PUBLISHED September 5th, 2020 10:00 am | UPDATED September 11th, 2020 09:12 am
It’s strange to think that many years ago, the majority of shophouses along the Duxton strip in Tanjong Pagar were packed with dodgy KTVs. Now, Duxton Hill is without a doubt one of the best areas to wine and dine out in Singapore outside the CBD. And for sure, while there’s still KTVs knocking around, the majority have been scrapped, done-up, and replaced by cool new food and tipple spots. Here’s the lowdown on where to eat and drink yourselves silly at Duxton Hill.
Fung Kee Hot Dogs
If you love hot dogs or Negronis, or better still both, Fung Kee is where you need to be at. After the success of its first outlet in Orchard Towers, Knut Randhem has brought his famous Scandinavian dogs over to Duxton along with expanded cocktail offerings. The menu is a sausage party of classic and quirky options – the Fung Kee Original (S$8) is a bun stuffed with smoked pork sausage and crisp onions, while The Vegan (S$9) features a soy-and-mushroom sausage. For the ultimate Fung Kee experience, pair your hot dogs with their smashing Negronis (S$14) that are easily some of the best in town. Read our review here.
Fung Kee Hot Dogs is located at 68 Duxton Rd, #01-02, Singapore 089527, p.+65 8235 4935. Open Tue-Thurs & Sat 5pm – 10.30pm, Fri 12pm – 10.30pm, Sun 2pm – 8pm.
Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jeremy Gillon, Restaurant JAG’s artisanal approach shines in every detail of the restaurant – from its custom wood and stonework, to the exquisite menu crafted around 40 indigenous herbs exclusively flown in from Savoy. Here, the experience revolves around omakase-style tasting menus of innovative French dishes. Choose between Three Expressions (S$58++), Five Expressions (S$108++) or Seven Expressions (S$168++) for lunch, and between Five, Seven and 10 Expressions (S$218++) for dinner. Expect nothing less than a culinary journey through a mind-blowing medley of flavours and textures.
Restaurant JAG is located at 76 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089535, p. +65 3138 8477. Open Tue-Thurs 6pm – 10.30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm – 3pm and 6pm – 10.30pm.
Just above Restaurant JAG is what amounts to a mad mixologist’s lab – IB HQ, which relocated to the second level of the shophouse space this June. This progressive bar isn’t afraid to get wild and weird with its tipples, so expect housemade distillates like mango gin, chocolate vodka, and kopi o-infused vermouth in your glass. Each priced at S$22++, the cocktail lineup includes surprises like Yuzu & Caramel Daisy – a deceptively light vodka number with tofu and yuzu jus. Thanks to their downstairs neighbour, you’ll also find French fare like Croque Monsieur (S$38++) and Salmon Rillette (S$15++) on the grub menu. Read our review here.
IB HQ is located at 76A Duxton Rd, Level 2, Singapore 089535, p. +65 9152 4550. Open Tues-Fri 5pm – 10.30pm, Sat 3pm – 10.30pm. Closed Sun & Mon.
Xiao Ya Tou
A fusion concept from the folks behind Symmetry, restaurant-bar Xiao Ya Tou puts its own playful spin on modern Asian cuisine. Start off with their Crispy Otak Rolls (S$14++), which feature the classic Nyonya fishcake in spring roll form complete with tamarind peanut sauce, then move on to the Truffle Roast Duck (S$26++) that’s elevated with a Chinese-spiced truffle sauce. Even the drinks at Xiao Ya Tou gets the local touch – imbibe uniquely Asian cocktails like the Beefeater-spiked Yuan Yang (S$15++) or Yakult (S$15++) laced with Nigori sake and vodka.
Xiao Ya Tou is located at #01-01, 6 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089592, p. +65 6226 1965. Open Mon 4pm – 11pm, Tues-Fri 11.30am – 11pm, Sat 10am – 11pm, Sun 10am – 10pm.
Etna Italian Restaurant
Founded in 2006 as a humble trattoria, Etna has since evolved to a sophisticated Italian restaurant with a wide range of Sicilian and Mediterranean-influenced dishes. It’s safe to say that this establishment is still one of our top spots for affordable Italian nosh in Singapore. If not for their warm hospitality and ambience, you’ll find yourself returning for comfort grub like the lobster-stuffed creamy Ravioli all’ Aragosta (S$36++). There’s a diverse selection of antipasti and cheesy pizzas to indulge in, along with classic desserts like the Cannoli Etna (S$12++) filled with ricotta cheese and chocolate chips.
Etna Italian Restaurant is located at 49 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089513, p.+65 6220 5513. Open Mon-Sun 12pm – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm.
