While local F1 fans were sated in April this year with the Australian Grand Prix thundering through Melbourne, it’s a long wait until it transforms Albert Park again. And with the Formula One World Championship currently zooming through the uppermost northern hemisphere, the Singapore Grand Prix (September 15-17) is the race that’s closest to home if you’ve a need for speed.
As with Melbourne, the Singapore Grand Prix makes for an excellent reason to go beyond the Marina Bay Street Circuit to visit the myriad experiences surrounding the main event. From hawker food to fine dining, local wildlife to nature treks, Singapore is a scenic city that balances modern living with old-world charm and tradition. All worthy of investigating up close.
Here’s our guide to taking the scenic route through Singapore.
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See local wildlife and more at the Mandai Wildlife Reserve
Located in the lush forests of Mandai Wildlife Reserve, 30 minutes’ drive north of Marina Bay, the newly opened Bird Paradise is a home and sanctuary to an incredible assortment of feathered wonders from skies both local and global. Visitors can immerse themselves in the netted aviaries designed to replicate the natural habitats of the birds within, with a series of zones representing birds from the Amazon, New Guinea, Southeast Asia and even the Australian outback. Here you can see a gentoo penguin, tip your beak to the Caribbean flamingo, or catch a rare glimpse of the critically endangered Bali myna. The park is open daily, from 9am to 6pm. In the same vicinity is the Singapore Zoo, Night Safari and River Wonders so opt for the ParkHopper ticket to maximise your experience.
Dine at Synthesis
This restaurant and bar housed in Suntec City, in Singapore’s downtown precinct, gives a nod to traditional Chinese medicine, which is designed to remedy and nourish. Enter the bar – concealed behind a faux Chinese apothecary, and enjoy its swanky chic interiors. This bridge between old and new is reflected in the restaurant's menu: think Cantonese chicken rolls, salmon pani puri and smoked seaweed fries, with mains of pan-seared barramundi, Iberico pork with broccolini and mash, and – for a taste of home – Australian Wagyu beef. There’s also a selection of pastas and desserts. And be sure not to miss the chrysanthemum mousse with lime jelly and dark chocolate.
Watch Post Malone at Singapore F1
It’s hard to pigeonhole Austin Post, otherwise known as the genre-defying North American artist Post Malone. Fresh off his Australian tour with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Malone will headline the Zone 4 Padang Stage at the Singapore Grand Prix with a set on Saturday September 16, which will round out the evening following the qualifying races. The show will also mark the acclaimed singer’s Singapore debut. Malone is appearing in a line-up across the weekend that includes Robbie Williams and Hong Kong rapper Jackson Wang.
Gorge on seafood at Keng Eng Kee
Carrying on a 50-year legacy of authentic, hearty seafood-led cuisine is no small feat. For the third-generation owners of Keng Eng Kee Seafood, a ‘zi char’ (meaning cook and fry in Chinese dialect) spot in Bukit Merah that touts a “here, family comes first” mentality, it’s literally a way of life. And the world has noticed, with Massimo Bottura, Eric Ripert and the late Anthony Bourdain being some of the culinary titans who have given Keng Eng Kee their seal of approval. Here it goes without saying: pull on a bib and get to work on the chilli crab. Other must try dishes include the coffee pork ribs and marmite chicken. Now also open in Singapore’s east at Tampines.
Rise above the city at Sky Helix
The fun filled island getaway of Sentosa, just southwest of Marina Bay, promises some of the best views of the twinkling Singapore skyline. Come see for yourself onboard SkyHelix, an open-air gondola which offers guests an ascent that’s 79 metres above sea level. Rising gently in a spiral pattern to provide riders with a panoramic view of the Keppel Bay area and the Southern Islands, go at the golden hour of between 6pm – 7pm for a magnificent sunset. A balance of chill and thrill, SkyHelix travels both day and night – complimentary drink included.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Singapore Tourism.