Romance. Remember that? You know, before the kids stole your figure, your sleep and, half the time, your mind? Well, it’s time to take that ALL back and insist from here on in that at least once a month you’ll start drafting in a babysitter (or leaving the littles in the capable hands of your fabulous helper) to head out for date night. Yep, a whole meal where you don’t have to worry if there are chicken nuggets on the menu. You might even get to speak to your other half about something other than whose turn it is to attend to the wailing three-year-old who should be sleeping through the night by now. We give you our guide to the 12 wonderful, kid-free, grown-up date night restaurants in Singapore that serve up a side order of romance. You’re welcome.
Dinner under the stars in a dome? Yes please! The Summerhouse takes romance up a notch with its sweet garden domes thoughtfully situated amongst the wild strawberries and lemongrass. Each igloo has its own theme – Bohemian, Scandinavian and Lounge – and can sit up to eight guests (not that you’d want any around on date night!).
The Summerhouse, Level 2, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore 798387
If affordable fine dining floats your date night boat, then Flutes is THE place to have on your ‘dinner for two’ radar. The food, the staff, the ambience and the location all make for a top-notch treat that won’t bust a gaping hole in your wallet. In fact, it’s long been our go-to when it comes to the perfect meal sans kids. There’s also a huge wine menu to go along with the extensive and delicious cuisine – the Chermoula-scented lamb rack or roasted côte de boeuf washed down with a glass (or two) of Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2015 ($85++ per bottle) gets us every single time.
Flutes, 93 Stamford Road (National Museum of Singapore), Singapore 178897, tel: 6338 8770; www.flutes.com.sg
There’s a good reason why Candlenut is the world’s first Michelin-starred Peranakan restaurant – it’s absolutely delish! They’ve taken traditional Peranakan dishes and heightened them, adding new flavours and nuances that never cease to amaze. You’ll find classics like rendang and interesting dishes like durian soup (which you’ll probably want to skip during date night). We suggest talking a moonlit walk around Dempsey to burn off all the calories. And yes, it’s an easy-peasy way to get extra hand-holding action while the kiddos aren’t around.
Candlenut Kitchen, 17A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249676
If you’re looking for a date night that says class, look no further than opulent Art Deco stalwart Atlas. And let’s face it – date night isn’t date night unless there’s some kind of alcohol involved. At Atlas, you can get your craft cocktail on AND get a taste of Chef Lachlan ‘Loki’ Lynch’s hot new menu that’s oozing with flavour. If you’re celebrating an anniversary or birthday, we suggest checking out its shipwreck champagnes – they were recovered from a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean floor! Now that’s a toast you’ll never forget.
Atlas, 600 North Bridge Rd, Parkview Square, Singapore 188778
Slip on the strappy summer dresses and bermudas; Summer Hill is the secret date night spot you’ll want to keep to yourself. Located in a little neighbourhood in Clementi, chef Anthony Yeoh serves up French comfort food in a quaint outdoor bistro concept. We’re talking lanterns, rustic wooden tables and dinner by lamplight. And yes, the food is TDF.
Summer Hill; Block 106 Clementi Street 12, #01-62, Singapore 120106 (Sunset Way); p. 6251 5337
Handcrafted pizza (that you won’t have to share with the kids), pasta, cocktails and all other manner of Italian delights are what you’ll find on your plate at Publico. It’s one of our favourite picks for its chilled vibe, great music, friendly staff and lovely view of the river (for when we’re not busy gazing into each other’s eyes).
Publico, 1 Nanson Road, Singapore 238909, tel: 6826 5040; www.publico.sg/day
Tired of your usual restaurant haunts and looking for flavours that offer something a little bit different? How does Tribajam curry goat, jerk chicken and Caribbean nachos (using plantain chips) grab you? Head over to Lime House and chow down on seriously good Caribbean feasts aplenty (including vegan options) at this fun and vibrant date night spot. Make sure you leave some space for the spiced banana cake, but don’t let the evening end there: pop upstairs to the Bago Rum Bar to continue the party for two.
Lime House, 2 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089260, tel: 6222 3130; www.limehouse.asia
Small and intimate with a flavour-packed menu are what you can expect at Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Maggie Joans, with an extra bonus for its really lovely staff. The house-baked sourdough bread with beef-fat butter is a must, and menus change regularly, which makes it perfect for repeat visits. Heads up: to prevent ‘frayed tempers’ before you get to your table, do note that the entrance is on Gemmill Lane NOT Amoy Street.
Maggie Joan’s, 110 Amoy Street, 069930, tel: 62215564; www.maggiejoans.com
Oxwell & Co
Wear your stretchy pants and come hungry for a date at Oxwell & Co, a Brit-inspired restaurant in a lovely four-storey shophouse. Pitch up early for a pre-dinner drink at the bar on the first floor before heading up to a quaint dining room dishing up contemporary British classics on the second floor. End the evening with a cocktail at the rooftop bar for views of one another – and of twinkling Chinatown.
