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If you’ve been shopping up a storm on Orchard Road all day, or strolling the wonderful Gardens by the Bay, you’ve no doubt worked up an appetite. And the good news is that Singapore’s culinary scene is almost as good as its shopping!
First things first, let’s start with brekkie. For our western palate, this is probably the most difficult of the meals to satisfy. Singaporeans eat from small roadside vendors on their way to work. The problem is that once you’re ready to venture out of your hotel, the heat is already oppressive. In this heat, a bowl of noodles with duck, chicken or pork probably couldn’t be further from your breakfast hungry mind. So for many, the hotel brekkie is saviour and will be full of tropical fruits, and at least air conditioned if you feel like some eggs and bacon. Now all the being said, if you’re not happy to pay hotel priced breakfasts, then give Tiong Bahru Market a shot. It’s a short cab ride from downtown and has over 80 vendors to choose from! You’ll find a great mix of traditional meals and sweet delicacies.
At the risk of sounding a stuck record, lunching in Singapore is probably going to be affected by the heat too. This is when we recommend hitting your western style restaurants which serve a variety of foods, but are bound by one common feature… glorious air conditioning! Western restaurants are at the higher end of Singapore’s scale, but lunch is usually a cheaper and smaller meal than dinner. You’ll find most of the western style restaurants at Clark, Robinson, and Boat Quays. Along with the air conditioning, a leisurely lunch here is great for the riverside location, views, and perhaps a Tiger or two to help keep you cool. Two of the most popular spots, Sque Rotisserie and Rosso Vino, serve up Italian meals (particularly pizza); or if you’re already missing home then the Fern and Kiwi serves up New Zealand cuisine and has your favourite beer and wine from home.
The cooler evenings are the perfect time to try the local fare, and don’t be afraid to drop by the roadside vendors. In Chinatown, head for Smith, Temple, Mosque and Pagoda Streets. All four are lined with stalls selling your usual Chinatown goods and souvenirs, as well as many eateries. Smith Street has been pedestrianised, sheltered, and turned to a proper ‘Eat Street’. There’s many vendors along the road, and restaurants in the adjacent buildings. A great spot to try duck, and the Singaporean specialty, chilli cooked crab.
Singapore does have a conservative approach to alcohol, but it hasn’t stopped locals and expats from opening a number a great bars. First on most peoples list is the Marina Bay Sands complex. They have oodles of bars and restaurants, most notably Flight Bar and Ce La Vi, both atop the soaring skyscrapers. They will be busy, but the views are the best in town. Perhaps the most iconic drinking spot, is the Raffles Hotel. The historic five star hotel is an oasis in a desert of skyscrapers, and her plush restaurants and bars are the perfect place to rest your feet. Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented in 1915, will never be overly peaceful either, but do drop in to try one all the same. The above mentioned Clark, Boat and Robertson Quays are popular with visitors and often have a happy hour or 2-for-1’s to tempt you. Finally, worthy of a visit is Haji Lane, where graffiti artworks and hole-in-the-wall bars attract the local cool kids and expats.
> READ MORE ABOUT SINGAPORE HERE
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