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Singapore’s top romantic restaurants, part two!

If you’re looking for a romantic restaurant in Singapore, you definitely won’t come up short of options – the tough part is to choose the one. EL editors share their favourite dining destinations with “that special something”. Looking for more ideas? See ‘part one’ of our romantic dining options across SG here.

 

Jaan
Swissôtel the Stamford, Level 70 Equinox Complex
6837 3322

The atmosphere: A quietly intimate 40-seat restaurant at 70 storeys high, Jaan boasts one of the very best views in town.

The cuisine: The imaginative, truffle-heavy menu is all about seasonality, and made up entirely of sustainable, organic ingredients from around the globe, including line-caught fish and carefully selected, farm-fresh produce – a philosophy that stems from Chef Julian Royer’s upbringing in a family of farmers in Central France.

The menu: The Kabocha tortellini – chestnut pasta, macadamia and cabbage – and Winter Garden – a selection of root vegetables with truffles, “mushroom ketchup” and hazelnut crumble – are tasty, textural treats, as are the crunchy amuse bouche warm mushroom tea and the beetroot “Collection” – beets done in various forms (including beet gelato) with burrata artigiana and horseradish. Cheese lovers won’t want to miss the fromage cart – a huge highlight for my husband; choose up to four fine cheeses and enjoy them with a generous selection of jams, crackers and port. For dessert, look forward to the Choconuts Grand Cru, an innovative collection of chocolaty tastes and textures, both warm and cold.

Choose five or seven-course dinners ($158 to $238) with wine pairings ($130 to $190), or a ten-course degustation menu ($298) featuring Chef Julian’s ten signature dishes. There are also lunch menus available, featuring most of the same delectable options seen at dinnertime. For Valentine’s Day, Jaan is presenting an eight-course degustation menu ($698 per couple), inclusive of two glasses of Krug Grande Cuvée, on 13 and 14 February.

That special something: An exquisite culinary experience like no other, our meal at Jaan was one of the best we’ve had in Asia, thanks to the thoughtfully prepared menu and spectacular marina view, complete with the MBS lightshow. Request a window seat and prepare to linger for hours over beautifully plated dishes expertly paired with fine wines – you’ll be leaving mega-full, but mega-happy.

Romance level: 3 out of 3

– Amy Greenburg

 

 

The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden
8444 1148

The atmosphere: Situated in the Botanic Gardens’ Ginger Garden, The Halia is surrounded by ginger flowers and other tropical greenery (halia is the Malay word for ginger). Whether you choose the glassed-in dining room or the terrace, you’ve got a front-row seat to nature.

The cuisine: Contemporary European with Asian influences.

The menu: The signature Halia chilli crab spaghettini ($26) is to die for – spicy, tangy and loaded with crabmeat, it’s an absolute must-order.

On 14 February, The Halia is offering a Valentine’s Day dinner set menu ($300 per couple; $420 with wine-pairing), featuring four courses: a substantial tuna tataki and tea-smoked poached egg appetiser, scrumptious lobster bouillon soup with cold soba noodles, a choice of generous mains like beef shortrib, roasted wagyu beef bavette and pan-roasted Brittany monkfish. Dessert is a decadent board of chocolate ganache with crispy baguette, praline ice cream, rum raisins and sugar-crystallised rose petals with a sprinkle of olive oil. The meal is complete with a single rose for ladies and a picture souvenir.

That special something: The beautiful, lantern-lit restaurant is a quiet and casual haven that feels far removed from the city – a perfect place for an intimate chat with your sweetie, and a pre-dinner stroll through the Garden’s lush paradise.

Romance level: 2 out of 3

– Leanda Rathmell

 

 

Stellar at 1-Altitude
1 Raffles Place
6438 0410

The atmosphere: Relaxed, unpretentious and intimate are three words we’d use to describe Singapore’s highest dining venue. Opt for a window seat to take in the stunning views across Marina Bay. The open kitchen is another snazzy feature.

The cuisine: Dishes are varied, and each menu includes tasting portions. There’s something for everyone – both European and Asian cuisine are featured.

The menu: For the ultimate experience, opt for The Gastronomic Menu, where you choose your own five-, six- or seven-course meal. Not to be missed is the Gruyère cheese soufflé with truffle salad ($24), which had even my non-cheese-loving boyfriend speechless, and – the pièce de résistance – tender salt beef ($75), braised for 24 hours. The Toro truffle miso ($32) is also pure melt-in-the-mouth pleasure.

Don’t skip dessert. Stellar’s creative pastry chefs artfully prepare it right at your table. We recommend Smokey Coals ($16) – tea-infused chocolate ganache with a sprinkling of white chocolate.

That special something: Mind-blowing food aside, the view from Stellar is unparalleled. Book a table for 7pm to watch night fall across the marina while sharing a glass of champers with your loved one; afterwards, head up to the alfresco rooftop to enjoy breath-taking 360 panoramic views of the city.  

Romance level: 3 out of 3

– Susannah Jaffer

 

 

Donna Carmela
2 Greenwood Avenue
6463 4206

The atmosphere: Donna Carmela is a rustic Italian restaurant, with a fun and laid-back buzz.

The cuisine: Italian, prepared by head chef Barbara, who’s from the Puglia region. (General manager Simone is her husband.)

