First published on 9 Jun 2011. Updated on 31 Aug 2012.
‘I want to see you exclusively.’
Translation: ‘Will you be my boyfriend/ girlfriend?’
The place: The unpretentious Indian restaurant-cum-bar, The Mango Tree, is perfect for that casual discussion of taking things to the next stage. The Indian link also hints at a Bollywood romance waiting to happen, and the seaside location means you can both go for a moonlit stroll on the boardwalk afterward.
How it could all go: Those with delicate stomachs may not do so well with the curry-and-beer combo. You might not get to accomplish your goal if your precious suddenly has to rush home to do an emergency number two. Oh, and there’s also that tricky issue of flatulence.
‘You’re very special to me.’
Translation: ‘I’m sorry I forgot our anniversary.’
The place: Il Lido Lounge Bar is privy to a panoramic view of the South China Sea. Combine a stunning sunset with 1-for-1 bubbly deals, and you’ve got poetry in motion.
How it could all go: Beautiful surroundings are also ideal places for epiphanies. You have to be certain that your partner is on the same page as you, or the ultra-romantic setting may induce a panic attack, and find you shipwrecked.
‘Shall we meet for drinks after work?’
Translation: ‘I want to date you, but I’m too shy!’
The place: Tucked away in a row of conservation shophouses on Blair Road, Speakeasy can cram in as many as 35 people, but the space feels very intimate. It also stays open till late (translation: as long as there are guests inside). It is the perfect setting for the all-important (and always awkward) first not-a-date date. There’s also a menu of light nibbles to go along with the booze, so you don’t accidentally get sloshed and make an arse of yourself.
How it could all go: If there is chemistry between the two of you, a first date-date is almost assured. If there isn’t a spark, you’re likely to go from cosy-to-claustrophobic in less time than you can say, ‘Cheque, please!’
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An earlier version of this article recommended Hyacinth bar which is now closed. We have replaced it with Speakeasy. This first appeared as 'Honey, we need to talk' (Oct 2007).