For a long while we have noticed an annoying trend in many restaurants. An increasing number have a no-water policy: They do not serve free water to diners even when requested. Instead, we have to buy their bottled water. Not only is the bottled water overpriced, the bottles are eco-unfriendly as well. We find this practice highly unacceptable.

Therefore, we are compiling a list of restaurants that refuse to serve free water. If you have come across any, please let us know in the comments and it would be added to the list.

Please do not submit hawker stalls, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, food kiosks/carts. Please also state the outlet location and indicate if there is no service charge.

100+ Restaurants in Singapore That Do Not Serve Free Water
  1. Ajisen Classic Ramen (Changi Airport T3) – reader’s contribution
  2. Alley Bar (Orchard Road) – reader’s contribution on Facebook
  3. Aloy Thai (Shaw Tower) – reader’s contribution
  4. Arteastiq (Mandarin Gallery) – reader’s contribution
  5. Astons Specialties (all outlets) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  6. Bali Thai (Novena Square & Tampines Mall) – personal experience & reader’s contribution
  7. Bao Luo Wan Xiang (Plaza Singapura) – reader’s contribution
  8. Bar Bar Black Sheep (Robertson Quay) (no service charge) – reader’s contribution
  9. Barcelos (VivoCity) (no service charge) – reader’s contribution
  10. BBQ Chicken (Cathay Cineleisure Orchard) – reader’s contribution
  11. Bliss Waterfront Dining & Bar (Punggol Park) – reader’s contribution
  12. Blu (Shangri-La Hotel) – reader’s contribution
  13. Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice (Bukit Timah) – personal experience
    Read Our review
  14. Café Le Caire (Arab Street) – reader’s contribution
    Adobe PDF document Restaurant’s response in news article
  15. Canopy Cafe (Marina Bay Golf Course) – reader’s contribution
  16. Canton-i (Ion Orchard) – reader’s contribution
  17. The Cathay Restaurant (The Cathay) – reader’s contribution
  18. Casa do Churrasco Brazil (Katong Village) – source
  19. Central Restaurant (all outlets) – reader’s contribution
  20. Check In (Robertson Quay) – reader’s contribution
  21. Chen Fu Ji Grains (The Central) – reader’s contribution
  22. Coffee Club (Orchard Fountain Corner) – reader’s contribution
  23. Creative Organics (Fortune Centre) – reader’s contribution
  24. Crystal Jade Hong Kong Café (Orchard Central & Liang Seah Street) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  25. Crystal Jade Kitchen (Causeway Point, Ngee Ann City & Suntec City Mall) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2 | 3
  26. Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao (Bugis Junction, Great World City, Holland Avenue, Ngee Ann City & Suntec City Mall) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Read Our reviews 1 | 2
  27. Diandin Leluk Thai Restaurant (Serangoon Garden) – reader’s contribution
  28. Different Taste Café and Restaurant (Frankel Avenue & Jalan Mas Puteh) (no service charge) – sources 1 | 2
  29. Ebisboshi Shotengai (Iluma) – reader’s contribution
  30. Esmirada (CHIJMES) – reader’s contribution
  31. First Thai Food (Purvis Street) – reader’s contribution
  32. Five Izakaya Bar (Hitachi Tower) – reader’s contribution
  33. Fou de Fafa (Capital Tower) – reader’s contribution
  34. Fiesta Brasilia (United Square) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  35. Gelare Café (Hougang Mall) – reader’s contribution
  36. Giraffe Restaurant and Bar (Istana Park) – reader’s contribution
    Read Our review
  37. Haato (Ridgewood Close) – reader’s contribution
  38. Heaven’s Loft (Orchard Central) – reader’s contribution
  39. The Highlander Bar & Restaurant (Clarke Quay) – reader’s contribution
  40. Hong Kong Kim Gary Restaurant (VivoCity) – reader’s contribution
    Read Our review
  41. Hot Tomato Express (Plaza Singapura) – reader’s contribution
  42. Hotpot Culture (Marina Square) – reader’s contribution
  43. Huber’s Butchery & Bistro (Dempsey Hill) – reader’s contribution
  44. Imperial Herbal Restaurant & Tcafe (VivoCity) – reader’s contribution
  45. Insomnia (CHIJMES) – reader’s contribution
  46. Introbar (Swissotel The Stamford) – reader’s contribution
  47. Jalapeno’s Pepper (Singapore Flyer) – sources 1 | 2 | 3
  48. Joaquim Buffet Restaurant (Suntec City Mall) – reader’s contribution
  49. Kartini Restaurant (Parkway Parade) – reader’s contribution
  50. Kebab Station (East Coast Park & Parkway Parade) (no service charge) – personal experience
    Read Our review
