Top 10 things to do in Singapore in March
Now that we've got all the new year celebrations aside, it's time for a reality check – but that doesn't mean March's a total snoozefest, either. This month, get lucky on St Patrick's Day, marvel at the dazzling light installations at i Light Marina Bay and knock back a glass during Singapore Cocktail Festival. And as the school holiday dawn upon us, check out our cheat sheet on where to bring the little ones to run riot. For more, check out our calendar of events below.
What's on in Singapore this week
Singapore Design Week
With over 100 design programmes and events, there's definitely something for everyone at this year's Singapore Design Week. Highlights include its signature event, Innovation by Design, the anchoring SingaPlural show and the Design and Make Fair happening at National Library.
Explosions in the Sky with Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Since their last appearance at Camp Symmetry 2013, the Texas post-rock quartet are making a comeback to Singapore for their first headline show. Expect well-known favourites like ‘Your Hand in Mine’, ‘First Breath after Coma’ and songs from their 2016 release, The Wilderness. But wait, Explosions in the Sky aren’t the only ones making their way to our island for round two. Laneway Festival alumni, Unknown Mortal Orchestra will be joining the headliner as the support act with psychedelic rock tunes such as ‘FFunny FFriends’ and ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’. Talk about reliving Camp Symmetry and Laneway Festival 2014 in one night.
OH! Open House
Goods, rituals, borders: the theme's a hint of what to expect when OH! Open House returns with another year of tales, walking tours and 18 site-specific artworks in residents' homes and 'round the neighbourhood. This time, it's set in Holland Village with three 45-minute tours ($25) for your picking – or go for them all, at the same cost – and a slew of works from Joel Chin, Melinda Lauw and Yen Phang, among others. Join in the Hakka Cemetery tour for a blindfolded hike to a nearby site entrenched in history, admire works fused into the living spaces of residents as part of the HDB tour, then examine the former colonial estate in the Chip Bee tour.
You don't need to go to the Land of the Rising Sun for a glimpse of the seasonal cherry blossoms. Wind your way through clouds of pink and white at the Blossom Bliss floral display, which features the famous Japanese flowers as well as peach blossoms and bonsai arrangements, set amidst a Japanese-style garden.
HSBC Women’s Champions
Get your caps and argyle socks ready, because the best women golfers on the planet are set to return to Sentosa Golf Club. The HSBC Women’s Champions sees the likes of Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson battle it out on the green over the course of the four-day tournament. On top of the sporting action, the organisers are spicing things up by turning the competition into a bona fide festival. A little away from the holes, local and international musicians are set to take the stage, including South Korean singer-actor Lee Joon Gi, Thirdstory from USA, and local acts Jack and Rai, and Gentle Bones (Mar 4).
OFC Social Market #8
Open Farm Community's Social Market is back – this time with more than 30 shops hawking local and artisanal produce and handicrafts. There's also activities for both adults and the little ones, such as gardening workshops by Edible Garden City and a screening of yoga documentary My Dharma. While you're at it, sip on cocktails made with freshly plucked ingredients, mixed by Tippling Club's head bartender Joe Schofield.
New restaurants and bars in SG
Ola Beach Club
Island life just got a whole lot more interesting with Ola Beach Club, Singapore’s only Hawaiian-themed lifestyle venue. Not only can you savour Hawaiian-style dishes like ahi poke bowls ($20) served with your choice of marinated tuna and Kalua pig tacos ($25), the beach shack also rents out a host of water sports equipment like water-propelled jet packs (from $228) for daredevils who want to try their hand at flying up to nine metres in the air.
The Ottoman Room
Hidden behind the buzzy café-bar Fat Prince lies The Ottoman Room – an opulent, Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant where eager servers roll out an endless supply of mezze on a dim sum-style trolley. On top of that, diners can choose larger fish, meat and vegetable dishes like spiced short ribs and stuffed lamb shoulder that’s been grilled for hours in a traditional wood-fired earth pit to share. Wash it down with Lebanese wine, beer made from chickpeas or Raki, a classic Turkish aperitif.
The modern restaurant serves Japanese cuisine with Korean accents like toro caviar ($66), tuna sashimi spiced with gochujang sauce and topped with Oscietra caviar. Other must-tries include the tuna pizza ($25), a thin, crispy pizza base covered with finely sliced tuna over ponzu mayonnaise, sprinkled with truffle oil and shiso leaf. For mains, opt for the fork-tender 48-hour Tajima short rib ($48) or perfectly cooked Jidori chicken ($28) that's served on a bed of truffled mashed potatoes.
For quality produce at affordable prices, head to Porta Fine Food and Import Company. The restaurant-cum-grocer offers two-course set lunches from $18 and also acts as a one-stop shop for your gourmet retail needs. Everything at Porta is curated by executive chef Michael Suyanto who has spent 12 years cooking in the kitchens of luxury hotels and the Les Amis Group. Don't miss his take on chilled angel hair pasta (set lunch only), Spanish octopus ($18), foie gras ($24) and Iberian pork ($26) – you're in for a treat.
D'O is a small, 40-seater restaurant in Cornaredo, a nondescript town just outside Milan. There, people wait up to eight months for a taste of Italian celebrity chef Davide Oldani's one-Michelin-starred dishes. His Singapore outpost, FOO'D, brings Oldani's brand of affordable fine dining – 'Cucina Pop' – to Asia, serving signature dishes like caramalised onion with Grana Padano mousse and ice cream. Lunch is priced at $45 for three courses and $52 for four, while a five-course dinner costs $138 and a seven-course dinner is $168.
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Telok Ayer may have taken its name from the Malay community (it translates to ‘bay’ and ‘water’, respectively), but the area was mainly populated by Chinese immigrants back in the day. Originally a coastal road situated along the island’s old waterfront, the street has transformed itself into a buzzing lifestyle district, teeming with restaurants and bars to feed the CBD office crowd. Pay a visit to one of the museums around the area or pop into the lean shophouses that dot the strip, where boutiques, gyms and a dance studio are tucked away. RECOMMENDED: Check out our guide to the Ann Siang Hill area
Anyone who tells you Amoy Street is 'boring' has clearly never stepped foot down the lane before. Because trust us, it's the complete opposite of that. Previously known for its opium-smoking dens during the British colonial era, the shophouses lined along this one-way street now house chic cafés, bars and even gyms. But if you'd like to have a taste of Singaporean flavour, hit up the hawker centre in the area that's always buzzing with people. RECOMMENDED: Check out our guide to the Ann Siang Hill area
The small stretch between Club Street and Amoy Street – whose namesake is 19th-century banker John Gemmill – is home to a handful of stylish restaurants and bars, making it the perfect spot for a laid-back hangout. Don't stop at the end of the road either, the back alley of Amoy Street has a few hidden restaurants to wind down at for an after-work dinner and drinks sesh. RECOMMENDED: Check out our guide to the Ann Siang Hill area
Ann Siang Road and Club Street
Named after Chia Ann Siang, a wealthy businessman, Ann Siang road is home to restored shophouses (some are still decorated with Peranakan tiles) that house clan associations, restaurants, bars and niche boutiques. There’s also a hidden green space behind the row of shophouses for a quiet stroll. On Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to 1am, both Ann Siang Road and Club Street – the name comes from the Chinese clubs that used to line the stretch – come to life as the area is closed off to traffic and the crowd spills out onto the streets. RECOMMENDED: Check out our guide to the Ann Siang Hill area