With Chinese comprising about 75% of Singapore’s population, it comes as no surprise to find Chinese cuisine in the epicenter of the Lion City’s food scene. Food is an integral part of Chinese culture. It is the centerpiece of every important milestone among families and friends. Aside from sustenance, the Chinese attach symbolism to certain food and produce, mostly symbolizing harmony, prosperity, and good fortune.
Find your way to five-star Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, and Hainanese cuisines with our guide to the 7 best Chinese restaurants in Singapore [updated 2020].
See also: The 5 Best Taiwanese Restaurants In Singapore
1. Hai Tien Lo
Hai Tien Lo, which literally translates to “stairway to heaven”, elevates traditional Cantonese recipes to award-winning heights by infusing modern techniques. Situated on Level 3 of Pan Pacific Hotel, the palatial Hai Tien Lo has always ranked high on the list of must-go places for dim sum, soups, and favorite Chinese classics.
- Weekend Dim Sum Brunch Buffet (From $69.80): Hai Tien Lo’s extensive buffet with over 60 dim sum creations will leave you feeling like an emperor. Delight in the seemingly endless array of meticulously handcrafted dim sum which includes Five Spice Rolls, Chicken Feet with Peanut in Chili Sauce, and Fried Carrot Cake in Chef’s Signature Homemade XO Chili Sauce. The key to enjoying the dim sum buffet is to try every morsel of dim sum and go back for seconds of your favorites.
- Seasonal Themed Menus: Hai Tien Lo mixes it up by offering seasonal themed menus that highlight the Chef’s signature dishes such as Fragrant Duck Confit with Chef’s Specialty Red Wine Sauce. The prix fixe menus are a perfect complement to Singapore’s festive seasons.
- Healthier Alternative: All rice-based dishes can be switched for the more healthful brown rice at no additional charge.
MENU: Hai Tien Lo’s well-curated menu of soups, dim sum, barbecues, desserts, and savories is a collection of traditional and modern Chinese culinary gems. Broken down into set menus, ala carte, and buffet menus, a perfect meal awaits diners with even the most hard-to-please taste bud.
- Roasted Barbecued Suckling Pig
- Braised Australian Fresh Whole Abalone
- Signature Trio of Treasures (Sliced Barbecued Beijing Duck, Marinated Foie Gras with Five Spice, Pan-fried Scallop with Minced Ginger)
- Dim Sum
LOOK & FEEL: The complementing palatial structure, majestic interiors, and dainty cutlery are a perfect way to welcome patrons like royalty.
NOTE: Reservation required for groups of 6+
- Buses: 36, 97, and 97E (Walk 2 mins from bus stop B02159)
- Nearest MRT station: Promenade Station and City Hall Station
2. Cherry Garden at Mandarin Oriental Singapore
True to Chinese tradition, Cherry Garden’s design was conceived following the sacred practices of Feng Shui. Regarded as one of Singapore’s most beautiful Chinese restaurants, dining at Cherry Garden is akin to dining at your wealthy relative’s house – illustrious, cozy, and truly satiating. The restaurant operates around the philosophy that the most delightful Cantonese dishes can only come from fresh produce.
- Dim Sum Brunch (From $68) enriched by unparalleled signature creations: Applauded as one of the Lion City’s best dim sum brunches, Cherry Garden boasts of familiar dim sum staples such as siu mai and xiao long bao and signature dim sum that are almost impossible to find elsewhere such as deep-fried escargot dumplings and crystal dumpling with fresh mushrooms and black truffle.
- Food and Wine Pairings: Celebrations are made extra special with Cherry Garden’s selection of classic and modern wines that wonderfully complement their festive Cantonese dishes.
- Divine Desserts: It’s almost a crime not to punctuate a Chinese meal with a dessert. In stark contrast with their long list of appetizers, dim sum, and specialties, Cherry Garden’s arsenal of desserts may seem short-stacked but with such perfectly-executed desserts, five is just the right number. The osmanthus jelly with wolfberry is a delight both to the eyes and the palate.
MENU: Cherry Garden’s menu showcases dim sum, appetizers, roast specialties, soup and broth, abalone and sea cucumber, live fish, lobster, and prawn, seafood specialties, poultry, meat, vegetable and tofu, rice and noodle, and desserts.
- Peking Duck with Traditional Condiments, Chinese Crepes, Spring Onions, Cucumber and Homemade Sauce
- Thick Superior Lobster Soup, Conpoy, and Seaweed
- Braised 8-head Whole Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Premium Oyster Sauce
- Steamed red grouper served with pickled chilies
- Five grain fried rice with Cantonese pork sausage and vegetables
- Dim Sum
AMBIENCE: Cherry Garden is one of the most beautiful Chinese restaurants in Singapore. An elegant dining room, exuding an old Chinese atmosphere and surrounded by lush greenery, is what will make your gastronomic journey there pleasurable and memorable.
