Do you and your date ever want to hide away from the hustle and bustle of the city? It can be tricky in Singapore which is one of the most densely populated places in the world! But shhhh, we’ve been secretly sleuthing and have unlocked the doors to reveal a few special little gems.
Go cosy up with your date far from the madding crowd…
Alcohol is notoriously expensive in Singapore. This colourful joint round the back of the Ming Arcade – the equivalent of a dive bar – offers welcome respite from the rip-offs and is famed for its chicken wings, patio rolls, and basic $18 for 1.5 litres of lager deal (that’s more than two and a half pints). Run for over 10 years by a husband and wife team, this cosy bar has all the hallmarks of a labour of love. The decor is college-dorm and so kitsch that it’s swung all the way right back round to cool: think raucously colourful flags, peace signs and photos of grinning regulars.
Whether you’re an unmasked beer snob or just appreciate a cold one, check out this local microbrewery’s fresh-as-can-get Pilsner and other crisp craft beers. With warm and friendly bar staff lending the kind of ambience that can steal hours without you even noticing, there are few hangouts in Singapore on a par with this. The indoor area is entirely taken up by the kitchen and three beer tanks, but there’s plenty of space outside for sixty to be comfortably sat in wicker chairs amongst fairy lights, potted palms, and the cosy canopy of sunshades.
This elegantly styled no-menu venue is dimly lit save the occasional flare of flames both blue and yellow springing up from eccentric cocktails; beautifully styled into miniature art forms, these range in flavours from sweet to sour, refreshing to bitter and mellow to spicy. Hang back to espy the most audacious mixologist before ordering; you will be rewarded with both a personalised drink (based on your tastes, temperament, and the whims of the bartender) with the chance of pyrotechnics. Be prepared to pay $25-$28 for one highly extravagant cocktail.
There are many bars down Dempsey Road, yet none quite manage to compete with this lush setting, even the beer is green! Infused with spirulina, the Monster Green’s confusing hue is as much a talking point as its great taste. If premium bitter is more your thing try the full bodied English Ale, an alluring dark red hue and ‘spicy’ hop. A convenient 15 mins from The Botanic Gardens’ Burkill Gate, stop here for a snack (which might end up as a wagyu steak with gorgonzola sauce…) or quench your thirst after a stroll in the sunshine.
If you’re seeking the best sunset view in Singapore, The Wine Company’s Sentosa Bridge setting is a must. The extensive menu includes raved about cheese boards: three artisan cheeses – selection dependant on whether you’re pairing them with sweet, white or red wine – served with olives, juicy grapes and crackers. The wine list is heavy on new world South African wine, but also includes some unusual choices such as the sweetly aromatic German Steigelmann Riesling.
If swigging cider is your thing, then you can’t go wrong with this reasonably priced pub serving drink choices of a British persuasion (the owner George Kirton is British and particularly fond of Badger beer). The location – Joo Chiat Road – is very much off the beaten track and not featured in tourist guides, yet it is the beating heart of heritage Peranakan architecture: sweet painted terraces stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a show of brightly mismatching colours. It’s worth making a detour just to visit this hidden corner of Katong in all its authenticity.
Fancy getting down and dirty at the most hardcore bar in Singapore? On the luminous shots menu are familiar and fairly innocuous shots you’ve already heard of – such as Tequila Slammers, B52s, 151 Ways To Die… And then there are Slippery Nipples. The (crude) fun doesn’t stop there; even the innocent sounding Girl Scout, accompanied with its own marshmallow for toasting, contains a sinful amount of Absinth. You’ve been warned.If a gimmicky re-enactment of the most raucous hen/stag night in history isn’t your thing, do at least treat yourself to a creamy Paddle Pop. The recipe is carefully guarded and it’s delicious in its own right.
You don’t have to go to Boston for a night of pure ‘60’s blues. Self-styled as ‘Singapore’s premier rock n’ rock blues bar’, this grungy -style joint, featuring an elephant mural and graffiti scrawled on the walls, is set apart from the smart Clarke Quay it inhabits. Delivering exceptional live blues every night of the week from 10pm, this place quickly fills up so get there early to nab a table. Drinks on offer include beers and spirits from around the world. With happy ‘hour’ actually rolling from 5-9pm and laugh-out-loud jokes broadcasted on TV screens, this is a unique and unpretentious place to have a fun night out without breaking the bank.
Do you have any other secret date recommendations? Tell us @lovestruck we won’t tell…Tweet