The best Italian restaurants in Singapore
Italian restaurants are in no short supply in Singapore. Craving wood-fired pizzas and handmade pasta? We’ve covered good ground on that here. But there’s also more to the Italian dining scene than you might give Singapore credit for, including a Sicilian-centric restaurant, a buzzy gastro bar, contemporary Michelin-starred restaurants and even a neighbourhood joint that’s turning out lesser-known street snacks from the boot-shaped land. Now, we're gonna make you an offer you can't refuse – with a list of the best Italian joints in town. RECOMMENDED: The best French, Spanish and Japanese restaurants in Singapore for more food recommendations.
The most romantic hotels in Singapore
Can't travel and bond with that special someone? No problem. There are plenty of getaways within the convenience of our Little Red Dot, whether you and your beau are mad about deacdent bubble baths with a bit of bubbly, couples therapies in the spa, or simply lounging by the pool. Just set aside time in your busy schedule to spend some time together. RECOMMENDED: Staycation in the city with some of the best views of Singapore This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The best hotels in Singapore
You won't run out of hotel options in Singapore, especially with the increasing number of new additions. Conveniently located in the heart of the city, the hotels in this list are just a quick walk, train ride or shuttle away from the city's best attractions like Gardens by the Bay and Sentosa. There are also plenty of restaurant and bar options around to make sure you never go hungry – even if it's way past midnight. The city never sleeps, after all. These are the best addresses to check into for the weekend, whether you're looking to spend a weekend by the sea or some quiet time with your significant other. RECOMMENDED: The best Singapore attractions to visit and the best rooftop bars in Singapore
The best chirashi dons under $30
Same same but different, the chirashi don and bara chirashi don are both rice bowls topped with a variety of sashimi, but diverge in their treatment of the fruits de mer. Consider chirashi as the purer, unadulterated form of the two: pristine slices of sashimi daintily laid out over sushi rice. As for the bara chirashi don, the sashimi is diced and marinated, typically with soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar. The simplicity of the recipe and presentation of the chirashi don calls for greater attention to the quality of the cut and the freshness of the seafood, which also explains why it’s usually priced a little higher than a bara chirashi don.
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Ramen Nagi has come a long way since its hole-in- the-wall days. Back then, the team invented a different ramen every day for a year to gain customer attention. The gamble paid off when they won the ultra-otaku 2012 Tokyo Ramen of the Year award by the eponymous magazine. They’ve since expanded to more than 50 outlets around Asia, landing at Suntec City with a cheery, colourfully decked out 60-seater behind the Tower 2 taxi stand. But it also seems like the Singapore outpost has also come a long way since the Tokyo heyday, because the broths are shockingly one-dimensional. Instead of the legendary Niboshi ramen that’s distilled from dried sardines, we get four tonkotsu-based flavours: The original Butao King ($13.90), Red King ($15.90), Black King ($15.90) and Green King ($15.90). Mind you, every bowl lands at the table with tantalising aromas. But as the aromas fade, the flaws emerge – everything is too sweet. The meats are teriyaki-esque saccharine, Black King is dark from blackened garlic and squid ink, but tastes only of the latter, and there’s nary a hint of spice in Red King although it’s advertised as the fieriest. Green King promises fresh basil, olive oil and grated parmesan but the herbs overwhelm and Butao King is so rich and cloying we cannot bear to have a second spoonful. It’s a shame because the fixings are on-point: perfectly springy noodles; yakibuta and chashu that are lean yet tender and truly molten-centred ramen eggs ($2 each). But then again, every other
Cheap eat of the week: Handmade kuehs at One Kueh at a Time
One more hurrah for the rising trend of new-age hawkers going back to traditional methods. Over at the Berseh Food Centre, Nick Soon painstakingly kneads and pinches one kueh at a time (hence the name of the stall), the good, old-fashioned way. There are just four items on his menu of traditional steamed pastries: soon kueh ($1), ku chye kueh ($1.20), png kueh ($1) and orh ku kueh ($1). We’re rather fond of the ku chye kueh for its silky, translucent skin and the wisp of smokiness from its filling of chives and shredded omelette. The less common orh ku kueh – mung bean paste encased in a black sesame-flecked glutinous rice flour pocket – with its savoury notes is a welcome change from the sweet ang ku kuehs. The kuehs sell out quickly, so be sure to head down early. One Kueh at a Time is at Berseh Food Centre.
