Planning for a quick weekend trip in Singapore? Here are a few quick highlights in the Lion City that we’ve compiled for your consideration.
Located within the Chinatown area of Singapore, Amoy street is a street steeped in history. Developed in the 1800s, the street is named after the sheer number of Chinese immigrants who settled in the area during the period, many of whom came from the Amoy region of China. In those days, Amoy street was infamous for the number of opium dens which sprouted up to cater to the chinese coolies (manual labourers), who sought escape from their harsh living conditions. The opium trade had been banned eventually with harsh penalties issued to offenders. Today, the area’s classic Chinese shop houses are heritage areas, charmingly restored to their original elegance. In the recent years, the shop houses have been converted to cafes, restaurants, bars and shared offices. Do drop by and enjoy a drink or two.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Singapore is Arab street, a bustling area located moments away from Bugis. The origins of the street name came from the history of the area which used to be an Arab kampong (village). Today, as it has been throughout its history, a variety of spices, weaved rattan handicrafts, rugs, silks and traditional songkoks are sold in the shophouses of the area. Aside from the traditional items, many of the shop houses of the area have been turned into Turkish restaurants, Mamak eating houses, cafes, bars as well as boutique art stores. Tourists also come by the throng to admire the vibrant, larger-than-life graffiti that are painted onto the brick walls of the shop alleys of the nearby Haji Lane.
One can find an endless selection of cuisines in Singapore, it is said. Our pick for a charming evening rendezvous is Maggie Joan’s. Located on the ever-bustling Amoy street, Maggie Joan’s is a modern Mediterranean-inspired restaurant which prides itself on quality ingredients prepared meticulously and with respect. Headed by the young and talented Chef Oliver Hyde, Maggie Joan’s cuisine is bold and flavourful. We like the Buratta and plums to start with and the O’connor sirloin, do have a browse of their lovely wine-list.
OLD AIRPORT ROAD FOOD CENTRE
Looking to dine like the locals? Drop by the old airport road food centre for your pick of local delicacies. The food centre is possibly the most famous on the island, with a star-studded cast of legendary hawkers. The pickiest of eaters will have no trouble finding something to satiate their palate here, with sumptuous wonton mee, fragrant chicken rice and famous prata hawkers to occupy them.
Located in the lobby of the handsome Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, Manhattan bar is an elegant bar reminiscent of the glamour and charm of the old world. The furnishings and stylish accoutrements of Manhattan bar welcomes visitors into its plush, cushy interior. An annual fixture in the Asia’s 50 best bars list ever since the bar’s inception, visitors can expect flawless service, meticulously crafted tipples and an impressive selection of artisan spirits that will be the envy of any collector. Tip: The bar’s rickroom is a unique feature that visitors ought to visit.
With Singapore’s bustling bar scene, it is hard to keep track of all the new and exciting bars to visit. We like ATLAS for its one of a kind offering – a galore of gin selection to make your eyes water, more than 1000 different types in fact. Besides gin, ATLAS serves an impressive menu of bar food, mains, decadent desserts and delightful cocktails. For gin purists, ATLAS is a mandatory pilgrimage to make. However, for the rest of us mere pretenders, the novelty itself is reason enough to pay ATLAS a visit!