Home Restaurants 28 Essential Spots to Dine, Drink & Party over the Holidays

28 Essential Spots to Dine, Drink & Party over the Holidays

by URBAN JOURNEY
New restaurants Singapore

28 Essential Spots to Wine, Dine & Party

For many peeps, the holiday season means travelling abroad to meet up with family and friends. However, for those of us who are staying put for the next few months, there are tons of opportunities and excuses to get out and celebrate at cool drinking and dining venues around town. Whether you’re looking for a buzzy restaurant with cool vibes to have some holiday bevvies and bites, a sophisticated spot where you can wine and dine a date, or a happening nightclub where you can get your dance on with your mates, these are our picks for the top restaurants and bars to hit up over the holidays.

Bincho at Min Jiang

7A &, 7B Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249684. p. +65 6972 7328. Open Tues – Fri 6pm – 12am, Sat – Sun 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 12am

Hidden in the back corner of Min Jiang in the leafy Dempsey hood, this outlet of Bincho is a cosy little spot to grab Japanese comfort food. Slide into one of the leather booths and set yourself up with some sake or Japanese whisky, then order up tasty bites like the Hokkaido pork belly shabu-shabu salad, yakitori skewers grilled over special binchotan charcoal, spicy tuna rolls, and chicken seiro soba noodles.

Chico Loco

102 Amoy Street, Singapore 069922. p. +65 9738 7828. Open Mon – Thurs 9am – 10pm, Fri – Sat 9am – 12pm

You may know the Loco Group for their fab Mexican joints, Lucha Loco and Super Loco. Well Chico Loco steps outside the usual taco and tostadas box with healthy Mexican eats. The main star is the spit-roasted chicken made with locally, ethically farmed chickens free of hormones and antibiotics. Go for a quarter, half or full chicken with sides like quinoa, corn on the cob with chipotle mayo, or roasted veggies.

Bakalaki

Bakalaki

3 Seng Poh Rd, Singapore 168891. p. +65 6836 3688. Open Mon – Thurs 6pm – 10pm, Fri – Sun 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm. Book now

Slip into a Mediterranean mood at Bakalaki, a cheerful taverna serving up authentic Greek dishes. The blue and white color theme matches perfectly with the bright bites that feature fresh seafood, regional produce, and Greek products sourced straight from the motherland. Start with a bottle of Greek wine, then dig into vibrant plates like the spicy feta dip with roasted red peppers, grilled calamari skewers, and grilled sea bream with lemon sauce.

Caffe Fernet

70 Collyer Quay, Customs House #01-05, Singapore 049323. p. +65 9178 1105. Open Mon – Thurs 12pm – 12am, Fri – Sat 12pm – 1am, Sun 11am – 5pm

When Caffe Fernet opened in Customs House, we were immediately smitten with the gorgeous patio right on the water and the great vibes. Brought to us by the Jigger & Pony group, the restaurant offers up light takes on Italian fare and bright cocktails that are perfect for sundowners after work. Grab some small plates to share with friends like the tuna tartare or charred octopus. Super hungry? Go bigger with a hearty pasta or steak.

MerciMarcel

Merci Marcel on Orchard

390 Orchard Road, Palais Renaissance  #01-03/04 , Singapore 238871. p. +65 Open daily 8am – 12am

If you’re a fan of French food, Merci Marcel is just your spot. Their latest venue is a gorgeous bistro-style spot located on Orchard Road and it’s awash in bright paintings on the walls, soft cushions, and warm wooden furniture. Pop in for a healthy salad at lunch, charcuterie and cheese with wine after work, a hearty steak for dinner, or a long leisurely brunch with fresh baked goods and superb coffee on the weekends.

