Vianne Chia

Vianne Chia

Articles (9)

The most Instagrammable cafés in Singapore

The most Instagrammable cafés in Singapore

There are several factors that make a café Instagrammable: its food, its interior decor, and its surroundings. Out of the hundreds of cafés around the island, we've picked out the most photogenic ones to help you rack up those likes. After all, we come for the food but stick around for the photos. RECOMMENDED: The most Instagram-worthy places in Singapore and the most Instagram-worthy HDB blocks in Singapore

The best Korean restaurants in Singapore

The best Korean restaurants in Singapore

You may or may not binge-watch Korean soap dramas or idolise the Bangtan Boys (that's only the most popular Korean boyband, BTS for you) but chances are, you will be a fan of Korean cuisine. From its famous kimchi to barbecued meat, here are the restaurants to hit when that K-food craving hits.  RECOMMENDED: The best Korean BBQ restaurants in Singapore and the best Korean dessert restaurants and cafes in Singapore  

The best Italian restaurants in Singapore

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.

10 famous international food chains in Singapore

10 famous international food chains in Singapore

We’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to food options in Singapore. And with the spate of new eateries opening here, we won’t even have to travel overseas to dine at famous restaurants from around the world – they’ll come to us. Use our roundup of the best international food chains that have made their way to Singapore to go on a food crawl that takes you all over the globe. Given the anticipation surrounding their openings, there will likely be long lines, but the nosh is sure to be worth the wait. RECOMMENDED: Singapore’s 50 best restaurants and The best cafes in Singapore for brunch and coffee

7 international movies and TV shows that were filmed in Singapore

7 international movies and TV shows that were filmed in Singapore

We’re probably used to seeing cities like London, New York City, and Paris in the movies and TV shows that we watch. But in recent years, Singapore’s iconic skyline and landmarks have also received plenty of screen time – some of our most scenic attractions, like Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, have made conspicuous cameos. In celebration of National Day, we look at seven films and TV shows that were filmed in Singapore, as well as the locations featured (including several unexpected ones). Read on to find out more about how you can catch Singapore on the big and small screen.  RECOMMENDED: What Crazy Rich Asians got right and wrong about Singapore and Where to see interesting architecture in Singapore

6 LGBTQ-friendly travel destinations in the Asia Pacific region

6 LGBTQ-friendly travel destinations in the Asia Pacific region

Travelling is a stressful experience for everyone, but especially so for tourists that identify as part of the LGBTQ community. For them, destinations may not be safe or inclusive – some countries have strict laws and may not be the most accommodating to queer tourists. If you’re an LGBTQ tourist and you’re looking for safe, inclusive destinations with vibrant queer communities, here’s your guide to the best LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the Asia Pacific region, based on the results of a survey by booking.com. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in Singapore and 50 best reataurants in Singapore

The best bookstores in Singapore

The best bookstores in Singapore

Nothing beats getting your nose stuck in a paperback. These bookstores line their walls and displays with a wide range of print publications including secondhand gems and specialty books and magazines to niche readers. Besides endless shelves of hard copies, these are also the best spots to check out the works of local authors and the literary scene in Singapore. Time to refresh that reading list and get lost in the pages of your new favourite book! RECOMMENDED: The best independent and alternative cinemas in Singapore and The best hidden cafés in Singapore for a quiet brunch sesh    

The ultimate guide to City Hall

The ultimate guide to City Hall

The City Hall neighbourhood, located in the centre of the Civic District, has seen many significant moments in Singapore’s political history over the past two hundred years. It’s named for the former City Hall building (now home to the National Gallery, along with the former Supreme Court), which served as the seat of the British colonial government in the 1800s. The Civic District’s original layout was planned by Stamford Raffles, who envisioned that the area would become a city centre of sorts. Many of the buildings from the colonial era still exist – they now house museums, restaurants, offices, shops, and theatres. There’s plenty to do and to eat in the neighbourhood. Given the number of museums and colonial-era buildings clustered in the area, City Hall is a great place to learn more about Singapore’s rich culture and heritage. You’ll also be able to find some of Singapore’s best restaurants and eateries in the neighbourhood, including several Michelin-starred options like Odette. Shopping is also plentiful – the area boasts two large malls, Funan and Raffles City, which are situated within walking distance to each other. Read on for our guide to City Hall. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in Singapore and Singapore's 50 best restaurants

Going solo: how to spend 24 hours in Singapore alone

Going solo: how to spend 24 hours in Singapore alone

Sometimes a solo exploration around the city can refresh your love for the places you’ve been to countless times before. Whether you’re out to tick off some must-dos on your bucket list or up to experience something new, here’s how to discover a different side to the city on your own. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in Singapore and the best sights and attractions in Singapore

Listings and reviews (19)

Ralph's Coffee

Ralph's Coffee

Coffee meets fashion at Ralph’s Coffee, a cafe concept by Ralph Lauren. The coffee chain has over 18 outlets all over the world – the first opened in New York City in 2014, and has since expanded to cities like London, Tokyo, and Shanghai. And it’s finally made its way to Singapore, next to the new Ralph Lauren concept store at MBS, which carries the American brand’s premium Purple Label.  Given the timeless elegance its Purple Label is known for, the cafe’s interiors are appropriately chic, but still warm and inviting. Greens, whites and browns dominate, as do wood and tile elements. Seating is scarce, with only a couple of tables available in the cosy space. On the menu are classic cafe offerings. For drinks, try the signature Ralph’s Coffee, a black coffee that you can order iced ($6) or hot ($5.50), or a latte (from $7). If you don’t do coffee, try the Singapore-exclusive pineapple shaken tea ($8) or a matcha latte (from $7.50). If you’re feeling hungry, a number of sweet treats are also on offer, including Ralph’s Chocolate Cake ($14) and soft-serve ice cream ($9), also a Singapore exclusive.

Wu Pao Chun

Wu Pao Chun

Wu Pao Chun eponymous bakery first opened to much anticipation at Capitol Singapore in 2019.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Cult-favourite ice cream brand Van Leeuwen opened its first overseas outpost in Singapore. The brand started in 2008 as a yellow truck on the streets of Brooklyn, New York and has since expanded to 27 physical stores across the United States. And why do fans love it so much? For its decadent French ice cream – ice cream made with double the amount of egg yolks than regular ice cream, for extra creamy goodness.  Ice cream lovers will be glad to know that over 16 scoop flavours (from $6.50 for a classic scoop) will be available at the outlet. Highlights include fan-favourite Black Cherry Chip, a delicious combination of cherry ice cream, chocolate chips, and juicy black cherries; Honeycomb, a sweet cream ice cream studded with crunchy and gooey honeycomb pieces; and Praline Butter Cake, also a sweet cream ice cream, but loaded with praline pecans and pieces of brown butter cake. In addition to scoops, milkshakes (from $13), root beer floats (from $9), pints ($17), and boxes of ice cream bars ($17 for a box of four) will also be available. And if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, Van Leeuwen also has a range of vegan flavours so good you can barely tell the difference between their vegan and non-vegan offerings. The creamy scoops are made with coconut cream, cashews, and oat milk, and come in indulgent flavours such as Churros and Fudge and Brown Sugar Chunk.

Singapore Shorts 2023

Singapore Shorts 2023

Support local filmmakers at this year’s edition of Singapore Shorts, which runs from August 4 to 27 at Oldham Theatre. Every year, the Asian Film Archive selects a number of short films from local filmmakers to showcase their talent. This year, 28 films will be featured over four separate screenings. You’ll also be able to discuss the films with the filmmakers themselves – Q&A sessions will be available after each screening. Tickets are priced at $10 and can be purchased here.

SGIFF Fundraiser 2023: Special preview screening of Asteroid City

SGIFF Fundraiser 2023: Special preview screening of Asteroid City

Enjoy a sneak preview of Asteroid City, Wes Anderson’s latest star-studded film, and contribute to a good cause at Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF)’s annual fundraiser this weekend. Carnival snacks and festive drinks will be available, and you’ll also be able to take photos to remember the evening by at a themed photo booth. And that’s not all – come dressed in your pastel best for the Wes Anderson-themed best dressed competition. There will also be a pop quiz, so make sure you brush up on your Wes Anderson knowledge.

New mala and kombu lobster rolls at Luke's Lobster

New mala and kombu lobster rolls at Luke's Lobster

Great news for lobster roll fans – Luke’s Lobster is launching three new lobster rolls this August, and they’ve reduced the prices of their signature lobster rolls from $29.50 to $25.50 (almost unheard of in this day and age). The first new roll is a warm and comforting counterpart to their signature lobster roll – perfect for a rainy day when you’re just not feeling a cold meal. In addition to the warm roll, Luke’s Lobster has also collaborated with local artisanal butter-maker Atas Butter to create two new limited edition flavours – Mala Butter and Kombu Butter – just in time for National Day. They’re only available for the month of August, so make sure you try them soon!

