While we might be living in one of the world’s most expensive cities, dining in a romantic restaurant does not necessary mean we have to break the bank.
It is such a shame that many Singaporeans have the misconception that a meal at a romantic restaurant would be an insanely costly experience. While that might be the case for most celebrity restaurants, there are actually a handful of other romantic cafes and bistros that will prove your mindset wrong.
Dining at a romantic restaurant is possible with a low budget – all you need to do is search harder! The struggle is real for many when it comes to picking a destination with an intimate ambience, which is why we have embarked on an arduous search for restaurants in Singapore that not only exude romantic vibes but also feature wallet-friendly menus too.
Here is our guide to Affordable Romantic Restaurants in Singapore with Most Main Courses under S$25 (exclusive of any prevailing service charges and taxes). A good number of these featured destinations are conveniently located in the CBD.
Well-known and loved for their premium artisanal teas, Arteastiq is quite the perfect spot for an intimate romantic date with your special someone. Some mains that cost less than S$25 include Grains of Paradise Barley Risotto (S$20), Lousiana Love Chicken & Waffles (S$22) and Tuscan Sun Porcine et Polenta (S$20).
Mandarin Gallery, #04-14/15
333A Orchard Road
Tel: +65 6235 8370
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Somerset
Casa Verde offers some of the best and most value-for-money Italian fare around. This ranges from Frutti De Mare (S$24) pizza and Margherita (S$24) pizza, to pasta options such as Lasagana (S$22) and Pomodoro (S$22).
1 Cluny Road
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Tel: +65 6467 7326
Daily: 7.30am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Botanic Gardens
CONCETTO BY SAVEUR
The Saveur group has always been known to offer restaurant quality French fare at affordable prices. The same goes for their Italian concept – Concetto by Saveur. We are big fans of their Kurobuta Pork Cheek (S$14.90) and Crab Risotto (S$12.90). See? Good food with even better price tags.
2 Handy Road
Tel: +65 6735 1141
Daily: 12pm – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Dhoby Ghaut
CATCH BEER & BATTER
Fish and Chips lovers will appreciate CATCH Beer & Batter at Clarke Quay. Highlights here include their bestselling Dory Fish and Chips English Ale Batter (S$24.50), as well as The Catch Seafood Platter (S$36.50) of Ale Battered Fresh Prawns, Calamari Rings, Fish Fingers, Cajun Fries, and Coleslaw with three different dipping sauces is just the perfect sharing platter. Lemonades to love are the Strawberry Mint Red Summer and Honey Lemon Mint White Summer (S$8.90 each).
#01-01, Block A
Tel: +65 6337 3292
Mon and Tue: 12pm – 1am
Wed to Sun: 12pm – 3am
It is no secret that Fresh Fruits Lab (FFL) is our favourite hideout in the East of Singapore, and since its opening, we have been loyally patronising the cafe for its ever-satisfying menu.
Some of the highlights from Fresh Fruits Lab’s new menu include Pork Jerky Fusion Pizza (S$17), Pork Schnitzel (S$18), and Sous Vide Chicken Breast (S$17).
Readers of Ladyironchef will receive 50% off the second main course during dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from now until 28 Feb 2016 when you flash this post or quote “ladyironchef”. Reservations are required to redeem this promotion (one redemption per table).
351 Changi Road
Tel: +65 6677 6741
Tue to Thu: 11am – 10pm
Fri: 11am – 11pm
Sat: 10am – 11pm
Sun: 10am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Kembangan
Located in the heart of Kovan—just a stone’s throw away from Kovan MRT Station—is Ice Edge Cafe.
The cafe-cum-restaurant has been around for a decade and has gained a huge following over the past years with its hearty savouries and stellar sweets. Dishes served here are very affordable and generously portioned; there is even a perpetual one-for-one lunch promotion on weekdays!
It offers a menu of wallet-friendly dishes (most mains are priced under S$20). If you haven’t been, you are missing out, dude.
2 Kovan Rise
Simon Plaza, #01-10
Tel: +65 6858 5729
Daily: 11.30am – 11.30pm
Nearest Station: Kovan
La Nonna is where one would go to for comforting, homestyle Italian dishes. The rustic earthy decors of bricked walls and vintage posters will make you feel at home right away. Luxuriate over Carnaroli Risotto with sautéed Porcini Mushrooms (S$25++) or Homemade Potato Gnocchi in Four Cheese (S$24++).
26 Lor Mambong
Neareast Station: Holland Village
76 Namly Place
Daily: 12 – 2.30pm, 6 – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Botanic Gardens
Laurent’s Café is an underground gem in the heart of Orchard Road offering a menu of brunch items and desserts.
The cafe by renowned French chocolatier Laurent Bernard might be easy to miss as it sits on the basement level of a mall, but if we told you The Heeren, would you know where already?
Beautiful and authentic French fare and world-class desserts are what you can expect from this cosy and inviting space. Laurent’s Café is indeed those under-the-radar spots in town and it might easily be our favourite cafe in the Somerset area already!
