Singapore is no stranger to innovation—The Lion City is home to a host of talented artisans, chefs and designers who’re putting new spins on the traditions of their craft.
From traditional garb that’s been stylishly reimagined for the modern day to tantalising dishes that put a new spin on classic Singaporean flavours, here’s a small sample of the Lion’s City’s many ingeniously crafted treasures.
An up-and-coming name in the world of Singaporean fashion, Adlina Anis is putting a new spin on traditional garb.
Formerly a fashion stylist and graduate from Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Design, the young trailblazer founded her eponymous brand to cater to the needs and sensibilities of the working Muslim women, with a range of stylish modest wear.
Her fashion savviness and keen eye for aesthetics has led to a thriving e-commerce business, which stocks a plethora of fashionable dresses, scarves and hijabs.
The brand’s Ninja scarves were designed with special flaps to allow the use of headphones without any hassle, while their Aqua Sol series has been designed with both watersports and beach activities in mind.
One of Singapore’s most celebrated chefs and culinary pioneers, Willin Low is widely regarded as the creator of Modern Singaporean (or Mod-Sin) cuisine—which reimagines classic local dishes in delightful and modern ways.
The chef’s culinary creativity is on full display at Relish. Located at Frasers Tower, this casual eatery specialises in a variety of hearty dishes, from burgers and brunch fare to pasta and rice bowls.
While some of the dishes here are classic brunch fare, you’ll also find a range of dishes that creatively fuse local and Western flavours, such as spaghettini with hae bee hiam (dried shrimp chilli) or fried chicken that evokes the flavours of nasi lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk, served with an array of side dishes).
Relish @ Cluny Court. 501 Bukit Timah Road #02-01, Singapore 259760. +65 6763 1547.
Mon-Fri 11am-9pm; Sat & Sun 8.30am-9pm.
Relish at Frasers Tower. 182 Cecil Street #02-12/13, Singapore 069547. +65 6904 5458.
Mon & Sat 6-10pm; Tue-Fri 11.30am-2.15pm, 6-10pm.
Legacy and love of family are the values at the heart of Roger&Sons. After losing their father Roger Yeo to cancer in 2014, Morgan, Lincoln and Ryan took over the family carpentry practice—then named JR&P Industries—and innovated it for the modern era.
Under the trio of brothers’ leadership, Roger&Sons pivoted their family business from office furniture to artisanal craftmanship.
The business—named in tribute to their father—now boasts an extensive portfolio of exquisite objects and furniture, made for a who’s who of beloved local brands, from Atlas Bar and PS Café to Bynd Artisan.
Besides perusing a range of beautifully wooden items like bookmarks, kalimbas and work desks, visitors to Roger&Sons can also opt to learn the fundamentals of woodworking at a workshop, or commission a custom-made piece of craftsmanship, from a levitating shaving brush to headphone cups carved from wood.
Roger&Sons. 115 King George’s Avenue #01-01, Singapore 208561. +65 6269 6269.
Ask any local about Tiger Balm, and they’re bound to wax nostalgic about this much-loved ointment, smeared on bumps and bruises since the days of their youth.
Almost a century old, this traditional remedy first set up its brand in Singapore in 1926, when brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par took the family business to Singapore. The brand has since expanded worldwide, and is now a cult favourite and mainstay on the shopping list of travellers visiting Singapore’s shores.
Besides remedies for muscle aches, the brand’s contemporary offerings also include ointments for headaches and salves for cold relief.
While workout enthusiasts can still purchase this traditional balm in its iconic, hexagonal bottle, the product can also be found in the form of patches, sprays and gels.
Available at pharmacies, convenience stores and supermarkets.
Tolido’s Espresso Nook
Nestled in a quiet corner along Crawford Lane, Tolido’s Espresso Nook has become a regular stomping ground for coffee connoisseurs all across the island. Helmed by co-founder and head barista Douglas Tan, this cafe specializes in aromatic coffee and a range of delicious brunch staples with a local twist.
The young barista first took over the family business at the tender age of twenty, transforming it from a humble stall in the canteen of Science Centre Singapore’s omni-theatre to one of the country’s most popular cafes, and updating its offerings for modern palates.
Besides a range of brews, the café also boasts a brunch-styled menu inspired by local flavours. From laksa (spicy coconut milk-based noodle soup)-inspired pasta to pandan (tropical plant with fragrant leaves commonly used in Southeast Asia) pancakes and Rösti, the dishes here are inspired by the fare that Douglas and his family would have for breakfast at home. Be sure to pair your meal with a steaming cup of joe—Douglas’s brews have been lauded by critics across the island.
Tolido’s Espresso Nook. 462 Crawford Lane #01-63, Singapore 190462.
Mon-Thu 8am-4pm; Fri & Sat 9am-9pm; 9am-6pm.