olga Iserlis Singapore

Expat Olga Iserlis breaks down the Singapore scene, from the best shops and tourist spots to the art galleries you can’t miss.

Singapore is…

An efficient melting pot.

Best shopping?

Orchard Road and the Marina Bay Sands resort [known for its roof-top pool] have the major international brands. Arab Street and Haji Lane have stores selling the most fabulous fabrics as well as quirky boutiques stocking new designers.

Must-see spots?

Sentosa island (there’s a Universal Studios), Zouk (the best club in Southeast Asia) and Clarke Quay for nightlife. Also: The Botanic Gardens, the Night Safari park and the old British colonial side of Singapore.

Best spot for cocktails?

I love to go to Lantern, a swanky bar on the roof terrace of the Fullerton Bay Hotel. It has an absolutely fabulous view of the Marina Bay area.

Best place to eat like a local?

Relax with a Tiger Beer and awesome local food at a hawker center, which is a huge food court where you can get national staples such as nasi lemak, chicken rice, char kway teow and roti prata. Lau Pa Sat is a good hawker center right in the middle of downtown. East Coast is another one that’s popular for chili crab, a local specialty.

Best place to grab a sweet treat?

The high tea at the Raffles Hotel. The scones and cakes are great, as is the whole ambiance. I also like the local desserts at Bengawan Solo.

Best boutique hotel?

The Four Seasons Hotel has a boutique feel to it. Located right in the middle of Orchard Road, it has a great organic health cafe called Glow. Capella Hotel in Sentosa is also a fabulous place for someone who wants to experience a “Bali-like” atmosphere.

Best place to hear live music?

Esplanade Concert Hall.

Best place to see great art?

I would go to the Peranakan Museum and the National Museum. For private galleries, I like Art Plural and Opera Gallery.

See Tory’s Singapore City Guide here.

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