The Three Most Happening Places in Singapore
If you want to visit the most happening places in Singapore where fine dining and good atmosphere meet. Here are our top choices:
Dempsey Road & Tanglin Village
Located just outside of Orchard Shopping District and a stone throw from the Singapore Botanic Garden, this former British army barracks and Central Manpower Base premises at Dempsey Road is now home to many F&B nooks for a quiet and cosy night out.
Dempsey Hill and Dempsey Hill Green (former Civil Service Club) provide a variety of food outlets, a spa, a children’s entertainment center and a party venue for children and two spas. The number of F&B outlets in Dempsey Hill alone now totals more than 30. There are also more than 25 retail shops there.
A third lifestyle cluster called 6ix and 7even @ Dempsey, comprising 11 units for restaurants, bars and retailers is the latest addition to Tanglin Village which were previously occupied by furniture shops.
A popular venue for younger Singaporeans and expatriates nestled in the middle of a residential area and dubbed a ‘bohemian enclave’, Holland Village is the perfect place to soak in the relaxed ambience after dark. It is dominated by its eateries, along with some specialist shops selling non-traditional wares. The place is sometimes referred as “Holland V”.
Many food chains in Singapore, such as Crystal Jade, BreadTalk, The Coffee Bean, Burger King, Subway, Indochine and Häagen-Dazs, are located in Holland Village. The gentrification of the Holland V area is characterised by the more up-market dining options such as the numerous ethnic restaurants as well as franchises such as Marmalade Pantry and Tapas Bar. Other prominent bars include Tango’s, Baden and Harry’s Bar. However, Wala Wala remains the grand dame of the bars, this decade-old two-storey stalwart packs a crowd that ranges from varsity students to yuppies with its laid back atmosphere and nightly live music.
Boat Quay and Clarke Quay
Very popular hangout places for those interested in Singapore’s city nightlife. While Boat Quay is famous for its rich mix of fine dining from East to West along the scenic Singapore River, Clarke Quay is more renowned for air-conditioned shop houses, bars and discos.
Other than the three most happening places in Singapore listed above, you may want to visit the following venues if time permits:
Chomp Chomp/Serangoon Garden
Serangoon Garden is one of the two most famous roundabouts in Singapore (the other one being Newton Circles). Chomp Chomp is a famous local hawker centre serving up varied and tasty local hawker food in the midst of a middle-class living enclave known as Serangoon Garden. Other than Chomp Chomp, this place is packed with many restaurants, coffee shops, a fast-food outlet and the Serangoon Garden hawker centres. It is realatively quiet in the day time but comes alive daily after dark and weekends.
In a 26 Feb 2012 The Sunday Times report “Pay up or get out”, due to the increasing popularity of the place, the rents of shop houses have escalated to more than $8 psf which forces some mom-and-pop shops, which are part of the areas charms, out as they can not compete with big boys such as banks, big retail chains and popular restaurant chains who have deep pockets or high profit margin to pay the high rents. At the popular Holland Village, rental for a 1500sq ft unit can start from $18000 and can go above $20000 depending on location. Rising shop rentals have left shopkeepers and residents wondering how ling the neighbourhood can afford to keep its old-fashioned charm.
Updated: 25 Mar 2012: “Restaurant ban to ease traffic at Serangoon Garden” – Acting on residents’ complaints, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) imposed a ban last month: No more Serangoon Garden shophouses can be turned into food joints.
Located at Victoria Street in the Downtown Core, CHIMES (pronounced “chimes”) is essentially a nightspot area formed around a church which has been gazetted a national monument and restored as a multi-purpose hall for dining, shopping and entertainment. A favorite amongst expatriates for its nice locale, you can typically have a nice dinner in one of the restaurants before going on to party the night away.
More lifestyle business and eateries has sprung up in the last few years which make this area the latest chill-out place not to be missed. This area houses some of the best Malay and Mediterranean fine dining with old-world charm ambience. There are over 30 eateries serving Malay,Indonesian and Mediterranean food in Kampong Glam. Lately, other eateries such as Old Street Cafe, Fong Kee Chinese restaurant and Wine Bos bar-cafe have set up shops in this area.
An unusual sight in this area is the prevalence of shisha smoking which originated from the Middle East – a water pipe smoking delivers the addictive drug nicotine which a typical one hour session of shisha smoking is equivalent to 100 cigarettes or more. Strangely, the practice has not been outlawed considering the harm that it might cause, currently there are 44 shisha outlets in Singapore.
Last updated on Feb 2014
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