Escape Shanghai: where to eat, drink and stay right now in Singapore

Steamy Singapore has everything you need for a glutton’s holiday

Photograph: Cat Nelson
If you can’t bear sweating, skip Singapore. Even in January, the mercury hovers around 30 degrees and the humidity’s so high that the air is as thick as the condensed milk in kopi. But if you ask us? Suck it up and lean into the heat because there’s a lot of good eating and drinking to be done. Here’s your guide to a great long weekend in the Little Red Dot.
Eat
Photograph: Cat Nelson

Eat

From cheap eats at the hawker stands to top-level tasting menus and everything in between, Singapore has carved out its place as an international dining destination. You’d barely scratch the surface of the scene even with a month, so for a long weekend it’s hard to pick wrong. Don’t miss a hawker centre, collections of street food vendors dotted throughout the city. 

Everybody has their favourite, but Tiong Bahru Market (30 Seng Poh Road), with excellent noodles from Min Nan Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle (stall 02-31), and Maxwell Centre (1 Kadayanallur Street), where Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice (stall 01-10/11) that Anthony Bourdain raved about is located, are solid choices for vendors and their central locations.

A short walk from Maxwell Centre is The Coconut Club (6 Ann Siang Hill), which slings levelled-up nasilemak, the iconic Malay coconut-pandan rice dish. Singapore has always been a melting pot and its top-level restaurants reflect that: Odette (1 St Andrew’s Road) for fine French, Burnt Ends (20 Teck Lim Road) for gourmet barbecue and Nouri (72 Amoy Street) for what Chef Ivan Brehm calls ‘crossroads cooking’. But a growing amount of chefs are also focused on exploring the city-state’s culinary heritage and creating a modern Singaporean cuisine. Take, for example, Damian D’Silva at Folklore (Hotel Destination, 700 Beach Road), Malcom Lee at Candlenut (47A Dempsey Road) and Violet Oon, who has built a small empire with her quintet of Peranakan and Singaporean restaurants (including one at the airport).

Drink
Photograph: Cat Nelson (Native)

Drink

At Native (52A Amoy Street), Vijay Mudaliar approaches cocktails with similar sense of place and focus on sustainability. Highlighting local ingredients and craftspeople, Mudaliar pays homage to his Singaporean roots throughout the bar from drinks – like the Peranakan which draws on galangal, tamarind and candlenut – to music by local artists playing over the speakers. For clandestine vibes, innovative cocktails and flights of clever in-house fermented ‘natural wines’, head to Operation Dagger (7 Ann Siang Hill).

Stay
Photograph: courtesy The Warehouse Hotel

Stay

Set in a restored 1895 warehouse on the banks of Robertson Quay, The Warehouse Hotel (320 Havelock Road) is a plush retreat from the city heat. Industrial design meets local inspiration at this chic boutique hotel, which features items from the city’s designers and creatives throughout as well as a modern Singaporean restaurant Po, serving elevated Singaporean classics.

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