A city that has it all, Singapore is a melting pot of different cultures, a combination of new and old architecture, a shopping haven with malls on every corner, a hospitality gold mine and a dining destination with options ranging from affordably scrumptious street food to pricey, Michelin starred haunts. A fine city and for good reason, Singapore is also the eco-friendliest we’ve ever visited with truly remarkable efforts towards global warming.
Where To Eat
Having created a name for itself as one of the top dining destinations around the world, there is no shortage of good restaurants in Singapore – from Michelin starred dim sum spots to Makansutra Gluttons Bay, the city’s best street food market and everything in between, there is a wealth of flavours to be explored in this small yet spectacular city.
Established in December 2011, ESQUINA continues to be at the forefront of the local Spanish food scene in Singapore and is definitely one of our favourite eateries in the city. The modern restaurant, spearheaded by Barcelona-born Head Chef Carlos Montobbio, specialises in contemporary cuisine showcasing Spanish and Catalan flavours in a cosy, interactive and intimate space. Located at the corner of Jiak Chuan Street, the two-story restaurant offers two distinct experiences – the ground floor features an open-kitchen concept and communal seating that encourages interaction and allows you to watch the chefs in action, whilst the second floor is designed to create an intimate setting perfect for groups. With Chef Carlos’ curiosity for new flavours and techniques at the pinnacle, every dish is always exciting and delicately prepared. Make sure you don’t miss the beetroot pickled & roasted with stracciatella, smoked walnuts and horseradish ice cream; the Spanish octopus with grilled corn sauce, chimichurri and chorizo oil; the braised beef & pork cannelloni with foie gras, 28 cepes béchamel and winter black truffle; and the potato and truffle “gratin” with burnt onion sauce, 20 organic egg yolk and iberico ham – all so delicious!
Located on a quiet street in Singapore’s bustling Telok Ayer enclave is Restaurant Gaig – the “little sister” of the Michelin-starred Barcelona original. Celebrated chef Carles Gaig, whose name is synonymous with Catalan cuisine, manages the reputable eatery with his daughter Nuria Gibert, the fifth generation of the family’s long line of chefs and restaurateurs. Including tapas, paellas and classic Catalan stews – a rare find in Singapore – everything on the menu is not only delicious, but is also homemade or imported from Spain – including everything from the beer to the bread. We loved the patatas bravas – delicious nuggets of deep-fried potatoes boasting a crunchy exterior and fluffy centre, served with spiced tomato sauce and aioli, and the tender stuffed eggplant with goat cheese – a cool and crunchy timbale of gently poached cod, crunchy capsicum and hard-cooked egg. Paellas are also a must – we recommend trying the squid ink seafood fideuà – an umami dish cooked in a fish stock, similar to paella but with short vermicelli noodles instead of rice.
ADRIFT by David Myers
We are no stranger to David Myers in Dubai and I’m happy to say his reputation is impeccably upheld at ADRIFT. A modern take on the vibrant Izakaya cuisine, ADRIFT on the lobby level of the infamous Marina Bay Sands is a sassy, stylish and secretive space, with an awesome bar, fantastic staff (who make the most marvellous concoctions) and food that will blow your mind (in the best way of course). Offering a flavour-forward menu full of creative dishes, the team of chefs have used cutting-edge combinations featuring Japanese ingredients paired with Southeast Asian spices and Californian techniques to create a menu full of crave-worthy items. Our favourite dishes include the potato hash with crème fraiche and caviar; and spiced beef tartare with Korean gochujang chili and a nori roll. The Binchotan salmon grilled over Japanese charcoal (to achieve a super crispy skin) is a must, whilst the Kagoshima Wagyu striploin always proves to be a truly memorable choice.
Where to drink
Why drink inside when you can sip your tipple al fresco with a view? Here are a few of our favourite drinking destinations showcasing the best sights the city has to offer.
LeVeL33, the World’s highest urban craft-brewery not only offers signature brews and brilliant bites, it also shows off Singapore’s Marina Bay and city skyline. Residing in the penthouse of Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC), LeVeL33 is your answer to a relatively relaxed night out – copper brew house kettles take centre stage with the large windows pouring light through the restaurant cum bar from morning through to night. The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef James “Jimi” Tegerdine, who serves up modern interpretations of European classics with a twist – so pour yourself a pint and prepare to indulge in gourmet mini burgers overlooking Singapore’s marina.
Ce La Vi
Soaring 57 levels above the city with electrifying panoramic views of Marina Bay, CÉ LA VI’s open-air restaurant and bar offers delicious creations straight from the kitchen by Executive Chef Joseph Sergentakis and a vibey bar, which is guaranteed to be busy from opening to close. Sink your teeth into the king salmon roll, Hokkaido scallop & oyster ceviche or cast-iron roasted Rangers Valley “Black Market” ribeye and be sure to wash it down with a signature Singapore sling.
Lanterns, The Fullerton Bay Hotel
Set against the dazzling skyline of the Marina Bay waterfront, Lanterns, located atop Fullerton Bay Hotel, is a great place to enjoy a drink and some light bites whilst watching Singapore’s famous laser light shows from Marina Bay Sands, performed daily at 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. Popular with the trendy and beautiful people of the city, the al fresco location is framed by an infinity lap pool and green landscaping, creating a beautiful setting to compliment the backdrop of glittering city lights – get ready to recline and unwind!
Where to explore
It may be small but this Asian city is most definitely mighty. With a range of cultural, experiential and retail-orientated options available at your fingertips, there truly is something to suit everyone in Singapore.
Gardens By The Bay
Gardens by the Bay, home to 1.5 million plants, remains unique in the region as the only garden to combine nature with cutting-edge engineering and green technology, aiming to create an environment to showcase plants from all over the world. With an abundance of experiences to explore, the garden is made up of two Cooled Conservatories –the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest – two concepts that reverse the notion of a typical greenhouse. Whilst there are more than 72,000 plants from Tropical Montane regions in the cool and moist Cloud Forest, there are more than 28,000 plants from the Mediterranean and semi-arid regions in the cool and dry Flower Dome. A destination within a destination, Gardens by the Bay also plays host to a number of restaurants, cafes and shops as well as sporadic art sculptures, a sun pavilion, lakes and children’s play areas. It is home to the iconic Skyway (known as the OCBC), a 128-metre-long aerial walkway lined by Singapore’s Supertree Grove.
Visit The National Gallery Singapore
Situated in the heart of the Civic District, the National Gallery, home to the largest public collection of modern art in South East Asia, is housed in two national monuments—City Hall and former Supreme Court—that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting venue. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery features Singapore and Southeast Asian permanent art exhibits as well as special shows, offering some of the world’s most famous pieces. Visitors are able to participate in talks and seminars on art-related topics, workshops, art demonstrations, film screenings, art appreciation classes and many more exciting activities. Culture vultures – this is definitely one for you!
Shop the streets
If you are a shopaholic, you should definitely visit Singapore at least once in your life. Being one of the most vibrant shopping hubs in Asia with hundreds of shopping malls, Singapore is a fashion paradise for millions who come not only to see the sights but also to shop. With malls covering both local and international designers on every corner, Singapore is your one stop shop to indulge in heritage brands plus uncover the local design scene. Visit international flagship stores along Orchard Road for luxury brands, whilst Far East Mall is the ideal place to shop for a slice of Asian style.