My favourite place is to wander down in the city to Lau Pau Sat Food Market. It's situated on Shenton Way. It's a big food hall with all sorts of Singaporean, Malaysian, Thai food.
You've got to try the following - Stingray ( trust me, it's the bomb), Chilli Crab, Satay and that should do you Ian. Wash it all down with a Heineken, not Tiger Beer, it'll give you a stinking hangover !!!! about 10 years ago
There are just so many places! One that doesn't usually get recommended to travellers is Geylang, which is a red light district but also has some of the best food on the island. Stick to the odd-numbered streets (Lorongs), which have great food stalls (the even numbers are the red light areas). Must-trys are the Beef Kway Teow (flat rice noodles stirfried with slices of beef in black bean sauce) in a corner coffeeshop on Lorong 9, Dou Hua (a sweet beancurd dessert) at Yong He Eating House on Lorong 27A, Dimsum at 126 Eating House along Sims Avenue, Frog porridge at Sinma Seafood Restaurant along Lorong 3 and Prawn Noodles at Lorong 12. Also Sin Huat Seafood Restaurant on Lorong 35 deserves a special mention, it's got awesome crab bee hoon and all around really good seafood (slightly pricey though). Anthony Bourdain the celebrity chef was brought there on his tour of Asia and raved about it.
Lau Pa Sat is great for the grilled items in the outdoor section (such as the stingray, Satay etc mentioned above) but it's really hit and miss with some of the other items. Another good place for local food is Glutton's Bay beside the Esplanade, by the river. Great view and all the stalls in there are run by famous hawkers - try things like Carrot Cake (savoury, not sweet), Satay Beehoon, BBQ chicken wings, Roti Prata and Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles.
One of our favourite breakfasts is kaya toast - Hot toast spread with butter and coconut jam, served with sweet milky coffee and soft boiled eggs with soy sauce. Try going to Ya Kun Kaya Toast, it's a very popular local coffeeshop chain.
As for restaurants, my favourite areas are Dempsey Hill and Robertson Walk - loads of excellent cafes and restaurants. Champagne brunch at the Fullerton Hotel rocks, and Prive at the Keppel Bay Marina is great for a special dinner & drinks away from the city. about 10 years ago
wow... Singapore has the best places to eat in the world.. trust me... Let me sum it up for you.
Hawker centres - no frills and cheap, usually no air-con. You order your food and self-service the food to your table. In a crowded hawker centres, you can "reserved" a seat by placing packet of tissue paper/umbrella on the table just like the locals do. Best place because you can order ALOT with little money. The favourite is Newton and East Coast Park food centre
Food court - no frills and slightly more expensive than hawker centres. Usually located in Shopping Malls, will have air-con. Works the same as hawker centres.
Restaurants - there are cheap to high-end fine dining. I guess there's no need to explain this ?
Buffet in hotels - there're ala-carte buffet whereby you order from buffet menu and the food will be served to you. Or there will be typical buffet style with food stations whereby you can go and pick up the food you want to eat. The best hotel buffet in Singapore in The Line in Shangri-la and it's not cheap.
Singapore hotels: http://www.mytourpal.com/hotellisting/singapore/singapore/ about 10 years ago