When you're pressed for time, you just gotta prioritize which spots to hit up. This means skipping the Crazy Rich Asians activities and heading straight into shopping and eating—and drinking! These Singapore hotspots are sure to deliver. Here, we list no-fail destinations that include a quaint book shop, a museum cafe and gift shop, a Michelin-awarded restaurant, and a bar, all selected for maximum impact... and least time out sweating in the sweltering sun (all aforementioned spots are air-conditioned).
Light shopping at BooksActually
Located in Tiong Bahru, a short walking distance away from P.S. CafePetit, BooksActually is not your ordinary bookstore. Aside from stocking magazines, zines, and local publications, it also carries a dizzying array of miscellanea—old-world bottles, glasses, toys. It even has a book vendo, book clutches, and some vintage reads. The only problem is picking which to buy first!
Address: 9 Yong Siak
Operating hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Nibbles at the Red Dot Museum
A stone's throw away from the ArtScience Museum, the Red Dot Museum is home to intelligently designed innovations. Though the exhibition space itself isn't that big, you best watch out for cute knick knacks, futuristic yet minimal jewelry, and artfully plated tapas—edible art, if you would. You'll end up spending just as much time at the gift shop and cafe as you will inside the museum itself.
Address: 11 Marina Blvd.
Operating hours: Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; weekends, 10 a.m. to 11p.m.
OOTD at ArtScience Museum
Don't let the name fool you. This museum has been the default OOTD spot of many a fashion editor visiting the island, including Preview alumna Daryl Chang-Lotho. Its Future World exhibit includes dangling lights that span the entire height of the exhibition hall and an interactive projection that is similarly all-engulfing. Better yet, the museum has added to the exhibit just this year, so there's more for you to discover.
Address: 6 Bayfront Ave
Operating hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Dinner at The Coconut Club
It's time you upped your chicken rice game! The Coconut Club exploded into the food scene when it earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand earlier this year. Nasi lemak ayam goreng berempah is herb-fried chicken with coconut rice, crispy sunny side up egg, crispy dilis (called ikanbilis), peanuts, Japanese cucumbers and spicy sambal sauce. The restaurant only uses hand-squeezed single-origin coconut milk sourced from Sabak Bernam, Malaysia for their rice and shaved-ice dessert cendol (pronoucned chen-dol). The kuih muih (pronounced ku-weh mu-weh) is reminiscent of our own starchy sweets, like biko and cassava cake. But just as awesome as this place's food is its service. It's fast, warm, unpretentious, and personable. Plus, you know there's something good waiting for you even if you have to queue up in the heat.
Kopi and teh (tea) are available during lunch service, while cocktails and shooters are available come dinnertime. Wine, served throughout the day, is served chilled because they know what is up with the heat and humidity.
Address: 6 Ann Siang Hill
Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Drinks at Operation Dagger
After having your fill of lychee shots at The Coconut Club, make a quick detour to Operation Dagger. It's a speakeasy, so you best keep your eyes open for a mysterious door in a nondescript building. Above said door is an upside-down Basquiat-esque crown drawn on top of a rectangle. Once inside, you'll see a dimly lit staircase going down; take it and you'll find another door. Finally, step inside a handsome bar finished in smooth concrete and naked lighting—perfect if you want a dramatic silhouette pic, sipping a cocktail à la Blake Lively in A Simple Favor.
Address: 7 Ann Siang Hill #B1-01
Operating hours: 6 p.m. 'til late