The little red dot comes into its own after the sun goes down
By James Wilkinson|
See and do
You could be forgiven for thinking you’ve walked onto the set of Avatar while strolling 20 metres in the air among the Supertrees of Gardens by the Bay(pictured at top) after dark. Here, tree-like structures light up at night time, turning the green, rainforest-style gardens into a visual spectacular. The trees are home to a ferns, vines and orchids, with some containing bars and restaurants, including UK chef Jason Atherton’s Pollen. 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore. +65 6420 6848.
The world’s fastest sport rolls into town in September, when the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix (Sep 16-18) is contested across the city’s streets under lights. Great views are to be had at many of Singapore’s hotels and in the grand stand at Marina Bay. Get your after-dark shopping fix at Ion Orchard, which is open 10am to 10pm daily. Find over 400 food and retail outlets from H&M to Dior and Saint Laurent to Moleskine. 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore. +65 6238 8228.
A glance of the cocktail list at 28 Hong Kong Street, under the watchful eye of the brilliant Zdenek Kastanek, is just a teaser of how good the well stocked, lively, hard to find (look for the nondescript shopfront with a ‘28’ above it), 60-seat bar is. Start with a classic, perhaps a Rye Old Fashioned or an Americano, then get creative and kick-back in a booth with a Crimson and Clover or a Tiki Elvis. Book ahead. 28 Hongkong St, Singapore. +65 6533 2001.
Look for the glass door with hobo code scribbled on it then head down the staircase and into a basement where you’ll find an outrageous light globe chandelier crafted in the shape of a cloud. There’s loads of experimentation here at Operation Dagger(pictured): look for the bottled cocktail of the week and limited runs of ‘dangerous water’ creations such as house-made meads, infused spirits. Order the omakase six-cocktail set and some sides. 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore.
Seek out the black and white door, then look through the peephole and what’s behind the looking glass is yet another hidden and intimate bar loaded up with top-shelf spirits and talented bartenders. At Bitters and Love, you pick your spirit, then style of cocktail you’d like and the team will bring it over in whatever glass, jar or punch bowl they like. 118 Telok Ayer St, Singapore. +65 6438 1836.
Singapore’s hawker markets are a must for cheap and delicious street food but if you’re keen on exploring the fine diners then three places should be on your must-do list.
At 24-seat eatery Burnt Ends, chef Dave Pynt’s take on modern Australian barbecue involves smoking, roasting, baking and grilling on apple and almond wood burning machines and custom-built grills. Drinks man Andrew Cameron’s smoked cocktail pairing is impeccable and his wine list features some brilliant small-batch producers, including several organic global standouts. 20 Teck Lim Rd, Singapore. +65 6224 3933.
Smoked meat is also a theme at the aptly-named Meatsmith, run by Sydneysider Emmanuel Benardos. Highlights are smoked meats (order the 1kg Cowboy T-bone and the barbecue platter for four), blends, single malts and bourbons (get one made as a flip), and a solid craft beer list from America including Deschutes. Score a table outside on Telok Ayer Street, where shops, bars and eateries intertwine for a real Singapore experience. 169 Telok Ayer St, Singapore. +65 6221 2262.
Eateries don’t get much more hidden than the 20-seat Bincho(pictured)that’s locatedon the ground floor of a small apartment complex in a former 70-year old traditional kopitiam, which offers some of the best Japanese we’ve ever had outside Osaka. Wash down a Swan Lake rice beer with cockscomb and gizzard yakitori, sea bream carpaccio, tuna belly, aburi char siew and chicken thigh tataki, or keep it simple and order a Wagyu omu curry that’s a steal at SG$45. 78 Moh Guan Tce, Singapore. +65 6438 4567.
Where to stay
‘Quirky’ hardly cuts it when it comes to the New Majestic Hotel(pictured)near Chinatown. The 30 individually designed suites feature elevated loft-style beds and dual bathtubs in the middle of rooms. There’s a pool over the restaurant and a tuktuk in the lobby. 31-37 Bukit Pasoh Rd, Singapore. +65 6511 470.
Old-world charm and modern technology fuse seamlessly at Sofitel So Singapore, housed in a Neoclassical building. Here, find flatscreen TVs, free WiFi and balconies with city views in the rooms and suites, while on the roof there’s a pool and cocktail bar serving classics and South East Asian creations. 35 Robinson Rd, Singapore. +65 6701 6800.
A few streets back from Marina Bay, Conrad Centennial Singapore is attached to the Millennia mall, which features over 1,000 shops and 300 eateries. Enjoy top service, a 20-metre pool, four restaurants and bars (order Martinis poolside) alongside spacious rooms and suites. 2 Temasek Blvd, Singapore. +65 6334 8888.
British Airways flies daily to Singapore on modern Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring First, Club World (Business), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and World Traveller (Economy) cabins. Time Out recommends booking a ticket in Club World, which offers flatbed seats, restaurant-calibre cuisine, French and Australian wines, hundreds of hours of entertainment on demand and great British service from check-in to disembarking.