Blue Label Pizza & Wine at Mandarin Gallery

333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery #03-02, Singapore 238897. p. +65 9785 7799. Open daily 11:30am – 11pm. Book now

Step inside Blue Label Pizza & Wine at Mandarin Gallery and you’ll find cool 70s and 80s rock tunes playing, comfy booths to slide into, and happy peeps mowing down on artisan pizzas, fresh salads, and all-American bar snacks like chicken wings. There’s also a great selection of wines specially chosen to pair with the pizzas. Insiders tip: do yourself a favor and start with the spinach and artichoke dip—it’s absolutely out of this world

KOMA

2 Bayfront Ave,  Marina Bay Sands #B1-67, Singapore 018972. p. +65 6688 8690. Open Sun – Thurs 5pm – 12am, Fri – Sat 5pm – 2am. Book now

As soon as you begin the walk down KOMA’s 20-metre passageway lined with orange arches like a Japanese shrine, you know you’re in for a different kind of dining experience. Inside the dimly lit lounge a huge Japanese bell adorned with 20 faces hangs over the sleek bar and long bench seating wraps around intimate booths. The menu features imaginative Japanese eats like truffle unagi maki, avocado tempura, and wagyu fried rice.

Table65

26 Sentosa Gateway, Hotel Michael, #01-104 & 105, Singapore 098138. p. +65 6577 7939. Open Tues – Fri 6:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Brought to us by Dutch chef Richard van Oostenbrugge, Michelin-starred table65 adds a bit of modern European flair to the culinary offerings at Resorts World Sentosa. The dishes are vibrant and completely original, like the Mozambique langoustine with coffee and lemon and the ohmi wagyu striploin with white clams and ramsons. Adding to the experience is a long U-shaped counter where you can watch the chefs create the artistic plates in the open kitchen.

Restaurant Jag

76 Duxton Road, Singapore 089535. p. +65 3138 8477. Open Tues – Fri 12pm – 2pm, Tues – Sat 6pm – 10pm

Tucked away in a cosy shophouse on Duxton Road, Restaurant Jag is an intimate eatery with just seven tables that seat four people each. Soft lighting sets the mood in the dining room, and upstairs there’s a craft cocktail bar for pre or post-dinner drinks. Chef Jérémy Gillon sources fresh herbs from Savoy in France and creates dishes around the flavour profile of each herb. A la carte options are available, but if you really want to be impressed, go for the omakase menu.

Shisen Hanten

333 Orchard Road, Mandarin Orchard Singapore Level 35, Singapore 238867. p. +65 6831 6262. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat, Sun & PH 11am – 12:45pm, 1pm – 2:45pm, 6pm – 10pm

This wildly popular Szechuan restaurant is just as lauded here in Singapore as it is in Japan, which is evident from its two Michelin stars. Inside you’ll find a soaring ceiling and huge windows that look out over the city skyline. The dim sum is a divine treat for lunch, while the dinner menu features decadent fare like the foie gras chawanmushi with crab roe soup and the fiery mapo doufu with tofu in a hot pepper meat sauce.

Cloudstreet

84 Amoy Street, Singapore 069903. p. +65 6513 7868. Open Tues – Fri 12pm – 1:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Mon – Sat 6pm – 10pm

Helmed by chefs Rishi Naleendra and Gareth Burnett, Cloudstreet is the upscale sister restaurant to Cheek Bistro. The concept here is contemporary dishes that marry different cultures and flavours with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Snag a seat at the chef’s counter if you can and have a chat with the chefs as they put together artful plates like grilled oysters with betel leaf, finger lime, and coconut milk or BBQ turbot with fermented bell pepper.

Lerouy

3 Stanley Street, Singapore 068722. p. +65 6221 3639. Open Tues – Sat 12pm – 2pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Chef Christophe Lerouy draws on his memories of growing up in the countryside of Montagne at Alsace in his eponymous restaurant on Stanley Street. There are just 26 seats along the curved counter where you can watch the chef in action as he prepares contemporary French dishes using only the finest seasonal produce. The multi-course menus change regularly and you can opt for either the petit or grand version for lunch and dinner.

Odette

1 St Andrew’s Rd, National Gallery #01-04, Singapore 178957. p. +65 6385 0498. Open Mon 7pm – 9pm, Tues – Sat 12pm – 1:30pm, 7pm – 9pm

With three Michelin stars and a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, it’s pretty safe to say that Odette is one of the top restaurants in Singapore. Housed in the Singapore National Gallery, the space was designed by artist Dawn Ng and boasts soft pink and grey hues. The menu is just as inspiring with elegant dishes prepared by chef Julian Royer and his talented team. The dishes change with the seasons, so you know you’re getting only the freshest ingredients.

