After a two year hiatus, the Lion City roars back into action with the return of the much-anticipated 2022 Singapore Grand Prix. While the adrenaline-pumping night race is clearly the star of the show, there’s plenty to see off-track as well. Aside from the official race events, the neighbourhoods surrounding the circuit offer a host of exciting attractions along with dapper bars, award-winning restaurants and luxury shopping malls. If you’ve just got three days to spend in the city, here’s how you can see the very best Singapore has to offer.
Day 1: Around the track
Start the day bright and early with freshly brewed coffee and a hearty breakfast at The Glasshouse at CHIJMES. The chic café offers a varied menu that includes brunch favourites along with a gourmet selection of sandwiches like Cubanos and banh mi. Then, explore the city in a restored vintage Vespa on the Singapore Sidecars tour. Choose the Civic District route, which gives you a preview of the Formula One race circuit as it zips around landmarks like Marina Bay Sands, St Andrew’s Cathedral and Fullerton Square.
All the action is bound to whet your appetite, so head to Madame Fan at the NCO Club for modern Chinese fare with a twist. Lounge in plush red armchairs as you tuck into their Ultimate Dim Sum Lunch ($68 per person) which highlights classics like har gau, shu mai and xiao long bao along with signatures like their jasmine-smoked pork ribs. Walk off the impending food coma by taking a leisurely stroll across the Helix Bridge and over to the ArtScience Museum to check out “We Live in an Ocean of Air”. This unique multi-sensory exhibition showcases the work of London-based immersive art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast by way of a dazzling virtual reality gallery.
If you prefer to keep things racing themed, The Arts House will also be holding an exhibition showcasing the history and evolution of F1 racing in Singapore. The exhibition is titled “Twelve Years of Lights and Racing in the Lion City” (runs 28 September to 3 October) and is organised by DZ Engineering SRL (a subsidiary of Dino Zoli Group), the company responsible for lighting the Marina Bay Street Circuit for over 12 years. The exhibition will highlight the race photography of Flavio Mazzi, an acclaimed F1 photographer who has covered over 450 Grand Prix races.
Once you’re done exploring the exhibition, rest your weary feet and take in the skyline with a ride on the Singapore Flyer – it’s also a great opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of the Marina Bay Street Circuit. To end the night, take a taxi to The Store on Neil Road. Hidden behind an unmarked green door you’ll find an inviting, softly lit space centred around a granite bar. It’s here that you’ll catch Hirman Asnadi showing off his mixological prowess as he creates unconventional cocktails like the Not A Negroni – a playful variation of the classic that includes umeshu and mushroom bitters. Complement your cocktail with classic bar bites like wagyu sliders and roasted mid wings or opt for bigger plates like the lamb rack with broccolini or the tender paper-baked seabass.
Day 2: When night falls
After an action-packed first day, take it easy until sundown – which is when the Little Red Dot is at its prettiest. Kick off your evening at the sky-high LAVO, a restaurant and rooftop bar with an outdoor terrace at Marina Bay Sands. Drop by between 3pm and 7pm to take advantage of their one-for-one special on signature cocktails as you enjoy stellar views of the city’s skyline at sunset.
For dinner, head down to Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, direct from New York. Sink your teeth into the juicy Greg Norman Burger made with wagyu beef and blue cheese, but save some room for one of their trademark CrazyShake milkshakes like the Cotton Candy. Walk off the sugar high at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, open till 11pm daily (and till 11.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays). You’ll find an impressive array of boutiques such as Hermès, Cortina Watch, perfumery Henry Jacques and pearl specialist Mikimoto. New additions to the mall include luxury Italian jeweller Buccellati and Fendi‘s new flagship store.
Another must-see boutique is Bora Aksu, a London-based Turkish brand known for its demi-couture creations and lavish tulle dresses that are perfect for the Singapore Grand Prix afterparties. You’ll also find Singapore’s first Puma Select store stocked with premium collaborative merchandise from the likes of Coca-Cola, DC Comics and iconic British retailer Liberty. For culture vultures who prefer to stay downtown, opt for Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay where you can catch inspiring performances and plays. Running from 7 to 30 September 2022 is a Turkish classical music showcase featuring Singaporean musicians James Teo and Eugene Toh.
Before hitting the party circuit, regroup at craft beer bar The Guild on Keong Saik Street. You’ll find 10 distinctive brews on tap, including the unusual Young Master Cha Chaan Teng Gose – a tart and refreshing German-style beer that’s brewed with salted lime. Next, pop over to Amber Lounge, which is where Formula One drivers will be partying once the chequered flag has been waved (2 October).
Day 3: A need for speed
Have a lie-in and start the day late with a leisurely brunch at Five Oars Coffee Roasters at Tanjong Pagar. The stylish industrial-themed café offers a variety of familiar brunch classics along with more substantial offerings like the beer-battered fish and chips and the buttermilk chicken burger that’s made with a newly revised recipe. Naturally, Five Oars also brews excellent coffee that can be served as an espresso, white, mocha or even unconventional preparations like an espresso tonic.
Now that you’ve fuelled up, it’s time to get your heart pumping by taking to the tracks at KF1 Karting Circuit. The 960m-long CIK-certified track is probably the closest you’ll get to racing in the Singapore Grand Prix because it was created by an actual F1-track designer, Hermann Tilke. Adding to the realism is the F1-inspired lighting system, technical corners and karts that hit hair-raising speeds of up to 50km/h.
With your adrenaline fix sorted, it’s time to slow things down at The Ritz-Carlton Spa by enjoying a truly unique Cello Concerto massage, where a cellist will play in synchrony with the therapist’s movements. Carry on the relaxed vibe and head over to Panamericana at Sentosa Golf Club. Choose a table on the terrace – which overlooks the golf course and the Singapore Strait – and tuck into juicy, slow-roasted lamb in a rosemary and thyme glaze; charred octopus tentacles with burnt onion and chickpea puree; and Canadian black cod with a chipotle glaze and Brussels sprouts.
After lunch, take a meandering stroll down to Resorts World Sentosa where you can visit the S.EA. Aquarium and be awed by their majestic manta rays and fearsome sharks – you’ll even be able to dive with them if you’re brave enough! Finally, make your way over to the Royal Albatross and set sail on a sunset dinner cruise, where you can end the day with a well-deserved gourmet 7-course meal – the perfect way to conclude your Singapore Grand Prix adventure.
This article was originally published in the September 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.