By: Rachael Wheeler
If you’re in charge of booking the office Christmas party, a birthday bash, baby shower or simply any event that involves bringing a group of adults together here in Singapore, you’ll be chuffed to know that there are heaps of brilliant options when it comes to cool event venues. Whether you’re looking to book a lavish rooftop with a view or quirky spot in the jungle, the island is packed with great bars, restaurants and private rooms. There are also a fair few wild cards to consider for dos with a difference – from bouncing around in trampoline parks to hiring out cable cars. Read on for oodles of inspiration – and, whatever you decide, have a ruddy fabulous time.
Cool, easy dining
After something casual and low-key, yet still trendy and awesome? Check out this selection of hip, tasty bars and restaurants around Singapore. So whether you’ve got a small group and are after a couple of tables, or a bigger bash and looking for a private room, there should be something for you below…
2 Jiak Chuan Road, 6222 3130, firstname.lastname@example.org
This fun, shophouse bar in busy Chinatown is Singapore’s first Caribbean restaurant and knows how to whip up incredible jerk chicken and rum cocktails. Their large, airy private room upstairs is perfect for hiring out, plus you’re in a great spot to head off to a club as the night goes on.
Potato Head Folk
36 Keong Saik Road, 6327 1939, email@example.com
This whimsically-decorated venue on busy Keong Saik is actually huge inside, with three levels and three menus, each very different, but equally cool. If you’re after colourful wallpaper and eclectic vintage, head to level two, if decadent glamour and cocktails is your thing, hit level three, and if you love a fairylight-strewn rooftop, make that climb to level four.
7 Dempsey Road #01-02, 6476 2811
This Spanish restaurant in Dempsey serves up incredible paella and tapas, and is perfect for a casual dining event if you’re not keen on a formal sit down dinner. There are various dining areas within the Mediterranean-themed space, with four potential separate areas, catering from 12-120 people.
Oxwell and Co
5 Ann Siang Rd, 6438 3984
This huge shophouse off Club Street is in a prime location and a hugely popular spot, due to it’s brilliant pub grub, gin on tap and grand, quirky interior. Split into three floors, you can hang out in the restaurant, study or rooftop (which has its own vegetable garden that serves the kitchen). Looking for a cool twist? Walk through Oxwell into the back area and find the door with an upside down crown on it. Descend the dingy staircase into a tiny, secret and extremely awesome cocktail bar called Operation Dagger, which has won a heap of awards.
1 Orchard Blvd, #01-01/02, 6735 0308, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve got a number of chaps to keep happy, then this Japanese steakhouse is a great shout. Their cuts of meat are incredible, in a low-lit, stylish setting. You’ll also be in a good spot to hit KPO, Emerald Hill or Orchard Towers afterwards for a good boogie.
If you’re looking to hire out a whole venue, but don’t have heaps of guests, :Pluck is a super spot on Club Street with a friendly feel and great eats that focus on plates to share. As well as their gourmet bar bites, this hip bistro serves up a mean cocktail.
Block 10, Dempsey Road, #01-23, 9224 6611
While this restaurant boasts incredible Chinese food, it’s decorated in a decadent, frivolous style, with glass everywhere and 1920s music on the stereo. The outdoor area is modern, with concrete features clashing nicely with the green, green surrounds of Dempsey.
1 Stars Avenue, #03-01, Singapore, 1385076, 6352 2721
If you’re looking for something laid back and friendly in an open, green setting, head to Cafe Melba for reasonably-priced fizzy and Western comfort food. If this is a daytime bash where children are welcome, there’s also a great kids area and bouncy castle to keep them distracted while you neck a wine or two.
20 Cross Street, China Square Central #01-19, 6221 3937
This buzzy joint is a great size for a medium-sized affair, with a whole wall of spirits for a cocktail extravaganza. There’s also a cheese room, salami bar and Mediterranean dishes galore at this hip Italian kitchen.
Looking for something grown up and classic? This American-style is all about cool luxury and strong, short drinks. Think whisky, bloody Marys, lobster, fois gras and cheese. One for the lads, although fun for ladies who fancy dressing up for a posh night out.
38 Tanjong Pagar Road, 6475 2217
This famous bar has recently moved to Tanjong Pagar, and is even more fashionable than the last (in a chilled, interesting way) with bright, industrial interiors in a medium-sized space. Tippling Club’s drinks menu is pretty insane – their cocktails are a very serious business indeed, and the team pushes the boundaries in terms of ingredients.
Venues with a spectacular view
If you’re out to impress your pals, or show foreign clients a unique view of this beautiful city, why not plump for a venue with serious views of Singapore?
1 Fullerton Road, The Fullerton Bay Hotel (Rooftop), 6597 5299
If you haven’t heard of Lantern Bar, then you’re missing a serious view across Marina Bay in an oh-so-plush setting. It’s set on the rooftop of the Fullerton Bay Hotel – think gorgeous swimming pool, mood lighting and a large, airy bar that looks across the city from all, open sides. Now, this won’t be a cheap affair, but it will be memorable.
80 Boat Quay, rooftop, 6536 5818, email@example.com
This classy oyster bar is perfect for a smooth evening in a stylish setting. There’s lots on the menu, although the new rooftop bar is becoming known for its excellent seafood. Sat on the river in Boat Quay, this sexy little joint overlooks Marina Bay.
50 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa, 6631 8938
How about a beach party for you and the gang? Whether you want a couple of tables in the sand or the whole bar, Coastes offers a night out with a difference and a view across the water and twinkly ships in the bay. With cheerful, seaside food and often live music by night, you always feel a but like you’re on holiday in this beachfront spot.
1 Fullerton Rd, 6438 0440
This seafood bar and grill is perfectly located on the water in Marina Bay – you couldn’t pick a better spot for the light show if you tried. Inside, red booths make up a classic diner-style interior, whereas the front terrace opens out into the bay and offers heaps of extra space to book up.
We can’t chat rooftop bars with a view without mentioning the tallest one in Singers, complete with an open-air dance floor now, can we? Whether you’re looking for bubbles across a remarkable sunset on the rooftop (floor 63), fine dining at Stellar (floor 62) or cocktails and dancing at Altimate (floor 61), 1-Altitude throws heaps of different events, with various-sized areas available to hire out.
Various locations, 6467 9328
Jungle views, anyone? Marmalade Pantry is set in a traditional, black and white-style house, and blends into the oh-so-green landscape of Bukit Timah. With open sides and a very cool garden area that features deck chairs and lanterns galore, Marmalade Pantry is a popular dining spot that can be transformed into a memorable venue, particularly by night.
8 Raffles Avenue, #04-01 (Esplanade rooftop), 6336 9366
There’s a strong chance that you’ve never trotted along to this awesome rooftop bar at the top of Esplanade Theatres as it’s not one of the ‘biggies’, but it offers an amazing view of Marina Bay. The open-air bar thinks of itself as a drinks lab, with Orgo meaning ‘organic chemistry’, so expect a focus on organic produce and interesting ingredients.
Party the night away
If you’ve got a lively gaggle of people who are known for dancing into the early hours, you’ll probably want to book a venue that offers a decent blast of music and some space to throw shapes on the dancefloor.
3 River Valley Road
If dancing is your thing, you can’t go wrong with heading to Clarke Quay – it’s jam packed with oodles of bars and restaurants across various cuisines, with many of them transforming into late-night clubs. Our recommendations? The Pump Room is a great micro-brewery with a surprisingly large club area, China One has a brill live band that performs renditions of popular music, and Tang Music Box offers first-class karaoke rooms for a spot of loud, interactive clubbing.
The White Rabbit
39C Harding Road, 6473 9965
Did you know that this beautifully restored old chapel in Dempsey often pops on its party hat and throws massive events for punters? The White Rabbit, and it’s fun outdoor bar area The Rabbit Hole loves to throw whimsical parties, and there’s lots of potential space to book up for your bash. If you have a lot of adults to cater for, this is a great option too.
11 Bali Lane, 6291 1297
After live music in a more casual setting? Blu Jaz is plonked in the middle of hip, lively Haji Lane and boasts some seriously awesome bands. In terms of music, there’s R&B DJs, funk nights, reggae-themed events and more – often at the same time on different levels of the shophouse. After something more colourful and Mexican? A few doors down on Haji Lane is Piedra Negra, which is part of the same group and sees people dancing in the streets and in the themed bar upstairs after a few margaritas.
50 Collyer Quay, 6634 4555
While ME@OUE serves up gorgeous, innovative dishes across French, Japanese and Chinese cuisines, it’s the awesome rooftop bar you should hit if partying is your aim. This rooftop bar on the 19th floor opens up into Marina Bay, and features a cool, outdoor lounge and palm trees galore. Order a few bottles of vodka (depending on the group size, naturally) and enjoy some of the best DJs in Asia, who are frequently flown into Singapore to take over the decks.
New Asia Bar
2 Stamford Rd, top floor, 6338 8585
You may have heard of New Asia Bar’s legendary helipad parties, which pretty much sums up this exclusive night spot, with partying at its core. At the top of Swissotel, this club is the place to be seen and throws serious bashes to remember. Our tip? Book a posh dinner at Equinox below, before heading up to the dancefloor later on.
Tanjong Beach Club
120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, 6270 1355
If you’ve got deep pockets and you fancy making a day of it, TBC is a party hub that sees people dancing in the sand (and on tables) from day ’til night. Set on a lovely stretch of beach on Sentosa, this is a seriously trendy (and big) venue to go for.
70 Collyer Quay, 6533 3471
This Japanese restaurant transforms into a happening, urban party spot as the night goes on, with a live DJ drawing crowds up to the rooftop around 11ish ’til late. So dine out on gorgeous sushi before hitting the open-air bar and taking a spin on the dancefloor.
Unique activities for something a tad different
If expectations are flying high, or you fancy making a day of your event, why not book one of these unique, wacky or high-energy activities to entertain everyone before you settle down to a few drinks? Think of them as good ice-breakers!
Singapore Cable Car
Between Vivo City and Sentosa Island, 6273 4639
Yup, the Faber Peak group here in Singapore offers up pods on their famous cable car across the water to private dinners, drinks and themed parties. Sure, you might not want to spend the entire night whizzing around in a circle, but it’s certainly a funny start to an adult party with a difference.
Bobbi’s Pole Studio
222 Queen Street, #02-01, 6333 4308
There’s limbering up for a night out and there’s getting stuck in and having a good laugh at a pole dancing lesson. You don’t have to get down and dirty if you feel that’s a tad much for you all, but it really is fun to strut around in heels and test out a few spins on the pole. The EL girls did this a while back, and we giggled for a good hour (while burning plenty of calories!).
30 Raffles Avenue, 6734 8829
After an even bigger capsule in the sky? You can also rent out spaces on the Singapore Flyer, which cram in far more people than you might think. Up to 28 people can party in the pod, with space for dining tables, decorations and even a few waiters to keep you topped up.
46 Kim Yam Road, 8228 5961
Is your party often bouncing off the walls? Make it literal and book a slot at Amped, Singapore’s first indoor trampoline park. And it’s exactly that – a huge floor of connected trampolines that everyone can’t help but fall in love with the minute they start bouncing.
Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, 6577 8888
The massive Open Ocean tank in Singapore’s popular marine centre is available to hire for huge dinners and glamorous parties. Sat next to someone awkward? Just point at the gigantic sharks and make polite chat about being eaten alive.
Nox – Dine in the Dark
269 Beach Road, 6298 0708
One way to ensure that everyone has plenty to chat (and laugh) about is to blindfold everyone and get them to eat their meal entirely in the dark. Yup, Nox offers just this – with diners being treated to innovative, unknown cuisine that they have to diagnose with their taste buds alone. It makes for an unforgettable night, plus encourages you try a few delicious dishes that you might have otherwise swerved.
Hire A Yacht
Throw an adult bash with a difference by hiring a boat and setting sail around Singapore. There are lots of options to consider, from group size and boat type to specific routes and catering, and we cover that and more in our handy guide to yacht hire here. From mooring on Lazarus Beach during the daytime to watching the fireworks on Sentosa by night, hitting the water is a very cool option.
825 Bedok Reservoir Road, 8100 7420
Don’t love the water? Take to the skies instead and clamber your way through this jungle trail for a spot of team building, exercise and adrenaline. There’s also a lovely, lush bar to hit nearby called Wawawa that’s fun for a few drinks after your high-impact day out.
60A Orchard Road, 6884 4890
Quite simply, if you sometimes feel like legging it after your pals/colleagues and taking a few shots in their direction, then LaserOPS might be the venue for you. The indoor laser game involves getting suited up, dividing into teams and hunting each other down through the vast arena. It’s pretty hilarious, plus there’s no contact involved, so if you’re heading there with work, there won’t be an HR situation to deal with afterwards.
For more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.