The Lion City was jungle once. Just a few hundred fishermen and traders lived on this island off the Malay peninsula when Sir Stamford Raffles arrived. By World War II, it was a dilapidated concrete jungle of apartment blocks and factories. 1965 brought independence and new energy. Now, among clustering towers, domed plazas and expressways, there is green on every corner again. Trees march the central reservations, blooms populate marble embankments, flying foxes make their homes in stands of tangled trees. It is perhaps because this garden city state is so young that it looks so firmly to the future.
- Rep. Of Singapore
- English, Mandarin, Malay & Tamil
National Gallery SingaporeMuseum
Two national monuments – the former Supreme Court and City Hall – today form the National Gallery Singapore, which oversees the world’s largest public collection of modern Southeast Asian art. A canopy made of aluminium panels and glass connects the historical edifices, perhaps a metaphor for the museum’s ambitions to foster a dialogue between art from this region and the rest of the world. Seeking to expand such conversations, the Gallery has jointly curated exhibitions with the Tate Britain and Centre Pompidou, exploring common themes and interests between leading figures, such as Matisse and Picasso, and artists on this side of the globe.
- Address: 1 St. Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
- Phone: +65 6271 7000
- Website: http://www.nationalgallery.sg
Heavily influenced by her Chinese ethnicity, chef-owner Petrina Loh carefully balances the yin and yang on every plate. Her food takes you on a multi-sensory adventure, as “fusion” is embraced with open arms, and creative techniques — such as fermentation and ageing — are deftly employed. As you dine in a cosy house on Dempsey Hill, encircled by greenery, you will be reminded of the comfort and tenderness in eating well.
- Address: 25 Dempsey Road, #01-04, Singapore 249670
- Phone: +65 6266 3822
- Website: http://www.morsels.com.sg
The Warehouse HotelHotel
Wee Teng Wen, co-founder of The Lo & Behold Group, fell in love with this former gowdown the moment he stepped into it. Taking two years to restore this forlorn building into a stylish hotel, specific elements have been meticulously retained, like the structure’s original wrought iron beams. In advocating local brands, The Warehouse Hotel thoughtfully showcases Singaporean heritage and culture, and keeps the entrepreneurial spirit of Lim Ho Puah, a businessman who used to own the building, alive.
- Address: 320 Havelock Road, Singapore 169628
- Phone: +65 6828 0000
- Website: http://www.thewarehousehotel.com
This inventive cocktail bar is centred around provenance: its spirits and produce are from neighbouring countries; the cups are specially made by local craftsmen; even the coasters are forged from dried lotus leaves. Taking it one step further, managing partner Vijay Mudaliar, forages around Singapore for ingredients — like starfruit flowers and betel leaves — reminding guests of the city’s history with plantations and cultivation. If you’re feeling adventurous, ask for the highly sought after Antz: a cocktail comprising an agricole-style rum from Thailand, coconut yoghurt, salt-baked tapioca, and of course, weaver ants.
- Address: 52A Amoy Street, Singapore 069878
- Phone: +65 8869 6520
- Website: http://www.tribenative.com
ManifestoFashion & Lifestyle Shop
As you browse the diverse wardrobe at Manifesto, you’ll discover that an aesthetic discipline pulsates through: everything is tasteful and never ostentatious. Owner and fashion designer, ZaaZaa Walid, collaborated with Wy-To Architects, to rethink the possibilities of the space, and the result is a geometric aged-steel framework that separates the pointedly minimalist environment into different zones. The concept store has fast gained a reputation for effortlessly pairing established brands alongside emergent labels, from Lemaire to local jewellery designer, Ivonovi.
- Address: 13 Stamford Road #02-19, Capitol Piazza Mall, Singapore 178905
- Phone: +65 9003 3418
- Website: http://www.manifestoshop.com
Established in 2005, BooksActually is widely regarded as an institution in Singapore’s literary scene. This independent bookstore specialises in literature (including obscure and critical works), but is also a treasure trove of hand-stitched notebooks, stationery, and oddities. With their publishing imprint Math Paper Press, owner Kenny Leck is intimately involved in grooming the country’s brightest writers and poets.
- Address: 9 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168645
- Phone: +65 6222 9195
- Website: http://www.booksactuallyshop.com
Birds of ParadiseIce Cream Shop
Having grown up in the five-foot ways of Katong, life came full circle when founder Edwin Lim opened Birds of Paradise in the balmy, laid-back neighbourhood. This gelato boutique focusses on botanical flavours, handsomely incorporating fruits, flowers, and herbs from Southeast Asia, down to its iconic thyme-infused cone. Personal favourites would be the White Chrysanthemum and Pandan.
- Address: 63 East Coast Road #01-05, Singapore 428776
- Phone: +65 9678 6092
- Website: http://www.birdsofparadise.sg
Gillman BarracksVisual Arts Space
A former military compound dating back to 1936, Gillman Barracks is now Singapore’s foremost visual arts cluster. Surrounded by lush foliage, it is home to 13 art galleries, research space NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, and the Playeum’s Children’s Centre for Creativity. As you amble through the constellation of exhibitions, look out for a kaleidoscopic mural by UCA (Soph O and Sam Lo) at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, created in tribute to the island’s multifarious cultures.