260 Orchard Road #B1-02C
Tel: +65 6235 2340
Daily: 9am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Somerset
L’ENTRECOTE THE FRENCH BRASSERIE
L’Entrecote The French Brasserie at Suntec City is the only outlet in Singapore that offers main courses beyond their signature steaks. Look forward to Norwegian Salmon (S$17++), Le Steak Tartare (S$18++), Pork Chop (S$15++), Sea Bass Fillet (S$18++) and Duck Confit (S$20++). But if you would like, there is a 2-course set lunch of a walnut green salad, Entrecote steak served with their secret sauce and a soft drink at S$20.90++.
#B1-128/129, Suntec City
Tel: +65 6690 7569
Daily: 11.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Cityhall / Esplanade
LE STEAK BY CHEF AMRI
This Muslim-owned restaurant wins our vote as a simple and fuss-free place to have a lovely, quiet date with your partner. Their sirloin steak, grilled salmon and chicken mains are all priced under S$20.
248 Jalan Kayu
Tel: +65 6556 3588
Mon to Thu: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30 – 11pm
Fri: 3pm – 11pm
Sat & Sun: 12pm – 11pm
Nearest Station: Thanggam (Sengkang LRT)
Little Diner is a fantastic cosy restaurant in the West. Honest food in generous portions, this American-style diner has several dishes that are less than S$25 – of which the All American Buttermilk Fried Chicken (S$18.50) and Old School Mac & Cheese (S$16.50) are perennial favourites.
789 Bukit Timah Road
Tel: +65 6466 4088
Tue to Fri: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Holland Village/Botanic Gardens
MOA TIKI NEW ZEALAND BAR & GRILL
MOA Tiki New Zealand Bar & Grill at Changi City Point is dedicated to New Zealand’s alcohol. From fine Pinot Noirs to premium specialty craft beers, you got everything covered here.
Besides drinks, patrons can too indulge in an extensive menu of hearty dishes; think Moa Beef Burger (S$14) and BBQ Pork Ribs (S$19.50). We also enjoyed the Char-grilled Sirloin Cubes (S$13.50) that were served on an aromatic mushroom ragout sauce.
Affordable 3-course set lunch specials are available daily till 2.30pm and starts from S$10.99++.
5 Changi Business Park Central 1
Changi City Point, #01-70/71
Tel: +65 6636 3353
Daily: 11.30am – 12am
Think fresh seafood and honest cooking with beautiful plating. Located at Marina Bay Link Mall, Nude Seafood serves amazing seafood dishes at exceptionally reasonable prices. The King Prawns Barlotto (S$22) and Hickory Smoked Salmon (S$16) are some to try, as with our favourite Miso-Grilled Chilean Seabass (S$22).
12 Marina Boulevard
Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3
Tel: +65 6443 1167
Mon to Thu: 8am – 9pm
Fri: 8am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Downtown
PARK at Holland Village is definitely one of the nicest cafes in the enclave. This unique environmentally friendly cafe-cum-bar has been interestingly constructed with reassembled containers and solar panels – a tranquil cafe by day, and a bustling waterhole at night.
PARK at Holland Village’s comprehensive food and beverage menu has propelled the bistro as an ideal hangout destination throughout the day.
281 Holland Ave #01-01
Reservations: [email protected] / +65 9721 3815
Closed on Mondays
Tue to Thu: 11am – 12am
Fri to Sun: 11am – 2am
Nearest Station: Holland Village
PizzaExpress is now open in Singapore, and it sits on the basement level of Scotts Square. The name should be no stranger to you as they have over 500 outlets in United Kingdom, various European countries, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.
Most of the dishes on PizzaExpress’ menu are priced under S$20 – they are extremely reasonable for the quality and huge portions.
6 Scotts Rd, Scotts Square
Tel: +65 6538 0083
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Orchard
Known for their range of affordable lobster rolls, the Platypus group hits it home with really awesome dishes such as the Crustacean Bowl (S$19) and Lobster Roll (S$21.90). The setting is more casual though, but it is still a neat option if both of you are fans of crustaceans.
24 Raffles Place
#02-02 Clifford Centre
Tel: +65 6533 7402
Mon to Fri: 11am – 4pm
Nearest Station: Raffles Place
Be prepared to be floored by the classy European-style architecture; cosy and intimate, the new PORTA at Park Hotel Clarke Quay is the place to go to impress your date for the night.
Some of the main courses that you can expect include Angus Beef Burger (S$23), Truffle Carbonara (S$23) and Iberican Pork Shoulder (S$26).
1 Unity St
Park Hotel Clarke Quay
Tel: +65 6593 8855
Daily: 6.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Clarke Quay
redpan at Marina Square – a hidden gem we fell in love with lately – has created a comprehensive menu of fusion inventions that have successfully combined the best of both worlds.
From Truffle Floss Fries, Prawn & ‘Hae Bi Hiam’ Pasta and Banana Donuts ‘Milo Dinosaur’, redpan’s menu drove us crazy and we actually cannot pick just one favourite.
