Chicken Set ($8.80), which is inspired by Thailand’s grilled pork skewers. The chicken thigh is beautifully caramelised, thanks to the sweet marinade.
Check out our review of Husk Nasi Lemak here.
Address: 470 North Bridge Road, #03-21, Bugis Cube, Singapore 188735
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11am to 9pm
Tel: 9661 9159
Husk is in the process of getting halal-certified.
Another halal-friendly eatery on this list, Overrice serves Mediterranean-style rice bowls and pita pockets. The Pulled Beef Bowl ($13.70) is a crowd-favourite here, with fragrant basmati rice served with slow-cooked pulled beef and fresh vegetables. The bowl is doused in a “secret white sauce” which reminds us of a blend of Greek yoghurt and mayonnaise. For a lighter option, taste the Falafel Pita Pocket ($9), which features nutty and fragrant mashed chickpea balls enveloped by fluffy pita. Portions here are generous, as pita bread is also offered as an accompaniment to the rice bowls.
Read our full review of Overrice here.
Address: 48 Arab Street, Singapore 199745
Opening hours: Daily 12pm to 3:30pm, 6pm to 9:30pm
Tel: 8877 1827
Overrice is a halal-certified eatery.
19. June Bakery
June Bakery’s Orh Nee Tarts ($1.20) are elusive. The bakery is only open four days a week, and is often sold out by 1pm. But if you manage to get your hands on one of their tarts, you will understand why they’re so popular. The tart is filled end-to-end with smooth yam paste that’s not overly sweet; while their crust of choice is a savoury and buttery shortcrust. These no-frill tarts are usually snapped up in the dozens by nearby office workers, so visit the bakery early to avoid disappointment! Pro tip: place an order with the shop owners in advance to secure a box of these delights!
Check out our review of June Bakery here.
Address: 7500A Beach Road, #B1-321, The Plaza, Singapore 199591
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 7am to 2:30pm
Tel: 9731 3002
Once a popular online bakery, Guilt has now set up shop along Arab Street and it only seems to be getting more famous. The cookies here are cheekily named, with offerings including Sugar Daddy ($5.50), Tinder Surprise ($4.50), and Fifty Shades of Grey ($5.50). The Fifty Shades cookie boasts a light earl grey fragrance enhanced by notes of orange, while Spill The Tea combines yuzu, white chocolate, and cream cheese in this matcha cookie. Some of the cookies on the menu have vegan counterparts, so you can enjoy these guilt-inducing sweet treats even if you’re vegan!
Read more about our favourite Guilt cookies here.
Address: 29 Arab Street, Singapore 199728
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sat 10:30am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 6pm
Tel: 8343 1019
Guilt is not a halal-certified eatery.
Bugis food places worth your money
From small bites to filling meals, these eats in Bugis are sure to satisfy you. If, like me, you’ve come to this part of town to restock your wardrobe, remember that a happy belly makes a happier shopper! For more good Bugis food, check out our compilation of food at Albert Centre!
Updated by Thames Teo.
This post was originally published on 25 May 2018.