What makes a date is the quality of conversation so keep it cosy and intimate at this classy but bold space at the Mandarin Oriental. Inspired by the Pacific Ocean and the culture of Asia's ports, there are plenty of plush lounge chairs for both of you to open up and get to know each other through deep chats. With spectacular views of the Marina Bay skyline, beautifully curated cocktails and artisan bar snacks, this place has all the makings of a date spot, whether it is a first meeting or a special occasion.
Get the awkward out of the way as you messily dig into over-the-top and greasy-in-a-good-way dishes such as the bak chor mee grilled cheese sandwich ($18). If you're on a budget, take advantage of the Beat the Clock promo. Housepours, beers and wines by the glass go for $5 between 5-5.59pm, $6 between 6-6.59pm, and $7 between 7-7.59pm.
Impress your date at this grand art deco-inspired bar, featuring champagne-hued tapestries that line the ceiling, and intricate gold and bronze balconies that surround the space. But the highlight here is its massive gin tower, which claims to house over 1,000 bottles of gin.
Park yourself on the roof of this three-storey complex to enjoy glittering views of the CBD. If that doesn’t impress, there’s always cocktails like the Chinese Mojito ($21) and Date a Gangster ($21) that’ll do the trick.
The craft cocktails at Bitters and Love never disappoint – unlike dates who don’t look at all like their Tinder profile. Ask for a bespoke cocktail and let head bartender Naz Arjuna take care of the rest.
Cosy up to your date at this dimly lit bar and have a conversation over its unique signature drink, the Gibson ($23). A cousin of the martini, this tipple is a conversation starter served with house-pickled onion, ginger and smoked quail egg. Pro-tip: come on Tuesdays to enjoy oysters at $3, all night long. *wink*
Show your street cred by taking your date to this basement bar that's only marked out by a couple of illegible scribblings. The bar's cloud of light bulbs and host of multi-sensory cocktails should help to get the conversation going. If not – you could always just talk about the weather.
Right around the corner from BluJaz is its Latin offshoot, a Mexican joint that, like the mothership, attracts crowds with live DJs and a bustling alfresco area. But, it's the cocktail-friendly Mexican grub that keeps us coming back.
The chunky guacamole is prepared with just-right doses of lime and chilli, and a fresh and tangy ceviche is worthy of seconds. Unwind with an after-work margarita in hand that won’t leave a gaping hole in your wallet. The vibe here is streetside chill – go for the outdoor seats along Haji Lane and play a drinking game with your date: each time you spot someone taking an #ootd or wefie in the photogenic area, down one.
There's nothing like a good rooftop to set a romantic scene, but you also don't want to peak too early – save the best for the month-iversaries. Southbridge is a happy medium. This fifth-floor shophouse perch rolls out a view of the Singapore River beneath your feet and the CBD in the distance. Book ahead for one of those seats by the roof's edges, and order a cocktail or two to have with a bit of nosh or an oyster platter.
Sail with your date through the undisclosed sliding glass door down to this basement speakeasy below Uma Uma Ramen – you're hardly a super spy, but in his or her eyes, you'll look cool. In this sleek bar, the cocktails are potent, Japanese whiskeys approachable, and bartenders professional yet tonnes of fun – they'll help you navigate their many rows of top-shelf booze. Uma Uma's steaming ramen bowls can also be ordered late into the night. Otherwise, share one of the many izakaya-style snacks like gyoza, shishamo, edamame.
So your date's better looking than he or she is a conversationalist. Nothing new here, eh? But don't give up yet – if you're still keen to hang, hit up Crazy Elephant on Clarke Quay. The live musicians here croon old-school roots rock, rock 'n' roll and blood-and-guts blues that'll bring the barn (and hopefully your date's guard) down. Who knows – you might just get lucky after a few drinks and conversations held close.