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Best New Restaurant (Non-Western): National Kitchen by Violet Oon

National dishes take centre stage in a polished yet relaxed setting.

Decisions are hard to make at Violet Oon’s new establishment, especially for repeat customers. It’s a struggle between ordering favourites and trying the other offerings on the extensive menu.

That’s precisely the dilemma many – who find themselves revisiting National Kitchen time and again – face at this beautifully stylish restaurant. Located within the iconic National Gallery Singapore and with a menu that highlights some of Singapore’s more well-loved heritage dishes, it has quickly become a go-to restaurant for entertaining visitors from out of town – and for those who just want a taste of authentic local cuisine, made with panache.

The focus here is plainly on delivering authenticity through the use of traditional cooking techniques. In fact, we think they’re in the running for making the island’s best fish head curry, dry laksa and kueh pie tee – and trust us, we’ve done our hawker circuit.

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Apparent in all three is how Oon utilises only the freshest ingredients – the fish head curry, for instance, is delicious with the natural sweetness of snapper shining through a rich and aromatic curry. Oon also seems to have found the winning formula for any gravy or mix (in which she pulls absolutely no punches when adding chilli padi, too).

Couple that dedication to drool-inducing flavours with an unhurried pace and gruff but efficient service, and you’ll see why the restaurant runs a full house, night on night. Even the posh single private room, walled off by glass and requiring a minimum spend, was filled on all three of our visits. Make a reservation to avoid disappointment, and bring a sizeable party so you can try more dishes.


National Kitchen by Violet Oon
#02-01 National Gallery Singapore
T 9834-9935

The full list of Singapore’s Best at
G Restaurant Awards 2016.

All tastings conducted incognito with esteemed members of G’s Food Panel.