The people are back and luxury hotels in Singapore are losing no time in rolling out new dining and exploratory experiences while bringing back well-loved favourites.
Tourist numbers from January to April this year have exceeded the total number of arrivals in 2021, and the throngs in malls and on public transport are signs of life revving back to pre-pandemic levels.
According to the latest research from the Mastercard Economics Institute, Singapore recorded one of the highest international tourist spending on experiences in destinations globally, with a 60 per cent increase in spending from pre-pandemic levels through March 2022.
The tourists’ gains are also ours. CNA Luxury checks out the latest places to hang out and stay over.
10 of the best F&B places in Singapore for late nights with friends (because you now can)
Stylish dining paces are trending, and you can now add 5 On 25 with its splendid views of the Bugis district to your list for chi-chi corporate lunches and social gatherings.
Designed in Chinoiserie grandeur by renowned designer Andre Fu, the Cantonese fine-diner is helmed by head chef Lim Hong Lih, who was previously at one-Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant Summer Pavilion.
The menu melds classics such as dim sum and roast meats with creative chef signatures such as fried bird’s nest with Sri Lankan crabmeat and superior stock and chocolate mandarin egg tart with lychee lime sherbet. The beverage list includes an extensive range running the gamut of Old and New World labels to sparkling tea and zero-ABV wines.
Hot on its heels is a new extension The Cellar to 38th-floor steakhouse 665°F, which has just received a new chef de cuisine Poh Boon Neo, who has worked in the kitchens of Michelin-starred Les Amis and JAAN by Kirk Westaway.
Prime cuts, dry-aged steaks and certified sustainable seafood headline the cuisine served in a jewelled-toned space decorated with a “library” of wines. We love the tasty beef wellington that comes with mashed potato and a generous helping of truffle shavings, the Spanish octopus cooked two ways as a kataifi and as a grilled leg paired with subtle laksa oil, and a hojicha tiramisu ramped up with dark rum.
It may be hard to tear yourself away from the comfy rooms, but the hotel’s four new Capella Curates excursions would be worth it.
Learn about Peranakan culture, architecture and cuisine under A Peranakan Way Of Life, discover Singapore’s coastal ecosystem under The Untamed Paths, visit Tiong Bahru market with one of Capella’s chefs under Mornings At The Wet Market and explore the artistic side of the city through A Walk On The Art Side.
On Jun 15, new Italian restaurant Fiamma replaces the hotel’s former The Knolls restaurant. The 138-seater by famed chef Mauro Colagreco of World’s Best Restaurant Mirazur in France will be a tribute to familial Italian cooking and communal meals in a soothing space of pastels and neutrals designed by Andre Fu.
HILTON SINGAPORE ORCHARD
Formerly at Marina Bay Sands, Osteria Mozza by American celebrity chef Nancy Silverton returns as a 120-seater iteration of the original one Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles.
Besides classic pizzettes, pastas and the famous Mozzarella Bar, this outpost also features destination-specific dishes such as the Cacciucco traditional fish stew and Cencioni pasta with Dungeness crab and saffron, both created to sate the local fondness for seafood.
The wine list celebrates the Italian wine-producing regions such as Piemonte. Tuscany and Veneto, with the inclusion of organic wines and classic Italian cocktails.
Celebrity chef Nancy Silverton’s Osteria Mozza is back in Singapore – here’s what to expect
InterContinental launched a culinary casting call to give one chef a blank canvas to bring his gourmet ideations to life. The winner out of 120 applicants was Italian chef Davide Giacomelli, who has worked in several Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe.
LUCE by Davide Giacomelli brings a refreshingly homely flair to produce-driven dishes such as a delicious carnaroli rice in a hearty lobster stock served with pieces of Boston lobster, and an irresistible Luce-misu that elevates the classic tiramisu with espresso syrup and chocolate.
The drinks list focuses on Italian labels and crafted cocktails such as the signature InterContinental Negroni and tropical The LUCE Sling. Two- and three-course lunch sets are also available on weekdays.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, SINGAPORE
Guests staying on the Club floor of Mandarin Oriental, Singapore can look forward to new culinary offerings at The Oriental Club such as daytime bites and snacks, evening cocktails from award-winning MO Bar, and late-night refreshments.
After that, work off the calories either on two wheels or feet. The new “Bikecation” package includes complimentary bicycles for four hours each day while the new MOSingapore Running Club gives you a scenic insight into the city and the Marina Bay waterfront with general manager Philipp Knuepfer and his team on morning and evening jogs.
SHERATON TOWERS SINGAPORE
Take an exploratory spin on wine appreciation at Sheraton Towers Singapore’s new ground floor wine lounge Graft Bar, which is a partnership with fine wines merchant Grand Vin. Intimate Tasting Thursdays sessions of just 10 persons go through four different glasses of wines across estates, varietals or regions.
Tastings are either live with the bar’s experienced sommeliers or conducted over Zoom with winemakers around the world.Linger on to explore premium labels by the glass, such as Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal Brut, Burgundian gem Domaine Faiveley’s Grand Crus and Napa cult Hundred Acre Deep Time.
If you want to explore southern Italian recipes, Waterfall Ristorante Italiano’s new chef from Puglia Simone Loisi presents a delicious feast in a stylish space resembling a grand colonial living room.
Must-trys include the Orecchiette Broccoli E Salsicca, a moreish dish of broccoli, Italian pork sausage and ear-shaped pasta that satisfyingly picks up the sauce, as well as Gnocchi Mare e Monti, a combination of pillowy potato gnocchi with a dream team of prawns, porcini mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. The extensive wine list focuses on labels from the north, central and south of Italy.
RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE
If pricey air tickets to Thailand and Italy are making you delay travel, you can get a preview at Raffles Hotel Singapore first.
From now until Jul 3, Bangkok’s best bartenders are taking over the level 3 Long Bar in the latest Bangkok Tipples: A Pop-Up event in collaboration with Perrier. These include Asia’s 50 Best Bars listers and discoveries such as rum-focused Tropic City and Lennon’s, a whisky bar with vinyl records as the inspiration behind their drinks.
The new Sicily Afternoon Tea at The Grand Lobby, from now until Aug 28, will whisk you away to the sunny Mediterranean island through delectable savouries and sweets such as cassata cake, paste di mandorla almond cookies and arancini cheese-stuffed fried balls.
The famous Basilico buffet brunch and dedicated cheese room are back at Regent Singapore. There are a la minute mains, irresistible house-made desserts and – the best part – a pageantry of over 35 artisanal Italian cheeses complemented by dried fruits, nuts and truffle honey.
After that, hop over to Manhattan where new cocktails have been added to its New York Personified menu. The herbaceous Yoko Ono-inspired Peas and Love is an easy-going fave and the Notorious RBG is as punchy as the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself.