These cafés, bars and restaurants give new meaning to ‘City in a Garden, thanks to their tropical-inspired dishes.
While Singapore is home to dozens of skyscrapers, the city is also known for the greenery that sprawls across the island. So it is only natural that Singapore-based jewellers, fashion designers and even fragrance makers are channelling our lush landscape into souvenirs you can bring home to mark your visit to this City in a Garden. For a one-of-a-kind gift, look no further.
Designer Priscilla Shunmugam is no stranger to the local fashion scene. Her contemporary womenswear label, Ong Shunmugam, is hot on the lips of many fashionistas here for vividly depicting the city’s rich heritage, marrying traditional Asian silhouettes with bold prints, and taking inspiration from local flora.
Get this “Cruise 2016 collection” (various prices). The kimono takes centre-stage in this line, but not as your traditional Japanese garb. Structured yet airy, and bearing patterns inspired by flowers you’ll find across the island, the kimono is a fashion-forward statement that will add a touch of class to any wardrobe. The collection also features jumpsuits and midi-length bow dresses emblazoned with floral patterns used in batik (a traditional Indonesian style of dyeing fabric that is also popular in Singapore).
Atelier Ong Shunmugam. 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-76, Singapore 278115. +65 6252 2612.
Inspired by Singapore’s rich heritage with jade, this award-winning fine jewellery retailer creates timeless pieces you can flaunt no matter the occasion. The label, catered to the stylish and sophisticated women of today, works with handpicked Type A Burmese jadeite and weaves it with modern accents such as gold and white rhodium.
Get this “Jade by Choo Yilin collection” (various prices). Be the talk of any party with this Peranakan-inspired jewellery line that incorporates jade and gemstones alongside floral embellishments in either rose gold, champagne gold or silver. Choose from dainty drop earrings or long necklaces to add elegance to your personal collection.
Mandarin Gallery. 333A Orchard Road #02-23, Singapore 238897. +65 6733 1131.
Founded by master perfumer Gauri Garodia, this artisanal fragrance brand offers more than your run-of-the-mill scents. Spray on aromas of ginger snaps, the Tasman Sea or a breezy tropical beach with Code Deco’s collection of perfumes, which features feminine, masculine and music-inspired compositions. For fragrances inspired by Singapore’s tropical plants, check out its “Feminité” collection. It boasts scents such as nutmeg, a spice harvested from trees that used to be common in local Peranakan (Straits-born people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage) enclaves like Emerald Hill.
Get this “Eaux de Jasmine” (SGD 200/50 millilitres). With this jasmine-based perfume, you can now leave the island by smelling just like the flowers you find here. This sensual fragrance is a concoction of white floral essence—mainly jasmine—and vanilla, with notes of citrus.
Orchard Central. 181 Orchard Road #02-22, Singapore 238896. +65 6238 1051.
Minimalists and fans of intricate craftsmanship can feast on this brand’s catalogue. Supermama is a contemporary giftware shop that curates local and Japanese-designed homeware such as handcrafted wooden teacups, porcelain plates, toys, furniture and accessories—all in contrasting colours or striking designs.
Get this “Singapore Icons: The Dancing Joaquim” (SGD 48). A tribute to Singapore’s national flower and the lady who bred this hybrid, this set of navy porcelain ware features a small plate, a sauce dish and a chopstick rest, which will lend elegance to any dining table.
Supermama. 265 Beach Road, Singapore 199544. +65 6291 1946.
The Singapore Mint
The nation’s official mint produces coins, medallions and other currency-related
Get this “The Splendour of Native Orchids Series: Silver Proof Coin Set” (SGD 400) is an ode to Singapore’s orchids. The set comprises ten fine silver proof coins that depict the many blooms of the Orchidaceae family, including the
Chinatown Point. 133 New Bridge Road #02-18, Singapore 059413. +65 6222 2486.
Suntec City. 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-494, Singapore 038983. +65 6336 2878.
The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.
Have a taste of the tropics with The 1872 Clipper Tea Co.’s assortment of tea blends. Founded in—you guessed it—1872 by Sri Lankan-born businessman Balage Porolis de Silva, the brand offers quality Ceylon tea brews that range from herbal to floral, in such flavours as masala chai (spiced tea), passion fruit and lemongrass. The brand also stocks tea blends inspired by tropical notes—the “Tropics Gift Set” (SGD 36) comes with three types of tea in flavours such as passion fruit, mangoes and marigold flowers, the latter of which you can find in Singapore’s many parks.
Get this “Singapore Orchid Gift Set” (SGD 38). This light and fruity selection consists of three Ceylon black tea blends with hints of ginger and cranberry. The aromatic fusions are finished with orchid petals for a finishing floral touch.
ION Orchard. 2 Orchard Turn #B4-07, Singapore 238801. +65 6509 8745.
Raffles City Shopping Centre. 252 North Bridge Road #B1-48, Singapore 179103. +65 6250 2466.
Gardens Shop, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Once you are done admiring the blossoms, trees and lakes of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, pop by the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s official souvenir boutique to get your hands on all sorts of nature-inspired items. The Gardens Shop offers a wide selection of gifts, including confectionery, accessories, apparels and even plantlets.
Get this “Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid Cushion Covers” (SGD 35). It is the perfect addition to any nature lover’s home. Featuring Singapore’s national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim, these linen cushion covers will brighten up any room.
Singapore Botanic Gardens. 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569.
Nassim Gate. +65 6467 0380. Daily 8.30am-7pm.
National Orchid Garden. +65 6475 5104. Daily 8.30am-6.30pm.
Tanglin Gate. +65 6475 1155. Daily 9am-7pm.