Romance doesn’t have to be all about fancy dinners or expensive bouquets. If you’re looking for an unconventional idea for a first date, or a fun thing to do for your weekly night out with your partner, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite alternative activities for a memorable time.
#1 Go for a wine tasting
Whether you’re a die-hard prosecco or red wine enthusiast, attending a wine tasting with your date is great way to get to know him or her a little better, in a casual setting. Bacco Wines is an Italian boutique wine online retailer that hosts regular informal tasting sessions in its cosy office at Robertson Quay. Each tasting – they’re held every two to three weeks – has a specific theme, from “Innovators” to “Healthy Wines” and “Rare Wines”. If you’re prone to hangovers, the wines at Bacco are naturally-produced and organic, which means less risk of dealing with the dreaded post-drinking headache or morning-after hangover. Like what you tried? You get to shop on the spot and enjoy special discounts after the tasting. A bottle makes for the perfect date gift, too!
#2 Try mod-Peranakan cuisine
Discover unique Peranakan culture at Baba Chews Bar and Eatery, a chic and elegant restaurant bar offering mod-Peranakan cuisine. Tucked away in Katong Square, this eatery offers a taste of heritage in its charming colonial and Peranakan setting – think gorgeous tiles set against wood furnishings and white walls. Meat lovers will enjoy the beef short ribs rendang ($29), which features a rich and fragrant gravy of coconut cream, spices, gula melaka and turmeric leaf. Another popular item on the menu is Iberico pork ribs pongteh ($26), a twist on the Peranakan classic. If you’re a fan of spice, don’t miss the sambal stingray ($22), topped with the restaurant’s homemade chilli sauce. After your meal, round up the date with a leisurely stroll in the vicinity, passing by the rows of colourful heritage shophouses – a signature feature that makes the Katong enclave a gem worthy of exploration.
Psst… This resto also offers elegant and affordable set lunches!
#3 Pop by a themed cafe
DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe in Marina Bay Sands (#01-03/03/05, 2 Bayfront Avenue) is a a cool space for superhero fans! Opened in 2015, the themed cafe features a casual dining area, a patisserie, an ice-cream station, and a retail section with merchandise. Look forward to superhero-inspired dishes, including signature burgers served with Superman brioche buns and gourmet ice-cream in 3D designs. Another spot to check out is Hungry Heroes (33 Tessensohn Road), where you’ll find all kinds of original and licensed superhero memorabilia from Marvel and other comics adorning the two-storey restaurant.
#4 Dine in complete darkness
If you have a thing for mystery and surprise, you’ll be in for a treat at this Beach Road restaurant. Located just off Haji Lane, NOX Dine in the Dark offers a one-of-a-kind experience perfect for an edgy yet romantic date night. This unique concept allows diners to enjoy their meal in absolute darkness. Expect a truly unusual experience at this mod-European restaurant, which has specially trained blind and visually impaired servers who move seamlessly about the pitch-black dining room. We won’t spoil too much of the surprise here, but it’s definitely something worth trying!
#5 Visit Singapore’s Gotham Building
An ode to the Art Deco period, Atlas Bar is an ultra-grand lobby and bar housed in Singapore’s very own “Gotham Building”, otherwise known as Parkview Square. The 690-square-metre space is adorned with furnishings synonymous with the era – think lavish and luxurious brass plating and art murals. If you’re out to splurge, fine champagnes are available by the glass or bottle: the Louis Roederer Rosé Magnum ($38 a glass or $380 a bottle) is a stellar choice for a celebration. Non-alcohol drinkers aren’t left out either, with a range of tasty mocktails, Liberty coffee and fine teas.
#6 Unwind with a painting session
Located on level three of Orchard Central is Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones, a classy and modern dining and art concept store designed by local artist Wong Lip Chin. The 5,000 square feet lifestyle space comprises a tearoom (Steamroom), a modern European restaurant (The Pillar) and a retail and art lab (Stones). Unwind with a three-hour art-jamming session ($55 per person) at the art lab, where you’ll get all the materials you need, plus a complimentary beverage. We recommend topping up for a chocolate gateau and mandarin orange sorbet ($15), a rich dessert that’ll provide all the inspiration you need for the artwork.
#7 Whip up a meal from scratch
Whether you’re a rookie in the kitchen or a bona fide chef, there’s always room to improve – or at least have some fun with food and your other half. There are plenty of cooking classes held across the island, but one of our favourites has to be the Indian cooking class held by Namita Moolani Mehra, founder of Indian Spicebox. Want to recreate the dishes at home? Get the ultra-useful Spicebox kit ($105), which features a fun cookbook with easy-to-follow recipes, as well as nine types of organic spices, sourced from small farms in India.
Psst… Indian Spicebox classes are held two to three times a month at the new Providore Cooking Studio in OUE Downtown Gallery (#B1-07). Check out indian-spicebox.com/cookingclasses-by-namita or email Namita at email@example.com for upcoming class dates.
#8 Create your own mini garden
Connect with nature by creating your very own terrarium at The Plant Story, a beautiful workshop and cafe space overlooking Marina Bay. The hour-long miniature garden workshop ($80 per person) lets you unleash your creativity; just choose the garden you’d like to build, and start creating! If you prefer trying something else, there’s a home apothecary workshop ($80 per person), where you’ll learn how to concoct your selected remedy – options include mosquito repellent, room spray, body scrub – and bring it home. Feeling hungry? Enjoy the complimentary tea set in the stunning garden cafe right after the workshop.
Prefer a good breakfast date?