6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-03/04 Marina Square
Tel: +65 6255 5850
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: City Hall
Italian trattoria Sole Pomodoro is well-loved for their traditional wood fired pizzas and classic pastas. You can dig into a hearty Margherita Pizza and toothsome Penna O Spaghetto Carbonara at just S$19.90++ and S$24.50++ respectively. The restaurant also boasts a breathtaking view of the tranquil yacht harbour – what’s there not to love?
31 Ocean Way, #01-14
Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove
Tel: +65 6339 4778
Mon to Fri: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 11.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Harbourfront
Spizza Mercato at Capitol Piazza might just be our newfound favourite already! The huge and edgy outlet at Capitol Piazza boasts a large dining area by the fountain, and a “market” – where Spizza offers retail items such as authentic Italian ingredients and condiments and homemade pasta.
Some of the dishes that we’d recommend are the Red Tomato Mezzelune (S$15), Black Squid Ink Round Ravioli (S$14), and the Tara Pizza (S$20) which features mozzarella, a full egg, bacon and button mushrooms.
13 Stamford Road #B2-52
Tel: +65 6702 1835
Daily: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: City Hall
Mexican restaurant Super Loco is revamping the classic brunch item of Eggs Benedict and Salmon Royale that we are too familiar with. Introducing a delightful array of Mexican dishes unlike any other in their weekend brunch menu, Super Loco offers patrons a refreshing change of exotic fare such as the Pulled Pork Torta (S$15) and Breakfast Burrito (S$18).
60 Robertson Quay, #01-13 The Quayside
Tel: +65 6235 8900
Mon to Thu: 5pm – 12am
Fri: 5pm – 1am
Sat: 10am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 1am
Sun: 10am – 3:30pm, 5pm – 11pm
Nearest Station: Clark Quay
While there are many concept cafes out there, To-gather Cafe in Bedok (next to Fengshan Market) is one gem where you can unwind from work.
The cafe offers delectable signature dishes and the most flavourful desserts to end your meal with.
The best part? Most of the main courses are affordably priced under S$12. To-gather Cafe is one place where you can have a good meal without breaking the bank.
84 Bedok North Street 4
Tel: +65 6445 1011
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Bedok
Located along Keong Saik Road, The Study is a British gastrobar helmed by Michelin-stared chef Jason Atherton. While most items are rather pricey, their brunch menu does offer a selection of affordable main courses under S$25++. Dig into Australian wagyu beef rump with sunny side-ups and skinny fries (S$22) or The Big English (S$19).
49 Keong Saik Road
Mon: 6pm – 10.30pm
Tue to Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Sat and Sun: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Chinatown / Outram Park
Set foot in Japanese restaurant Tomo Izakaya and you would be instantly teleported to Japan. From low tables, sakae bottles to imprinted lanterns, everything in Tomo Izakaya reminds us of a typical izakaya in Japan. Tomo Izakaya enjoys its popularity these years by serving superbly fresh sashimi and wallet-friendly bento sets that are priced at S$15 nett.
Block 3A #01-14
Tel: +65 6336 0100
Mon to Thu: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 1am
Fri and Sat: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 3am
Sun: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 1am
WHISK & PADDLE
Whisk & Paddle is a beautiful cafe in Punggol, and it is even more alluring at night with a stunning view of the peaceful surroundings. The food menu is generally affordable, including one of our favourite Mac & Cheeses ever – at S$13.80.
10 Tebing Lane
Tue to Fri: 3.30pm – 10.30pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 9.30am – 10.30pm
Nearest Station: Riveria (Punggol LRT)
With a modern British-styled restaurant interior design, Zaffron Kitchen is opened by the folks behind Prata Wala and it has built a strong following among expats and locals alike. At Zaffron Kitchen, you can enjoy authentic Northern and Southern Indian cuisine in a chic and stylish setting. With air-con too! No more perspiring while downing your naan with teh tarik.
We sampled many dishes, and we really enjoyed the Chef Sampler for 2 (S$12) and Kashmiri Naan (S$5.50) – a sweet version with dried berries. But the star of the show has to be the very creamy and tangy Butter Chicken. And if you need your wines, you’d be happy to know that Zaffron is also a well-stocked gastro bar.
3 Gateway Drive
Tel: +65 6465 9880
Mon to Thu: 11.30am – 9.30pm
Fri to Sun, Eve of PH & PH: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Jurong East
49 Seats at Orchard Central boasts industrial-chic decors and delicious budget-friendly main courses. While its setting may be a far cry from fancy fine dining establishments, 49 Seats is actually ideal for a casual yet romantic date. Go for the signature Seafood Tom Yum Pasta (S$14.90) and top up an additional S$4.90 for a soup of the day and a soft drink.
Orchard Central #08-08
181 Orchard Road
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 2.30pm 5.30pm – 10pm
Sat to Sun: 11am – 10pm
Tel: +65 6509 5895
Nearest Station: Somerset
For more recommendations, read our guide to 20 most romantic restaurants in Singapore.