283 South Bridge Road
T: (+65) 6224 4911
We’ve always wanted to try this but until now have never found the time, but this is a scream to do with guests after a tour of China town and lunch at Mr Wong’s esteemed noodle joint Lan Zhou La Mian (see EAT ME, DRINK ME Local) just round the corner. Come here and plunge your feet in to an ionised foot bath and watch the colour of the water change according to how toxic you are. Quite scary (my water was black at the end, with fizzy bits) and whether or not it really detoxes you, it certainly feels as if it has. Good hangover cure (it could just be that the noodles we ate for lunch beforehand were delicious and did the trick all on their own) and a peaceful way to spend half an hour. Costs around $30 per person. Post treatment, pop next door to Tong Heng for one of their legendary egg tarts (see BUY ME, Groceries & Goodies)
Opening Times: 10.30am-8.30pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
FUJI FOOT REFLEXOLOGY
Orchard Towers (#01-19)
400 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6235 7990 or (+65) 8180 3883 or (+65) 9752 7308
Brilliant reflex joint; just how we like it – not too painful but very restorative and healing and they touch on all the right spots. But never mind all that, what we love is that they also do a home service – get your feet massaged while you watch a DVD in the comfort of your own home. Lush! It’s around $65 per hour for a home visit and they’ll charge you the cost of the cab to come and go, at cost.
Opening Times: 10am-11pm daily
Tanglin Shopping Centre (#02-54/55)
19 Tanglin Road
T: (+65) 6235 5020
Great, but pricey, place for unusual cushions. We love their navy offering with a real piece of white, knotted rope on the front which is the perfect present for the person who has everything…even their own boat.
Opening Times: 10am-7pm daily. Closed Sun
PUPPY CLIP GROOMING
733 Bukit Timah Road (#02-01) – at junction with 2nd Avenue
T: (+65) 6463 6738 or (+65) 9751 1911
Sophia loves dogs (sounds like a prerequisite but it isn’t and lots of grooming parlours out there are mean to them) and does a great Schnauzer cut, as well as all other possible cuts depending on the breed of your mutt. She is the best we have found and although it may cost more than your haircut, (it will if you visit the brilliant Jeremy at Maison Hairmake – see MIRROR, MIRROR Hairdressers – Cut & Colour) around the $40 mark is not too bad. To put it in perspective, we were quoted $70 at the Holland Village pet grooming station inside the Pet Lovers Centre there.
Opening Times; 10am-8pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
11 Unity Walk (#01-06)
T: (+65) 6238 6878
OK, this is very mainstream but such a great place for reasonably priced, good booze. Come to this branch and you can park just outside and fly in (vs being mauled by malls). Try Fat Bastard wine (around $30) which is a great French find. They also do a delicious set euro-style set dinner around the $30 mark (we had v good chicken liver pate, followed by delicious crispy duck leg; pud was disappointing but at this price, who cares) as well as a snackier bar menu which allows you to pick reasonably priced cheeses and other small dishes, tapas style. We are longing to try their raclette dinner which you have to be organised enough to pre order the day before. There is a minimum of 4 people to eat it too.
Opening Times: 10am-2am Mon-Sat; 10am-12am Sun
58 Seng Poh Road (#01-15)
On the other side of the road, opposite the main entrance to Tiong Bahru market, we were introduced to this place by Desmond who has a stall in TB selling the best durian in town: this is as good an intro to a locally loved duck joint as we are ever going to find. They don’t speak much English here but it doesn’t matter – their duck is worth the trip and is juicy and delicious. They understand enough in terms of you buying a portion, a whole duck or half a duck. Their char siu (roast pork) is yummy and is a must as well as their siu yok (crispy pork belly). They are generous with their gravy and chilli sauces and make sure you also ask for their chopped green chilli which they sometimes forget to give you. A delicious Sunday supper with or without people to share it with.
Opening Times: 7am-9pm daily. They are closed for 2 Wednesdays a month, but we weren’t quite sure which. Always open during CNY which is very useful to know when everything else seems to shut up shop.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel
80 Collyer Quay
T: (+65) 6333 8388
Fun and chic tea spot which is perfect after a tour of the MBS skypark. Beautifully presented on very traditional circular Chinese stands, nothing disappoints except that perhaps we could have done with more sandwiches (the ones we had were delicious – more please); there were cakes and scones aplenty but if you are in a savoury mood, there is are not enough sarnies to satisfy. The tea is leaf and proper (vs The Raffles’ disappointing bags) and the jam to accompany the scones looks, at first blush, rather hideous and processed but is actually delicious and, we think, handmade.
