Unearthing Orchard Road’s best-kept secrets
While a visit to the famed Orchard Road is a must for visitors, hidden within this shopping, dining and entertainment paradise are these lesser-known gems worth exploring to make that work trip in Singapore even more memorable.
Food and drinks:
Salt grill & Sky bar
Sitting more than 50 storeys above ION Orchard, unarguably one of the most popular malls in Singapore, is Salt grill & Sky bar. A classy restaurant with a conducive environment for business meetings or casual conversations alike, you’ll be treated to a bird’s-eye view of Singapore as you dine. After that, head up to the ION Sky observation deck to take in an even more spectacular panoramic view of Singapore’s city skyline.
Where: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard, #55-01, Singapore 238801
Emerald Hill and nearby bars
Back in the 1800s, Emerald Hill was known for its nutmeg plantations, until a disease wiped out the crops. Thereafter, it was redeveloped into a settlement by the Peranakans, or Straits Chinese descended from the Chinese immigrants and indigenous Malay. The charming shophouses here that blended Chinese and Malay as well as colonial influences are now conserved heritage buildings. The quaint neighbourhood by day is pulsing with vibrant nightlife options after dark. Emerald Hill is home to a number of popular bars, making it an excellent place to unwind after a long day of meetings.
No.5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar is a crowd favourite for its one-for-one martinis after 9pm, while the nearby Ice Cold Beer serves up exactly what its name says – more than 50 different types of beer straight from a custom ice-tank built into the bar top, ensuring your drink is always crisp and refreshing.
Music lovers can take a short walk to Acid Bar, where talented resident bands perform acoustic hits to complement the intimate ambience.
Where: No.5 Emerald Hill Cocktail Bar, 5 Emerald Hill Rd, Singapore 229289
Where: Ice Cold Beer, 9 Emerald Hill Rd, Singapore 229283
Where: Acid Bar, 180 Orchard Road Peranakan Place, Singapore 238846
Goodwood Park Hotel
A balance of rich history and modern luxury, Goodwood Park Hotel has gained recognition not only for its vibrant heritage, but also for its food and dining options.
For an unforgettable meal, head to Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Almador, for exquisite and inventive Asian-influenced modern European fare that is surprisingly affordable, or to award-winning Chinese restaurant Min Jiang which serves popular Cantonese and Sichuan dishes, as well as delectable dim sum -- you’ll definitely find something to suit your palate.
Private dining rooms are available for business meetings, but those who wish to enjoy their meals in an alfresco setting can do so at the outdoor terrace.
No trip to Goodwood Park Hotel would be complete without trying their famed durian desserts, so be sure to stop by The Deli and sample a few of their specialities.
Where: 22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221
Add a sense of adventure to your trip by hunting down this secret bar. Access to Horse’s Mouth, a speakeasy at Forum The Shopping Mall, is through Uma Uma Ramen, which incidentally, serves delectable Japanese fare.
The bar boasts a well-stocked range of Japanese sakes, whiskies and other spirits, so fill your bartender in on your preferences, or request for a bespoke concoction. And do save some space in the tummy for the wagyu beef cubes that are a perfect accompaniment to your drinks.
Where: 583 Orchard Road, Forum the Shopping Mall, Singapore 238884 (Enter through Uma Uma Ramen at #01-41)
Restaurant veritable institution since it was established in the 1980s, Shashlik has gained a loyal following over the last few decades for its attractive menu of hearty Russo-Hainanese dishes.
Popular dishes include the Oxtail Stew (available only on weekends), which is simmered for more than a day until the meat is delightfully tender, as well as the robust Borsch Soup and flavourful Shashlik Beef Skewers.
Those with an eye for theatrics should order the Baked Alaska or Cherry Jubilee, which will be prepared tableside, finished with a flaming flourish as the staff lights some liquor and pours it over the dessert. Don’t forget the camera to capture the spectacle.
Countless Singaporeans have fond memories of eating here during their childhood and teenage years, and keep returning for a taste of nostalgia and homely comfort perfected over the years.
Where: Far East Shopping Centre, 545 Orchard Rd, 238882