Not visiting this Chinese New Year? These restaurants and bars are staying open throughout

PHOTO: Facebook/smokeandmirrorsbarsg

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 break in 2022, here’s our shortlist of Singapore restaurants and bars staying open throughout.

Restaurants open during CNY

1. Tipo Pasta Bar

Whenever the carb cravings hit, Tipo has you covered throughout Chinese New Year. This Halal pasta spot is beloved for its handcrafted, quirky-flavored dough – you’ll find funky options like chili and lime fusilli and black pepper campanelle fresh-made daily.

If you’re feeling creative, build your own winning combination of pastas, sauces, and toppings; otherwise, skip the mental work and tuck into house signatures like Crazy Carbonara ($16.90) with smoked duck.

Tipo Pasta Bar is located at 785 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 198753, p. +65 8768 0785. Open Sun-Thurs 11am–10pm, Fri-Sat 11am–11pm. 

2. Fat Prince

The Chinese like to say that fat is fortune, so what better place to be this Chinese New Year than Fat Prince? This Middle Eastern cafe-bar is staying open throughout the festive period with a sizzling range of mezze and kebabs perfect for sharing.

Tuck into inventive fare like Cannellini Bean Hummus ($14) or Adana Kebab Tartare 2.0 ($19) topped with a cured yolk. You’ll find a range of downright daring cocktails (or as they like to call it, ‘koktails’) as well. Spice Is A Verb ($24), for one, marries wolfberry syrup with whiskey fat-washed in date butter.

Fat Prince is located at 48 Peck Seah St, #01-01, Singapore 079317, p. +65 6221 7794. Open 11.30am–2.30pm and 5pm till closing.

3. Papi’s Tacos

Is there ever a wrong time for tacos? Papi’s Tacos will be dishing up their usual array of hearty Mexican grub, from well-stuffed burritos to tacos on housemade corn tortillas. But our must-eat here has to be their juicy, oozy Mushroom Quesadillas ($14), served with housemade salsa. You can’t go wrong with their frozen margaritas either, featuring sassy flavours like Spicy Mango ($17/glass).

Papi’s Tacos is located at 39 Seah St, #01-01, Singapore 188395, p. +65 6258 0701. Open daily 11.30am–2.30pm & 5pm–9.30pm. 

4. Haidilao

Take refuge from the CNY madness in the hotpot haven that is Haidilao. This year, their VivoCity, Wisma Atria, and Marina Bay Sands branches will stay open through the eve and first day of Chinese New Year.

That means we can get our fill of piping-hot broths, sliced meats, and free screen protectors well into the wee hours as usual. Even better, all other outlets will open from the second day onwards.

Haidilao has multiple outlets across Singapore. The Vivocity and Wisma Atria outlets will open 10.30am–2am, while the Marina Bay Sands outlet will open from 10.30am–6am.

5. LeVeL33

Stunning skyline views with a fresh pint in hand? Sounds like our idea of the perfect CNY. Dubbed the world’s highest urban microbrewery, LeVeL33 brews up a perfect storm of craft beers, cuisine incorporating hops and spent grains, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Marina Bay.

For the festive period, they’ll be serving up their Weekend Roast menu for lunch, and their usual array of mod-European plates for dinner. Wash it down with their selection of unfiltered house brews, from easy-drinking lagers to heady porters.

LeVeL33 is located at 8 Marina Boulevard #33-01, Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1, Singapore 018981, p. +65 6834 3133. Open daily 11.30am–10.30pm. 

6. IPPUDO

A reliable go-to for a fuss-free ramen fix, IPPUDO will be staying open at selected branches including Marina Bay Sands, Raffles City, and i12 Katong.

In a nod to the CNY spirit, they’ve put together an IPPUDO Prosperity Set Meal (from $19.80) – essentially a set of their signature ramen and choice of sides. Opt for either the classic tonkotsu Shiromaru Tamago or the miso-forward Akamaru Tamago ramen, paired with the likes of chicken karaage.

IPPUDO has multiple outlets across Singapore. Open daily 11am–10pm. 

7. Neon Pigeon

Need a nesting place away from the CNY bustle? Find your flock at modern izakaya Neon Pigeon, with their playful array of Japanese plates to peck at.

The addictively smoky Tokyo Hummus ($10++) is what keeps regulars coming back, but you’ll also want to check out newer creations like Pork & Langoustine Dumplings ($18++) and the very indulgent Foie Gras & Unagi ($24++). Their lineup of cocktails with a Japanese twist is just as fun.

Neon Pigeon is located at 36 Carpenter St, #01-01, Singapore 059915, p. +65 6222 3623. Open daily 5.30pm–10.30pm. 

8. The Marmalade Pantry

Whether you’re hankering for brunch, bistro indulgence, or lattes in fun flavours, The Marmalade Pantry has a fix for you. Only three branches of this chic bistro will be staying open throughout the Lunar New Year – its ION Orchard flagship, as well as the Oasia Hotel Downtown and Oasia Hotel Novena branches.

If you haven’t had a taste of their glorious The Marmalade Mac & Cheese ($24) with truffle butter and blue cheese, there’s no better time to feast your way to food coma.

The Marmalade Pantry has multiple outlets across Singapore. The ION Orchard branch will be open from 11am–5pm on Jan 31 and 11am–10pm from Feb 1, 2022 onwards; the Downtown branch will be open from 11.30am–10pm, while the Novena branch will be open from 12pm–10pm. 

