Whether you're planning for your first date, an anniversary or a regular date night out about town, here are our picks of the best value-for-money, romantically lit restaurants to wine and dine in Singapore.
Show off how much you know by taking your date to The Ottomani, an opulent, Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant hidden behind The Fat Prince. Luxuriate on a plush couch and enjoy a meal fit for royalty. kick things off with a plate of thinly sliced Hokkaido scallops ($24) served with fennel, mojama (salt-cured tuna) and pomelo amba, a tangy that gives a dish some acidity. The cabbage sprouts ($28) cooked over charcoal is another winner.
Afterwards Go back into the light by having drinks at the bar at The Fat Prince. It specialises in cocktails made with Raki, an anise-flavoured spirit popular in the Middle East.
Seal the deal by bringing your date to Monti, the new restaurant at Fullerton Pavilion with a breathtaking view of Marina Bay. Tugboats sail right past your table as you tuck into traditional Italian fare like risotto cacio e pepe ($39), finished tableside in a wheel of Parmesan and topped with freshly shaved black truffle.
Afterwards With resident DJs spinning ’til late, you’ll find it easy to stay at Monti all night long. Alternatively, make your way to Kinki’s rooftop for a selection of Japanese sake and bar snacks.
Nestled in the heart of the Botanic Gardens is The Garage, a new two-storey F&B concept with a café named Bee’s Knees on the ground floor and restaurant/bar Botanico on the second. Bee’s Knees is more of a first date joint, where you can have coffee and sandwiches in a casual setting, but if you’re looking to take things to the next level (quite literally), Botanico has a menu driven by the seasons, featuring dishes like lamb tartare, cured and grilled Spanish mackerel, and braised pork belly with sherry sour sauce.
Afterwards Also on the second floor of The Garage is a garden bar that’s simultaneously airconditioned and outdoors so you can enjoy fresh air, sans the tropical heat. Alternatively, take a romantic jaunt through Botanic Gardens and unwind over a coupla bottles of beer at Bar Bar Black Sheep.
After spending the day sweating on the streets of Orchard, head to the 56th floor of ION Orchard for unparalleled views – and food. Celebrity chef Luke Mangan showcases his signature items, including the ‘glass’ Sydney crab omelette ($33), along with a range of Australian meats cooked on the grill.
Afterwards Orchard Road is in no short supply of bars for your nightcap. For a private, hidden-away experience pop by The Other Room, a speakeasy located in the Singapore Marriott. Alternatively, there’s always the tried and true Alley Bar for laid-back drinks and bar bites.
Housed in Gardens by the Bay’s climate-controlled Flower Dome, Pollen can get a little chilly – giving you the perfect excuse to cosy up with your date. Be treated to chef Steve Allen’s multi-course menu, which includes creations like poached and roasted French duck, his take on the classic duck à l’orange. Alternatively, head to the second floor for a light bite or afternoon tea.
Afterwards Enjoy complimentary access to the Flower Dome and cross the bridge over to Marina Bay Sands for drinks. Party it up on the roof at CÉ LA VI or unwind over a bottle of wine at Adrift by David Myers.
If you want to be cheek by jowl with your date by the end of the night, this is the restaurant to check out. Helmed by husband-and-wife team, Rishi Naleendra and Manuela Toniolo, lunch is priced at $58 for one ‘snack’ and five courses, while dinner is a more extravagant affair with five ‘snacks’ and five courses.
Afterwards Take a stroll along Amoy Street and stop when you reach a neon pink sign that reads ‘Psychic’. It’s not a Tarot reader but Employees Only, one of the best cocktail bars in the city. Another secret spot is The Spiffy Dapper, a bar located on the second floor of 73 Amoy Street.
Named after the white charcoal used to grill its French-Japanese tapas, Le Binchotan serves both skewered meats and more refined dishes like Myoban uni ($23) with corn mousse. This restaurant only seats 38, guaranteeing an intimate experience on the corner of Gemmill Lane.
With herb and micro-greens from Edible Garden City lining the walls and dishes that are gluten- and dairy-free, Open Door Policy is one for health-conscious daters. Natural light streams in during the day, and the cosy space takes on a romantic glow at night. Dishes like the celery and almond soup ($24) and vegan maccheroni pasta ($24) are large enough for sharing with your date.
Afterwards The quaint Tiong Bahru isn’t home to many great bars, but there’s always Coq and Balls for a cheeky pint.
Here's a rum-addled den with a totally fun soundtrack of reggae-tinged hip hop and pop. The 'fun dining' menu of hearty plates to dig into includes a charcoal-fired hanger steak for just $24, and plenty of great, creative veggie options if your date's feeling like just having a salad.
Afterwards More cocktails at Jigger and Pony next door, or rooftop drinks at Sum Yi Tai with a soundtrack of belt-your-heart-out Cantopop. If you're really looking to seal the deal, get some help from the glittery views of the Singapore skyline up on top of CapitaGreen with a drink at Artemis Grill.
The dark back alley entrance of this refined Mediterranean restaurant gives off a secret dining club vibe, and watch her heart melt when you explain that Maggie and Joan are co-owner Daniel Ballis' grandmothers. The food is hardly homespun, though – the well-balanced plates of meat, fish and veg are prettily assembled, and the darkened, cavernous space only adds to the sense of adventure built up from tracking down the restaurant.
