A night out in Singapore is an evening spent exploring one of the most unique cities in the world, a place where nature and technology collide and where quaint shophouses neighbour towering skyscrapers. Bars here can be anything from laidback rooftop spots to a gilded Art Deco lobby. Here’s our guide to spending a night out in Singapore.
Sundowners at Potato Head Singapore
When sunset looms, head for rooftop drinks at Potato Head Singapore. This David Bromley-designed venue occupies a multi-level 1939-built shophouse in Chinatown. There’s plenty to eat and drink throughout the lower floors but keep climbing to the rooftop for killer sunset views across the surrounding shophouse roofs as they glow orange at dusk. The drinks menu has a tight wine list with some cracking small-producer drops, but perhaps opt for something from the rum-driven cocktail menu – a Coconut Negroni (Sailor Jerry spiced rum, coconut liqueur, Cucielo Rosso red vermouth, Campari) or a Smash the Monkey (Monkey Shoulder whisky, passionfruit, lime juice and mint) – to loosen up your tastebuds, pre-dinner.
Dinner at Burnt Ends
Dave Pynt’s barbeque restaurant doesn’t need much of an introduction. Opening in 2013, Burnt Ends has a Michelin star and is currently listed at number 34 on the influential San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Thanks to a relocation to a bigger dining room at Dempsey Hill, nabbing a booking here is a little easier than it used to be. Occupying one of the old barracks at the back of the precinct, it’s a moody spot with plenty of timber and copper features. What to eat? The menu changes every day, but cross your fingers for dishes such as a pork shoulder brioche sanga with coleslaw and chipotle aioli, or king crab legs served in herbs and garlic brown butter. It’s all cooked over fire or on coals in a custom four-tonne dual-cavity oven, or on an elevation grill. If you can’t make dinner, pay a day visit to sister business Burnt Ends Bakery.
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Sip cocktails at Native and explore Ann Siang Road, and Club and Amoy Streets
After dinner, grab a ride back into the city for cocktails at Native. Ranked among the world’s 50 best bars, this spot is all about Asian-produced spirits shaken and stirred with local and foraged ingredients. On the backbar you’ll find Amrut peated whisky from India, Chalong Bay rum from Phuket, and locally made Compendium Chendol gin. The spirits power some fabulous signature cocktails such as the Sop Mojito, which mixes white rum with soursop and mint, the Forager’s Garden, with gin stirred with butterfly pea, calamansi and lemongrass, and the Jasmine, where a rojak-flavoured gin is combined with jasmine jun (a probiotic drink similar to kombucha), makrut lime and sour plum. Have a drink or two here, and then head into the wider area of Amoy and Club Streets and Ann Siang Road – the former is lined with classy cocktail joints, while Club Street and Ann Siang Road are closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights and become a favourite spot for late-night partying.
Head for a nightcap at the breathtaking Art Deco-inspired Atlas
Occupying a ground-floor lobby in Parkview Square – perhaps the most expensive office building in town – Atlas is one of the most impressive bars in Singapore. Boasting a striking Art Deco fit-out inspired by 1920s New York, with high ceilings and a towering, multi-levelled backbar, the setting features comfy leather and velvet club chairs on the ground and mezzanine floors. Settle in for something from the drinks list, themed around the US and European Art Deco landmarks that inspired the bar, which includes 250 champagnes and a whopping 1300 gins. You can also graze late on steak frites, prawn spaghetti and mini croque monsieur toasties if you’re keen to stay on into the night.
Dance the night away at Zouk, Singapore’s most iconic nightclub
There are nightclubs and then there’s Zouk. Opening in 1991, it was an early pioneer of the Singapore club scene, helping to popularise house music in a city that, at the time, leaned towards Top 40s and retro playlists. Since its inception it’s hosted the likes of DJs and artists such as Carl Cox, John Digweed, the Chemical Brothers and Primal Scream, and opened sister clubs in Las Vegas, Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian resort town of Genting. In 2016, Zouk Singapore moved to its current Clarke Quay digs, which feature different rooms, including a main space with a capacity of 3500 and a multi-level dance floor. Zouk has a bunch of outlets to check out, from Phuture, a smaller rap and R&B-oriented club, to Capital, a more laidback dual lounge-club space, and Here Kitty Kitty Vice Den, a 1950s Shinjuku-inspired cocktail bar. Wherever you choose, Zouk stays open until 3am so you can end your night in style.
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