The menu: We can’t make a trip to Donna Carmela without ordering the amazingly soft and creamy burrata ($28), along with the beef carpaccio with fresh arugula and shaved parmesan ($22). For mains, I usually stick to the perfectly al dente penne arrabbiata ($21), or occasionally the ravioli with crab and lobster in tomato and basil sauce ($26), while James opts for the spaghetti carbonara every time ($21).

That special something: I wouldn’t say we’re the most romantic of couples, but this spot works for us on many levels. It’s local, the food is amazing, we prefer the casual dining outside around the barrels, and the staff and service are attentive, generous, and make sure we’re taken care of. It’s a cosy place to while away an evening, huddled over a delicious meal and a bottle of wine.

Romance level: 2 out of 3

– Amy Brook-Partridge

 

 

Pollen
18 Marina Gardens Drive, Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay, #01-09
6604 9988

The atmosphere: At the far end of the Flower Dome, this classy two-storey restaurant is fringed by a charming Mediterranean garden. We were seated on the ground floor, with inviting wood-and-marble furnishings and slow, subdued jazz that doesn’t interfere with any flirty banter.

The cuisine: Modern Mediterranean-inspired dishes that take you on a joyride of explosive and opposing flavours that work brilliantly together. Look forward to lots of texture, hints of molecular gastronomy and avant-garde plating.

The menu: We tried the seven-course tasting menu ($190), which spoiled us with sublime dishes like tender Hokkaido scallop carpaccio, garnished with frozen dill water, caviar and lime sago gel. The harvest festival foie gras, served with pumpkin purée, fresh raspberries and young hazelnut crumbs, stood out amongst the mains for its warm fall flavours and silken texture. After savouries, diners are moved to the bar to watch their desserts being plated. We loved the Black Forest – a bittersweet and sour garden made of flourless chocolate cake “soil”, a frozen chocolate mousse “rock”, cherry pandan “bushes”, cherry sorbet, caramelised roast tomatoes, meringue and shimeji mushrooms.

Although Pollen’s seven-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu ($220) will be a bit different, you can expect the same creative genius and fresh seasonal ingredients. Dishes that caught our eye include the barbecued wagyu beef with smoked aubergine, black curry and horseradish yoghurt.

That special something: While the view of Marina Bay is lovely, our favourite part of the night was strolling through the chilly Flower Dome gardens in between courses (for free, too!). The rare blooms and succulents here almost make you feel like you’re on a far-flung rendezvous. Dining here also includes a buggy service to and from the entrance of Gardens by the Bay, so you can dress to the nines without worrying about comfort.

Romance level: 3 out of 3

– Cherylene Chan

 

 

UNA at One Rochester
1 Rochester Park
6773 0070

The atmosphere: Strolling into UNA is a delight – it’s lusher-than-lush, with fairy lights draped in the trees and pretty water features trickling in the background. The alfresco setting is complemented by sleek monochrome furnishings, low lighting and even more fairy lights – yeah, this is my kind of romance.

The cuisine: Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno was raised in France by a Spanish mother and an Italian father, and spent years working at Michelin-starred restaurants in London, so European grub doesn’t get much better than this.

The menu: UNA specialises in authentic Spanish dishes, so it was only right to start with tapas; huge, tender chunks of smoky grilled octopus ($22) and melt-in-the-mouth scallops with veal cheek ($24) that falls apart at a touch. We were promised the “best paella in Singapore” ($55 for two people) and I’d stand by that – piles of fresh prawns, octopus, chicken and chorizo, cooked to perfection in precisely 27 minutes. And the suckling pig ($35) is a must – crispy yet delicate, with airy mash and quince jelly (aka cubes of joy). Finish with churros and chocolate dip ($12) and take a seat at UNA’s sherry bar. The six-year-old Pedro Ximénez ($11) is both sweet and powerful – in taste and effect!

That special something: The gorgeous ambience is up there with the best. It’s no surprise that UNA will be transformed into a Garden of Eden on 13 and 14 February  – it’s already halfway there. The whimsically themed set menu will start from $220 per couple, with guitar troubadours, cupids, photo booths and more.

Romance level: 3 out of 3

– Rachael Wheeler

 

 

Bacchanalia
23A Coleman Street

6509 1453

The atmosphere: While the dark and sumptuously furnished bar and restaurant create a formal impression, the emphasis at Bacchanalia is on fun and feasting in the tradition of the Romans. An invitation to dine at the chef’s table in the white and brightly lit kitchen was too tempting to refuse; a total contrast to the restaurant itself, but a special experience.

The cuisine: Modern European, courtesy of the star pedigree of ex-Fat Duck chefs Ivan Brehm and Mark Ebbels.

The menu: Sitting in cosy red armchairs in the kitchen, we watched the five chefs painstakingly prepare each of the seven courses on the set menu ($98); the sommelier popped in and out with matching wines ($55). This inventive food is sometimes a jolt to the senses, courtesy of the unexpected combination of ingredients. Hokkaido scallops are served in their shells with tarragon butter, topped with caviar and a dusting of cocoa; Thai-inspired coconut risotto is dotted with chilli paste; and the foie gras is topped with satay sauce and grated chestnuts. For dessert, we moved back to the atmospheric dining room to slowly savour the white chocolate and cherry tart. B-Bar claims to make the best gin and tonic ($22) in Singapore, and this drink delivered, courtesy of grapefruit ice cubes, Tanqueray 10 and New Zealand tonic.

That special something: Having what feels like your own team of chefs create dinner before your eyes, and answer any foodie question you might have, makes for a special and unforgettable night.

Romance level: 3 out of 3

– Katie Roberts

 

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