Festival of Football

Festival of Football

Catch Harry Kane, Son Heung Min, Mohamed Salah, and Joshua Kimmich (and, if you’re lucky, new signings like Bayern’s Kim Min Jae) at this year’s Festival of Football, in a series of exhibition matches between Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, EPL sides Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Leicester City. Tickets to Liverpool and Tottenham training sessions, which are open to the public, are also on sale for $32. You can also visit the interactive fan zone at OCBC Square throughout the week, where football-related activities and dining options will be available. Tickets for the exhibition matches start from $99 and can be purchased here.

Giorgio Armani Mare Pop-up at MBS

Giorgio Armani Mare Pop-up at MBS

Experience an Italian summer right here in Singapore at Giorgio Armani’s new pop-up at MBS, which showcases its Mare capsule collection. Characterised by tropical elegance, the collection features light, breezy linens and silks in varying shades of blue reminiscent of the ocean. Perfect, in other words, for emulating the quiet luxury aesthetic on your seaside summer escapades. The pop-up – decorated in the same colour palette as the collection and adorned with very on-theme palm trees and woven textures – recently played host to celeb guests like Ji Chang Wook, Nycha, and Benjamin Kheng, who were invited to the pop-up to celebrate its launch. Entry to the pop-up, which runs until July 26, is free and open to the public.

Chang Korean BBQ

Chang Korean BBQ

Chang is a KBBQ institution that’s been around since 2006 and has continued to steadily attract a loyal clientele over the past 17 years. Nestled within the verdant Dempsey enclave, it is known for churning out fresh, high-quality meats and authentic Korean dishes. Offerings here are decidedly premium – you’ll be able to order meats like Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork. Prices are higher than the average KBBQ restaurant, but if a more upscale KBBQ experience is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with Chang.

Um Yong Baek

Um Yong Baek

The newly-opened restaurant, a well-known Korean BBQ chain in Korea, has proven to be extremely popular among Singaporeans, attracting long queues outside its Boon Tat outlet every day. Though it’s a KBBQ restaurant, the main draw here is its Busan-style gukbap, or pork and rice soup ($21) – a rare find in Singapore. Um Yong Baek’s Busan-style gukbap consists of rice and a mixture of pork cuts (cheek, collar, and belly), submerged in a clear broth. However, it’s currently only available for lunch. Only Jeju-style BBQ (also a rare find in Singapore) is available for dinner, along with other mains like stews and cold noodles. Either way, expect a queue.

Go!KBBQ

Go!KBBQ

Go!KBBQ is located in Tanjong Pagar, where KBBQ joints abound. What sets Go!KBBQ apart, however, are its aged meats. You’ll notice the difference immediately – the wet-aging process imparts flavour to the meat and has a tenderising effect. Can’t decide which meats to order? Try the aged black pork neck or belly ($26/150g). Or, go for one of the sets, which offer good value (from $69 for 450g of meat).

Cafe Natsu Joo Chiat

Cafe Natsu Joo Chiat

If you love katsu sandos, you'll probably have heard of Cafe Natsu, a Japanese-inspired cafe housed in a 1920s Peranakan heritage building in Joo Chiat. Admittedly, there's no shortage of cafes in the neighbourhood, but what sets Cafe Natsu apart from its counterparts is its emphasis on Japanese flavours in its dishes.  The cafe's Japanese influences are now more overtly referenced in their new menu, which was recently overhauled in June. Fans of their katsu sandos need not fear – their signature katsu sando remains on the menu, although the wagyu sando has been replaced with a succulent and tender pork katsu sando ($26). Gone, however, are classic brunch staples like their eggs benedict (which can still be found at the Orchard outlet). Instead, expect more traditionally Japanese mains like cold somen ($16), a teishoku set (seasonal fish served with chestnut mushroom rice and other side dishes, $32), and a wagyu hamburg bowl set (a juicy wagyu beef patty, topped with a soft-boiledegg, served atop a bed of chestnut mushroom rice and various side dishes, $36).  Small plates include crispy karaage ($14) and imo mochi (soy glazed potato mochi, $12), while sides comprise classics like togarashi fries ($8) and a silky-smooth chawanmushi studded with clams and topped with ikura ($8). Make sure to save some stomach for dessert, which shouldn’t be missed. New highlights include a striking and photogenic Uji matcha kakigori ($14) – served, rather unusually, with a small pitcher of gula