Singapore for the Business Traveler – Top Restaurants and Bars to Visit
As part of my day job as an Event Manager for a global tech company, I get to travel quite a bit. Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily have time to take in all the sights and attractions of the places I visit – definitely not as much as I’d like to, anyway.
One of my favorite cities in the whole world is the Asian gem – Singapore. Where the number of skyscrapers matches the number of gardens, it is a hub for tech companies and financial establishments, in addition to being a military port.
If your meetings/conferences are held in the city center, then everything is just five mins away. And in general, you will find that in Singapore is a very easy city to get around via taxi or underground metro. If needed try some city guide apps for some extra help.
Let’s get real for a moment – Singapore can be harsh on the standard traveler’s budget /pocket. In contrast to its fellow Asian neighbors like Thailand, Myanmar, and India. But it holds some of the most amazing restaurants and bars in the world, which can also come in handy if you need to schmooze a client or two.
Here are my top picks for the best restaurants and bars in Singapore:
In Singapore, it’s all about the city views. If you are staying close to the Suntech conference center, a fantastic lunch and dinner place you should try out is the Swissotel’s top floor restaurant: The Equinox. With gorgeous city views, Equinox serves a decadent menu highlighting Modern European cuisine. If you are lucky enough to come on a Sunday, you can enjoy the choice of an excellent A-La-Carte menu or a Sunday brunch with options from fresh seafood, succulent roasts directly from the carving station, and an assortment of desserts.
Michelin star on a budget? No problem! Singapore has 3 branches of the Tim Ho Wan restaurant- a Hong Kong style dim sum chain serving the world-renowned baked BBQ pork buns, pork dumpling with shrimp, deep fried spring roll with egg white, and for dessert the pan-fried carrot cake and steamed egg cake and many other delicious treats. The secret for the consistent melt-in-your-mouth consistency is that the dim sum is cooked to order despite the fact that Tim Ho Wan is a type of fast food chain. That is also why there are no less than 25 dim sum specialist chefs in the kitchen.
Located in the historic Raffles hotel which was established in 1887 and named after Singapore’s founder Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, is the Michelin-starred Raffles Grill. First opened in 1923 to quick acclaim, the Raffles Grill offers diners an indulgent menu complemented by a lavish atmosphere. The light coming in through the tall French doors overlooking Palm Court hits the sparkling crystal chandeliers to create a strong feeling of nostalgia and times gone by and is reason enough to come for lunch or dinner. On the menu, you can find live carvings, fresh seafood, and modern French fine dining dishes. Make sure to order the magnificent Billecart Champagne to complete your experience.
If your meetings are mainly held in the Sentosa Island area, The Chinese Restaurant Forest, located in Resorts World hotel, should be your first choice. An open plan kitchen-dining room experience provides guests with a glimpse into Chinese culinary mastership at its best. Be sure to try the 8 or 10 dish discovery menu to get the full experience.
When 5 pm comes around, and you would like to unwind and take your clients to a more laid-back atmosphere for a beer or two, then Level33 is the place for you! Considered to be the world’s best urban craft brewery, the bar offers a variety of beers at 33% alcohol, from blonde lager to wheat beer. Your attention will be divided between the industrial, urban design including the copper brewhouse kettles, and the mesmerizing views of downtown Singapore from the deck. The food choices contain A-La-Carte, special Sunday lunch, and roast meals all down to beer dining, a new and fun approach to pairing beer with food – you’ll get light bites that are each accompanied with their signature brew.
You should stay a few days in Singapore
If you have a chance to extend your trip by a day or two and explore the city – you absolutely should! Singapore is a cosmopolitan city, and as such, it is sectioned into many districts like Little India, Arab Street, Chinatown and more. Situated in the heart of the financial district, the Lau Pa Sat food market is the place for you if you wish to try real Singaporean food. It may not be the place you would bring your high profile clients to, but it should surely be on your bucket list. Opened in the 19th century and operating the market offers Asian street food experience to the max. Have your choice of peanut sauce + prawn, chicken, and beef satay skewers and much, much more.
Singapore has a sweet spot in my heart thanks to its progressive way of thinking, stunning architecture that embraces its past but always has one eye gazing on to the future, and a local scene that melts cultures from all over the world. If you have a chance to come for a month, week, day or even a few hours layover, don’t hesitate, it’s a MUST!
In the featured image – the view of Marina Bay Sands from Level 33