- Address: 9 Lock Road, Singapore 108937
- Phone: N/A
- Website: http://www.gillmanbarracks.com
Named after his grandmother, chef Julien Royer’s first restaurant draws inspiration from Odette’s cooking. He stays true to her guiding philosophy, adeptly demonstrating how modern French cuisine can be constructed from the humblest of ingredients, through an unflinching belief in understanding and respecting produce. Washed in pastel hues, the setting is warm and elegant, completing Royer’s ode to his beloved kin.
- Address: 1 St. Andrew's Road, #01-04, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957
- Phone: +65 6385 0498
- Website: http://www.odetterestaurant.com
SupermamaLifestyle & Design Shop
Supermama was born during a spell when founder Edwin Low and his wife had resigned from their full-time jobs to devote more time to their kids. This very desire to slow down is exemplified in the gallery-shop, with its bare walls and no instrumentals playing in the background, inviting each individual to introspectively engage with the story behind each everyday object. Working closely with local designers and Japanese craft facilities, Edwin resolutely hopes to make contemporary giftware that truly represents Singapore culture.
- Address: 265 Beach Road, Singapore 199544
- Phone: +65 6291 1946
- Website: http://www.supermama.sg
Set within six shophouses in Chinatown, this 46-room boutique hotel is known for layering graphic and structured elements against striking monochromatic hues. Whilst keeping certain characteristics of the heritage building, such as the Rococo-era windows and airwells, designer William Chan has not pandered to the vestiges of nostalgia associated with its cultural neighbourhood. A detail that most wouldn’t notice at first glance: various shades of beige, brown and pink traverse the interior’s greyscale visual language, which are inspired by the multicultural make up of this metropolis.
- Address: 18 Mosque Street, Singapore 059498
- Phone: +65 6326 0430
- Website: http://www.hotelmono.com
Many may typify Whitegrass as a modern Australian restaurant, but chef-owner Sam Aisbett has consistently fused Southeast Asian and Japanese flavours with Antipodean cuisine, dexterously transcending geographical boundaries. At the centre of a series of immaculate dining rooms is a mural that illustrates Aisbett’s love for animals and nature, cleverly adding a whimsical touch to the polished space.
- Address: 30 Victoria Street, #01-26/27 CHIJMES, Singapore 187996
- Phone: +65 6837 0402
- Website: http://www.whitegrass.com.sg
Shouten by BiroMenswear Shop
This compact concept store is located in Jalan Besar, a neighbourhood better known for its conservation buildings, hardware shops, and factories. The brainchild of brothers, Keng How and Kage Chong, menswear label Biro is a mesmerising study of timeless design, craftsmanship, and precise tailoring. As the duo are deeply inspired by Japan’s commitment to artisanship, their apparel is made in the outskirts of Tokyo through the use of World War II vintage machinery and traditional kimono-dyeing techniques. Highlighting the signature colour of their brand, the boutique is fastidiously decked in indigo-coated cedar wood from Tokushima.
- Address: 809 French Road, Kitchener Complex Level 3, Singapore 200809
- Phone: +65 9748 7347
- Website: http://www.birocompany.com/shouten
Common Man Coffee RoastersCafe
Situated within the breezy Robertson Quay precinct, Common Man Coffee Roasters is not only a cafe, but a speciality roaster and academy. Owner Harry Grover, who is counted among the pioneers of Singapore’s third wave coffee movement, has formed a talented team that roasts all of their beans locally. In addition to their comprehensive coffee offering, be sure to tuck into their delectable and hearty all day brunch.
- Address: 22 Martin Road #01-00, Singapore 239058
- Phone: +65 6836 4695
- Website: http://www.commonmancoffeeroasters.com
An abode in close proximity to the Orchard Road shopping belt, Lloyd’s Inn beckons you into a calm, labyrinthine oasis, breaking away from the hustle and bustle. Ridden free of ornamentations, and accented with delicate touches of nature, this is the perfect accommodation to help you reconnect to the things that really matter, right in the nucleus of the city.
- Address: 2 Lloyd Road, Singapore 239091
- Phone: +65 6737 7309
- Website: http://www.lloydsinn.com
Gardens by the BayPark & Architectural Sight
Envisioned as Singapore’s own Central Park, Gardens by the Bay is more than a recreational green space — it is an engineering and architectural masterpiece that gives us a glimpse of what future cities will look like. Lying at the heart of it all are 18 ‘supertrees’, vertical gardens that house 200 varieties of bromeliads, ferns, and orchids. Spend your afternoon wandering through the cool and misty Cloud Forest, and when you’re tired, sip tea at Pollen in the sun-drenched Flower Dome.
- Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
- Phone: +65 6420 6848
- Website: http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg