2 Dickson Road
T: (+65) 6298 1188
What: Rustic French fare
Where: Little India
Wear: Boho chic
We’re: Quite expensive for our ulu location, but very much a new, hip hotspot for those in the know
Cocotte means either a prostitute or something slow cooked in a casserole dish, but we assume this restaurant’s name draws its inspiration from the latter. Serves delicious food coupled with faultless delivery and flare – but then again it’s pretty expensive for what it is, so we would expect nothing less. Prices are around $30 for a main with a bottle of house (Rhone red) around the $75 mark. Champs is $28 a glass which makes it more expensive that the Aston Bar at the St Regis. But great fun and stylish and a bit of a hidden away gem. Try it.
Opening Times: 12pm-2.30pm daily except Sun; 6.30pm-10.30pm Mon-Thu; 6.30pm-11pm Fri & Sat
KU DE TA
1 Bayfront Avenue
T: (+65) 6688 7688
Either we’ve become very good at justifying our drinking, or this really does make sense….instead of paying $20 a head to visit the MBS SkyPark here, book a table at Ku De Ta where you will only pay around $15 a drink. A veritable bargain. OK, so you can’t walk around on all the different levels like you can if you do the proper MBS tour, but so what. Very cool. Booking most definitely required. BTW: Worth saying that KTD is a franchise and this is the same, in name only, to the Bali original. The cocktails sound the same too (Early Grey martini etc) but be warned – they are not a patch on those shaken up overlooking the Seminyak sands…shame. As one barman told us after we sent a concoction back, as it tasted like a different drink to what we were knowingly anticipating, they are not mixologists here at KDT MBS like the Bali boys are. From the horse’s mouth.
Opening Times: 6pm-4am daily
1 Bayfront Avenue
T: (+65) 6688 8868
A must if you’re visiting and even if you live here, a complete compulsory on the basis that everyone’s always talking about it. Stunning views and make hotel guests feel like goldfish as you watch them in the Jacuzzi or fabulous infinity pool. Adults pay $20 per person and children over two cost $14. The entrance fee covers a rather ‘looser’ listening guide, the size of an 80’s mobile phone, that you can hold to your ear and which does actually tell you quite a bit of info on buildings and what you are actually looking at – if you can bear it.
Opening Times: 10am-10pm daily. Last entry at 9.30pm
What: DTF goes hawker
Where: Riverside hawker centre opposite Great World City
Wear: Flip flops and T
We’re: Established with a big following
This hawker centre is just opposite Great World City and you have probably driven past it lots of times before but never stopped…but now you have the best reason to: Dumpling Auntie. Her stall is actually called: Hao Pei and she has been here for about 30 years. Her son now helps her and everything, from the noodles casing to the pork mince which is non fatty and flavoured with herbs, is made to her own recipe. There is a minimum order of 10 dumplings for $6 and they come 2 ways: steamed or fried. Both are delicious and although the filling is identical, taste quite different. Wash it down with some freshly made, cancer-busting soursop juice, or a coconut, from CHUN KEE FRESH FRUIT JUICE a few stalls down, sit at a table by the riverside, eat and enjoy.
Opening Times: 12pm-2pm; 5pm-8pm daily, EXCEPT Tue & Wed when she is closed
SUN WITH MOON
Wheelock Place (#03-15/16/17)
501 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6733 6636
What: Stylish sush
Wear: Sleek city chic
We’re: Good shopping stop-off point
Stylish sushi, generally more a la carte than conveyor belt (the latter is always a preference but a good, stylo place is hard to find here – suggestions anyone?) with a heavy steer towards set menu choices. Good. Reserve for lunch on weekends as it gets quite busy. Ask to sit in section 1 (with ‘pod’ seats) or section 6 (curtains and cushions).
Opening Times: 12pm-11pm Mon-Thu & Sun; 5pm-12am Fri & Sat only
100 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6739 8370
What: Good stab at representing all the local food types in SG – lunch only though
We’re: Great if you are short of time and want to tick some boxes
Come here at lunchtime and they serve a delicious, authentic Peranakan buffet. Great for nyonya nosh novices who get to see what each dish looks like before committing…the lunch is actually named ‘Singapore Flavours’ and also showcases food from other dialect groups including Hainanese, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, Teochew, Malays and the Indians all at once during lunchtime. Perfect if you are visiting and short of time but want to try several specialty dishes.
Opening Times: 12pm-2.30 Mon-Fri only
25 Vanda Drive
T: (+65) 6887 5506 or (+65) 9677 4644
We discovered this little gem of an enterprise at one of the expat fairs, but these guys aren’t like all the other stalls….they are actually good value. Sweet for solid sterling silver Christmas and birthday pressies and brilliant for Christening gifts too. We love their Tiffany’s style key rings that you can customise with an initial. Key rings range from $25-$35 depending on size (bigger is better) and silver letters are around the $25 mark.
Opening Times: By appointment
MUTTS & MITTENS
T: (+65) 6583 7371 or 7372
Never feel guilty about putting your pet in to ‘storage’ again. This place is really well run and they love animals (not necessarily true with some of them out there). They take in a host of stays which they keep on as pets and all the dogs and cats are happy and well walked and cared for. They are miles out of town but will collect and deliver for $60, regardless of where you live. Charges don’t come cheap (but what good boarding kennel is a bargain?) and start from around $15 a day for a small breed of dog. This is for a run with no air con which is lovely and shaded with fans running constantly. A kennel with air con will cost you $25 a day. Walks are $3 for 15 minutes and there is a onetime compulsory charge upon check-in for tick prevention ($20) as well as a compulsory grooming session ($15). Slightly annoying, but then again you don’t want your dog to pick something up from a mangy mutt, so I see why they insist upon this.
Opening Times: 9am-5pm daily
ODDS ‘N’ COLLECTABLES
T: (+65) 6323 0043
This is a super fun street to wander down (make sure you are this end of it – the other end is not so good and more officey) and this shop is the only one of it’s kind. A glimpse of Singapore in days gone by. Stuffed high (literally you can’t actually get to the things at the back of the shop) with relics of the old Singapore, duck your head as you pass antique bird cages and stuffed crocs; this is SG’s version of London’s Portabello market – all crammed in to one shop. Everything for sale has been sourced from here – either knick knacks from old houses or things snapped up by the knowledgeable owner at auctions. Super fun browsing and those with a good eye will be in heaven, although it’s not as cheap as you think it’s going to be – be warned! A good street to take in with visitors. Don’t forget to call in at Truffs (see EAT ME, DRINK ME, Sweet Stuff) as well as the Chinese temple – all on the same stretch.
Opening Times: 1pm-6pm daily