Tapas, Sharing Plates and More: Social Dishes Made for Sharing And Where You Can Get Them
There can be few better ways to dine than with a glorious spread of sharing dishes laid out before you. Each time you tire of one, simply move onto the next; safe in the knowledge that someone at the table will devour what you won’t. Here, we take a look at some of Singapore’s best places for dining in a group where both the quantity and quality of the food is always above par.
Cold cuts & cheeseboards at The Providore
Source: The Providore
Go European with a ‘bits and pieces’ style lunch made up of cold cuts of meat, exotically sourced cheeseboards and great hunks of delicious fresh bread. For this, we turn to The Providore. With locations on Shenton Way and in Mandarin Gallery, among others, this relaxed but trendy spot is ideal for long lunches. Why? Because their divine selection of dine-in platters are well worth taking your time over. If there’s a few of you, there’s no need to peruse the menu – go straight to the waitress to order all four of their platters: one with artisanal cheese and crackers, another with a gourmet selection of charcuterie like parma ham and salami, a third topped with creamy buffalo mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and warm crusty bread, and a final plate of Mediterranean dips served with toasted pita, juicy olives and crudités. If you don’t finish it all, push aside your pride in asking for a takeaway box; you’ll thank yourself later for taking the leftovers home, and even more so if you grab a jar or two of their homemade chutneys and pickles as an accompaniment.
Address: 6A Shenton Way, #B1-07 Downtown Gallery, Singapore, 068809
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Dim sum by Swee Choon
Source: Swee Choon
The Lazy Susan is one of the best inventions ever, and never is it more loved than when it allows you access to that steaming basket full of dumplings on the other side of the table. To satisfy your dim sum craving, we’ve got just the place up our sleeve: Swee Choon. As good for the soul as it is for the taste buds, this welcoming Jalan Besar favourite has an extensive yum cha menu featuring both the traditional and the innovative. The wide selection can make ordering a little intimidating, but here’s a tip: if in doubt, go straight for the signatures. The aptly named Big Baos filled with tender pork, chicken, shitake mushrooms and a hard boiled egg are a great place to start, as are the Sichuan chilli oil wontons and pork floss-topped Fried Golden Doufu (tofu). No dim sum meal would be complete without xiao long bao, so don’t forget these Shanghainese morsels of heaven filled with pork and a rich, piping-hot soup encased in paper-thin pastry. As for main dishes, anything featuring their hand-pulled noodles is a winner. And it’s worth saving room for a bite or two of something sweet, as the Liu Sha Baos filled with a creamy egg yolk custard and the refreshing Mango Pudding combine to make the perfect finale. Oh, and if the need for dim sum strikes you late at night – never fear, Swee Choon is open until 6am.
Address: 183-191 Jalan Besar, Singapore, 208882
Opening hours:Monday: 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-6am
Wednesday-Saturday: 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-6am
Sunday: 10am-3pm, 6pm-6am
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Hotpot galore at LongQing
The soaring temperatures of Singapore might mean you need to stand in the air conditioning for half an hour before you’re really in the mood for this meal, but when it comes to hot pot, it’s worth it. Need a recommendation? Try elegant steamboat restaurant LongQing in Clarke Quay. One of the few places in the city that steers clear of MSG, they opt instead to slow-cook their broth for ten hours or more, infusing it with a wide variety of herbs and pork bones to really pack in the flavour. Deviating from tradition a little, one of the most popular soups on their menu is the fragrant wild mushroom. Fancy a broth with more of a kick? The Sichuan mala is a popular choice, full to the brim with tongue-tingling chillies. Soup selected, it’s time to turn your attention to the hot pot add-ins. You’ll be desperate to get your chopsticks on the high-quality selection that will take you on a trip around the world; think Asian pork and cabbage dumplings, prime US short rib, melt-in-the-mouth pork collar and locally sourced king prawns. As for the side dishes, our top picks are the quail eggs, chilled seaweed and crispy bean curd. And don’t forget a few bowls of steamed rice to help soak up the soup.
Address: 18 Hong Kong St, Singapore, 059661
Monday-Sunday: 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm
Hugely popular with locals and expats alike, book your table at LongQing to avoid a long wait!
Tapas by TXA Pintxo
Source: TXA Pintxo
Small plates – and lots of them – is the way to really do tapas justice. Our favourite place to load up on these petite Spanish dishes is romantic restaurant TXA Pintxo Bar. It’s the first eatery in Singapore dedicated to the Basque dining experience, with the focal point of their culinary mastery being in the pintxos. There’s a serious selection to choose from, but two of the most flavoursome that are not to be missed are the Pintxo Velero (Jamon Iberico on goat cheese with caramelised onions and sundried tomatoes) and Pintxo Igeldo made up of tuna, confit tomato and anchovies. Pair these with some traditional tapas dishes (listed on the menu as raciones) like Padron peppers, Basque anchovies and Jamon Iberico croquettes. Yes, these may sound like the generic dishes you see on many a tapas menu, but trust us, these ones are prepared to perfection and proof of how they’re really meant to taste! If you’re dining in a big group, our pick for a larger dish to dive into alongside the small plates is the super succulent Wagyu prime rib served with piquillo peppers. As for the drinks, this charming bar in the Alkaff Mansion on the Southern Ridges is also known for their fine Spanish wine selection and craft cocktails like the Tinto de Pintxo. It’s a refreshing yet punchy blend of red wine, Pisco brandy, sweet vermouth and sparkling water.
Address: 10 Telok Blangah Green, Singapore, 109178
Tuesday & Thursday-Sunday: 5pm-11pm
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Gourmet steak purveyors, Skai
Large cuts of premium quality meat cooked to perfection are the epitome of culinary indulgence for the carnivorously inclined. At Skai, when you combine this with spectacular views of the city skyline, it becomes a serious contender for the ultimate celebratory dining spot. We’ve long since loved Skai in the Swissotel for its panoramic vistas, but the sharing cuts of gourmet steak are enough to tear your eyes away from the windows. There are two options to choose from, but for us, the Black Angus Porterhouse from Australia takes the biscuit. Smothered in either a black truffle or green peppercorn sauce, it will melt in the mouth and truly make your taste buds sing. The menu deems this a sharing cut for two, but when ordered with the Signature Beef Taster (featuring a Japanese Wagyu, Australian Wagyu and American Angus) and a variety of other dishes, there’s plenty there for four or five people. The abundance of meat can be admittedly rich (particularly when paired with red wine; ask the sommelier for their recommendations), so ordering light and freshly flavoured side dishes like the creamy burrata, yellow fin tuna tataki and yuzu-topped asparagus make for the ideal accompaniment.
Address: Swissotel, Level 70, 2 Stamford Rd, Singapore, 178882
Monday-Sunday: 12-3pm, 6pm-10pm
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Build your own picnic
If the weather is right, sometimes there’s nothing better than eating al fresco; on a gingham rug surrounded by nature. If this takes your fancy, there’s a few go-to places to have on your radar. First up, head to Swiss Butchery for their fantastic meat selection (they offer both raw and pre-cooked) and international cheeses to take away from the deli. Next up is salad. WellDressed’s big and full-of-goodness bowls are ideal for sharing with friends. As for bread, head straight to Tiong Bahru Bakery; our favourite spot in the city for fresh bread from croissants to sourdough and our favourite mango and sesame loaf. Need a little something sweet to finish? Cedele’s ever-changing selection of sugary treats including cupcakes and pastries have you covered.
Looking to expand your options?
Browse through our curated and extensive list of places great for groups that you and your squad can head to for an enjoyable time that’ll fill your stomachs and heart!