Dive right into the heart of the action in the CBD. There’s no shortage of cool cafés here; still, nothing says “Singapore” more than kaya (coconut jam) toast and kopi (local coffee) at Ah Seng (Hai Nam) Coffee (#02-95 Amoy Street Food Centre).
Once you’ve fuelled up, it’s time for a spot of shopping. OUE Downtown Gallery is an urban village of hip boutiques like Threadbare & Squirrel (#01-41), which stocks carefully curated apparel such as sustainably made, travel-appropriate clothing from local label Matter.
You don’t even have to leave the building at lunchtime. Head to Hrvst (#05-01), where the local dish of bak kut teh (pork rib soup) is reimagined as a vegan barley risotto.
Get some steps in while devoting the afternoon to Singapore’s most iconic places of worship. Make your way to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, where the chief attraction is what’s purported to be the Buddha’s left canine tooth. Once you’re done, walk to Sri Mariamman Temple, the city’s oldest Hindu temple, first erected as a wood-and-attap structure in 1827. While the five-tier gopuram (tower gateway) is undeniably impressive, the real gem is in the inner sanctum, where the original statue of Sri Mariamman remains covered, except during services. Down the street is the eye-catching Jamae Mosque, established in 1826, with its South Indian-style front gate and minarets, Neoclassical Doric columns and Chinese green-glaze tiles.
When dusk falls, walk over to The Coconut Club at nearby Ann Siang Hill for one of the best (and pricier) plates of nasi lemak Singapore has to offer. It’s worth the $12.80 price tag for the unctuous, aromatic, high-quality coconut milk used to cook the rice, not to mention the crispy chicken. Save space for a bowl of chendol (iced dessert).
Before calling it a night, amble down to Club Street to the newly opened Le Bon Funk and peruse their selection of natural wines, carefully handpicked by head sommelier Josée Yeomans to suit the balmy climate.