Have you ever wondered what Vietnamese cuisine is like outside of Vietnam? Numerous articles on Vietnamese food have been published in distant lands, such as Australia and the United States, thanks to the large Vietnamese diaspora in these places. However, not much is known about Vietnamese cuisine in neighboring countries, especially in my homeland: a small sunny island about 2 hours flight from Saigon called Singapore.
If you find yourself there and have a sudden craving for authentic phở, Hủ tiếu Nam Vang and bánh xèo, I could find them? Well the good news is that you can.
Now, you might be thinking, “no, wait. It’s going to be super expensive ”! Well, they are both right and wrong. You’re right that Vietnamese food in Singapore can be overwhelmingly expensive, however if you know where to look and don’t mind a bit of adventure while searching, you can find a decent plate of phở for about the same price as in Saigon. Curious? Keep reading.
First, some background. Due to Singapore’s proximity to Vietnam, and the large number of Vietnamese students and professionals who have moved to Singapore to study and work, there has been an explosion of restaurants catering to this demographic over the past decade. Most of these restaurants were opened by Vietnamese immigrants or enterprising Singaporeans who love Vietnamese cuisine.
So here comes the disclaimer: the dishes here may be authentic, but they are not region specific. For a Singaporean, a phở it’s a phởRegardless of whether it is prepared in the typical Saigon or Hanoi style.
The restaurants shown here have the best Vietnamese food you can find in Singapore, and some of them are also highly recommended by Vietnamese who have visited the country or live there. Are they listed from “as expensive as you might expect” to “really”?
Located in Novena Gardens along Thomson Road, Saigon Alley It’s the closest you can get to an authentic high-class dining experience in Saigon, save for two details: the impressive command of English by the mainly Vietnamese staff, and the prices.
One of their most popular dishes, spicy Australian beef noodles, costs around SGD14 (VND240,000). For that price, you get something that looks like a colored bun, but with a slightly spicier broth and a very generous serving of sliced Australian beef and brisket, as well as herbs like mint and basil. They are also quite known for their fresh spring rolls, which are actually new interpretations because you won’t find these versions in Vietnam.
Fresh Vietnamese tiger shrimp rolls are huge simply because of the size of the shrimp, which is well packaged and yet still clearly visible through the rice paper. Crab spring rolls are another great variation, containing a generous amount of king crab meat. Each roll costs SGD8 (VND137,000).
Although the dishes are expensive, it is probably one of the best places in Singapore to get delicious Vietnamese food, including some imaginative variants of popular Vietnamese dishes in a clean restaurant with a great atmosphere. Perfect if you miss Vietnam and have money to spend.
Nam Nam noodle bar
I experienced Vietnamese food for the first time in my life on a rainy day in Singapore in 2013. I passed this restaurant in Raffles City, and my friend commented that she had “heard some good things about this place”, so we decided to check it out. It didn’t change my life, but it definitely opened my eyes because that’s where I had my first phở.
What I found interesting about Nam Nam is that there is a huge diagram on the wall that shows you how to eat phở. The restaurant specializes in Hanoi phở, and the toppings range from chicken (SGD 9.90 / VND170,000), to sliced beef (SGD10.90 / VND187,000), and medium rare wagyu beef (SGD19. 90 / VND341,000). ).
You can also find bánh mì with toppings like smoked salmon, cold cuts and caramelised pork belly at not-so-authentic prices, like VND130,000.
Sandwich Saigon Cafe
Just by name, you know this entry will be covered bánh mì. Sandwich Saigon Cafe has some of the best bánh mì You will find it outside of Vietnam with only one downside: it costs around SGD7 (VND120,000), which is about 10 times the price of what you will get in Saigon.
However, if you look beyond the price, the authenticity of the taste, texture, and ingredients will remind you of Vietnam. This is the place Singaporeans go to after returning from a trip to Vietnam to recapture their favorite foodie moments. Vietnamese expats also head to this place when they start to miss the flavors of home.
the bánh mì xíu mại It is to die for, with its giant pork dumplings and veggies. An additional seasoning used here is mayonnaise, which is not commonly used in Vietnam. But it works like a charm.
The baguette is crisp, yet airy, a perfect contrast of crisp and smooth in one bite. There is also a wide range of fillings available, such as pork chops, garlic chicken, roast beef, and more.
Little Vietnam Restaurant and Cafe
Located on Grandlink Square in Singapore’s Geylang district, Little vietnam It is a lovely little restaurant serving Vietnamese food at a decent price in a comfortable environment.
They are known for their deep fried spring rolls, served in sets of 5, for SGD5 (VND86,000). Filled with chicken, veggies, and glass noodles, the buns are slightly larger than you’d find in Vietnam and fried to perfection.
They have a fairly extensive menu with offers like chạo tôm going for SGD5 (VND86,000), gỏi ngó sen for SGD6 (VND103,000) and phở, starting from SGD6, depending on the ingredients you choose.
the bún thịt nướng served here costs around SGD6 (VND103,000) but looks and tastes exactly like what is found in Vietnam. It is a very popular dish in this restaurant.
Please note that if you plan to have a beer here, you will need to reserve a table inside the restaurant due to alcohol restriction laws in Singapore. You cannot drink outside the establishment. The place is very popular and often gets packed to the max, so making a reservation is highly recommended.
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that if you know where to look, you can find great Vietnamese food at almost authentic prices. Here are two places you may want to consider. One of them will be some kind of adventure.
Saigon Food Street
For fans of bánh xèo, this is probably one of the best places in Singapore to get authentic versions of the famous Vietnamese crepe.
Located at Bukit Panjang Hawker Center, Saigon Food Street it is actually a stall in a residential neighborhood accompanied by other street food stalls. This means that you can choose your seat and buy a variety of dishes from different stalls at the same time.
The street vendor center is a Singaporean concept, in which a group of street food vendors are centralized in a single complex. It is the model behind Ben Thanh Street Food Marketin District 1 of Saigon.
the bánh xèo in this position it is priced at SGD5 (VND86,000) and is made to order. With fresh, succulent shrimp and slices of delicious pork wrapped in a razor-thin pancake, it’s as good as some of the best. bánh xèo Tried it in Saigon.
Video source: Eatbook
You can also find other dishes at authentic Saigon prices, such as phở for SGD2.50 (VND43,000) and spring rolls for SGD5 (VND86,000).
Thien Long Vietnamese Restaurant
If you take Bui Vien and compress the whole street into one building, you will get Huerta Towers, one of the seediest areas of Singapore and also known colloquially as the “four floors of whores”.
Comprised of establishments where you can find some of the cheapest alcoholic beverages in the country, massage parlors and gogo bars, it is also home to one of the best and most affordable Vietnamese restaurants you’ll ever find in Singapore.
Located on the 4th level, Thien Long It is one of only two restaurants along the stretch with tables and chairs spilling onto the walkway. It is also where you will find the best hủ tiếu nam vang and bánh canh cua in Singapore for only about SGD5 (VND86,000).
Although its usual phở OK, they have a “spicy” version, which is still one of the best post-drink dinner recommendations I can give. I must also add that this restaurant does not close until 4:00 am.
Video source: Eatbook
So if you are in Singapore and suddenly you have a huge craving for Vietnamese food at 3am, you don’t want to empty your wallet and you don’t mind the chaos along the way, then head to Thien Long. Vietnamese restaurant.