Opening Times: Tea is served madam, from 3pm-5.30pm daily
35 Keong Saik Road
T: (+65) 6224 1501
An Italian restaurant with a Japanese influence, this is delish and doesn’t disappoint without blowing the budget. The chef is Japanese and he spent 4 years cooking in Italy where he has certainly learned a thing or two. The downside is that it is quite a bossy restaurant that will only let you order their chefs menu on weekends, or when they are busy, whereas on a quiet weekday you can choose between the chefs menu and the set menu. The service wasn’t great but warmed up a lot; when we arrived it was terrible and we were given the wrong menus after rather a long wait for them. Wine is pricey but good – the cheapest is around $80 a bottle and it’s all Italian. Their house white was faultless though. Food wise, although you can’t necessarily choose, their almost raw scallop gratin served in gorgeous little Le Creusier pots was heaven. Their sea urchin spaghetti is mind blowing too, but only served twice a week (Tue and Fri) to ensure absolute freshness – call ahead to ask whether or not they have it in before going….it is that good. The tiramisu was bitter and brilliant. On the flip side of the coin, the only other gripe apart from those we’ve already whined on about above, were that they were quite keen on trying to bounce you in to the sections of the menu that had a surcharge attached to them… a bit boring (esp when surcharge for wagu was $40 pp). But otherwise, lovely and we’d come back again and again.
Opening Times: 12pm-2pm Mon-Fri; 6.30pm-10pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
T: (+65)6732 7838
This does what it says on the tin. It is a super restaurant if you want to eat heavenly Peking duck. Build you meal around it and major on the Peking duck rather than just having it as a starter. They don’t major in the skin only pancakes (which can sometimes be too rich) and instead it’s a crispy skin and meat mix. Any leftover meat they’ll serve to you with noodles or minced in lettuce leaves. Their pancakes are faultless and the best we’ve had.
Opening Times: 11.30am-2.45pm; 6pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat. 10.30am-2.45pm; 6pm-10.30pm Sun
Customs House (#01-04)
77 Collyer Quay
T: (+65) 6532 9939
Part of the Florentine powerhouse and it has travelled well. We love it here and have nicknamed it ‘Pork Scratchy’ as it does rather sound like that when you say their name fast! Delicious lunches served up at around $30+ if you go for the set, three course lunch menu which is faultless. It’s also a great place for dinner. Surprisingly not too hideously expensive which so many authentic and proper Italian joints can be over here. Our only criticism would be one of decor/vibe as it’s a bit too corporate feeling for our tastes if you eat inside (no choice if you go at lunchtime though as it’s just too darn hot to be out on one of their waterside tables. Make sure you go al fresco for dinner though). CBD location is balanced by Procacci being in Customs House which is like a little oasis of low rise tranquility, dwarfed on all sides by skyscrapers and the mass of office workers within them; its close proximity to Lantern Bar (see EAT ME, DRINK ME Raising the Bar) and waterside setting. BTW: there is no parking at customs house. You can either valet park at Fullerton Bay Hotel for $10 (and walk through the hotel until you reach their outdoor decked area which connects to Customs House) or park in the Microsoft building’s multistory car park which is on the corner of Collyer Quay, just before Marina Boulevard, and walk for 2 seconds until you arrive at Custom’s House.
Opening Times: 12pm-2.30pm; 5.30pm-11pm daily
Customs House (#02-02)
70 Collyer Quay
T: (+65) 6533 3471
Fancy a Kinki Japanese lunch anyone? A lot of people evidently do as this place is packed. We love it coz of it’s hip, urban edge in a zone (the CBD) where there is not much in the way of raw creativity (nothing shiny and new about this place, except the money you will be paying with); edgy graffiti walls make it a refreshing change from the sleek and manicured offering around…AND the food is super yummy. Go for what they are famous for which is their maki, and share. Particular die, die must try faves include the warm unagi and Hokaido scallop maki with tempura, snow crab and avocado. Puds are short and sweet, basic but delicious and the black sesame seed ice cream highly superior to the slightly too fragrant and creamy green tea one.
Opening Times: 12pm-2.30pm; 6pm-10.30pm Mon-Fri. Dinner only on Sat. Closed Sun
11 Canning Walk
T: (+65) 6338 5498
Part of the Garibaldi group who also own Gunthers and Garibaldi (see EAT ME, DRINK Me/Spoil Me Dinners). Gattopardo is not wildly different in terms of it’s pricing (think uber splurge) but like the others, it’s utterly delicious and very authentic. All the food is made with Italian sourced ingredients which does help explain the pricing: the langoustine that was wafted in front of us on their uncooked ‘fish of the day’ viewing platter was so FOB that he was still clutching his boarding pass. We went with proper Italians who were ordering experts and have deduced the following: if it’s there (not always available) have the very special and very fresh double cream mozzarella (called Burrata) served with Palma ham and salad to start with, followed by a $40 (but so worth it) bowl of tagliatelle al fungi with shavings of black truffle. If you are only 2 people, it’s much nicer and less corporate to sit at the bar.
Opening Times: 12pm-3pm; 6.30pm-10.30pm daily
Great resource and especially good if you want to see something at the movies at a specific time and want to see who is showing it, when and where. Lots of other stuff besides…