A weekend isn’t enough to explore all that Duxton Hill has to offer, and this guide to the best restaurants in the area can help you plan your next visit.
You can have tacos and tequila at Lucha Loco, which serves up delicious Mexican fare within a picturesque garden bar. You can be introduced to Greek food at Fotia. Or you can dig into modern Singapore dishes at Xiao Ya Tou.
All these restaurants are tucked away in shophouses, a hallmark of the charming district, and a part of it is lined with cobblestone walkways that recall a quaint European town. Instagram-worthy views aside, Duxton Hill stays true to its roots, whether through homegrown establishments putting a twist on local cuisine, or restaurants boasting Michelin stars.
These dining spots will certainly add to your appreciation of a neighbourhood as steeped in heritage as Duxton Hill. Discover them below.
The best restaurants in Duxton Hill
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Despite the popularity of Mediterranean food in Singapore, Greek food has not reached the heights of Italian and Spanish cuisines here, even with excellence of Fotia. The restaurant puts out fine examples of tzatziki and Aegean eggplant dips, lamb kebab, and kunefe (shredded phyllo dough stuffed with soft cheese and drizzled with honey). Their mix combo platter of pita, skewers, dips, and fried potatoes offers an easy introduction to the cuisine.
(Image credit: Fotia / Facebook)
Taking up a corner of Duxton Road and Duxton Hill, Kilo is a Latin American-inspired restaurant housed in an artfully distressed space. The open kitchen with a josper grill pumps out dishes like padron peppers with shredded katobushi and togarashi, seafood ceviche with wanton crisps, and grilled whole turbot. The establishment is also popular on the weekends for its brunch menu of grilled avocado toast, fish and chips, and smashed wagyu cheeseburger.
(Image credit: Kilo Singapore / Facebook)
There are not many places in the world where you can get a glass of champagne to go with your hotdog, but that’s just one of the many quirks of Fung Kee Hotdogs. Like its name suggests, the diner has some of the best hotdogs in Singapore (vegan options included). They also come with a Scandinaivian touch, such as the homemade Danish Rémoulade sauce that blends curry mayonnaise with pickles, or a side dish of pork cracklings known as “Flæskesvær”. Be sure to wash down their hearty servings with Fung Kee’s signature negroni.
(Photo credit: Fung Kee Hotdogs)
Gold flakes in the air is par for the course at Goho. The contemporary kaiseki restaurant and bar highlights five culinary techniques of Japanese cuisine – cutting, simmering, grilling, steaming, and deep-frying – dished out with plenty of flair. Monkfish liver is showcased in mochi wafer with persimmon jam and Japanese ginger (myoga), while sea urchin, wagyu beef, tuna, salmon roe, caviar is smoked with bonito and given a spritz of gold powder before serving.
(Image credit: GOHO Kaiseki & Bar / Facebook)
Dig into Mexican favourites in a garden at Lucha Loco. The restaurant serves tacos, quesadillas, and burritos for lunch, then swaps out the last one for tostadas during dinner. Highlights include cactus and goat cheese quesadilla, lion’s mane al pastor taco, and crab tostada, which should be consumed alongside copious amounts of frozen margaritas and sparkling sangria.
(Image credit: Lucha Loco – Mexican Cocina Y Bar / Facebook)
Catch cherry blossom season all year around at Kreams. Decked out like a spring scene from Korea, the restaurant serves K-inspired dishes like fried chicken and spicy octopus together with Western food including mozzarella pizza, carbonara pasta, and key lime tart. To drink, try their house blend coffee, which is roasted onsite, as well as Kream-branded beer and soju sangria.
(Image credit: CafeKreams / Facebook)
Vegetables are given the fine-dining treatment at Restaurant JAG. Opened by chef Jeremy Gillon and restauranteur Anant Tyagi – their initials form part of the restaurant’s name – JAG works with small farmers to serve a vegetable-centric French degustation menu. Before the feast, diners are presented a boxful of ingredients, and a recent winter menu includes lentils with oregano and calamansi, chervil root with lemon thyme and scallop, and yam with elderberry and wagyu beef.
(Image credit: Restaurant Jag)
Rhubarb has occupied a tiny slice of Duxton Hill since 2014. Founded by three people including restaurant manager Jerome Desfonds and chef Paul Longworth, the French restaurant got its first Michelin star in 2016, and maintained it ever since. It’s only set menus here, and recent dishes include confit lobster tail with quinoa-stuffed zucchini flower, baked black cod marinated in miso and sake, and a dessert of rhubarb, lemongrass, white chocolate, strawberry and fromage blanc.
(Image credit: Rhubarb Le Restaurant / Facebook)
Xiao Ya Tou is yet another dining establishment that you would only find in Singapore. It’s a mod-Asian restaurant that puts an eyebrow-raising spin on local favourites (think truffle roast duck fried rice and chilli crab omelette), which will surprise and satisfy your taste buds in equal measure. (And don’t worry, there’s a vegetarian menu too.) That same rebellious approach applies to the drinks served over at the bar, which includes colourful concoctions like vodka Milo Dinosaur and Yakult mixed with sake.
(Photo credit: Xiao Ya Tou)
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore