Start your day bright and early at The Affogato Lounge at KēSa House on Keong Saik Road. Its locally inspired Coco Black, a pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) affogato served with a speciality espresso blend from New Zealand’s Ozone Coffee Roasters, hits all the right notes.
Then, make the most of your caffeine rush at Labrador Park. Explore underground tunnels, once used to store ammunition during World War II, and old machine gun posts, before ending your walk at the Labrador Battery which has views over to Fort Siloso.
For lunch, consider taking a 10-minute taxi ride to Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), where The GREAT Wine & Dine Festival will be on from 10 to 12 October. Indulge in creations by Los Angeles’ Lobsterdamus and RWS celebrity chefs from TEPPAN by Chef Yonemura and Fratelli Trattoria. Otherwise, seek out Tangerine for farm-to-table Thai cuisine or table65, sister restaurant to the critically acclaimed 212 in Amsterdam.
Stave off the food coma with a leisurely walk along the Fort Siloso Skywalk , a 181m trail 11 storeys above the ground that takes you from the beach to the former coastal gun battery. Then, catch a bus or the Sentosa Express back to VivoCity mall to jump on the MRT and head to Little India.
Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, takes place in October, and it’s the perfect time to explore this vibrant enclave. Start at the Indian Heritage Centre on Campbell Lane. Inside, the “Indians in Singapore – Past & Present” exhibition traces the deep links between the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia over 21 centuries.
Don’t leave without dropping by the Deepavali Festival Village to pick up snacks such as savoury murukku (fried lentil or rice flour) and adhirasam (sweet doughnuts made from rice flour).
Save some space, though. A short drive will bring you to Amoy Street’s Cloudstreet for chef Rishi Naleendra’s Sri Lankan-meets-Australian cuisine. Order the grilled Coffin Bay oysters wrapped in betel leaf smoked over binchotan coals and don’t hold back on the addictive stout bread made with liquorice, aniseed and salted molasses.
After dinner, treat yourself to some late-night vinyl shopping while listening to an eclectic range of tunes, from Britpop to ’80s Japanese electronica, at record store and bar White Label Records on Ann Siang Hill.
Begin with a breakfast at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre. The stall is hugely popular for its aromatic rice, cooked with coconut milk and pandan, and crispy chicken wings.
It will set you up for Singapore’s new 36km Coast-to-Coast Trail. Enter at Adam Road and take an easy hike to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the few primary rainforest areas left in Singapore. About an hour into the walk, you’ll encounter the striking Hindhede Quarry, a former source of granite.
Refuel at Acqua e Farina, a quick drive away, at the nearby Rail Mall. You won’t go wrong with the barca bufala, a Sicilian boat-style pizza generously topped with tomato, buffalo mozzarella and Parma ham. Next, take the MRT three stops from Hillview to Sixth Avenue to recharge at Ikeda Spa on Bukit Timah Road. Soak your tired muscles in one of their hinoki (cypress) onsen baths, followed by a relaxing massage on a ganbanyoku hot stone bed.
Pop back to your accommodation for a quick change before heading to MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental. Their recently launched black and gold afternoon tea set is in its last month, and includes delicate sweet treats alongside savoury picks such as lobster rolls and crab pastry – all in deference to its luxurious colour scheme.
A short walk will then bring you to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Look out for local artist Speak Cryptic’s In All Directions, an ongoing series of visual artworks that touches on the subject of migration through characters dressed in traditional Malay garments alongside distinctive motifs of Malay culture.
This month, you can also catch a dan:s festival (10 to 20 October) performance. Try not to miss the Singapore debut of Grand Finale by the Hofesh Shechter Company from the United Kingdom on 18 and 19 October.
End the night at Coriander Leaf in the historic CHIJMES for Pan-Asian dishes such as the signature Samia’s Frontier Chicken, with coriander seeds and yoghurt, and succulent duck pancakes with paper-thin popiah (spring roll) skin.
Rise and shine with coffee from Everton Park’s Nylon Coffee Roasters, which roasts its own beans on-site twice a week. Follow up with Beano nearby, where silken bean curd is served with local flavours such as rose syrup or ginger.
Now that you’ve had breakfast, head to Art Porters Gallery. Housed in a Peranakan shophouse on Spottiswoode Park Road, you can view contemporary art from emerging international artists. A 10-minute walk will then bring you to Nei Xue Tang on Cantonment Road, a Buddhist art museum with artefacts from across Asia.
Worked up an appetite? Take a short cab ride to Good Chance Popiah Eating House at Silat Avenue, a third-generation business operating since 1977. The set menu offers the likes of cereal prawns or fish maw soup, as well as its signature DIY fresh spring rolls.
After lunch, head to The Social Space on Kreta Ayer Road, a socially conscious spot that stocks a wide variety of ethical fashion and homeware. If design is your passion, THE FARM STORE on Middle Road, a 10-minute drive away, carries cool finds from local brands Supermama, the little dröm store and Red Republic.
Keep on the local theme by dining at House of Peranakan at Capitol Piazza a short walk away. The hearty itek tim (salted mustard greens and duck soup) and crispy ngoh hiang (five-spice pork roll) will give you a taste of Straits Chinese cuisine.
Next, go to the National Gallery for “City Hall: If Walls Could Talk”. Part of the Singapore Bicentennial, the multimedia experience celebrates the building’s rich history. Afterwards, cross the road to the newly rebuilt Funan mall to catch Merdeka (10 to 27 Oct), a play exploring Singapore’s colonial legacy by playwrights Alfian Sa’at and Neo Hai Bin – it’s part of theatre company W!LD RICE’s opening season.
Finish off with a flourish at SKAI on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford. Order the rainforest-inspired Camu Camu with cachaça, gin, soursop, hibiscus and, naturally, the eponymous antioxidant-rich fruit for something a little different.
This article was originally published in the October 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine