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Day 1: A Singer’s Tour of the city

1. Chinatown

“There’s so much good food in Chinatown,” Nathan enthuses. “You’ve got to explore between the main streets: all those small little lanes between Keong Saik Street and Temple Street.” If you’d like to partake in one of Nathan’s favourites, head over to Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant for lunch. No prizes for guessing that the unagi don (grilled freshwater eel with Japanese rice) comes highly recommended.

A bustling tourist spot that fuses the old and the new, Chinatown is home to both trendy cocktail bars and some of the city’s most traditional places of worship, such as the Sri Mariamman Temple. Take one of the many tours in the area, and make new friends while learning about the history of this traditional Chinese enclave.

2. Bras Basah.Bugis

Spend a late afternoon catching a matinee performance at the National Library’s Drama Centre, a stage where Nathan has performed on numerous occasions. “Every time I do a theatre production it always feels very transformational,” the singer observes. “It’s such a different creative process from the music making.”

For those with a sweet tooth, Nathan recommends having a taste of the traditional Chinese desserts on offer at Ah Chew’s Dessert, such as Honeydew Watermelon Sago or Grass Jelly with Longan. It’s where he goes if his rehearsals end before midnight.

Blu Jazz
3. Kampong Gelam

In the evening, head over to Haji Lane for the day’s main event. Once a seat of Malay royalty, the Kampong Gelam area is now home to Middle Eastern culture, bohemian fashion establishments, and live music bars.

“There are occasional block parties and jam sessions along Haji Lane,” Nathan shares. “I've seen bands play music on the streets there, and strangers from all over the world coming together to sing and dance.”

If you’re looking to wet your whistle while socialising, Blu Jaz Cafe, along Bali Lane, is one of Nathan’s regular haunts, and a perfect place to make new friends.

Day 2: A Day Of Diverse Sights And Sounds

Singapore Botanic Garden
4. Singapore Botanic Gardens

Take a break from socialising, and spend a late morning relaxing at Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO Heritage site, and home to over 60,000 plants and orchids. A recent visit to the garden left Nathan feeling musically inspired: “I came upon The Learning Forest while on one of my regular runs. With the sunset in the background, it was like I had my own personal forest. I wrote a lot of song ideas that evening.”

Holland Village
5. Holland Village

A neighbourhood that holds nostalgic memories for Nathan, Holland Village is filled with bustling eateries and cafes. The singer recommends Chip Bee Gardens for lunch and a good cup of joe. “Holland Village is nostalgic because I used to go there with my family on weekends, and after school during my Junior College days,” he reminisces. “It’s always been a kind of go-to place for family and social occasions.

Orchard Road
6. Orchard Road

To experience the sheer diversity of what Singapore has to offer, spend your afternoon shopping at Orchard Road. Asia’s most famous shopping street is home of both new and stalwart shopping malls.

“Orchard Road is the essence of Singapore, with the old and the new. You’ve got a [architecturally] crazy place like ION, and places like Far East Plaza and Lucky Plaza which have not changed in decades.”

If you’re in the mood for a film outing, Shaw Theatres Lido is one of the grand old dames of Singapore’s cinemas, and is home to a pair of 3D Theatres and a sprawling iMax movie hall. “I watched my very first movie in a theatre at Shaw Lido,” Nathan tells us. “Every time I go back, I can’t help but feel sentimental.”

7. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Head down to The Esplanade ― Theatres by the Bay in the evening, and catch our local bands rocking the stage at Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre. A hotbed for new local musical talents, Esplanade ― Theatres by The Bay has a reputation for nurturing up and coming local musicians, and giving them a platform to showcase their talent. Singapore’s leading performance art centre is also home to Mosaic Music Series, a live music event featuring a diverse array of artists from various genres. In 2007, Nathan held one of his first concerts at this event, when it was known as Mosaic Music Festival. “Attending a local concert is a must-try experience,” Nathan shares. “We have so many great acts, all with rapidly growing fan bases. I always have a great time at them.”

8. Marina Bay Sands®

From the Esplanade, take a walk along the Helix Bridge, and top off your night by drinking in the sight of Singapore’s skyline at Marina Bay Sands®. If you’d like to have a drink and dance to accompany your view of the skyline, we recommend that you visit CÉ LA VILocated at the top of Marina Bay Sands, this iconic rooftop nightclub is a watering hole for night owls, and the SkyBar in its alfresco area offers a 360-degree view of the city.

To Nathan, Singapore’s skyline symbolises the Lion City’s vast potential for growth, and inspiration for him: “It’s crazy to see, because it’s such a young country, and we have one of the [world’s] most advanced cityscapes. When I stand here, look around and see the lights, I see the city breathing, almost. I don’t just see lights and buildings, I see a hundred different stories. I find myself very deep in thought when I see this nice view.”


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