Have dinner in someone else’s home
Singapore is home to a host of supperclubs, where you can eat in someone’s home or eat out with a group of strangers. Ping’s Illegal Diners’ Club (www.pingskitchen.com; $70 per person) is hosted at the Monk’s Hill home of organic food coach Ping Lim, who serves up wholesome, healthy food such as baked organic potatoes with avocado, rosemary and yoghurt. For an Indian option, Khana Commune’s (www.khanacommune.com; $55 per person) is held on the porch at the Pasir Panjang home of Zina Alam. Alam serves up five to seven courses of Bengali food for parties of up to 16, sometimes with the help of her mother. If you want to see who your fellow diners will be beforehand, the Singapore Secret Supper Society (www.meetup.com/Secret-Suppers) is a 300-strong group of foodies who meet up regularly in various locations selected by founder Jeremy Cheok, who cooks market-fresh, seasonal dishes and suggests a $55 contribution. Alternatively, do it yourself or with a friend, and raise some money for charity: A Little Something (on.fb.me/yzsi9f) involves organising a dinner party, collecting a donation fee and donating the proceeds to charity.
Try popiah in Joo Chiat
The best place to try the Fujian Province speciality, popiah – a kind of giant fresh spring roll meets a wrap – is surely Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie in Joo Chiat, which has been making popiah skins by hand since 1938. Watch the chefs twirl the dough to create these delicate but resilient layers (they do demonstrations every morning from 8.30- 11am) – the result is a warm, chewy bite with ingredients such as egg and prawn, and sweet and savoury sauces. It’s about as tasty a bite as you can get in town for $2. 95 Joo Chiat Rd (6344 2875, www.joochiatpopiah.com; Tue-Sun 10am-8pm). Bus: 16.
Eat in an artists’ studio (or somewhere even better)
The five local foodies who run Lolla’s Secret Supper organise these private suppers in off-limits places. Previous dinners have been held at The Pyramid Club, a plush black-and-white villa in Newton, and the Mount Emily studio of local sculptor Chong Fah Cheong. Dinners often involve up to 12 courses, cooked by a who’s who of local chefs. Details are made known on the group’s Facebook page, and the guestlist fills up in a fl ash – but get in there early and you might nab a seat at one of the hottest dining tickets in town. Search for ‘Lolla’s Secret Supper’ on Facebook.
Eat among the greenery in a Singapore park
Hidden in the lush Botanic Gardens, Casa Verde (6467 7326) – run by the prolific fine-dining group Les Amis – is an all-day Italian known for its thin-crusted 11-inch pizzas ($21-$25), which you can eat on the terrace to the sound of mini-waterfalls. For something even more secluded, Middle Rock (6556 1533) is a quaint hideout in the foliage of Bishan Park – owned by boutique spa group Asmara Lifestyle, the evening-only joint serves more than 50 cocktails, including 15 martinis, and can rustle up signature tapas or get you something to eat from the neighbouring vegetarian restaurant or Australian café. Punggol Park is worth a trip for lake-front dinner joint Wild Oats (6858 2087), a follow-up to the Mount Emily namesake. The restaurant draws a hip crowd for its local-infused Western food, from chendol to giant sausages, with prices from $8-20.
Stumble across craft beer and cider
The Yard (294 River Valley Rd; 6235 6497) may look like a knocking shop from the outside, but inside is a classic British pub, with stained glass, London Pride and Magners pear cider. In River Valley’s Valley Point Shopping Centre, you may be surprised to find Old Empire Gastrobar (#01-16 Valley Point Shopping Centre, 491 River Valley Rd; 6735 7881), which serves 76 European craft beers and ciders, as well as local microbrewed Jungle Beer on tap, from $10-18. Or head up to the 33rd floor of Marina Bay’s Financial Tower 1 to find LeVel33 (8 Marina Blvd; 6834 3133) and what must be one of the world’s highest microbreweries, with four boutique house brews (from $9.33++) to go with the spectacular views. Out in Joo Chiat, you’ll find The Cider Pit (382 Joo Chiat Rd; 6440 0504), where the impressive range of beers and ciders includes a pint of Weston’s Organic Vintage Cider on tap for $10. Read about The Good Beer Company, a boutique beer stall in a Chinatown hawker centre, in our pick of best new hawkers feature.