The restaurant’s high-class private dining rooms are ideal for a business treat.
NOTE: Strict with brunch and lunch schedules especially during busy days
- Buses: 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 36, 56, 70M, 75, 77, 97, 97E, 106, 111 and 1 (Walk 2 mins from bus stop B02051)
- Nearest MRT station: Promenade MRT (CC4) (Walk 4 mins from Exit A)
3. Madame Fan Restaurant
Nestled in the NCO Club, Madame Fan offers a contemporary, luxurious fine-dining experience with a Cantonese base. This masterfully modern take on Chinese classics is worth the visit, whatever the occasion.
- Michelin-star roots and world-class Cantonese-inspired dishes to match: Curated by the renowned Alan Yau and Chef Mike Tan, Madame Fan packs dozens of showstoppers into its menu. All jammed into a contemporary, classy setting and DJ tunes to match, the fine-dining experience in Madame Fan is unmatched.
- Mouth-watering cocktail Dim Sum Brunch at the weekends ($68++): Sip, nibble, and guzzle on a memorable brunch at Madame Fan. From 11:00 to 15:30 on Saturdays and Sundays, you can eat and drink your heart's content of flavoursome dim sum and bubbly champagne.
- Live bands on select days for fine-dining entertainment: Madame Fan believes in creating an A to Z experience to leave an impression. They frequently host live bands and premium acts to sing along as you feast on their signature dishes.
MENU: The perfectly-finessed menu is split up into meats and courses, featuring everything from traditional Dim Sum dishes to Crispy duck and deep-fried prawns. Finish off with a zesty tart or a shaken-up cocktail classic at the bar.
- Crispy aromatic duck
- Scallop shumai
- Chinese chives dumpling
- Four treasure soup
LOOK & FEEL: The ambience at Madame Fan is classy, elegant, and modern chic with a house DJ that spins different genres to complement your experience.
NOTE: Reservation is recommended
4. Crystal Jade Golden Palace
A Michelin star is possibly the highest recognition that a restaurant can earn, a symbolism that something is being done exceptionally well. In the case of Crystal Jade Golden Palace, the perfect execution of Teochew recipes along with the easily loveable contemporary creations placed them in the ranks of highly-esteemed restaurants in Singapore.
Teochew specialties: Crystal Jade is a popular chain of restaurants in Singapore but only the Golden Palace branch offers Teochew dishes, a cuisine that is rooted in the Chaoshan culture. A highly historical cuisine, the restaurant gives it a modern spin to fit in the upscale ambience.
Affordable dim sum baskets: A $6 dim sum basket from a Michelin-starred restaurant may sound too good to be true but it is just mouthwateringly true.
Indulgent shark’s fin dishes: Crystal Jade Golden Palace has one of the longest lists of shark’s fin dishes in Singapore. Believed by Chinese to possess medicinal and wellness properties, shark’s fin is presented in more creative ways than simply soup such as sautéed shark’s fin with scrambled egg and olive oil.
Michelin star recognition: Having received the elusive Michelin star recognition for its authentic rendition of the Teochew cuisine, Crystal Jade Golden Palace joins the ranks of the best restaurants not only in the country but across the globe.
MENU: Crystal Jade has both a la carte and set menus that offer hot and cold appetizers, Teochew braised dishes, Cantonese barbecue, shark’s fin, bird’s nest, abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, live seafood, soups, Teochew and Cantonese classics, meat, vegetable and bean curd, and traditional Chinese desserts.
- Roasted Baby Suckling Pig Rolled with Black Truffle Rice
- Chilled Yellow Cream Crab in Teochew Style
- Sugar-coated Yam
LOOK & FEEL: Crystal Jade Golden Palace merges Chinese traditions with modern design. The main dining area features big circular tables, thick carpeting with gorgeous prints, and high ceilings embellished with sophisticated chandeliers. The pop of berry accents amidst black fixtures give the place a movie-set feel, an air of intrigue.
NOTE: Big groups are highly recommended to make reservations for the private dining room.
5. Man Fu Yuan Restaurant
Taking over Singapore's Intercontinental Hotel, Man Fu Yuan is an elegantly traditional fine-dining establishment that has left a mark on contemporary Chinese cuisine. Serving delicious meals in an elegant ambience, Man Fu Yuan is the perfect spot for a sophisticated and refined outing with the food to match.
- Popular weekend Dim Sum Brunch (S$58++): The top-rated dim sum brunch at Man Fu Yuan features a mouth-watering selection of 40 signature dishes to set your weekend mood on a high. Feast your tastebuds on unlimited dishes and bevvies from 11:30 - 13:00 or 13:30 to 15:00.
- Novel one-of-a-kind dishes with Chinese roots: Using eclectic cooking techniques, specialty ingredients, and calibrated recipes, the dishes in Man Fu Yuan are made to make an impression. Looking to splurge? Test out the 'Buddha jumps over the wall' for a uniquely lavish sharing dish.