  51. Kenny Rogers Roasters (Great World City, Marina Square & Suntec City Mall) – reader’s contributions 1 | 2
  52. Kim Choo Kueh Chang (East Coast) (no service charge) – sources 1 | 2 | 3
  53. Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant (Furama Riverfront Hotel) – personal experience
  54. La Forketta (Dempsey) – sources 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
    Adobe PDF document Restaurant’s response in news article & here
  55. Lai Lai Casual Dining (Jurong Point) – reader’s contribution
  56. Lao Beijing (Novena Square) – reader’s contribution
  57. Le Baroque (CHIJMES) – reader’s contribution
  58. Lerk Thai (Singapore Expo & Woodlands Civic Centre) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  59. Little Bali (Gillman’s Village) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
    Restaurant’s response
  60. Liquid Kitchen (all outlets) – reader’s contribution
  61. Lush Cafe (313 @ Somerset) – reader’s contribution
  62. Mad Jack Café (all outlets) (no service charge) – personal experience
    Adobe PDF document Restaurant’s response in news article
  63. Midsummer Nite Breeze (Pasir Ris Park) – sources 1 | 2
  64. Mimolette Restaurant & Bar (Fairways Drive) – reader’s contribution
  65. Ming Kee Live Seafood (Macpherson Road) – reader’s contribution
  66. MOF (Ministry of Food) (Suntec City Mall & West Coast Plaza) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  67. The Mussel Guys (VivoCity) – personal experience
    Read Our review
  68. My Mum’s Cuisine (Paragon) – reader’s contribution
  69. Nan Xiang (Novena Square 2) – reader’s contribution
  70. Nando’s (Bugis Junction & Tanglin Mall) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  71. Nectarie le’Dessert Patisserie (Clarke Quay) – sources 1 | 2
  72. New Harbour Café & Bar (Tanjong Pagar) – reader’s contribution
  73. No Signboard Seafood Restaurant (all outlets) – reader’s contribution
  74. Novus (National Museum) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  75. OK Shabu Shabu (East Coast Road) – reader’s contribution
  76. Old Hong Kong Kitchen (Square 2) – reader’s contribution
  77. Old Town White Coffee (all outlets) – personal experience & readers’ contributions 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    Read Our review
  78. Oosters Belgian Brasserie (Suntec City Mall) – reader’s contribution
  79. Pacific Allied Cafe (URA Centre) – reader’s contribution
  80. Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant (One Fullerton) – reader’s contribution
  81. Pasta Fresca Da Salvatore (Siglap) – reader’s contribution
  82. Pasta Stylo (City Square Mall) – personal experience
    Read Our review
  83. Pizza Bar da Donato (Ghim Moh) – reader’s contribution
  84. Pizza da Donato (Sixth Avenue) – reader’s contribution
  85. Prince Taiwan Porridge (Upper Bukit Timah) – reader’s contribution
  86. Pu Tien (Tampines Mall) – reader’s contribution
  87. The Pump Room (Clarke Quay) – reader’s contribution
  88. Ramen Ten (all outlets) – reader’s contribution
  89. Red Lacquer Authentic Penang Peranakan (Jurong Point) – personal experience
  90. Renaldo’s (Eastwood Centre) – reader’s contribution
  91. Renn Thai (Clarke Quay) – reader’s contribution
  92. Royal Café (Siglap) – reader’s contribution
  93. Secret Recipe (all outlets) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2 | 3
  94. Seoul Garden (all outlets) – reader’s contribution
  95. Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant (VivoCity) – reader’s contribution
  96. The Shack (Sentosa’s Tanjong Beach) – reader’s contribution
  97. Skinny Pizza (Suntec City Mall) – reader’s contribution
  98. Soup Spoon (all outlets) (no service charge) – reader’s contribution
  99. Suanthai (Killiney Road) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  100. Sweet Spring (AMK Hub) – reader’s contribution
  101. Table 108 (CHIJMES) – reader’s contribution
  102. The Tapas Tree (Clarke Quay) – personal experience & source
    Adobe PDF document Restaurant’s response in news article
  103. Tawandang Micro Brewery (Dempsey Road) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  104. Tori-Tama (Robertson Walk) – reader’s contribution
  105. Uncle’s Kitchen (Bugis Junction) – reader’s contribution
  106. Va Va Voom (Seah Street) – sources 1 | 2
  107. Wan Chai Hong Kong Tea Room (Sembawang Shopping Centre) – reader’s contribution
  108. Ximending (VivoCity) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2
  109. Xin Wang Hong Kong Café (all outlets) – readers’ contributions 1 | 2 | 3
    Read Our review
  110. Xing Hua Family Restaurant (Towner Road) – reader’s contribution

