Updated: Nov 6, 2020
I love Singapore! Shopping malls abound, the weather is warm, streets are clean, and I always feel safe. Sentosa Island and the tourist hot spots are great, yet the best part is the FOOD! You can imagine my excitement when I was granted an invitation to the 2019 World's Best Restaurants Awards in Singapore. The Awards experience was magical. Having the giants and geniuses of the culinary universe in one place was unreal. Everyday I met new acquaintances who share my passions. We ate, drank, and partied all night!
Despite the several year gap I can declare Singapore continues to be one of my all-time favorite food destinations. If you do not agree than you probably need a Siew Lay. My first visit would not have been the same without my good friend. Siew was able to push my taste boundaries: Hawker Stations, Chili Crab, Chicken & Rice, Peranakan cuisine, century eggs, and the dreaded durian fruit. Here are my recommendations for this visit.
WHERE TO STAY
The newly opened China Town based Six Senses Maxwell checks all of the boxes. Most importantly location, location, location! Several of the World’s and Asia’s Best Bars are steps away: Native, Employees Only, Tippling Point, Junior, and Jigger’s & Pony. In addition, one of the World's Best Restaurants, Burnt Ends, is less than a five minute walk. The common areas are modern colonialism with a stunning library themed bar and antique real estate documents displayed throughout the halls. The gym is well equipped and the infinity pool is relaxing. Rooms are plush and comfortable, with an enviable minibar.
Marina Bay Sands (MBS) is more than one of the world's most iconic hotels. It is a city within a city and has become synonymous with Singapore. At first sight it appears a cruise ship landed on three towers. The infinity pool is reserved for guests and I suggest getting there early to beat the crowds. Since the World's 50 Best Awards were held at MBS I stayed one night and had an incredible view of the city.
WHERE TO DRINK
Singapore has a disproportionate number of the World’s 50 Best Bars. All of the watering holes I mentioned above in the the “Where to Stay” section I personally tried and highly recommend. Most of these cocktail spots offer a generous food menu to keep you fueled for intense bar hopping. The highest ranking Singapore bar on the list and my personal favorite is #3 Manhattan. Sophisticated interiors, creative concoctions, and best in class service is what elevates this spot. The Adults-only Sunday Boozy Brunch is a must and I would recommend you limit your plans for the remainder of that day.
Eighth ranked Atlas Bar is stunning. If you are planning a Great Gatsby themed party this glamorous location would be ideal. Housed in the tower over the main bar is Asia's largest gin collection and some of the rarest spirits in the world. Tours are granted if you notify your server.
Note: I saved #23 Operation Dagger and #28 Hongkong Street for my next visit.
WHERE TO EAT
Candlenut is the world's first Michelin starred Peranakan restaurant and my favorite dining experience during this trip. Peranakan cuisine comes from descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Singapore, Indonesia, Penang, Malacca, inter-marrying with local Malays. The tasting menu created by the talented Chef Malcolm Lee was delicious and creative comfort food. The standout dishes were the Wagyu Beef, the Crab Curry, and the Buah Keluak Ice Cream & Chocolate dessert.
Odette was named the 18th best restaurant in the world. I was fortunate to have a photoshoot there, yet not lucky enough to procure a reservation. Located in the majestic National Gallery Singapore which houses the world’s largest public collection of Singaporean and Southeast Asian art, it is on my recommendation list solely on its beautiful decor and accommodating staff.
WHERE TO PLAY
The purpose of trip was to attend the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards, yet I did manage to visit the whimsical Gardens by the Bay with the Supertree Grove.
Singapore Changi is the airport I hope to have an extra long layover. The Changi Jewel was unveiled in April 2019 and includes the world's largest rain vortex waterfall, 280 retail and food outlets, an IMAX theatre, lounges, and gardens.
My next visit will be longer and even more thorough! Have you been to Singapore and what is your favorite thing to do?