The island's Esplanade Mall houses a number of waterfront restaurants and stalls with good views of the towering financial district in the distance. 2 Hot Colours by the Bay, Esplanade, 8 Raffles Avenue, Singapore This is a casual restaurant devoted to halal food, most of which tends to be spicy. A bright red counter, glass walls and simple cafe-like furnishings form the backdrop for twists on old favourites. The marsala fish and chips, at S$14.90 (HK$74) is 2 Hot's best-seller, a creamy dory fillet in parsley, chilli and cumin seed-battered flour served with fries and coleslaw. Start with a dozen satays marinated in seven kinds of herbs and spices, a snip at S$15.90. Aria Esplanade, 8 Raffles Avenue The swish Aria bistro and wine bar is kitted out with chain-mail curtains and cooling, mosaic stone floors. Its outdoor section comes equipped with dark leather armchairs under white outsized umbrellas. As with most Esplanade establishments, the captivating views are of the distant city skyscrapers. The select Modern European menu features four seafood and four meat appetisers, including poached ox tongue served with pesto mash in a thyme jus, and caramelised codfish with steamed autumn leaves on a lemon and caper dressing (S$24 each). No Signboard Seafood Esplanade, 8 Raffles Avenue This 25-year-old restaurant is always busy. Lazy susans heave with plates piled high with seafood and meat, including butter crab (S$30 per kg), sashimi lobster (S$8 per 100g), deep-fried mango chicken (S$20) and black pepper bullfrog (S$10). The corner restaurant has fine views of the merlion statue and the quay, but diners are usually too busy tucking into the authentic local cuisine to notice. Max Brenner Chocolate Bar Esplanade, 8 Raffles Avenue Cacao fans should skip dinner and head straight to Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar, leaving as much space as possible for what is easily Singapore's best dessert restaurant. Just about everything on the menu is scrumptious, decadent, rich and highly fattening. Max's Choctail list includes a delectable concoction called toffee ice-cream choci-shake, which contains sugar toffee, vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate ganache and a hint of cinnamon (S$8). The chocolate fondue is delicious - a pot of warm, dark bittersweet chocolate sauce served with fresh fruit and pieces of waffle for dipping.