SG50 Deliciously Singaporean Exhibition
Singapore's street food heritage gets its spot in the limelight at the National Heritage Board's latest exhibition, 'SG50: Deliciously Singaporean Showcase'. Launched at the World Street Food Congress, the travelling showcase will be on display at various locations and events island-wide in the lead up to the jubilee celebrations: Raffles City Shopping Centre from April 20 to 26, and the upcoming Singapore Food Expo (May 29-June 2) and Singapore Food Festival (July 17-August 2). Photo: National Heritage Board
How to get ready for the new public drinking law
In case you've been living in a boozy haze, our Parliament has swiftly passed a law restricting public consumption of alcohol after 10.30pm. The new ruling commences on April 1, and no, this really isn't an April Fool's joke. Since you don't want to end up in the back of a cop cruiser, here are five tips to make the situation more bearable. 1. Stock up on booze at home. Craft beer retailer, Thirsty, has shops at Clarke Quay, Holland Village and Tiong Bahru. Prefer draft? Check out these three places that pack beers to-go. 2. Convert your home into a speakeasy den. From $1,500, Proof & Company (the people behind 28HKS) will set you up with all the bartending essentials, and that includes a two-hour training on how to make your favourite drinks. 3. Get a barbecue permit from NParks if you're planning a cookout at spots such as East Coast Park, Pasir Ris Park and Changi Beach Park. With that, you're in the clear to drink up until 4am. 4. Or if that's too much of a hassle, make friends with people staying in condominiums. 5. Start your boozing earlier. Or better yet, make afternoons the new evenings. Ain't nothing quite like an ice-cold beer to stave off the heat.
Singapore is the most expensive city in the world – sort of
Hey Singapore, guess what? We're first at something again. For the second year running, we’ve topped the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living report. If you think Paris is costly, well, think again. The City of Lights is one rung below us, and even Tokyo and New York are far away at 11th and 22nd places, respectively. One more feather in the cap for SG50, eh? Still, it's worth remembering that the EIU's bi-annual survey is intended to help multi-national companies plan compensation packages for expatriates and corporate jetsetters to keep up with the Joneses. So you can imagine that the survey’s perception of 'essential' items might be rather different from what the rest of us ordinary folks purchase. Think condominium rentals, gourmet groceries such as French wine and cheeses, and other atas pursuits. What this really means is that Singapore can be straight up affordable: you just gotta know where to drop your dollars. And of course, we've got the deets here on where to shop, eat, drink and get artsy on the cheap.
Five common regrets from Chinese New Year
1. Staying up too late It always happens. You got carried away with thinking, ‘oh it’s a holiday the next day, it’s no biggie’ and stayed up ’til the wee hours of the night, playing mahjong and mindlessly watching reruns on TV. Then boom, Monday happened. You barely managed to crawl out of bed, and the trains were even more jam-packed than usual because everybody and his mum also woke up late for work. Nice. 2. Not skipping town Preparing for the festivities – and the oxytocin from all that bak kwa – got the better of you. ‘Maybe it’s a good idea to catch up with the relatives, have a proper reunion,’ you thought. Turns out, that was a bad decision. Because sitting through dinner while trying to damp down murderous thoughts about your dad’s gossipy sister was t-o-r-t-u-r-e. 3. Not shelling out for that flattering dress Because the first sentence your tactless slob of an uncle blurted out was, ‘Wah! So prosperous already ah?’ 4. Pigging out See point above. 5. But also, not buying more of your favourite snacks A box of hae bee hiam love letters for $21 seemed like a ridiculous amount to pay for half a container of air. Scratch that, it is bloody expensive, no questions about that. So you bought only one, promising to savour them slowly. But your annoying relatives made off with the whole darn box 15 minutes into the reunion, and there’s no way in hell you can buy more for yourself – it’s a limited edition CNY product and the shop’s completely sold out for the year.
What to do if you don't give a rat's ass about Valentine's Day
We completely understand if the thought of V-Day fills you with rage and cynicism, so know this: you’re not alone. While it may seem like the whole town is getting swept up in a nauseating flurry of all things romantic and pink, there’s plenty to do this weekend that isn’t about love. 1. Rock on to great music at The Gathering <img id="573cf526-d253-551b-2d77-2a8c9caad8c0" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="156627" loaded="156627" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102051795/image.jpg" class="photo lazy inline"> If you ask us, it’s the biggest event of the week. Who cares about the frou-frou Hallmark worship when you can be bobbing to indie acts such as Belle & Sebastian, tUnE-yArDs and Caribou? 2. Laugh your heart out <img id="cd99695f-7962-1119-5023-05be81b0db34" data-caption="" data-credit="" data-width-class="" type="image/jpeg" total="287835" loaded="287835" src="http://media.timeout.com/images/102051801/image.jpg" class="photo lazy inline"> Pangdemonium’s latest production, Circle Mirror Transformation, is spot on with its comedic timing and almost feels as though it was written just for the cast. It’s your last chance to catch this play about a bunch of strangers coming together in an acting class. 3. Get noshing Round up other single friends and huddle around a bubbling hotpot or a rib-sticking barbecue while you celebrate the lack of a date on V-Day.
