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Eat your way through Singapore with Shangri-La Plaza’s ‘10 Unforgettable Journeys’

Rider’s Café is a popular brunch spot tucked within the lush greenery of Bukit Timah Saddle Club that allows diners a view of the stables or sometimes even horses galloping.

Singapore has something for everyone. There’s shopping (ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands, Vivo City, Orchard Road—and my personal favorite Keepers on Orchard Road, which highlights Singapore designers like Carrie K and Sabrina Goh); family activities (try the iFly at Resorts World Sentosa—a simulation that allows children and adults to feel like they’re flying; as well as the classic Singapore Zoo and Night Safari); and “free adventures” (finding all seven Merlions, going on a Tree Top Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir Park, wandering around Singapore Botanic Gardens and Fort Canning Park).

I, in particular though, have a love affair with Singapore’s restaurant and food and beverage scene. It’s so global, vibrant and so happening that there’s always something new opening up every week! I’m always asked where to eat/ drink in Singapore and I’d like to share with you some of my favorites from my previous trips to Singapore — which you can also experience very soon with just a P2,500 single receipt purchase from any establishment in Shangri-La Plaza! (See details below this article.)

Hawker

Singapore’s hawker centers are a staple, with Maxwell and Newton being the most popular for char kway teow, carrot cake and chicken rice cravings. On your next visit, check out One Kueh at A Time at Berseh Food Centre (open 8am to 2pm daily except Mondays), introduced to me by my good friend and fellow journalist Evelyn Chen. Proprietor Nick Soon was a former insurance agent who quit his job to open a hawker stall, and he painstakingly makes Teochew kuehs filled with your choice of glutinous rice, chives, or sweet bean paste — all by hand.

Brunch

Brunches are especially popular on weekends, and PS Café has been on the radar for quite some time, with various locations around the city. Common Man Coffee Roasters has a hip coffee counter bar and is packed with a queue on weekends. (Their gluten-free almond cake with salted caramel ice cream is delicious!) Riders Café is another popular brunch spot tucked inside the Bukit Timah Saddle Club, where you begin your morning, sometimes with the view of horses galloping within the greenery. Open Farm Community, which opened early 2015, is the closest you can get to “farm to table” in Singapore. It’s chef Ryan Clift’s newest baby, in partnership with The Spa Esprit Group and Edible Gardens. Unlike the cuisine at Tippling Club where he injects a lot of “science,” food here is simple, wholesome and fresh—sourced from their own backyard, and the rest from farms within 400km from Singapore.

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Special Occasions

Birthdays, anniversaries, graduation… there are a lot of places to celebrate in the Lion City. Restaurant Andre is an institution and probably the most popular restaurant in the city. Chef Andre Chiang’s Octaphilosophy is a must-experience. Labyrinth by Han Liguang pushes boundaries by creating progressive Singaporean cuisine that’s faithful to the country’s heritage and flavors. (His take on the Singaporean chili crab is deep fried soft shell crab crab served with chili crab ice cream on sand made from powdered mantou.) Corner House is situated in a two-story black-and-white bungalow built in 1910 — tucked inside the Singapore Botanical Gardens. Chef Jason Tan is Singaporean, but dexterously wields French techniques on the freshest produce available to him, centering on, provenance and terroir. JAAN is now helmed by young British chef de cuisine Kirk Westaway who continues to execute the dexterity stamped by his predecessors Andre Chiang and Julien Royer.

Concepts

Concept restaurants also abound here. Andrew Walsh’s Cure is a bistronomy that serves fresh produce in set menus for lunch and dinner — which changes on the fifth of each month — showcasing his British and Irish roots, with only 4 to 5 ingredients per dish. Candlenut serves excellent Peranakan by chef Malcolm Lee, with a unique ‘ah-ma-kase’ menu. (Ah-ma is grandmother in Fookien, so it’s as if going to grandma’s house for dinner.) Burnt Ends has hearty small dishes smoked, slow-roasted, baked and grilled from their custom-made oven. Bincho at Hua Bee has delicious small grilled Japanese plates located inside a kopitiam called Hua Bee, in Tiong Bahru — you’ll never guess if you walked past it!

Cocktails

I think that Singapore has the most proper and extensive cocktail scene in Asia. Tippling Club has great, whimsical cocktails — like the Juniper Sling, made with gin, cassis, marnier, cherry bitters, juniper and cinnamon syrup, inspired by the Penhaligon’s fragrance. Antidote craftsman Tom Hogan makes really well-balanced drinks — he sketched the entire menu, too! D.Bespoke was introduced to me by Restaurant Andre’s Andre Chiang. D stands for bartender Daiki Kanetaka’s name (he used to train under the legendary Hidetsugu Ueno of Tokyo’s Bar High Five)-- Bespoke – because the cocktails are all customized—just say what base you want and if you want it sweet, sour, fruity, etc. and Daiki will surprise you. Tess Bar and Kitchen’s Wolf from Seah Street (vodka-infused with chrysanthemum flowers, fresh lemon juice, homemade wolfberry syrup, ginseng bitters and egg white) won my heart. Bar Stories, Jekyll and Hyde, 28 Hong Kong Street, The Study, Jigger and Pony and Cufflink Club are favorite reliable haunts. (Cufflink Club’s sister bar Vasco uses tequila, mezcal, pisco, cachaca as base instead of the usual gin, vodka, etc. though.) And Astor Bar at St. Regis, always for an easy, relaxed nightcap.

 

 

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Travel to Singapore with Shangri-La Plaza’s “Ten Unforgettable Journeys from Shang raffle promo.”  Ten lucky winners will each receive special travel packages for two to some of the world’s top destinations: Paris, London, Vancouver, Dubai, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Boracay. The winners and their companions will get a chance to experience the luxury of a Shangri-La hotel, with Cathay Pacific as the official airline partner for the international destinations. Mechanics: Every P2,500 single receipt purchase from any establishment in Shangri-La Plaza entitles a customer to one raffle coupon until March 30, 2016

Grand draw will be held on March 31 at 6 p.m.

The Singapore winner will get a chance to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, set amidst 15 acres of lush greenery, consistently voted as one of the best hotels in the world. The hotel has five signature restaurants: an all-day dining concept The Line; fine dining Shang Palace which offers Cantonese, Shanghainese and Szechuan dishes; Waterfall, which offers southern Italian cuisine; Japanese restaurant Nadaman which serves a full range of Japanese dishes, including kaiseki and teppanyaki, and BLU, which apart from serving cocktails and bar bites, is also renowned for its afternoon tea, with over 164 premium tea blends to choose from.

Photos by CHERYL TIU

 

 

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