What's on in Singapore this week
Singapore International Jazz Festival 2017
Rejoice jazz fans because your favourite music festival is here again. Back for its fourth run, the three-day fest will have multiple Grammy Award winners gracing the stages including singer-songwriter Corrine Bailey Rae and Canadian record producer David Foster. Groove to the snazzy beats of funk bassist Nik West and catch a performance by Senegalese musicians Youssou Ndour and Le Super Etoile de Dakar for a mix of Cuban ramba, hip hop, jazz and soul. This year's edition will also introduce The Late Show, featuring a curated line-up of international artists and DJs such as Sing Jazz alum Incognito, electronic duo Basement Jaxx and Brit act Rudimental.
I Want My Hat Back
Based on Jon Klassen’s children’s novel of the same name, the musical tells the story of Bear and his mission to find his missing hat. First performed at UK’s National Theatre, I Want My Hat Back makes its international premiere on our shores, and promises to charm both the young and old with its humour and catchy tunes.
Children’s Festival at Gardens by the Bay
Occupy the kids this March holiday with a slew of activities at Gardens by the Bay’s Children’s Festival. Enter a dino wonderland as multi-coloured and LED versions of these prehistoric beasts hide away at the Supertree Grove. Let the little ones run amok as they go on a dino egg hunt around the park or attend craft workshops with the kids to create your own piece of fossil and dinosaur-themed terrariums. Also, we heard from a lil birdy that if you stay around 'til evening, the mega trees will light up for a special edition of Garden Rhapsody featuring renditions of songs from The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio and Jurassic Park.
Margins: A season of Haresh Sharma’s plays
The 14th edition of Esplanade’s The Studios, a platform to showcase local theatre companies and independent artists, celebrates the works by Cultural Medallion-winning writer Haresh Sharma. See the restaging of four Sharma-penned plays, such as Fundamentally Happy and Harap, and a new WIP from the playwright.
Tsum Tsum carnival
Cute Disney characters descend upon CapitaLand's malls for the month-long Tsum Tsum carnival. Take pictures with the round-shaped figurines in recreated scenes from Disney Tsum Tsum's animation shorts. But that's not all: other activities include the Ninja Castle Challenge, making your own Disney Tsum Tsum characters from Play-Doh and racing Disney Tsum Tsum Tomica die-cast cars. Download the CapitaStar app to unlock Mission Bingo for additional rewards.
Walk of Fame - History Tour
This year marks the 130th anniversary of the iconic Raffles Hotel and you’re invited to celebrate. Join one of the hotel’s walk of fame history tours and trace the footsteps of famous celebrities who once made Raffles their temporary home. See portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Kate, Michael Jackson and many others, as well as a visit to sites that have served at backdrops for movies. The tour is priced at $20 per person, but is fully redeemable at the hotel's gift shop, restaurants or bars. So head down to the Raffles Hotel every first Saturday between February to August 2017 (three times daily, 10am, 2pm, 5pm) and finish the tour with a souvenir or sip on the original Singapore Sling at the Bar and Billard Room. After all, this will be the last chance for visitors to catch a glimpse of the legendary hotel before it begins a 6-month restoration process.
New restaurants and bars in SG
Housing the world's most diverse collection of gin, you'll never run out of options at this grand Art Deco-inspired bar complete with gold and bronze trimmings reminiscent of the era. Not sure what to try first? Master of Gin Jason Williams and his team will get you acquainted with the collection. Simply tell them the types of gin you enjoy (or the flavour profile of drinks you prefer) and they'll make a suitable recommendation. But it's not all gin on the menu, have your cocktails prepared by head bartender Roman Foltán, and be attended by maître d' Carla Davina Soares, both from London’s award-winning Artesian at The Langham. In the kitchen, executive chef Daniele Sperindio dishes out scrumptious bar food 'til late.
Brought to you by the same guys behind 28 HongKong Street, Crackerjack is the hip new-bar-on-the-block at Tanjong Pagar. But it's not just about the cocktails – the cafeteria-style joint also serves hearty plates and killer cups of joe brewed by former US barista champion Bronwen Serna.
Located on the second floor of The Garage, Botanico serves seasonal cuisine inspired by the rich flora and fauna that surrounds it. Expect dishes like lamb tartare ($20) served with mustard ice cream and fried capers, chargrilled carabinero prawns ($28) with a side of mellow rice cooked in a rich prawn bisque, and huge Japanese scallops ($27) atop Jerusalem artichoke puree.
Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar
With a glass of wine going for $6 and bottles priced from $30, Ginett is set to be your new favourite watering hole. Two-course set lunches go for $18 while dinner is a more extravagant French affair. Don't miss the 1 Meter Board ($50) that's packed with five different types of cheese and cold cuts alongside pork pâté. Other signatures include dishes such as the Australian Angus beef (from $39), Kurobuta pork (from $24) and organic lamb chop ($42) – all cooked on an applewood charcoal grill.
From its perch on the fourth floor of Mandarin Gallery, this one-Michelin-starred spot has moved a couple of storeys down to a larger, more elegant space. Other than a change of space, everything that won Béni its star has remained. That includes chef Kenji Yamanaka, who marries his training in fine French cuisine and love for Japanese food in the menus here: pick from a four- ($68) or seven-course ($128) set for lunch, and a six- ($178) or eight-course set ($258) for dinner. As you'd expect of a joint of this calibre, the food is faultless: refined French techniques are used to make the most of the stellar Japanese produce. Whatever you do, opt for a menu with Ozaki wagyu – it's chef Yamanaka's speciality – on it. Hand-picked by the chef for its lightness, silkiness and richness in umami, the beef pairs beautifully with his classic French-inspired sauces.
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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