Chinese New Year is pretty much the only time Singapore comes to a total standstill – stores shuttered, malls deserted, and everywhere from hawker centres to restaurants closed.
It’s a bit of a pain if you aren’t planning on festive feasting – one can only have fast food so many times, after all. To keep you well-fed over the CNY long weekend, here’s our shortlist of Singapore restaurants and bars staying open this year.
Restaurants open during CNY
1. Fat Prince
We can’t travel over the long weekend this year, so our tastebuds will just have to do it for us. Middle Eastern cafe-bar Fat Prince is staying open throughout Chinese New Year, with a sizzling range of mezze and kebabs perfect for sharing.
Tuck into traditional fare like spice-rich Lamb Kofta ($19) or switch things up with Spring Pea Falafel Kebabs ($10) laced with truffle. You’ll find an intriguing range of cocktails (or as they like to call it, ‘koktails’) as well, including Silk Rogue ($24) – a gin-based number with milk plum vermouth.
Fat Prince is located at 48 Peck Seah St, #01-01, Singapore 079317, p. +65 6221 7794. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am–3pm and 5pm–10.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am–3pm and 5pm–10.30pm.
2. 15 Stamford by Alvin Leung
In the mood for avant-garde this new year? Over at 15 Stamford, the Demon Chef – aka chef Alvin – is dishing up a six-course Lunar New Year Set Dinner ($168 per pax) like nothing you’ve ever seen.
There’s guinea fowl crowned with foie gras foam, wagyu beef cheeks in pink peppercorn jus, and to finish, fried nian gao alongside longan red date ice-cream.
If you’d prefer a meal without the festive frills, the restaurant will be serving their regular set menus for lunchtime, involving kooky creations like foie gras kaya toast.
15 Stamford by Alvin Leung is located at The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, 15 Stamford Rd, Singapore 178906, p. +65 6715 6871. Open daily 12pm–3pm and 6pm–10.30pm.
Take refuge from the CNY madness in the hotpot haven that is Haidilao. Only their [email protected] branch will stay open through the eve and first day of Chinese New Year, where you can get your fill of piping-hot soups, noodle dances, sliced meats, and free screen protectors as usual.
Even better, all other outlets will open from the second day onwards.
4. Rumours Beach Club
If you’re missing your usual CNY getaway for sand and sea, Rumours Beach Club is the next best thing.
This Sentosa bar and grill will be serving up its usual range of booze, bites, and vitamin sea throughout CNY. With three swimming pools to pick from and the golden sprawl of Siloso Beach at your disposal, it’s a ready-made escape from reality.
Rumours Beach Club is located at 40 Siloso Beach Walk, Singapore 098996, p. +65 6970 0625. Open daily 10am–10pm.
5. Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine is doing abundance in Thai style with an à la carte buffet of spicy classics ($68.80++ for lunch, $88.80++ for dinner).
Get your free-flow feasting on with staples such as green curry chicken, red curry beef, and vegetable spring rolls, then cool off with sweet treats like mango sticky rice or Mao Shan Wang durian pengat. And if you’d like a nod to the CNY spirit, there’s yusheng tossed with Thai green mango and papaya too.
Blue Jasmine is located at Park Hotel Farrer Park, Level 5, 10 Farrer Park Station Road, Singapore 217564, p. +65 6824 8851. The à la carte buffet is available on 11 February 12pm–2.30pm and 5pm–10.30pm, and from 12 to 13 February 12pm–2.30pm and 6pm–10pm.
6. Deanna’s Kitchen
Hankering for prawn mee? Halal hawker chain Deanna’s Kitchen is keeping their Jurong East and Chai Chee outlets open throughout Chinese New Year, so you can get your fix of Prawn Mee ($4++) starring a slurpworthy prawn and anchovy broth. To double your laughter for the new year, chow down on the seriously umami Big Prawns & Clam Mee ($9).
Deanna’s Kitchen has branches in Jurong East, Toa Payoh, and Chai Chee. The Jurong East and Chai Chee outlets will be open throughout Chinese New Year from 10am–9pm, while the Toa Payoh outlet will be closed from 11 to 14 February 2021.
