National Day sights and activities
Culture cravers can once again take advantage of a national holiday to descend on Singapore Art Museum’s customary open house, where all activities and exhibitions are free. Among the works from regional artists are paintings by Singaporeans Jeremy Sharma and Yeo Shih Yun.
The charming and creative folks at Lomography Gallery Store invite anyone missing their childhood to join them for tea, coffee, old-school sweets and playground games. A montage of works submitted online by local lomographers, centring on long-forgotten places and objects, will also be on display to help you jog down memory lane.
Utterly Art hosts local watercolour artist Kwee Hong’s nostalgic exhibition titled ‘A Nation Of Shopkeepers’, featuring watercoloured representations of old shopfronts, dying trades and shopping centres like People’s Park Complex.
Esplanade celebrates Singapore’s 47th with a series of performances rooted in our island’s stories, places and cultural bonds called ‘Making Memories Together’. Highlights include a dikir barat performance by Andika, soulful covers of National Day songs by five-man band The Suitcase and a progressive-rock ruckus launched by local band In Each Hand a Cutlass.
At Galerie Sogan & Art, local painter and history buff Guo Yixiu presents a series of photo-realistic paintings of anonymous people frozen in Singapore’s past, based on old, unwanted photographs that she found in a shop in Chinatown.
Soak in the view of the National Day fireworks bursting against our city’s luminous, constantly evolving skyline in the Singapore Flyer – a special four-course National Day menu will be available for fancier flights. Other on-the-ground activities include hip-hop performances and a tug-of-war.
National Day 2012 drinks
Lantern has two options for those wanting a prime view of Singapore’s thunderous Air Force jets: groups of six can reserve a table and a bottle of champagne at $650, or lone wolves can stroll in at $80 (includes two drinks).
Down District 10’s flashy red, specially concocted National Day cocktails – Sin City (frozen vodka, kirsch, grenadine and maraschino, $16), The Esplanade (gin, fraise, syrup, strawberry purée, sparkling wine and pineapple, $18), and EVOL (orchid-garnished frozen vodka, lychee liqueur and cranberry, $16).
From 9 to 12 August, Ink Bar will be helping patrons unwind with a bottle of house wine or six glasses of beer going for $47++.
Get sky-high on Singapore’s birthday – 71 floors up, to be exact – at New Asia Bar, where any four of their Grand Marnier-based cocktails are bundled at $47++. Choice tipples include the Grand Margarita and Grand Passion Mojito.
Over at the futuristic Salt grill & Sky bar, diners who spend at least $20 each will get to sweeten the night with one-for-one happy-hour privileges from 8.30-10pm.
National Day 2012 food deals
Restaurants with a view
At Zafferano, pick from 40 types of wine available by the glass, then linger outside to admire the picture-perfect view of MBS' boat-shaped rooftop SkyPark. A four-course Italian set menu (98++) by chef Roberto de Franco awaits inside: choose between pan-fried tenderloin, US beef topped with pan-fried goose liver and seared blue-fin tuna loin with caponata.
Jason Atherton's signature scallop carpaccio with grated horseradish snow is included in Pollen's six-course tasting menu ($150++). Great time to visit the newly opened Gardens by the Bay.
Chef Dean Dush at Ku De Ta has spent weeks perfecting a four-course modern Asian-themed dinner service ($228++ with a glass of champagne, minimum two people).
Jazz sensation Jeremy Monteiro performs at the outdoor terrace area of Sky on 57. Indoors, local celebrity chef Justin Quek serves dishes like Marine Parade, a slow-cooked Scottish salmon with laksa emulsion, and Singapore Pride, a dish of Hokkien noodles with Maine lobster ($188++ set menu).
National Day 2012 takeaway menus
At the always-jampacked Pizzeria Mozza, the takeaway menu ($80++ for two people) includes two antipasti, one insalata, a signature pizza and two desserts.