Oxwell & Co, 5 Ann Siang Road, 069688, tel: 6438 7036; www.oxwellandco.com
CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Celeb chef? Contemporary steakhouse menu? Michelin star? Check, check and check! For a steak that really is a cut above the rest, CUT is THE place to go. Offering the finest range of beef selections grilled over hard wood and charcoal, CUT caters to the true steak connoisseur, all while being surrounded by swish decor and a wonderful ‘grown-up’ ambience. Once you’re done with the delish food, prolong the date by heading up to the top of MBS to Spago by Wolfgang Puck for a post-dinner cocktail with stunning views over ‘that’ infinity pool and beyond.
CUT by Wolfgang Puck, 2 Bayfront Avenue, B1-71, Galleria Level The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 018972, tel: 6688 8517; www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants
Xiao Ya Tou
“Modern Asian flavours, served with a touch of naughtiness” is how Xiao Ya Tou (XYT) likes to be known, and we absolutely concur. Local dishes are reinvented with slick style and must-tries include drunken flower clams, Xianjiang-style lamb spare ribs, XYT hokkien mee and crispy otak otak rolls. One of our date night favourites.
XYT, 6 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089592, tel: 6226 1965; www.xyt.sg
Nox Dine in the Dark
You know the drill: you have a dinner date in half an hour and the kids have just flung spag bol at your one non-mumsy dress. You didn’t get near a hairbrush and your make-up seems to have been purloined by your five-year old for a ‘fashion show’ with her dolls. Time crunched mum, much? We hear you, and we think we have just the place… Nox Dine in the Dark. The menu is a closely guarded secret (the whole point is to taste your food with your senses, not your mind) and as far as date nights go, the mystery and intrigue of this one definitely makes for a dinner winner. Also, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or that you have no mascara on. Woohoo!
Nox Dine in the Dark, 269 Beach Road, Singapore 199546, tel: 6298 0708; www.noxdineinthedark.com/
Not only is the view over the coastline of Sentosa a romantic dinner factor at Panamericana, but the delicious cocktails and excellent menu really seal the deal for a fab date night at this relatively new restaurant kid on the block. Kickstart your evening with a Grown-Up Fanta (a Prosecco-based cocktail) and savour the smoky delights from the open oven including Colombian chicken, Spanish mackerel and ribeye steaks. South American food, how we love thee. Our advice? Ditch the kids for the night, and make a Sentosa staycation of it!
Panamericana, Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road, 099892, tel: 6253 8182; www.panamericana.sg
Fabulous rooftop views over Boat Quay give chicken curry a new romantic twist at Our Village. The outstanding North Indian cuisine and sparkling lights are a winner every time for a regular (and affordable) night out. Worried that the calorie content of your fave curry will seriously curtail your diet? Fear not: this place also offers HEALTHIER OPTIONS – you did indeed read that right: healthier curries! You need this place on speed dial…
Our Village, 46 Boat Quay, Singapore 049835, tel: 6538 3058 (no website: it’s too busy whipping up fab food to create one)
One for the herbivores, Original Sin serves some of the best Mediterranean veggie plates in the city — meat, what? Don’t leave without trying its cheesy baked portobello mushroom with pesto and tomato basil sauce (aka the Magic Mushroom), and the pomelo salad with romaine, lettuce, cucumber, capsicum and roasted cashew nuts in a sweet, tangy chilli lime dressing. Yes it’s a veggie restaurant, but even if you’re a prolific carnivore, this one will have you fooled. We *may* have tricked one of our own husbands with this pick and he was won over before he’d even finished the starter.
Original Sin, #01-62 Block 43 Jalan Merah Saga, Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village, Singapore 278115, tel: 6475 5605
Sabai Fine Thai Dining by the Bay
We don’t know about you, but despite our close proximity to Thailand, we struggle to find really authentic Thai food. Step forward, Sabai Fine Thai Dining by the Bay, which not only has scrumptious Peek Gai Sod Sai, Yam Sam Oo and Gang Daeng Neua (stuffed chicken wings, pomelo salad and beef Thai red curry if you prefer), but also has a fine-dining setting right across the bay from Marina Bay Sands.
Sabai Fine Thai Dining by the Bay, #01-02 Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, Singapore 049323, tel: 65353718; www.sabaifinethai.com.sg
For casual dining, excellent burgers and craft beers, there’s plenty of buzz around new burger joint on the block, Black Tap at the moment. We’ve been there with our own kids, but would definitely head there for an easy, breezy date night, if for no other reason than not having to share those CrazyShakes with the small humans. Sadly you can’t reserve, but queuing is a doddle without kids whinging in your ear about being bored. Check out our review before heading on over.
Black Tap, 10 Bayfront Ave, l1 80, Bay Level, Singapore 018956, tel: 66889957
Greenwood Fish Market at Quayside Isle
Seafood lovers, this one’s for you! Greenwood Fish Market’s newest addition is in lovely Quayside Isle. We’re fans of its freshly shucked oysters, New Zealand littleneck clams, Boston lobster tail et al and equally love the eating awesome sunset views. This is not a meal to rush (courses can take a little while to arrive) but it’s perfect for a whole evening of unhindered, leisurely dining sans kids.
Greenwood Fish Market Quayside Isle, 31 Ocean Way, #01-04, Singapore 098375
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