Here in Singapore, where it’s alfresco weather year-round, we’ve got rooftop bars and restaurants aplenty, which means you’ve got to make all sorts of tough decisions – like, how high you want to hang out during Happy Hour, and what kinds of views you’d like to accompany your cocktail and canapés, from skyscraper scenery to Singapore River sights. To help you in your quest, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite rooftops across town.
Terra Rooftop Garden Bar
Topping the recently revamped Suntec City Sky Garden, this spacious, stylishly designed open-air terrace bar offers a refreshing array of cocktails. Try the Viva Brasil ($18), made with cachaça (distilled from sugarcane juice), pineapple, agave and house-made rosemary syrup, or a sangria ($18); they’ve got a weekday happy hour, too. Accompany your cocktails with Latin American and Mexican-inspired bites like the marinated tenderloin beef cubes with sliced garlic, or the seafood chimichanga (both $18).
At the top of Odeon Tower, this eclectic alfresco bar has an urban garden atmosphere, great skyline vistas (not to mention a front-row view of the Raffles Hotel), fun Southeast Asian inspired cocktails ($17 to $24), great Happy Hour deals, and a selection of locally inspired snacks like sambal chicken wings ($18) and chilli crab dip ($14); it’s a great place if you’re looking for a rooftop setting with a bit of a twist.
The Mad Men Attic Bar
Hidden in a Boat Quay shophouse right near Raffles Place, this is a popular spot among the working crowd. With its modern-industrial look laced with graffiti details, the casual, outdoor hangout is beloved for its daily line-up of live music, sweet Marina Bay views, naughty nibbles like truffle fries ($10) and chilli cheese dogs ($14), and after-work tipples including the infamous Black Forest mojito ($16 to $18).
Oxwell & Co Rooftop Bar
Set atop Club Street’s British-inspired gastropub Oxwell & Co, this whimsical Hendrick’s-exclusive bar (think Alice in Wonderland tea party-chic, but with gin) may be small, but there’s a lot to take in: an organic herb garden from which the chef and bartenders collect herbs for the food and cocktails, a vintage phone booth, fairy lights and great Chinatown views. Signature botanical and tea-infused gin drinks come in teacups and small bathtubs (the Bathtime gin and tonic is for four to share, $60), alongside nibbles like fried artichoke hearts with anchovy mayo ($17), fish and chips ($26) and pork scratchings ($6).
Potato Head Folk
Located on the fourth level of Potato Head Folk’s hip, multi-storey-concept shophouse, this charming, chequer-floored and fairylight-strewn rooftop is a sweet escape from the bustling Keong Saik scene below. With hip-hop beats in the background and stylish vibes, it’s a great place to catch the breeze with a tropical-inspired cocktail in one hand and a gourmet burger in the other.
1-Altitude Gallery and Bar
As one of the ultimate go-to’s for entertaining out-of-town guests, this outdoor favourite never seems to disappoint, offering live music, fab drinks and a stunning, 360-degree look at Singapore – in fact, it’s the city’s highest bar, located on the 63rd level of One Raffles Place. Order one of their six pizzas ($20 to $22) to enjoy with a signature cocktail ($20), or head one level down to dine at the award-winning restaurant Stellar by 1-Altitude; then, dance the night away at club Altimate on Level 61.
Sitting pretty in the penthouse of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, LeVeL33 has one of the best panoramic views in town. Wrapped around two sides of the building facade, a spacious outdoor terrace offers awesome, unobstructed views across Marina Bay and the CBD skyline. And it’s not just the views that bring people flocking to this place. As the world’s highest craft microbrewery, LeVeL33 brews craft beers on-site; made with authentic European recipes, the signatures include Blond Lager, India Pale Ale, House Porter, Stout and Wheat Beer. And, if you’re not a beer fan, not to worry – LeVeL33 offers Mouton Rothschild vintage wines and a selection of boutique wines sourced from a global selection of artisanal wine producers. Food-wise, there’s an extensive and fabulous menu of contemporary European cuisine, as well as a fun, all-day “beer-dining” menu that includes suggested beer pairings and beer-infused dishes – the Celeriac Taco ($18) for instance, consists of pork hock, India Pale Ale and hay reduction, butternut slaw, Blond Lager sweet chilli and more. Don’t miss LeVeL33’s weekday and Saturday Happy Hour from 11.30am to 8pm (yes, over eight hours!) – on Sundays, Happy Hour starts from noon – and definitely stop by to try their Saturday Brunch and Sunday Roast lunch.
Serving Sicilian street food and a strong menu of cocktails, this discreet spot is a sort of hidden gem, tucked atop boutique hotel The Scarlet. Signature cocktails like the Nicoletta (white rum, lime juice, pistachio and rosemary syrups, and orange bitters) go for $16 to $19, while house wines by the glass start at $14. Munch on eggplant caponata and beef meatballs ($12 each) or tuck into seafood linguine ($30) while catching up with pals over some serious CBD views. Psst – this space would make a fab party setting!