- Perfect for events, occasions, and celebrations: Featuring enough space to house 170 guests, Man Fu Yuan is the perfect place for your next gathering. They also have private dining areas that can be booked out for your next business event or birthday.
MENU: The menu is crafted for sharing- mimicking a traditional Chinese experience round-the-table cosy dining. With 13 newly curated dishes handmade by chefs with decades of expertise, you will be wowed from the first sight – and first bite. The menu features a balanced selection of indulgent (and pricey) dishes and reasonably-priced plates to suit your occasion and budget.
- Honey glazed pork belly
- Wok-fried radish cake
- Buddha jumps over the wall
- Double-Boiled Premium Bird’s Nest, Almond Cream, Preserved Mandarin Orange
LOOK & FEEL: With warm ambient lighting, elegantly decorated round tables, and slow Chinese tunes to set the mood, Man Fu Yuan has nailed the atmosphere to match the authentic menu on offer.
NOTE: Reservation is recommended
6. Wah Lok Cantonese Restaurant
There are so many things to love about Wah Lok, which has established itself as an institution in Singapore’s restaurant scene. It has been operating for about three decades and has recently received acclaim from the Michelin Guide Singapore. Its claim to success is being meticulous about sourcing world-class produce from different parts of the globe to befit its brilliant Cantonese menu.
- Authentic Cantonese dim sum: Foodies can attest that Singapore is a haven for great-tasting dim sum but only a few restaurants can transport diners to the province of Guangdong for its remarkable authenticity. Wah Lok’s bo luo bao, or pineapple bun, is believed to be the best in all of Singapore.
- Guangdong-born chef: Wah Lok takes pride in its Guangdong-born chef with Hong Kong culinary training – a combination that results in upgraded award-winning authentic Cantonese classics.
- Vegetarian dishes: Wah Lok is one of those few places where vegetarians and carnivores are both spoilt for choice. Their vegetarian dishes are so ingeniously crafted that they practically appear to be indulgences.
MENU: Wah Lok’s menu is, understandably, predominantly Cantonese. The menu brandishes scrumptious appetizers, roasted, barbecued, and cold dishes, shark’s fin, abalone, bird’s nest, and bamboo fungus, soup, seafood, poultry, casserole, pork and beef, vegetarian dishes, rice and noodles, and desserts.
- Braised Bird’s Nest Wrapped in Egg White in Red Carrot Soup
- Baked Rock Oyster with Salted Egg Yolk
- Double-boiled Whole Yellow Melon Soup with Mixed Seafood
AMBIENCE: Wah Lok at Carlton Hotel is a spacious, modern and stylish restaurant, accommodating up to 280 guests in its main dining room and 8 private rooms. Its posh interior and pleasant atmosphere make the restaurant an ideal place for any business and private dining, corporate functions or family dinners and leisure gatherings.
PLUS POINT: No corkage charge
- Buses: 2, 12, 33, 130, 133, 960 and NR7
- Nearest MRT stations: Bras Basah MRT (CC2) and City Hall MRT (EW13)
7. Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant
The temerity to put “Super Peking Duck” in the restaurant’s name stems from legitimate confidence of being able to present patrons with the highest quality Peking duck in Singapore. Imperial Treasure has earned a reputation for its impeccable Peking duck but their other signature dishes are worthy of accolades as well.
Perfect Peking duck: Peking duck is more than just a dish, it is a gastronomic experience that starts from the roasting of a whole duck to crisp, fatty perfection until it is served and sliced right at the patron’s table.
Special set menu for large groups: A Chinese restaurant is an easy choice for celebrations because a set menu is almost always offered. Imperial Treasure has an assortment of set menus that celebrate its bestsellers: yang chow four treasures, Peking duck, and homemade pastries.
Vegetarian set menu: A vegetarian set menu that does not revolve around tofu is great news to the health-conscious. Imperial Treasure’s vegetarian set menu showcases cleverly-crafted veggie-centric dishes such as stewed vermicelli with shredded carrot and stewed beancurd skin with mushroom.
MENU: Imperial Treasure may not have a voluminous menu as those found in typical Chinese restaurants but the brilliance of each dish more than makes up for the short stack of choices. Aside from its world-class Peking duck, the menu is a collection of exquisite appetizers, crustaceans, soup, vegetables, roasts and barbecue, meat, seafood, and dessert.
- Beijing Style Roasted Duck
- Baby Lobster Baked with Salted Egg Yolk
- Charcoal Grilled Quail
LOOK & FEEL: Imperial Treasure has an understated elegance with interiors showcasing an aesthetic of lines and borders amidst traditional circular tables. The simple decors allow food to take the spotlight in every Imperial Treasure culinary experience.
NOTE: Most of Imperial Treasure’s signature dishes, especially their roasts, require to be ordered in advance.