We love a fabulous restaurant, a quirky shop and a wander through a beautiful area. Trying to explore Singapore on foot can be tricky in the heat, but a car of your own can be pretty expensive. Enter GrabCar, one of our favourite ways to get around Singapore to and from some of our favourite destinations. Here, we’ve created a shiny ‘EL recommends’ list to make the most out of your time living in the Little Red Dot.
First, download the app (unless you have it already!)
- Key in your pick-up and drop-off locations, choose your size/style of car, economy or premium, six or 13 seater. Their fares work on distance to be travelled – so you know what you’ll be paying upfront. (You can see the exact fare in the lower left hand side of the screen, see above pic.)
- Select credit card payment or cash payment.
- They’ll then locate the nearest available driver and you can rate them immediately after your journey too.
- Plot your driver’s location and estimated arrival time in real-time – if needed there’s the option to share your trip details too.
Now you have wheels, you’ll be looking for a destination…
Be inspired by the rich heritage of Tiong Bahru’s mixed architectural styles – pre-war Art Deco meets post war simple lines. An almond croissant from Tiong Bahru Bakery is an absolute must. Then, wander up to lifestyle shop Strangelets – great for gifts – and kiddies picture bookstore, Woods in the Books, just two of the areas many quirky independent shops. The market and hawker centre is bursting with great bites, but the area is a real hot spot for restaurants too. We love Open Door Policy and Bincho. And if it’s furniture you’re after, the Tan Boon Liat Building is just a short walk away.
If you’re craving an authentic chicken rice, River Valley presents two excellent options. Jew Kit Restaurant on Killiney Road has a renowned chicken rice, wash it down with a pomelo, mint leaf and lime juice. It’s very tasty, and excellent value too – lunch for a family of 4 comes in at around under $20. Another great option is Boon Tong Kee for authentic Cantonese cooking or an ‘East meets West’ menu at Spize you’ll find both on River Valley Road. If the kids need to work off that post-lunch energy, you’re not far from Amped Trampoline Park and the skate park behind Orchard Gateway.
Start at Tanglin Mall – we highly recommend Shopping at Tiffany’s and White Ginger for fashionable everyday wear, before stopping for a coffee at MAD Museum of Art & Design, just a short walk up Orchard Road. Not only a visual feast, this is also the place for finding uniquely Singapore gifts. Then either cross the road and have a peak in gorgeous resort lifestyle boutique Edit Lifestyle, or loop back around to the Botanic Gardens Tanglin Gate where bustling Food for Thought café has a very refreshing lychee soda with your name on it.
If it’s art you’re after, this is the contemporary art hub in Singapore. Launched in 2012, it’s 11 galleries – showcasing established and emerging artists from around the world, with a focus on Southeast Asia – are located on the site of a former military barracks dating back to 1936. After you’re done browsing (and perhaps buying!), try one of their seven restaurants, cafes and bars. We guarantee that you’ll leave here feeling inspired and maybe a little bit in love with a few pieces.
From one military barracks to another… head to Dempsey Hill for a great mix of furniture – stunning solid wood offerings at Woody Antique House – and lifestyle stores, check out Cuckoo kids store, it’s gorgeous! Plus, an enormous variety of restaurants – tapas at Don Quijote is a current fave – and Huber’s Butchery for delicious imported meats and treats. View seriously impressive contemporary art in Red Sea Gallery and then wander down via the outdoor fishpond (really, don’t miss this) for a refreshing cocktail in the lush greenery of The Green Door.
‘Holland V’ for those in the know, this lively boutique neighbourhood is buzzing with truly global cuisine, coffee shops, bars and a small hawker centre. If you’re in the mood for a great steak, try Aussie-inspired restaurant Barossa (go on Tuesday and Thursday nights for live music) or Kinara for authentic and delicious North Indian dishes. We’re particularly fond of artisan bakery Baker and Cook and, perfect in this tropical climate, ice-cream café The Daily Scoop, both in Chip Bee Gardens.
There are so many delicious places to eat, drink and be merry along this street of beautiful converted shop houses. Senso Ristorante & Bar is well known for it’s authentic Italian fine dining and rooftop bar Tiger’s Milk definitely won’t disappoint. PS Café (this branch is child-free, so perfect for a lunchtime meeting) is right next to Ang Siang Park if you fancy some peace amidst the energetic hustle of Chinatown. Visiting during the day? Stunning clothing store Willow and Huxley is just a short walk away and well worth a visit.
Enjoy your adventures!
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