Jam by Siri House

8D Dempsey Rd, #01-02 Dempsey Hill, Singapore 249672. p. +65 9667 0533. Open Mon 6pm – 10:30pm, Tues – Thurs 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm, Fri 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 12am, Sat 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 12am Book Now

Set in a cool lifestyle space in Dempsey that boasts an art gallery and fashion retail shop, Jam is a funky eatery where the focus is on modern Asian cuisine. Grab a stool at the bar to watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen or have a seat in one of the colourful armchairs at the long communal tables. Choose from an array of tapas style plates like the soft shell bao or larger offerings like the Iberico pork cheek with pickled savoy cabbage and black fungus.

Terra Best Restaurant in Singapore

Terra

54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993. p. +65 9751 2145. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat 6:30pm – 10:30pm Book now

Dining at Terra is a surprise every time, as chef Seita Nakahara’s omakase menus change every day depending on what’s fresh and in season. The style of cooking is straight-up Italian, however the ingredients are all sourced from Japan. That means that you could be getting anything from risotto with creamy sea urchin, spaghetti with king snow crab, or Iberico pork in a rich truffle butter sauce.

BurgerLabo

Malan Road, Gillman Barracks Block 41, Singapore 109545. p. +65 6694 0940. Open Tues – Thurs 5pm – 11pm, Fri, Sat & eve of PH 5pm – 2am

It took three years to perfect the perfect burger, but Ken Loon and the BurgerLabo team have finely honed the signature BB (Basic Burger) to perfection at BurgerLabo. The final version now includes a succulent 170-gram patty made with four different types of beef and topped with organic tomato, lettuce, and American cheese. Other options include a chicken burger created by chef Julian Royer of Odette and an Impossible meat-free burger.

Min Jiang Dempsey Restaurant in Singapore

Min Jiang Dempsey

7A & 7B Dempsey Road, Singapore 249684. p. +65 6774 0122. Open daily 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm. Book now

Feasting on Chinese food got a whole lot more fun with the opening of Min Jiang in Dempsey. Surrounded by leafy greenery, this 5,000 square-foot space has a gorgeous dining room decked out in natural wood, a timber deck for al fresco dining, and three private dining rooms. Gather a group and order up a variety of plates for the table like pan-fried gyoza, with vinegar vials, crispy Teochew-style shrimp rolls, and the famous Beijing duck.

Chalerm Thai

15 Stamford Road, Arcade @ The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore 178906. p. +65 6715 6875. Open daily 11am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm

Situated in the glass-roofed Arcade at the Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Chalerm Thai is an inviting two-storey space with a main dining room on the ground floor and a small balcony on the upper floor. You’ll find all your favourite traditional Thai dishes here like papaya salad, pad Thai, curries, and noodle dishes. This is a great spot to grab an easy-going lunch that won’t set you back an arm and a leg.

Cheek Bistro New Restaurant in Singapore

Cheek Bistro

21 Boon Tat St, Singapore 069620. p. +65 6221 1911. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat 6pm – 10:30pm. Book now

Formerly known as Cheek by Jowl, a one Michelin-starred fine dining spot by chef Rishi Naleendra, Cheek Bistro is the more casual reincarnation. You won’t find stuffy vibes here, instead it’s all about an easy-going ambiance and tasty modern Australian bites. The menu is designed for sharing, which makes this the perfect spot for a relaxed date or eats with friends. Must-tries include the burrata with heirloom tomatoes and the lamb ribs with eggplant, yoghurt and mint.

Venue by Sebastian

6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown Gallery #01-02, Singapore 068815. p. +65 6904 9688. Open Mon – Sat 11:15am – 3pm, 6:30pm – 10pm

Chef Sebastian Ng is the creative force behind VENUE, an open-concept casual dining venue in OUE Downtown Gallery. The concept is shared plates, so it’s best to come with a group of friends or family and order up a bunch of dishes to share at the table. The style is modern European with Asian influences, so expect intriguing options like the cauliflower misti with spicy mint aioli and the Chilean sea bass with mushroom and bacon ragout and truffle yuzu butter.

