Saturday, August 18, 2012

Singapore isn't just all about food - Hitting up the Nightlife

Truth is, the SO and I spend every weekend at the bars when we are home in LA. Santa Monica, Hermosa, Huntington, you name it. We’re that kind of a couple. Singapore has changed so much since I moved to LA 20 years ago so it was fun to discover all the nightlife areas that have flourished in the last couple decades. Here is a quick guide (for my alchi readers) of some of the spots that I enjoyed during my trip:

Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay is a vibrant riverside establishment. Yes, this is still a very touristy area, but it’s touristy for a reason – there are so many bar options either outside along the river or inside as well. In the day, there are lots of tourist but at night, it caters to the younger crowd. It is mellower on a weeknight but Saturdays are a zoo.

Picks: Crazy Elephant, Beer Market, Alegro Spanish Bar, Octopas (riverside seating)

Emerald Hill
Met up with an old school friend. There are only a few bars on this short street but I love the feel of it, it’s a short tiny lane of historical colorful shophouses that is lined with trees, you would not even have guessed you were in the center of the bustling shopping district. It is quite an expat spot. Grab a seat outside and people watch.

Picks: Que Pasa (tapas wine bar), Ice Cold Beer, No. 5 Emerald Hill (get the chicken wings)

Ann Siang Hill 

A relatively new area in Chinatown that came about in the last 5 years. We walked around and turned into a hidden street and was faced with a vast selection of shophouses with bars along a narrow street. I love love love this area! It's so charming and has lots of character. There are so many good bar options, many of them rooftops. We hung out there for one night only and barely scratched the surface. Super trendy spot.

Picks: Screening Room (rooftop cinema), Ying Yang, Beaujolais Wine Bar, Gem

Holland Village
I use to party here in this area in my teens. Holland V is a short street lined with bars and restaurants and attracts lots of expats and young local folks. Gosh, memories – I had my first date here. In the early days, the village only had a handful of bars, now there are too many to keep track of. It’s good to know that the oldies such as Wala Wala (where I worked one summer) and Cha Cha Cha have survived the years and are still as packed as ever.

Picks: Wala Wala, Barosa, Siem Reap, Tango's, Three Crowns Booze & Grub

Sentosa Island

Sentosa is an island just off the main island of Singapore. You can either walk over on foot, take a shuttle or ride the cable car from Mount Faber or Vivo City. 

We shelled out SGD$29pp for a cable car ride so that we could enjoy the view

Sentosa is pretty family friendly in the day but at night, some of their bars kick up. I remember back in the days, we went to the full moon beach parties at Sentosa, when foam parties weren’t even all that popular yet. There aren’t a plethora of bars but the few bars that we hung out at sufficed. They were all beach bars so it was super casual, but fun to sit by the beach with a cocktail. 

Picks: Bikini bar, Coastes, Tanjong Beach Club

Dempsey Hill
Home to the popular local Jumbo Seafood (think chili crab!!!) and Samy's Curry House, this renovated old lush green British army barracks is is now a popular dining scene, on the pricier side. All the restaurants are standalone and perched on top of a hill and you have to drive through windy narrow streets to get to them.

Picks: PS Cafe (great desserts and awesome patio), Bacchus German restaurant, Tippling Club (molecular gastronomy cuisine), The Disgruntled Chef, The White Rabbit


This was probably the “mellowest” area we hit during our trip, but I wanted to show the SO the architecture. Chimjes is a restored catholic high school and church, which now houses restaurants. I love the restoration, this is definitely more of a restaurant than bar scene, but it’s great to just grab drinks at their outdoor patios in the courtyard amidst the skyscrapers. Popular with the young professionals.

Picks: Bobby’s, Harry's Bar

Don’t be shocked, we hit all these spots in 4 days (while also being able to carve out some time for my dad and our old family friends). Singapore isn’t just all about food, we like to party too.

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