Tablescape has crafted a set menu of East-West creations for the Lunar New Year, but their usual à la carte offerings will be available throughout as well.
This elegant restaurant-bar does fusion right, with indulgences like Coq au Vin ($26) on egg noodles and Pan Roasted Foie Gras ($24) paired with lotus root chips and brandied cherries.
Their weekday Business Set Lunch ($29++) will be available on the first day of CNY as well, featuring three courses of classics.
Tablescape is located at Grand Park City Hall, 10 Coleman Street, Singapore 179809, p. +65 6432 5566. Open 12pm–2.30pm (lunch), 2pm–5pm (afternoon tea), 6pm–10pm (dinner).
Bars open during CNY
1. Junior The Pocket Bar
If you need a dose of booze to get you through the whole of CNY, Junior has your back.
Everyone’s favourite pocket-sized bar has whipped up a festive cocktail menu in collaboration with Rémy Martin, featuring serves like Rolling for Prosperity ($25++) – think a pineapple tart in liquid form – and the lychee- and rose-infused Ang Bao Na Lai ($25++).
To pair, they’ve got traditional bites with a twist – Abacus Seeds ($18) with a perfectly runny 63-degree egg, and Egg Tarts ($6) fragrant with mandarin orange curd.
Junior The Pocket Bar is located at 6 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069787, p. +65 8121 1462. Open Mon-Sat 5.30pm–10.30pm.
Ring in another new year the earth-friendly way at Amoy Street watering hole Native . This sustainability trailblazer is known for working with foraged and waste produce, spinning them into tasty cocktail gold.
Japanese Grasshopper ($25++), for instance, breathes new life into sake lees alongside yuzu kombucha and matcha ice-cream; Tree of Life ($23++) makes creative use of all parts of a coconut, including its husk, flower sap, and water.
Native is located at 52A Amoy St, Singapore 069878, p. +65 8869 6520. Open Mon-Fri 5pm–10.30pm, Sat-Sun 4pm–10.30pm.
3. Mikkeller Singapore
If you haven’t already heard, Copenhagen-based gypsy brewer Mikkeller has hopped back into Singapore with its wildly experimental brews.
Operating as a hawker pop-up in Chinatown Complex Food Centre , this craft beer spot has ten taps pouring a rotating mix of Mikkeller creations and brews from other labels – and Chinese New Year will be no exception.
Brews to catch include the Mikkeller Japanese Rice Lager ($13/16), a clean, floral number brewed with Japanese rice and the full flavoured Bean Geek Session Porter ($15/$18) made with dark chocolate.
Mikkeller Singapore is located at #02-058 (Green Zone), Chinatown Complex, 335 Smith Street, Singapore 050335, p. +65 8143 6901. Open Tues-Fri 5.30pm–10pm, Sat 2.30pm–10pm.
4. Smoke & Mirrors
Shake up your humdrum new year with artful tipples and rooftop views. High atop National Gallery Singapore, Smoke & Mirrors will be whipping up its snazzy program of conscious cocktails and locally inspired libations all through Chinese New Year.
Sip on By The Padang ($25) – an intense concoction of aged rum, apple brandy, and spices – while gazing out across the historic Padang itself. Or toast to the earth with sustainable cocktails like Got Milk? ($24), where leftover strained curds are transformed into a silky pumpkin pudding.
Smoke & Mirrors is located at 1 St. Andrew’s Road, #06-01 National Gallery Singapore, Singapore 178957, p. +65 9380 6313. Open daily 3pm–11pm.
5. Employees Only
Our outpost of the famed New York City speakeasy, Employees Only is keeping its art-deco-glam doors open over CNY. NYC classics like the Manhattan ($25) and smoky mezcal cocktail Ready, Fire, Aim ($25) are sure bets here, but you’ll also want to check out Singapore signatures like Pina Rojo ($26), a fiery number topped with a laksa leaf.
These folks will be handing out red packets filled with surprises from complimentary food to masterclass tickets till 15 February, so where better to drink to good fortune?
Employees Only is located at 112 Amoy St, Singapore 069932, p. +65 6221 7357. Open daily 4pm–10pm.
This article was first published in City Nomads.