Disclaimer: This list is compiled based on reader contributions and our own dining experiences. All comments and sources are linked for your reference. While we have taken steps to ensure the information presented is current, you may still wish to double-check with the restaurants if they have updated their no-water policy. If you notice any discrepancy, please let us know and we would gladly make the amendments.

To restaurateurs that do not serve free water: Wouldn’t you want your customers to keep coming back? If giving them water, even tap is fine, would improve their dining experience, why wouldn’t you do it? Isn’t that better than pissing off potential customers that would never return? Just how much is a glass of tap water gonna cost you anyway?

Let us exercise our right as a customer and not give in to such practices that exist only to milk more money out of us. Should you encounter such a restaurant, feel free to

  1. Walk out of the restaurant.
  2. Blacklist and stop patronising the place.
  3. Tell your friends about it.
  4. Leave a comment here and we would add it to the list.

Hopefully in some small way, it would prompt restaurateurs to stop this penny-wise, pound-foolish practice.

Spread the word!

In the press

July 12, 2009

The Sunday Times has published an article based on this list. We have made it available here for your reading (in PDF format):

The Sunday Times (July 12, 2009): All stirred up over drinking water in restaurants

Much of the article has been written from the perspective of these restaurants, along with several comments from the stakeholders. We would love to hear your views.

We do like the quote by Mr. Aun Koh that sums up this no-water policy perfectly:

Mr Aun Koh, director of media and lifestyle consultancy Ate Media which published Asia’s first restaurant guide The Miele Guide, said: ‘In Singapore, there is no excuse other than snobbish vanity to drink bottled water and no reason other than an attempt to increase revenues for restaurateurs to refuse to offer tap water to their patrons.’

Adobe PDF document Read this article

July 14, 2009

Following the Sunday Times article, waves of comments came pouring in, starting with this one. If you are following the highly active discussion, that would be a good place to start.

In response to the article, Sunday Times reader Mr. Cassell R. Meyers has written in to the forum to share his own personal views and experience.

Adobe PDF document Read this forum letter

August 13, 2009

The Today newspaper published an article on the harmful impact of bottled water, primarily from the discarding of plastic bottles. Here’s a quote from the article:

Dr Seetharam Kallidaikurichi, director of the Institute of Water Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said: ‘the public should be made aware of the “unnecessary” buying of bottled water for drinking, especially in places where tap water is safe to drink, such as in houses and restaurants. This is because such a practice can turn into a habit and this will lead to even more plastic bottles being used – and discarded.’

Adobe PDF document Read this article