What's on in Singapore this week
Singapore Night Festival
The annual festival returns with more lights and sounds. Set to the theme of ‘Ten Magical Years’, this year’s Night Festival is anchored by majestic – and interactive – light installations around the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct. We check out six events happening at Singapore Night Festival 2017.
Beerfest Asia 2017
In this year's edition of Singapore's annual sloshfest, expect four days of beer-driven debauchery, and plenty of tribute acts blasting sounds of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Guns N' Roses. The early list of beer highlights is dominated by big brand names and commercial brews such as Germany's Schneider Weisse, Spain's Estrella Galicia and Brother's coconut and lime ciders. Those looking for more esoteric, craft-driven sips best look for the various craft beer distributors looking to push the cause for tasteful drinking such as Epicurean Nomad, Puntastic Beverages and The Mad Tapper. Ticket prices, which include one complimentary welcome beer, start from $28 for a one-day pass, and peak at $184 for a one-day VIP package, which includes free flow drinking and express entry. Better stock up on milk thistle – your liver will need it.
Cigarettes After Sex
Dream pop is not dead. Featuring the hushed androgynous croonings of Greg Gonzalez over echoey guitars, Cigarettes After Sex churns out spellbinding ambient pop that’s equal parts heartwarming and melancholic. Started out as a solo project by Gonzalez nine years ago, the band has finally put out its first full-length studio album last June.
Army Daze 2
After 30 years, Michael Chiang’s well-loved comedy Army Daze returns, this time a sequel that traces what’s become of the five 18-year-old ‘blur as sotong’ BMT recruits. In this comedic get-together, Ah Beng's an entrepreneur, Johari runs a fast-food chain, Kenny’s since become a renowned designer and Krishnamoorthi's a successful architect – yet the spectre of CPL Ong continues to haunt them. Directed by Beatrice Chia-Richmond and featuring Don Richmond’s original compositions, fall into the lives of the former recruits of Hotel Company Platoon 4, 1987.
No, the event is not about being glued to your phones at night. Instead, catch a series of text-based acts at Centre 42 as part of the Singapore Night Festival. There are performances by Dark Matter Theatrics, Proletariat Poetry Factory and more, who will fill your night with poems, stories and plays. Newcomers to the second edition of Late-Night Texting include improv comedians The Latecomers and playwright collective Main Tulis Group. Be sure to fuel up on snacks and drinks from Coffee Bandits to keep you going through the night. And if you're still hankering for more stories, pick up a book from BooksActually's pop-up store.
Red Dot August
Local artists are the highlight of Esplanade's Red Dot August programme. Come by on August 9 and get serenaded by Stillsunrise as they bring their distinctive mix of alternative folk music. Or relive your army days and celebrate five decades of National Service with former SAF musicians as they play familiar ceremonial tunes such as 'Purple Light' and 'I Ask My Girl'. Make sure to check out 'Creating a Home Away from Home', a showcase of personal objects contributed by the migrant worker community which gives us a glimpse into the lives of foreign individuals who have adopted our island as their second home.
New restaurants and bars in SG
The Bird Southern Table & Bar
A household name for Southern food in the United States, The Bird has landed on our shores and made The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands its first Asian nest. Famed for its Chicken 'N' Watermelon 'N' Waffle ($45), the restaurant's signature dish is made with chicken that's been brined for 27 hours before it's dredged in flour and pressure-fried 'til golden brown on the outside but still juicy on the inside. Served with spiced watermelon, cheddar cheese waffles, honey hot sauce and bourbon maple syrup, this chicken feast is good enough to fill two bellies. You'll also want to leave space for other star dishes like The Bird's fried green tomato BLT ($18), skillet cornbread ($10) and its Singapore-inspired Low Country Laksa ($38).
Be transported to the isles of Greece when you step into Bakalaki. Get your fix of Mediterranean cuisine by ordering a platter of dips including tzatziki ($14.90), Greek yogurt with cucumber, and taramosalata ($15.90), a white cod roe spread that you can slather onto warm slices of pita bread, fresh from the oven. The spacious tavern is perfect for entertaining large groups, so order one of its mixed grilled meat or seafood platters to share. The meat tray (from $97.90) comes with grilled skewers, lamb chops, meatballs and sausages, while the seafood platter (from $118.90) has a mix of squid, octopus and prawns.
Il Cielo (new chef)
Feast on an Italian dishes prepared by chef Yohhei Sasaki at this poolside restaurant. Il Cielo's new head chef has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants around Italy and has amassed a repertoire of signature dishes such as his Hokkaido sea urchin spaghetti with Sardinia bottarga and yuzu juice. Opt for the degustation menu for a taste of what chef Sasaki has to offer. The 5-course $88 menu focuses more on Italian classics, while the $118 menu features a mix of Japanese and Italian dishes that incorporate ingredients such as sea bream and Toriyama wagyu.
With floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of Orchard Road from the 24th floor of the Shangri-La, Nami is out to elevate Japanese cuisine. And head chef Shigeo Akiba is up for the task – he's cooked for Japanese royalty and spent five years working with Iron Chef Koumei Nakamura. His specialities include pan-fried tuna head glazed with sweet soy sauce ($60), steam abalone in kimo sauce ($90), and Japanese beef sirloin served with Kyoto vegetables in a dashi broth ($70). Dashi is central to Akiba's cuisine, it's made with the best kombu and katsuobushi sourced from the sea off northern Hokkaido, and is the cornerstone to most of the dishes you'll find at Nami.
For simple comfort food that hits the spot, head to Five Ten. The pop-up restaurant serves Taiwanese-inspired dishes all priced at either $5 or $10. The Lu Rou Fan ($10), a pork belly rice bowl served with an onsen egg and kai lan over Japanese rice, is our favourite. Have the rice bowls on their own or order a couple of side dishes like sautéed chicken hearts ($5) and beef tripe skewers ($10) with pickled cabbage to share. While Five Ten has cheap beers and drinks on the menu for the backpacker crowd, don't miss principal barista Time Chew's cold brews. The result of months of research and development, the cold brews come in three flavours of black, white and mocha, and are sure to keep you wired for the rest of the day.
The Japanese secret to glowing skin and better digestion? An alcohol-free beverage made from fermented rice called amazake. Amamoto is a new grab-and-go concept conveniently located at the basement of One Raffles Place that specialises in the beverage. Have it plain with soy milk ($4.80) or try it in a variety of flavours including matcha ($5), mango ($5.80) and orange ($5.80). Those on the hunt for a healthy meal can also grab a soba salad topped with amazake-marinated chicken ($12.80) served with a side of amazake-based dressings.