One of Singapore’s most atas neighbourhoods, Holland Village was Dempsey Hill before Dempsey Hill was anything. But gone are the days where you’d get called out on radio for wearing shorts and slippers to the upmarket hideout. These days, lowly heartlanders like myself can unabashedly take the MRT there and spend our middle-class money eating fancy Holland Village food.
Here are 13 Holland Village restaurants that are (kind of) affordable.
12 Holland Village food options for the average Joe
Disclaimer: I’m well aware that there’s the Holland Village market and food centre where you can get Nasi Lemak and Mark’s favourite spaghetti bolognese for under $5. This is not a list of the cheapest food, but instead the mid-tier holland village food options (i.e. casual dining at restaurants).
|Holland Village food||Estimated price per meal|
|363 Katong Laksa||$5 to $10|
|Nakhon Kitchen||$10 to $15|
|Umi Nami||$10 to $20|
|D’Good Cafe||$15 to $25|
|Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao||$15 to $25|
|Crystal Jade Kitchen||$15 to $30|
|Sushi Tei||$15 to $35|
|PARK||$20 to $35|
|iSteaks||$15 to $50|
|La Nonna||$15 to $50|
|Full of Luck Restaurant||$15 to $50|
|Sanpoutei Ramen||$20 to $35|
|Cha Cha Cha||$25 to $35|
363 Katong Laksa – best for a meal under $10
I should not have to tell you this, but just in case you suaku…363 Katong Laksa is definitely NOT the original Katong Laksa, but more likely a franchise. But be that as it may, it’s still a pretty decent bowl of Peranakan goodness.
The best part is that a bowl of laksa from here costs just $4, and you can top-up for extra liao. You can order more prawns ($1), cockles ($1), fish cake ($1) and noodles ($0.30).
For a fusspot who has to rap “add fish cake, add prawns, no beansprouts and less chilli”, the ordering system is a godsend – there are iPads stationed at the entrance; simply place an order, pick up a buzzer, and then collect and pay at the cashier.
Address: 298 Lorong Liput
Tel: 6464 9303
Nakhon Kitchen – cheap authentic Thai food
Nakhon Kitchen is known for having some of the cheapest authentic Thai food in Singapore.
But Nakhon Kitchen Holland Village, specifically, is known for a rodent infestation that happened late last year. Despite the nastiness, it’s far from empty – I’ve literally never seen the restaurant without a snaking queue outside. Conclusion: The food must be good if our fellow Singaporeans can so quickly forgive and forget.
Most people don’t come here and order for one, because then you’d probably just be eating pad thai noodles ($5) or pineapple fried rice ($6).
Most people order those carbs and then share the dishes – my personal favourites are the pandan leaves chicken ($6 for 4 pcs), homemade Thai prawn cake ($12 for 4 pcs), and not forgetting tom yum soup ($6). All of that, plus drinks, usually come up to around $10 to $15 per pax.
Address: 27A Lorong Liput
Tel: 6469 6862
Umi Nami – cheap chirashi don at $10
The way into my heart is through good and cheap Japanese food. With its $10 chirashi don, Umi Nami definitely makes the cut for “cheap”, but is it any good?
There are mixed reviews online, but most agree that despite fresh fish, the portion is quite disappointing. Still, Umi Nami is worth a mention as there aren’t many eateries that serve Japanese donburi for under $15. If you’re not a fan of chirashi, there’s the popular Aburi Salmon Don ($13) and Maguro Zuke Don ($12).
Address: 8 Lorong Mambong
Tel: 6463 1446
D’Good Cafe – $20 home-style brunch
They say you should never mix religion with politics, but you know what’s one thing I never mix religion with? Food.
So I am going to ignore the bible verses that greet me at the 2nd floor and D’Good Cafe website introduction that shares how God gave the founder the blueprint to their maple sea salt cheesecake… Let’s focus on the food (and prices, because MoneySmart, duh).
D’Good serves mostly your typical Western cafe fare: pastas, pizzas and brunch items, all of which are around $13 to $18. They have an all-day breakfast as well ($5.50 to $16.50). A meal should set you back around $20 – more if you grab a cup of coffee ($3 to $7).
Address: 273 Holland Ave
Tel: 6219 9807
Crystal Jade Holland Village – not 1 but 2 outlets here
Crystal Jade is household name when it comes to Chinese food. It’s super popular for being reasonably priced – of course, it’s not the eat-every-day kind of food, but it’s great if you want a nice meal that isn’t too pricey.
Crystal Jade Kitchen (at the Lorong Mambong side) is the pricier one. You can eat cheap by ordering wonton or beef brisket noodles that are under $10 and be done with it, or you can splurge by getting stuff like Peking duck or ordering a la carte dishes ($15 to $20+).
There’s also a Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (at the Holland Avenue side) that’s slightly more affordable. They have more la mian and fried rice mains. There’s also the super worth-it xiao long bao & steamboat buffet ($27.80, Mon to Thu / $30.80, Fri to Sun, PH & PH eve).
Crystal Jade Kitchen
Address: No.2 Lor Mambong
Tel: 6469 0300
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao
Address: Holland Avenue 241
Tel: 6463 0968
Sushi Tei Holland Village – Japanese food, duh
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Sushi Tei needs little introduction – with 13 outlets in Singapore, you must’ve eaten here at least once before. And inside, you’d probably have observed quite a diverse crowd of say, uniform-clad teenagers and Chanel-carrying tai tais.
