Singapore has become a hot stopover for overseas celebrities, thanks to more major international events being held here, such as the Formula One race, glitzy movie premieres and a packed concert calendar.
With the country's reputation as a foodie destination as well, it is no surprise that celebrities squeeze time from their tight schedules to try the mouth-watering variety of food here.
So where do they usually go? The Sunday Times rounds up the eateries where your best bets for star sightings are.
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Where: Multiple locations, including 01-07 East Coast Seafood Centre, Block 1206 East Coast Parkway
Any visitor to Singapore has to try chilli crab and the famous Jumbo Seafood restaurant is often the popular choice for tourists.
Clearly, celebrities have had fun cracking crabs here. Several of them, including South Korean singer Onew of pop group Shinee as well as Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon, have posted selfies on their social media accounts - complete with bibs.
328 KATONG LAKSA
Where: 51 East Coast Road
Laksa comes in many forms, but the Katong version is uniquely Singaporean and has become popular among visiting celebrities.
Stars who have dined here over the years include Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen and heart-throbs Ekin Cheng and Raymond Lam. Slurp.
SIN HOI SAI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Where: 01-59, Block 55 Tiong Bahru Road
Besides Jumbo Seafood, seafood zi char restaurant Sin Hoi Sai is another place Asian celebrities visit for chilli and pepper crab.
They include Taiwanese singers A-mei and Wang Leehom as well as Hong Kong crooner Karen Mok.
Popular Taiwanese rock band Mayday have supper at Sin Hoi Sai after almost every concert they have put on here for the past 10 years.
Now you know where to look for them if you fail to snag tickets for their shows, which often sell out as soon as they are released.
MARINA BAY SANDS RESTAURANTS
Where: These include Italian restaurant Osteria Mozza, steakhouse Cut and sushi restaurant Waku Ghin, 10 Bayfront Avenue
Glitzy and glamorous Marina Bay Sands is home to several restaurants run by celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck.
Plus, the integrated resort has hosted a number of big celebrity events over the years, including red-carpet premieres for Hollywood blockbusters such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). So it is not surprising to find stars dining at one of the restaurants here.
Former English footballer David Beckham, who is often in town for various promotional activities, has eaten at many of the restaurants here, including db Bistro & Oyster Bar, Waku Ghin and Adrift By David Myers. Over at Cut, Hollywood A-listers Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield and Tom Hanks have all been spotted.
SIN HUAT EATING HOUSE
Where: 659 Geylang Lorong 35
American chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain is a huge fan of this seafood zi char eatery, once naming it one of 13 places in the world to eat at before one dies (alongside places such as Katz's Delicatessen in New York and Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo).
But an even bigger celebrity fan appears to be Hong Kong comedian and film-maker Stephen Chow, who loves the signature crab beehoon here so much that he is said to eat here for three days in a row whenever he is in town.
FOUNDER BAK KUT TEH
Where: Multiple locations, including 347 Balestier Road
Even if you do not spot anyone famous dining here in person, just look up at the restaurant's walls - they are plastered with photos of founder Chua Chwee Whatt standing next to stars. This bak kut teh eatery's Balestier Road outlet is a big hit with celebrities and has drawn actors and singers from Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
Besides Taiwanese pop stars such as Jay Chou and Angela Chang, who have visited the outlet multiple times, the most regular celebrity patron here is Hong Kong actor Chow Yun Fat. Looks like he needs his bak kut teh fix whenever he is in town to visit his in-laws - his wife, Jasmine Tan, is Singaporean.
RISTORANTE DA VALENTINO
Where: 01-19 The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road
South Korean boy band BigBang must really like Ristorante Da Valentino, a family-run Italian fine-dining restaurant. Members of the quintet, including Seungri, have been spotted dining here multiple times, whether as a group or individually. It must be all those hearty pastas, fine wines and the warm Italian hospitality.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 15, 2017, with the headline 'Dine like the stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe
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