The Formula 1 Grand Prix zooms into Singapore this weekend, (hopefully) bringing some much needed chaos to this uber-organised city. We dig up notes from a recent holiday for your racy trip east. Get, set, go!
Special thanks to Singapore residents Yeshwant Holkar and Insiyah Imani for their hospitality and recommendations.
If there was one time we would use the much-overdone word “foodie”, it would be to describe Singapore. The restaurant scene here is diverse, extensive and top notch, with every local touting one (or five) recommendations for the best places to eat at. Prepare for gluttony.
If you’re amongst the carnivores that routinely bemoan the lack of good steak in Mumbai, head first to Cut (we did), Wolfgang Puck’s swanky steakhouse at Marina Bay Sands. Also check out Min Jiang in Rochester Park, a Chinese restaurant that serves up super crispy duck, Shanghai dumplings and lots of vegetarian dishes; and Wild Honey for breakfast - mean egg burritos and gorgeous waffles stuffed with grilled mangos.
Other good options: Chili and pepper crabs at Jumbo, Dempsey; barbequed sting ray and more street food at Newton Circus or Makansutra at Esplanade; Margarita’s at Dempsey for Mexican fare.
Getting there: Cut, Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Avenue, call +65 6688 8517; Min Jiang, Goodwood Park Hotel, call +65 67301704; Wild Honey, Mandarin Gallery
333 Orchard Road, call +65 6235 3900.
One weekend in Singapore, and our livers demanded a divorce. Prepare for the debauchery to come with a nice, civilized drink at the pretty courtyard bar at Raffles Hotel, or go up to the less pleasant and more touristy Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented - get one if you must, but know that they are overtly sweet and generally undrinkable.
For a more rowdy scene head to Kinki, a rooftop bar where we were introduced to evil Japanese Bomb shots and randomly reunited with old friends – or go across the street to Lantern, rooftop bar at the Fullerton Bay Hotel. Also fun is Chinatown, with a line of small, fun bars we dimly remember spending a margarita-soaked evening in.
Getting there: Raffles Hotel, 1 Beach Road, call +65 6337 1886; Kinki, 70 Collyer Quay #02-02 Customs House, call +65 65333471; The Fullerton Bay Hotel, 1 Fullerton Road, call +65 65975299.
Warning: the malls here are mazes, warrens of passageways all of which lead to a Louis Vuitton store. Orchard Street is the main retail neighborhood, dominated by a ton of international brands from Marc Jacobs to Top Shop.
For smaller boutiques and upcoming local designers browse around Haji Lane with stores like Pluck, where you can score not only super fun accessories but also alcohol-infused dessert from the in-house ice cream parlour – think strawberry champagne sorbet and boozy rum and raisin.
Getting there: Ion Orchard Mall, Orchard Road; Pluck, 31/33 Haji Lane, call +65 63964048.
Universal studios! Hey, if we had to go, so do you. It’s only a short ride away from the main city and not unpleasantly crowded, even on a Friday. Alas, a couple of the more promising rides are still not functional.
Not your thing (who are you people!)? Try instead the casino at Marina Bay Sands, or hop over to the awesome Dali exhibit currently on at the ArtScience Museum, also in the same complex (until October 30, 2011).
Getting there: Universal Studios, 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, call +65 65778888; Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Avenue.
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