Afterwards Drink at Club Street Social or people-watch with glasses of wine at Beaujolais. Skip the rowdy Club Street stretch in favour of another secret location: the Operation Dagger bar on Ann Siang Road.
Go for the seats inside, where the low lights and worn pastel walls transport you to a gritty Mexico City saloon, or those on the outdoor terrace, which is lit by sunset and candlelight later at night. Lucha Loco's always a great bet for its upbeat vibe and disarmingly messy Mexican street fare that's bright and spry on the palate.
Afterwards If your date's a cocktail geek, go make more conversation over the drinks at Tippling Club. Share a bottle of wine at Merchant's Wine Cellar on Duxton, or hit up JJ Atlante Pub closer to 11pm and jive to the live blues band on duty.
This is as close as you'll get to a romantic Parisian bistro. Chef Frederic Colin's kitted out his long shophouse unit with Art Nouveau posters, rattan chairs, cobblestone floors and a vintage cooker his grandmother nurtured the family with. To carry the experience through, elegantly cut your way through Croque Monsieurs and Madames or a tartine in between sips of one of the many house wines, eaux de vie and pastis.
The CBD is home to a surprising number of romantic digs and Osteria Art is one of them. Serving Italian classics updated with modern techniques, the food will have you rolling your eyes back in ecstasy. The best part? A meal here won’t break the bank, allowing you to pay for your date without feeling too much of a pinch.
Afterwards Take a high-speed lift up to 1-Altitude if you’re in the mood to dance the night away. For a more private experience, have tasting flights at The Secret Mermaid or get one of Kelly DCruz’s signature creations.
Looking for a someone who's more fun than high-maintenance? Watch them eat a burger. Three Buns offers an extensive selection of burger-and-the-works options, and plenty of quirky art to talk about between mouthfuls. When you're done, bring the conversation upstairs to the rooftop garden for potent tiki drinks among lights and shophouse rooftops.
Impress your date with Thai fine dining that’s not too stuffy while taking in glistening views of Marina Bay. The amber lit restaurant lets you bask in a warm glow as you savour traditional dishes like yam mamuang ($18.70) and tom yam gung ($26.50) that have been elevated a notch.
Afterwards If you can’t get enough of marina views, walk along Fullerton Bay to Overeasy for a pint or two.
Save this one for a special occasion. Or not. With breathtaking views of the Singapore skyline, Jaan is an intimate 40-seat restaurant that takes you on a culinary journey to chef Kirk Westaway's hometown in Devon. The small seaside town on the south-western coast of England continues to be a source of inspiration in Jaan's menu, which focuses on fresh seasonal produce. The most extravagant menu is reserved for dinner, where each of the six courses is paired with a different glass of Krug ($498).Afterwards Head down to Anti:dote at the Fairmont for a nightcap or walk a little further to Loof, where the party goes on late into the night.
This is a great restaurant to keep returning to for date night as no two meals at Terra are exactly the same – even though you can request for your favourite dishes in advance. Chef-owner Seita Nakahara regularly travels to Japan to source for new ingredients. As such, the omakase sets ($128/$168/$208) of Tokyo-Italian cuisine are changed seasonally depending on what arrives in the kitchen that day. Don’t confuse what you’ll be eating with fusion food: 'Tokyo-Italian' simply refers to authentic Italian dishes that are made from the best Japanese produce available. The sea urchin spaghetti and oven-baked Hokkaido scallop are mainstays, but if you and your date enjoy an element of surprise, just leave it to Nakahara to decide.Afterwards Hop over to Jekyll & Hyde for bespoke cocktails that will help you get to know your date better. Alternatively, hit up BAM! for a glass of sake or wine.
If you're not sure about your date's dining preferences yet, you probably won't go wrong with chicken. Cheery chef Asai Masahi is a whiz with grilling and assembling nose-to-tail plates of Malaysian-bred chickens, and those seats by the bar in front of the open kitchen will fill awkward silences with the stick-flipping kitchen action.
Buzzy with a New York state of mind, Mario Batali's (relatively) pocket-friendly Pizzeria Mozza has many pies on the menu that guarantee something for every preference. Lead the charge and go all-hands-in for your slice – there's nothing like getting messy to break the ice.
Afterwards Hike up to CUT by Wolfgang Puck for sexy cocktails ($26) like the So Seductive, Forbidden Kiss, and Show Me Love (maybe skip Rough Love or Ball and Chain – unless you swing that way).
The service at this Les Amis Group restaurant is as charming as the warm tones and upbeat mood of its Spanish-inspired decor. Share a spread of former Au Jardin chef Ng Wei Han's vivid tapas and small plates like the Galician-style octopus, charcoal-grilled Iberian presa and a pan of paella, and then take dessert and a digestif on its terrace after.
Afterwards Walk towards Tanglin and disappear into Forum's basement for bespoke cocktails at The Horse's Mouth, or walk further down the road and steal into one of the side lounges of Manhattan Bar at the Regent Singapore for more drinks.
This family-run Italian restaurant has charm oozing out of its bricked walls and the candlestick-topped Chianti bottles that rack them. 'Homely' is the operative word here, and the food aims neither to shock nor titillate but satisfy. Deeply. Dig in to the Fettucine al Granchio (squid ink pasta with crabmeat and a creamy tomato sauce) and you’ll understand why.
Afterwards You're stuck out in Turf City but we'd recommend trekking out to The Straits Wine Company off Sixth Avenue for some alfresco tipple.