Alba has the unenviable position of going up against the likes of Etna in the realm of Italian cuisine, but it more than holds its own. This fine dining spot offers a variety of pickings from degustation menus to set lunches, with elegant gems like oven-baked salmon in a pistachio crust and saffron risotto with smoked caviar. There’s also an impressive wine selection to work your way through, so take the time to savour your meal alfresco while enjoying great views of the city skyline. Read our review here.
Alba 1836 is located at 28 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089610, p. +65 6222 2048. Temporarily closed.
RPM by D.Bespoke
The laidback younger sibling of Ginza-style speakeasy D.Bespoke, RPM is a shrine to shochu. Besides a formidable collection of shochus organised by prefecture, there’s a cocktail list featuring classics reinvented with shochu as the base – think Shochu Martini (S$23) and a wonderfully tangy RPM Dark & Stormy (S$23). No one’s judging if you order a shochu smoothie either – the Osaka Mix (S$24) is a tropical fruit explosion that’ll brighten up your night. As you sip, enjoy jazz and funk tunes from RPM’s 1000-strong stash of vintage vinyl.
RPM by D.Bespoke is located at 16 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089482, p. +65 8359 1334. Open Tues-Fri 4pm – 10.30pm, Sat-Sun 3pm – 10.30pm. Closed Mon.
Pince & Pints
At Pince & Pints, you’ll be spoilt for crustacean choice – from mouth-watering Lobster Rolls (from S$58++) to Cantonese Style Steamed Lobster (S$58++) cooked on a bed of glass vermicelli and even a cognac-laced Lobster Mac & Cheese (S$32++). Sea-foodies really can’t go wrong either with their Whole Black Pepper Crab (S$58++) doused in punchy house-made black pepper sauce, or their Crabmeat Fried Rice (S$20++) brimming with wok hei goodness. Wash it all down with tipples of your choice from their extensive drinks menu featuring hand-crafted cocktails, sakes, and frothy beers. Read our review here.
Pince & Pints is located at 32-33 Duxton Road, Singapore 089496, p.+65 6225 7558. Open Mon-Fri 12pm – 2.30pm and 5.30pm – 10pm, Sat-Sun 12pm – 10pm.
Tippling Club isn’t ‘technically’ in Duxton, but it just seems too much of a shame not to include it. The funky restaurant-bar under Chef Ryan Clift has earned itself a steady fan following at its previous Dempsey location. The menu is an awesome experimental mishmash of tasty ingredients, from foie gras cheesecake to black lime sorbet. As for the cocktail bar, to put it simply, you’ll taste some of the most inventive drinks in Singapore here (we haven’t forgotten those much-talked-about alcoholic gummy bears). Read our review here.
Tippling Club is located at 38 Tanjong Pagar Rd, Singapore 088461. Open Mon-Fri 12pm – 12am, Sat 6pm – 12am.
Lucha Loco is largely responsible for changing the face of the area and pumping fresh life into the neighbourhood. This colourful cocina-bar dishes up authentically-inspired contemporary Mexican food and top-notch agave-forward tequila creations. Sink your teeth into crowd-pleasers like the Barbacoa Tacos (S$12++) comprising succulent braised lamb, grilled tomato and red onion salsa nestled in a soft corn tortilla, and Elotes (S$7++) – a popular street-style grilled corn drizzled with chipotle mayo, cotija cheese and lime. Don’t miss out on their delightful mezcal cocktails that are bound to win you over. Read our review here.
Lucha Loco is located at 15 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089598. Open Tues-Fri 11.30am – 10.30pm, Sat 5pm – 10.30pm.
Praelum Wine Bistro
Attention wine enthusiasts, this is where you should be heading to for your dose of vino. Run by talented sommelier Gerald Lu, this is a great stop for sampling a few wines from their 1000 bottle-strong cellar, or even popping open a few bottles if you’re so inclined. Naturally, the food here – predominantly European with French techniques – melds perfectly with their wines. For a delicious white wine pairing, go for their Seared Foie Gras (S$24++) or their Whole Baked Brie (S$26++) with roasted garlic, crushed nuts, and a cranberry reduction. Read our review here.
Latteria Mozzarella Bar
Despite the name (meaning dairy-shop in Italian), what really impressed us at Latteria Mozzarella were the meaty dishes – we’re still dreaming about the fork-tender Slow Roasted Lamb Shank (S$41++) immersed in chickpeas and red wine casserole. Still, the dairy side of things is no slouch either. Expect the freshest mozzarella and burrata cheese interpreted in various dishes, like the sinful Bocconcini ‘in Carrozza’ Arrabiata (S$25++) made with deep-fried buffalo milk mozarrella in spicy arrabbiata sauce. Read our review here.
Latteria Mozzarella is located at 40 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089618. Open Mon-Sat 12pm – 2.30 pm, 6pm – 11pm, Sun 6pm – 10.30pm.
Top Image: Pince & Pints