The 72-hour Great Online Shopping Festival starts now
Get shopping – now – with the 72-hour Great Online Shopping Festival jointly organised by Google, DBS and SingPost. Starting from now till midnight on February 4, this digital bonanza throws up mega savings from over 60 brands and participating businesses across beauty, fashion, dining, technology and travel. Score discounts of up to 90 percent for electronics at Courts, or take as much as 80 percent off selected apparel and accessories from Zalora. Get your beauty buys at 25 percent off the regular price at Luxola, and snap up some fancy kitchenware and appliances from ToTT. If you're travelling, be sure to check out offers from the likes of airbnb, Accor Hotels, Hotels.com and Agoda. There are staycation deals to be had too from hotels such as Pan Pacific, Oasia, Park Royal, and Rendezvous Hotel Singapore. Oh, and it's also a good time to stock up for Chinese New Year to take advantage of the free delivery at FairPrice Online, or 15 percent discounts at GoFresh and RedMart. Check out GOSF.sg for the full list of merchants.
Now open: Cafe Insa-dong
What do art installations, shaved ice desserts and vanity tables have in common? To be honest, not much really – except that they can all be found at Café Insa-dong, a new Korean dessert café along South Bridge Road. The café, fronted by a bright yellow awning, puts its focus on bingsu (Korean ice kacang), but also doubles as a retail shop for Elegani vanity stations and art pieces from South Korea. Working with a base of vanilla-, chocolate- and green tea-flavoured shaved ice, Café Insa-dong throws up five topping options on its bingsu menu ($6.50-$7): red bean, sweet potato, Oreo, chocolate, green tea, and a red bean and sweet potato combo. If dessert ain’t quite your game, there are nominal savoury items such as bulgogi beef toast ($6.50) and egg mayo toast ($5.50). On the drinks side of things are frappes ($6-$7.50), fruity yogurt smoothies (from $5.50 for a Coconut Yo to $6 for a Mango Yo), and espresso-based coffees ($3.50 to $6.50). If you like your coffee a little out of the ordinary, consider the sweet potato latte ($6) and the cereal latte ($6).
Five worse things to live beside than a columbarium
In case you've been living under a rock, a bunch of would-be residents of Fernvale Lea in Sengkang are up in arms about an upcoming columbarium nearby the HDB estate. And they've actually gone beyond Facebook rants to start an online petition to nix the development, securing more than 800 signatures. At a meeting with Lam Pin Min, MP for Sengkang West, a group of them went as far as to ask the HDB for a refund on their flats. 'This is a young estate with young familes [sic], we do not want our children to be exposed to these kind of things so young in their lives!' yelled the petition. You’d think that the columbarium, set within an existing Chinese temple, would be a hotbed of vice. Future Fernvale Lea residents, there are worse things to have next door. Here are five we can think of. 1. A 24-hour McDonald's Photo: Fritz Saalfeld The only thing you should be scared about at midnight is the munchies that will have you scurrying for a Big Mac. Not ghosts. Plus, which do you think is worse to ‘expose’ your kids to: a quiet place of worship or millions of calories and a bucketload of fat? 2. Singapore EXPO Photo: User:Sengkang Have you seen the insane line of cars and taxis waiting to turn into Expo Drive? And the herds of bargain hunters that descend upon the never-ending expo halls? Good luck getting a cab when you're in a hurry to head out. 3. Schools Photo: Montyred Apart fr
Make the most of your city with the snazzier new Time Out Singapore
Say hello to our brand new website. We’ve gone for a new spiffy look with a responsive design - so yes, the website now adapts to the size of your screen. Go ahead, try it on your phone. Your favourite sections are still here, but with a few tweaks. Around Town has been renamed Things to Do; our Arts & Entertainment tab quenches your inner culture vulture; Shopping & Style is your go-to guide for everything to do with shopping, beauty, health and fitness; and we’ve got a dedicated Music & Nightlife section for you party people to drink, dance and rock the night. And with the rising tide of hip places to eat out, we’ve made it our priority to give you the deets on Restaurants & Cafés. We’ve also wrangled up our most popular features and put them within easy reach. Hunting down speakeasies? Check out our picks of the best secret bars in town. Craving for waffles? No problem. We’ve pretty much rounded up the best places to go and things to do in Singapore – from public art in the city to the latest multi-concept stores to alternative fitness studios and holiday workshops for kids. And don’t forget to sign up for our hot list for the coolest events coming up each week. Because we know how important it is for you to have access to our treasure trove of information on-the-go, we’ve made sure that the site is zippy and perfectly laid out even when you’re reading off your smartphone and on the train. We reckon it’s all too easy to get caught up reading our features, but take care not