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?
- 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.