That’s because how much you spend here really depends on what you order. You can definitely dine under $20 if you just order an individual main like the kaisen ramen ($12.80), salmon don ($12.80) or even the ever-popular chirashi don ($10.80).
However, you probably want to add on some sashimi, right? A single portion of the salmon and hamachi cost $8.80 and $12.80 respectively, so I recommend getting the tokachi platter of tuna belly, tuna, swordfish and salmon ($35.80) to share. Adding these sides and drinks, your bill can easily hit $30+.
Address: Raffles Holland V #03-04
Tel: 6694 0112
PARK Holland Village – cafe that doubles up as a landmark
With a steel-and-glass facade and conspicuous solar panels on its roof, PARK Holland Village is every inch the hipster brunch cafe you want it to be. In its own words, the establishment is a “cafe by day and bistro by night”.
They serve a brunch menu that includes the classic eggs benedict ($16.50), hearty steak sandwich ($12.80), and sweet apple cinnamon french toast ($8.80). The mains are slightly more expensive – the cheapest is the Har Chiong Gai Burger ($13.50), and the fanciest item is the Park Blue Cheese Burger ($21.50). Everything else on the PARK Holland Village menu is in between, around $14 to $16.
You can definitely dine for under $20, but desserts are kind of expensive ($8.90), so if you add that in you will definitely hit $30. It’s expensive to keep up that tree hugger image, huh?
PARK also has daily specials on alcohol – check out the booze promotions here.
iSteaks – casual diner with steaks from $20
iSteaks is probably one of the best places for alumni gatherings – the high-flying insurance agents can order the AU wagyu ribeye steak ($45.50, 200g), while the struggling entrepreneurs stick to pastas and burgers ($8.50 to $14.50).
Those in between can opt for the less atas beef steaks, which cost around $20 to $25. There are also grill options for poultry ($10), pork and lamb ($14 to $26.50) and fish ($10 to $18). See the iSteaks Holland Village menu here.
Address: 17A Lorong Liput
Tel: 6463 3165
La Nonna – 1-for-1 Italian food during lunch
La Nonna is a mid- to high-end Italian restaurant – think pizzas, pastas and the like.
At a steep estimated cost of $30 to $50 per pax, you wouldn’t expect La Nonna to make it on any MoneySmart lists. The a la carte pizzas and pastas are $22 to $30, while the meat and fish mains are $30 to $34 (and that’s before taxes!). Even the weekday set lunch (soup, main, dessert and coffee/tea) is $26, which is on the high side. See the La Nonna menu here.
What people really go to La Nonna for is the 1-for-1 lunch promo – from Monday to Saturday 12nn to 2.30pm, diners can enjoy 1-for-1 pizzas, pastas and mains.
If you’re subscribed to The Entertainer (check out the MoneySmart promo code for 10% off), you can enjoy 1-for-1 offers too. That comes up to an affordable $11 to $17 per pax.
Full of Luck Club (now Restaurant) – lunch set from $14
Once a hipster hideout with a pastel palette and kitschy doodles on the walls, Full of Luck Club has since rebranded itself as the more mature Full of Luck Restaurant.
It still serves up affordable Cantonese cuisine, but slightly less casual than before. If you dine during dinner time (or any time outside of lunch), you are likely to spend about $35 and up. Their signature dish is the honey glazed char siew ($16), which is sold out almost daily. See the Full of Luck Restaurant menu here.
If you head there during your weekday lunch break – that’s when you can score the real bargain. Lunch sets start at $14 and go up to $21 per pax. The lunch set A ($14) includes one claypot rice and one side. You can top up $6 for a full set (cake, soup and drink).
Like La Nonna, Full of Luck Restaurant is part of The Entertainer programme (1-for-1 on mains) too.
Sanpoutei Ramen – Japanese ramen from $15
The Sanpou Group – the company behind Sanpoutei Ramen – hails all the way from Niigata, which is known for shoyu ramen. That’s exactly the signature dish of Sanpoutei – the Niigata Shoyu Ramen ($15) features a specialty soup stock that’s been stewed for 6 hours, two slices of cha shu and ramen egg.
Ramen prices are between $15 to $20, while the a la carte sides are $4.50 to $13.50. For most people, a bowl of ramen should you fill you up right up, but if you have a bigger appetite, be prepared to spend up to $30+. Here’s the Sanpoutei Ramen menu for your easy reference.
Address: 253 Holland Ave
Tel: 6463 7277
Cha Cha Cha – Mexican food in Singapore from $14
Get your chilli con carne fix at Cha Cha Cha, one of the pioneering Mexican restaurants in Singapore located along Lorong Mambong.
Mains are $14 to $26, but they’re mostly in the $16 to $18 range – unless you get the seafood Langostino (king prawns and rice), which is $26. Keep it at a main and you’re unlikely to bust the $25 budget.
If you add on starters and salads ($4.50 to $12), expect to spend much more. I can never resist ordering Nachos – what’s a Mexican meal without it? – and over here, it $12 for the small portion of the classic chips (with jalapeno, cheese and salsa). The chicken and beef ones are $14. Add those and your bill can hit up to $35 per pax. See the Cha Cha Cha menu here.
Address: 32 Lorong Mambong
Tel: 6462 1650
Which of these Holland Village restaurants are your favourite? Share with us in the comments below!
Featured photo credit to achresis khora via Flickr. In-article photo credit to respective owners on Instagram.