Pizzeria Logic

20 Craig Road, Craig Place #01-03, Singapore 089692. p. +65 6226 2250. Open Mon – Sat 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm, Sun & PH 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm

Pizzeria LOGIC may be from Japan, but the food here is authentically Italian, as the chefs spent years working in Italy and import fresh ingredients from there like flour from Caputo in Naples. The pizzas are Naples style, so expect thin crusts and ample toppings like creamy buffalo mozzarella, piccante salami, and blistered cherry tomatoes. The pastas are also superb with offerings like the fettuccine with shrimp in a lemon cream sauce.

SKAI

2 Stamford Road, Swissôtel The Stamford Level 70, Singapore 178882. p. +65 6837 3322. Open Mon – Thurs 5pm – 1am, Fri 5pm – 2am, Sat 4pm – 2am, Sun 4pm – 1am

For sky high sips, make your way to SKAI on the 70th floor of Swissôtel The Stamford and snag yourself a seat in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer incredible views over Marina Bay. The signature cocktails are inspired by different altitudes like ‘sea level’ and the ‘high desert’, so you can try an array of unique flavour combos. We also love that they have champagne specials every day of the week including weekends.

Avenue

2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands B1-67 (entrance via level 1, behind Sands Theatre bus stop), Singapore 018972. p. +65 6688 8680. Open Wed – thurs 9pm – 3am, Fri 7pm – 5am, Sat 10pm – 5am

Tucked away below the iconic Marquee nightclub in Marina Bay Sands, Avenue is a swanky speakeasy-style spot where you can chill out on supple leather banquettes with classy cocktails or get in on some game action at the mini bowling lanes, pool table, karaoke room, or vintage arcade game area. There’s also an exclusive gold room with its own bar. Every night there’s a different musical genre ranging from hip hop to house and R&B.

Atlas

600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778. p. +65 6396 4466. Open Mon – Thurs 10am – 1am, Fri 10am – 2am, Sat 12pm – 2am

Step back in time to the Roaring Twenties at Atlas, a stunning Art Deco bar in the Parkview Square building. The bar pays homage to the decadent jazz era with a huge selection of gins, artisan spirits, and champagnes. Channel your inner Gatsby as you sip on a martini made with vintage Tower of London dry gin or a cocktail like The Boy King made with champagne, oloroso sherry, sweet vermouth, Italian bittersweet liqueur, black lemon bitters and apple cider.

Junior

43 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088464. p. +65 8121 1462. Open daily 6pm – 12am

Junior has one of the most unique concepts of any bar in Singapore, as every six months they transform the entire space and drink list to fit a new theme. For example, at the time of writing the theme is après ski, so the small space is decked out in Alpine vibes, the drink menu features bevvies like the Swiss Miss with green chartreuse, Swiss chocolate, dark rum, whipped coconut cream and torched cinnamon, and the food menu offers bites like Bavarian pretzels and chicken schnitzel.

Marquee

2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands B1-67, Singapore 018972. p. +65 6688 8680. Open daily 10pm – late

Singapore’s largest nightclub is set inside a former theatre in Marina Bay Sands and has tons to excite the senses like a giant 8-armed ferris wheel, a three-story high slide, and a killer sound system that pumps out beats by resident and guest DJs all night long. There are four full-service bars where you can grab glasses of bubbles and signature cocktails, each one named after a city with Marquee branches including Sydney, Las Vegas, New York and Singapore.

Heart of Darkness

55 Tras Street, Singapore 078994. p. +65 6208 7940. Open daily 11am – 12am

Looking for a cool spot to hang out with friends over craft beers? Heart of Darkness Brewery is a famous independent brewery from Vietnam and it’s now open for business here in Singapore. Have a seat at the long wooden bar and have a chat with the bartenders to find out what’s fresh and new on tap. Take your pick of interesting IPAs, stouts and fruit beers. There are also Vietnamese bar bites on offer like spring rolls and chicken wings.

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