At db Bistro Moderne ($38++), the three-course picnic menu is ready for pick-up as early as noon on 9 August. Choose between lamb skewers, Norwegian salmon and the Yankee burger for your main course. Add $27 for a platter of cheese and cured meat. To pre-order, call 6688 8525.
National Day 2012 buffets
The National Day buffet at RISE (Marina Bay Sands hotel) is available for lunch ($68++) and dinner ($88++) and includes black-pepper and chilli crab, sambal stingray and ice kachang.
Head to the Asian Market Café (Fairmont Hotel) for local favourites and contemporary regional and pan-Asian cuisine cooked halal. $47++ adults; $25++ children.
Experience Singapore's vibrant food culture with a range of local and Swiss delights at Café Swiss (Swissôtel the Stamford): roti prata, popiah, nonya kueh face-off with warm raclette cheese and pickled vegetables, and sausages with rösti. $58++ adults; $29++ children.
National Day set menus
Try the barbecued puffer fish, inspired by the local dish bak kwa, in San-Sui Contemporary Japanese Dining & Bar’s set dinner menu ($47++).
Gather round the family for a mouthwatering spread of hearty Beijing delicacies at Prima Tower. You’ll be far from the madding crowd at Marina Bay but you’ll have a view of Sentosa’s glistening waters. The set menu ($470++ for ten people) includes chilli lobster and stewed pork ribs. Order the authentic barbecued Peking duck or the double-boiled supreme shark’s fin in Peking style at a promotional price of $47++.
Szechuan Court's chef Sebastian Goh outdoes himself with a six-course set lunch menu ($47++), featuring crowd pleasers such as deep-fried chicken thigh coated with seafood paste and served with spicy mango sauce, and pan-seared king prawn with ginger and onion egg sauce, served with crispy noodles.
Fat Cow’s three-course lunch set menu ($47++) features Japanese-inspired meat dishes Wagyu ox cheek curry donburi and Wagyu steak tartine sandwich. The five-course dinner ($147++) promises signatures such as the charcoal-grilled Snake River Farms Wagyu ribeye and crispy kurobuta pork belly. Top up $47++ for three glasses of wine to be paired with your dinner.
Not satisfied with just offering upfront views of The Float@Marina Bay, OverEasy will be packing their menu full of Singaporean-influenced treats like red-bean milkshakes from now till National Day. Their set menu on Parade Day includes salted egg calamari salad, chilli crab burger and peanut butter mousse.
Meanwhile, Lo & Behold’s gourmet pizzeria Extra Virgin Pizza will be serving The Chilli Crab, a pizza featuring the pride of Singaporean cuisine complete with roasted onions, mozzarella and scallions, throughout the month of August.
Chef Jean-Charles Dubois at French bistro Balzac Brasserie takes inspiration from the city's iconic chilli crab with his roasted scallops with chilli sauce dish ($28++).
TWG's Singapore Breakfast Tea – launched during National Day 2009 and comprising a natural mélange of green tea, black tea, rich vanilla and rare spices – is still around.
SweetSpot executive pastry chef Ryan Witcher's National Day Delight cake ($46) is a chocolate mousse trio with citrus-praline crunch and a white-chocolate Singapore flag. Pre-ordering starts on 3 August: call 6688 8588.
National Day Parade 2012 in numbers
Singapore celebrates its 47th year of independence on 9 August at The Float@Marina Bay, with a military parade, creative show and a host of sideline attractions. We crunch the numbers:
- Nine planes will make up the fly-by, including six F-16 Falcons
- Four navy boats will create a heart shape in Marina Bay's waves
- 200,000 Lego bricks make up a 12 x 9m scale model of the NDP celebrations
- 2,000 NDP participants
- 30,000 viewers from the stands
- 33m-wide LED screens shaped like Singapore
- Eight smaller screens that accompany the main one
- 5,573m² is the size of the stage
- 10.25m is the height the elevated stage will rise to
- 1,070 Tons of weight that can be handled by the steel Float@Marina Bay
- $1 million is the sum estimated to be spent on the fireworks display