Singapore’s award-winning dining landscape has a plethora of exciting options to savour, so dedicate today to sampling the city’s variety of culinary wonders.
Start with breakfast at SR62 in Tekka Centre, next to Little India MRT station, by ordering Malay delights such as the soto ayam (spicy chicken soup) or the aromatic mee rebus (yellow noodles swimming in a thick, curry-like gravy).
With a full belly, wander around the vibrant wet market at Tekka Centre. A popular spot for chefs, the colourful warren of stalls sells ripe fruits and vegetables and fresh cuts of meat and fish.
From here, it’s a 20-minute walk to Raffles City Shopping Centre. Peruse the mall’s many stores before sitting down to lunch at the new Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner, an offshoot of the popular Tiong Bahru Bakery that’s beloved for its French pastries. The restaurant has an all-day breakfast concept, with a sizeable portion of the menu made up of plant-based dishes. Standout options include the fluffy brown butter pancakes, the hot chicken salad with caramelised pumpkin and the chayote kimchi and mung bean salad.
In the afternoon, browse The Farm Store at the nearby National Design Centre, where you can pick up locally made jams by Straits Preserves, plus a fun assortment of other food-related items such as colourful plates that showcase local breakfast items and adorable cushions shaped like kueh tutu (steamed rice-flour cakes).
“[My favourite place to go is] Lau Goh Teochew Chye Thow Kway at Zion Riverside Food Centre for their black and white carrot cake.” — Cynthia Chua, founder of Tiong Bahru Bakery
If you feel your energy flagging, make a beeline for Capitol Piazza for two sweet retreats. Carmen’s Best serves its popular artisanal ice cream at its first outlet outside the Philippines, while brown sugar bubble tea outfit Tiger Sugar offers the likes of taro lava and red bean soup with black sesame rice balls on its menu.
Return to your hotel to freshen up before dinner. Mott 32 located in Marina Bay Sands, is a solid option for a lovely evening meal. It serves fine Chinese dishes such as a signature crispy sugar-coated Peking duck bun and crispy prawns with salty egg yolk and oatmeal.
Over at Maison Ikkoku, a short cab ride away, the new venue SLING presents playful interpretations of the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail, which is certainly worth a try. We recommend the SLING-a-pu-ra, which comes accented with tropical fruits and herbs.
Start things off on the right foot on this sports-themed day with your very own impact adventure. Choose from varying levels of intensity, depending on your stamina and endurance, with a morning workout session at either Off Duty Pilates, boOm (boxing) or Absolute Cycle (spinning), all located within the Downtown Core.
Afterwards, power up with some eggs, smoked salmon, croissants and avocado at My Awesome Cafe located in a homey, heritage shophouse on Telok Ayer Street.
Next, make the short walk to Chinatown MRT station and take the North East Line to HarbourFront. Leave from Exit D in order to catch the Marang Trail, which signals the start of the Southern Ridges, a sprawling 10-kilometre walk that connects various green spaces and parks in this part of the city-state.
Among the highlights are the awe-inspiring and undulating Henderson Waves, Singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge set 36 metres above the road, alongside tranquil trails through secondary forest.
Meander your way to Masons for lunch, a bright and airy restaurant set within a stately colonial black-and-white bungalow dating all the way back to 1935. The menu offers everything from Asian classics such as kung pao chicken skewers to Western eats including pizza, pasta and juicy slow-cooked ribs.
“My favourite [running] route takes me from Henderson Waves bridge all the way down to Labrador Park. It’s 9km long with gentle slopes and is a great way to explore the city, outside of the city!” — Betsy Chen, co-founder of Off Duty Pilates
Eat well, as you’ll need energy for the afternoon Trails of Tan Ah Huat bike tour with Let’s Go Bike Singapore. It explores and compares modern Singapore to life on the island back in the 1920s, with stops at Kampong Glam, Chinatown and Fullerton Bay.
Reward your exertion with a 90-minute Asian Heritage treatment at the Fullerton Spa, one of their many targeted, holistic therapies.
For an intimate dinner, head to Raffles Hotel’s newly opened Butcher’s Block. The 44-seater is perfect for sampling different meats that have been smoked, grilled and slow-cooked over the wood fire at the restaurant’s open kitchen.
Round out the day at PONG Singapore at Clarke Quay, a bar where craft beers, cocktails and digital beer pong lure those looking for some old-fashioned fun with a decidedly modern twist.
After two days exercising the body and the taste buds, it’s time to address the mind, with a dive into Singapore’s cultural and artistic scene.
Begin with breakfast at the new 24-hour Cafe de Muse in Isetan Scotts. Its second-level dessert café opens from 11am to 9pm, but the main level operates around the clock, serving up delicious, fluffy waffles and decadent full English breakfasts.
Once you’ve had your fill, embark on a public art trail that shadows Singapore’s most famous shopping street, Orchard Road. Start your journey at The St. Regis Singapore, where you’ll find the sculpture Reclining Woman by Fernando Botero. There’s also Nutmeg and Mace by Kumari Nahappan located outside the main entrance of shopping mall ION Orchard. Further down the stretch, outside 163 Penang Road, you’ll catch sight of the bronze sculpture Dancer by Singapore-based Sun Yu-Li and the iconic Pop Art work Love by artist Robert Indiana.
“I am especially fond of the mural Mid-Autumn Festival [by Yip Yew Chong]. It shows Singapore’s kampung spirit – the positive attitude among neighbours and a sense of understanding within the community.” — Saskia Joosse, founder of Pop and Contemporary Fine Art
As its name suggests, Arteastiq in Mandarin Gallery pairs art and tea, with a beautifully presented selection of high-tea sets served from 1pm onwards and on-site painting sessions. Drop by for an early afternoon bite to boost your energy levels.
Aficionados of the Pop Art genre can also book an appointment at the Pop and Contemporary Fine Art office on Orchard Road, which sells works by renowned names such as Andy Warhol, Burton Morris, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Damien Hirst, Robert Longo, Roy Lichtenstein and Takashi Murakami.
Also situated along Orchard Road, SUPER FREAK Boutique showcases locally designed clothing and jewellery, while Design Orchard is a combination retail and incubation space for more than 60 local labels. The latter is the perfect spot to pick up some unique local souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.
Pretty black-and-white tiled floors and sleek furnishings complement the artfully presented plates of pasta at the new LINO Pasta Bar at Shaw Centre, which serves as a great dinner spot. There are lots of dishes to choose from, such as the pumpkin cappellacci with brown butter, sage and balsamic, and the fusilli with basil pesto and turkey breast.
If you still have room for dessert, the Janice Wong store in Paragon supplies artistic sweet treats courtesy of the lauded Singaporean pastry chef, whose creations have been described as edible art.
Other ways to get your heart racing in the Lion City
Relish the sensation of skydiving without the hassle of jumping out of a plane at this Sentosa island experience.
The tranquil island of Pulau Ubin has bicycles for rent and is home to 10 kilometres of trails set around a former granite quarry.
Scheduled to open this year, it will feature a Double FlowRider two-person surf machine.
Paddle the waterways with tour company Kayakasia to explore one of Singapore’s most important mixed mangrove areas.
Where to see great outdoor sculptures
Pieces such as First Generation by Chong Fah Cheong act as a window on local life in the years gone by.
The 18.5m high Momentum by David Gerstein represents progress, as seen in the surrounding district.
Singapore Botanic Gardens
This Unesco World Heritage site houses many sculptures, including Flight of Swans by Eng Siak Loy.
To learn more about Singapore Airlines flights, visit singaporeair.com.
This article was originally published in the April 2020 issue of SilverKris magazine