This spot offers prime views of the Southern Ridge by day, or Queenstown’s twinkling lights by night, and makes the perfect spot for an intimate date night or a lazy lunch with friends. Sip on tropical tipples like the Alexandra Sunset ($18) – Grand Marnier infused with flamed rosemary and shaken together with cherry liqueur, white rum, fresh lime, lemon and pineapple juice, and a dash of dark rum. Munch on a selection of wood-fired flat breads ($18 to $24) and other comfort foods, like truffle polenta fries ($10) or a medium-rare tenderloin “dirty” steak ($36) with anchovy butter. Oh, and if you’re a hotel guest, you can park yourself at the infinity pool’s swim-up bar.
Set on the fourth-floor rooftop of boutique hotel The Club, this indooroutdoor Peruvian-inspired bar is fashioned after traditional pisco bars in Lima, featuring a variety of pisco concoctions and other Latin American-influenced rum- and tequila-based beverages. Sip on your Coco Con Pisco ($24) and snack on some sea bass ceviche ($14), while you take in the beats of Latin American music and enjoy a nice breeze.
The Club Hotel
28 Ann Siang Road
Hi-So Rooftop Pool Bar
Perched on the roof of the financial district’s Sofitel So Singapore (a beautifully refurbished heritage building), this chic alfresco bar surrounds the hotel’s golden-tiled infinity pool, with skyscrapers looming in the background. Grab a seat under one of the bar’s black-and-white striped cabanas for after-work drinks, or Happy Hour and truffle fries ($18) with the girls, while you groove to music under the stars. Though cocktails range from $18 to $24, Hi-So has special promotions every night of the week. There are $10 martinis on Mondays, $10 house pour wines on Tuesdays, and a ladies’ night on Wednesdays – girls get their first glass of Taittinger for free; on “Industry Thursdays”, you get one-for-one house pours, beer and wine when you provide your business card; and on “Foodie Fridays”, you get 25 percent off your total food bill plus one-for-one house pours.
Smoke and Mirrors
At the highest point of the National Gallery Singapore, this optimally located rooftop bar features both indoor seating and an alfresco terrace that looks across the Padang to the Theatres on the Bay and beyond. Sip on beautifully presented cocktails – the Tiger Blood Daisy ($20), made with tequila, lime, sour plum grenadine and ginger beer, is a signature – and, if you’re hungry, order food from Yan, the upscale Chinese restaurant one level below. There’s also Aura restaurant and Aura Sky Lounge directly next door to Smoke and Mirrors, on the same level.
Mr Punch Public House
This hidden bar in the City Hall-Bugis area sits above the Mint Museum of Toys, making it a special destination even before you throw in the quirky, retro décor and cocktails served alongside kitsch-American ad signs. Throw in CBD views, Happy Hour specials, and all kinds of meaty and cheesy nibbles, and you’ve got yourself a new go-to. Signature cocktails range from $19 to $36, while the “Punch Jars” (for four to share) go for $52.
“Me@OUE has amazing views of MBS and nice cocktails. It’s relaxed and elegant, and a great place to take out-of-town visitors. For lowkey, I likeSouthbridge– great view and location, being so close to the restaurants and nightlife of Boat Quay. Plus, the gin and tonics are bucket-sized and delicious.”
– Amanda Broad, Digital Media Manager
“I like Fry Rooftop Bistro & Bar – it’s the highest point on Club Street, so you always gets a decent breeze, and it’s a great vantage point from which to watch all that’s going on along Ann Siang Hill and Club Street. The space is small, but never gets too busy. They’ve got great cocktails and moreish bar snacks – chicken popcorn for the win!”
– Leanda Rathmell, Production Manager
“My favourite rooftop dining destination is Our Village in Boat Quay. It offers lovely, breezy balcony seating overlooking the Singapore River, and tasty North Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine.”
– Katie Peace, Project Manager
“Smoke and Mirrors has superb views across the green expanse of the Padang toward the iconic MBS and the gleaming CBD to your right. The pork belly sliders are insanely good, and the cocktails are stunning. It’s a bit brutal on the wallet, so save it for a special occasion!”
– Emily Finch, Online Editor
“I love the laid-back ‘country-garden-meets-colonial style-bungalow’ feel of Spago’s terrace lounge at Marina Bay Sands – it’s a great spot for sipping rosé on a nice day. If you’re afraid of heights, like my husband is, just grab a seat far away from the edge; you’ll still be able to enjoy the nice breeze from there. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s nice for a fun weekend treat.”
– Amy Greenburg, Health, Leisure and Dining Editor
This article first appeared in the August 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
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