Singapore is a food lover’s paradise and everyone here has a strong opinion about where to get the best dim sum, the best chicken rice and so on. So in true Singaporean style, I will announce my favorite restaurant in Singapore: Kilo.
What do I like about Kilo?
(1) The owners, Sharon and Javier, work in the restaurant. They help prepare the dishes, suggest wines, and talk with their guests. I have dined in too many restaurants in Singapore (including places that charge much more for food and wine) where the service has been cold, and where the staff have no clue what to recommend to their guests because their attitude is “we are only here to take your order”. Not so at Kilo. The minute you arrive, you are received as if you were a guest in their home.
(2) Location and decor: The location is the best — it’s not in a shopping mall or in a high-priced locale where expensive automobiles are valet-parked. In fact, it’s on a small street called Kampong Bugis, which is off Kallang Road, just past Lavender Street. I get a thrill every time the taxi driver cannot find it! I love the super-secret location because when you get there, you know that the only ones present are people who genuinely love good food and a warm welcoming atmosphere. By virtue of its location, Kilo does not attract the sort of diner who brags about which celebrity chef restaurant chain he has been to. Kilo is on the second floor of a nondescript building and it is essentially a breezy living room, windows open to the outside air, relaxed, with super cool interiors.
(3) Food: blend of Japanese, Mediterranean and Italian. My favorite dishes are the squid ink rice with prawns; ahi tuna tartare with avocado; grilled scallops with mushrooms in a light creamy sauce; salmon sashimi; lava chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.
(4) Wine: Good wine list with reasonable prices, again not like most restaurants in Singapore which charge outrageous amounts of money for alcohol.
It’s difficult to find a restaurant in Singapore like Kilo which blends good food, a warm reception by the owners, quirky interiors, and reasonable prices. Almost all of the restaurants I’ve tried which serve “Western” food have been much more expensive and did not have the same atmosphere as Kilo.
Because it’s a small restaurant, you must reserve in advance by emailing them or calling. If all they have is a seat at the bar, take it. It’s comfortable and fun, and you get to talk to the owners and other diners (and you get to survey the room, too). Tip: If you are taking a cab, make sure you have a map of Kilo’s location on hand so you can direct the driver. I have never found a taxi driver who knew how to get there and I’ve been to Kilo four times.
66 Kampong Bugis