9. Opus Bar & Grill

Newly relaunched in the rebranded voco Orchard Singapore, Opus Bar & Grill is sizzling up a range of familiar and fresh favourites. Sustainable touches shine through in new dishes like Saffron Seafood Risotto ($32), which features local prawns and microherbs from the restaurant’s own vertical garden.

Carnivores will be happy to see the show-stopping 1.2kg Whiskey-Aged Wagyu Tomahawk ($168) back on the menu – salt-aged for seven days and flambéed to whiskey-kissed perfection at your table.

Opus Bar & Grill is located at 581 Orchard Road, voco Orchard Singapore, Lobby Level, 238883, p. +65 6730 3390. Open Mon-Fri 12pm–10.30pm, Sat-Sun 12pm–2.30pm & 6pm–10.30pm. 

10. Khansama Tandoori Restaurant

Over at Little India haunt Khansama, you’ll find a wide array of North Indian favourites done right. Regulars rave about their naan pulled fresh and fluffy from the tandoor, along with their flavour-packed chicken tikka masala.

For creamy indulgence, the butter chicken and palak paneer are bound to hit the spot, washed down with their mango lassi made with homemade yoghurt.

Khansama Tandoori Restaurant is located at 166 Serangoon Road, Norris Rd, Singapore 218050, p. +65 6299 0300. Open 10am–12am. 

11. L’Espresso, Goodwood Park Hotel

Fancy a spot of high tea? L’Espresso’s CNY English Afternoon Tea Buffet ($72.80++ per adult) takes abundance to new heights with a jaw-dropping spread of English nibbles and festive bites. Start off festive with Crispy Yam Cake and Red Bean Spring Roll, then work your way through an astounding range of sandwiches – from smoked salmon toast with caviar to salami-and-brie croissants.

There’re still meaty delights like Shepherd’s Pie and Beef Wellington with Foie Gras to come… and if you have space, a dizzying array of tarts and cakes.

L’Espresso is located at Goodwood Park Hotel, 22 Scotts Rd, Singapore 228221, p. +65 6730 1743. Open daily 11am–7pm. 

Bars open during CNY

1. Junior The Pocket Bar

Need a dose of festive booze to get you through the whole of CNY? Junior has your back. For the third year running, everyone’s favourite pocket-sized bar has whipped up a festive cocktail menu in collaboration with Rémy Martin.

Toast with serves like Rolling for Prosperity ($25++) – think a pineapple tart in liquid form – and the prune-infused The Troublemaker ($25++). To pair, they’ve got traditional bites with a twist – Abacus Seeds (S$18) with a 63-degree egg, and Tiger Doughnuts ($8++) oozing mezcal and mandarin orange custard

Junior The Pocket Bar is located at 6 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069787, p. +65 8121 1462. Open Mon-Sat 5.30pm–10.30pm. 

2. Kinki Restaurant + Bar

While Kinki’s kitchen will be closed for the first two days of CNY, the rooftop bar will still be shaking up their regular lineup of colourful creations.

Snag a scenic seat overlooking Collyer Quay and raise a toast to the new year with geisha-themed serves like Tears of the Geisha ($22) – a fresh, floral number of Roku gin and yuzu umeshu. For a perk-me-up, there’s Naughty Kopi ($22) – think an espresso martini given a chocolatey boost with Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Kinki is located at 70 Collyer Quay, #02-02 Customs House, Singapore 049323, p. +65 8363 6697. The rooftop bar will be open from 5pm–10.30pm on Feb 1-2, 2022, while the restaurant will be open from 12pm–3pm on Jan 31, 2022. 

3. Barbary Coast

We might not be able to travel for the CNY break, but we can take a little getaway to the bawdy, buzzy San Francisco of the mid-1800s.

Inspired by the Californian Gold Rush, dual-concept bar Barbary Coast is posh parlour on top, rough-and-tumble on the bottom. Toss back a Fuschia blend of tequila and mezcal at Deadfall downstairs, then head above to the ballroom above for elegant sips and plush sofas.

Barbary Coast is located at 16 North Canal Rd, Singapore 048828. Open Tues-Sat 4.30pm–10.30pm. 

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 art-inspired libations all through Chinese New Year. Sip on Serenity ($26) – a smooth concoction of gin and housemade kaya – while soaking up tranquil views over the Padang.

Or start off the new year with a bang with Smoke On The Water ($28), a potent cognac concoction smoked with citrus peels and jasmine tea.

5. Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse

Raise a glass in festive style over at Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse. Launched by Lion Brewery Co, the gastrobar offers over 20 beers on tap, spanning core and seasonal brews from the homegrown brewery alongside pours from international names like SweetWater and North Coast Brewing Company.

This festive season, they’ve brewed up a liquid riff on pineapple tart in the form of Ocker Ong Lai ($15/pint), a fruited Berliner Weisse loaded with tangy pineapple. The grub is just as solid, with flame-grilled meats and housemade pizzas baked in their stone oven.

Thirty Six Brewlab and Smokehouse is located at 36 Club St, Singapore 069469, p. +65 6239 0350. Open daily 11.30am–10.30pm.

6. Native

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 ($25++) 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. 

This article was first published in City Nomads.