The best places to eat, drink, shop and sleep in Singapore’s Chinatown

Posted on: May 13, 2017 | Culture & Life

Our guide to one of the city-state’s most vibrant neighbourhoods

This article was published in the April edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here

Drink – Tippling Club

One of the grand daddies of Singapore’s creative cocktail scene, Tippling Club has remained exciting and relevant while others have fallen by the wayside. An abundance of bottles hang overhead from the intimate bar, where head bartender Joe Schofield is a hugely creative, and exceedingly friendly, presence. A playful approach to mixology shines through on a menu that focuses on our sense of smell and the memories it evokes. For those who want avant-garde food to match their drinks, head into the adjoining restaurant for the tasting menu paired with cocktails, ales, sake and fine wines.

Eat – Restaurant Andre

The accolades keep on coming for Restaurant Andre, which last year was awarded two Michelin stars and in February moved up one place to second in the respected Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. This immaculately white townhouse on Bukit Pasoh Road is part restaurant, part laboratory for the complex culinary mind of chef-owner Andre Chiang. Shock and awe come as standard here, and on our visit highlights included ‘dirt’ made of chocolate and garlic, a fabulous veal medley and the latest incarnation of Chiang’s constantly evolving, fine-dining take on the humble Snickers bar.

Sleep – The Club

This swish Ann Siang Hill hotel relaunched two years ago as a labyrinthine destination for dining, drinking and, of course, sleeping in style. The design pays homage to the building itself – a sensitively restored shophouse – sporting 20 elegant rooms that are given a modern twist with plush beds, earthy tones and abstract artwork. Room rates include superb all-day breakfast dishes such as lobster omelette with gruyère and sourdough at the cosy Mr and Mrs Maxwell’s lounge. After a night of bar hopping on the famed Club Street strip, wind down with a nightcap in the Club’s basement jazz bar, B28.

Connect – The Working Capitol

Keong Saik Road is renowned for its stylish drinking dens, hip cafés and innovative restaurants. It’s also forged a reputation as one of the coolest spots to plug in, thanks to the three-storey co-working hub, event space and café hybrid known as the Working Capitol. Desks and mini offices are spread around five sunlit heritage shophouses, attracting a bevy of creatives, startups and CEOs escaping the daily grind. It boasts outdoor terraces, pantries full of snacks, tech support and even yoga and muay thai classes. Popular restaurants Lollapalooza, Neon Pigeon and Luxe Singapore are on site, as is an outdoor beer garden.

Shop – Littered with Books

Singapore, like many big cities, is finding itself increasingly dominated by characterless chains. Luckily, indie bookshops such as Duxton Hill’s Littered with Books provide the perfect antidote, stocking a range of literature and providing a crucial platform for up-and-coming Singaporean writers. Friendly staff will guide you through their carefully curated selection, which we rate as second to none in the city-state, from Singaporean authors such as Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and American classics by the likes of Jack Kerouac to modern writers such as Zadie Smith. Best of all, the store hosts regular readings and other literary events.