The National Day holiday is just around the corner, and we’re about to celebrate Singapore turning a grand old 52. While there’s no long weekend this time round (boo), or frenzied National Day 2017 marketing (NS50, over to you), the nineth of August marks a special occasion for Singaporeans to remember just how far we’ve come as a nation. We can also bust out red-and-white outfits without being assailed with questions about whether it’s National Day — because damn right, it is.
There are many different ways one can celebrate the occasion. Appreciating the top-notch fireworks display to come is one, actually going to the National Day 2017 Parade is another. Above it all, the simplest way to show your Singaporean spirit is through partaking in good food and drinks.
Throughout the week, or even for the month of August, a number of establishments are showing their Lion City Pride by creating special menu items, be it a dish, or a cocktail for patrons to enjoy. As a gesture of patriotism, we’ve come up with a list of the best places to eat and drink at during this short, but significant public holiday.
Laksa gets a luxurious reinvention at TWG Tea, which has transformed the hawker staple into a decadent risotto filled with Hokkaido scallops and tiger prawns. The dish is part of the brand’s National Day set menu, which features highlights such as chilli crab pasta with soft shell crab fritters. The menu is available from 7 to 13 August at all TWG tea salons and restaurants.
Give the syrupy Singapore Sling a chance this August by sampling it remixed by five local bartenders. The Botanist gin has partnered with bartenders from Bitters & Love, Nutmeg & Clove, The Flagship, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, as well as Tess Bar and Kitchen to create new versions of the gin-based Sling. Head down to any of these bars to try the tropical cocktail redone, and better than you’ve ever had it.
Super Loco Customs House puts a local twist on Mexican fare by introducing two new taco flavours inspired by chilli crab and kaya toast. The former comprises a spicy mix of fresh mud crab meat sautéed with garlic, shallots, habanero chillies and tomatoes, and presented in a corn tortilla with chunks of deep-fried mantou (rice buns). For the kaya toast option, homemade kaya jam is slathered between layers of egg custard and croutons, and topped with toasted, grated coconut. Both tacos are available from 7 to 12 August.
Super Loco Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, #01-04 Customs House, Singapore 049323, +65 6532 2090
Bandung’s been on the up lately, and it’s now found its way into cocktails. Bistro-bar, Provisions, has a signature drink called the Bantai Bandung that’ll guarantee you a dose of nostalgia with each sip. This sweet tipple is made with aged rum as a base, mixed with gula melaka, chendol jelly, evaporated milk, and rose syrup.
Provisions, 7 Dempsey Rd, Singapore 249671, +65 6250 7090
Throughout the month of August, Axis Bar and Lounge will offer an afternoon tea set featuring mouthwatering concoctions such as nasi lemak cornet with anchovies and sambal jam, a chicken satay tart drizzled with peanut gravy, and pandan ice jelly with coconut emulsion. For dessert, expect delicious treats such as chocolate almond kueh pie tee, bandung rosella Bavarois, and pineapple coconut sable with coconut water jelly.
Axis Bar and Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, 5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797, +65 6885 3500
The proposition of classic cocktails redone with local flavours isn’t entirely new, but it doesn’t matter when the cocktails are as good as the National Day specials on Nutmeg & Clove’s menu. The bar elevates four cocktails: the Southside, Milk Punch, Scotch Sour and Moscow Mule with fresh regional ingredients and housemade syrups.
We recommend the Oh My Jasmine, a revamped whisky sour with Bruichaladdich Unpeated whisky, jasmine syrup, lemon, green tea liqueur and a dusting of matcha. The matcha delivers an intriguing dash of smoke to the perfectly balanced sour, making it one we’d go back for. They also have the King and Queen, a Milk Punch remade with rum, durian, mangosteen and coffee. It’s not as pungent as described, we swear. The cocktails are going 1-for-1 through the month of August.
Nutmeg & Clove, 10 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069789, +65 9389 9301
What happens when a French bistro takes on Singaporean cuisine? Culinary magic, it seems. To mark the country’s 52nd birthday, Audace will serve an unconventional brunch repertoire featuring its renditions of laksa, chicken rice, and satay. The latter comprises grilled pork belly skewers brushed with coriander glaze and garnished with pickled onions and roasted peanuts, while the intriguing chicken rice dish is actually a white risotto with poached chicken breast and shaved fresh cucumbers. The brunch takes place on 9 August from 11.30am to 4pm, and consists of six appetisers, five main courses, five sides and five desserts. It’s meant for sharing, of course, so come with your family and friends.
Audace, Wanderlust Hotel, 2 Dickson Road, Singapore 209494, +65 6298 1188
Head Chef Joey Sergentakis of Cé La Vi will whip up a five-course, mod-Asian menu that highlights the best flavours and produce from Singapore’s diverse culinary portfolio. Think smoky grilled Iberico pork marinated with mirin and sake, or grilled black cod topped with Thai sausage, and sweet treats like kaya and burnt butter toast. You’ll also be able to witness the fireworks at one of Singapore’s prime rooftop locales as you dig in. This menu will be available from 5 to 13 August, with a wine-pairing option.
Cé La Vi, SkyPark at Marina Bay Sands, Tower 3, 1 Bayfront Avenue Singapore 018971, +65 6508 2188
Picking a place to dine at with your family, can be a bit of a hassle especially when everyone has different food preferences or, well, is indecisive. Put this to rest by taking the whole clan out to Edge restaurant, which has introduced an extravagant dinner buffet showcasing over 20 local delights such as otak otak fried rice and Nyonya-style curry chicken, alongside a variety of Japanese, Indian, Javanese and Peranakan dishes. There’s even a tempting range of desserts including gula melaka chiffon cake and durian banana caramelised chocolate cake. The buffet is available from 4 to 9 August, from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Edge, Level 3, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039595, +65 6826 8240
Homegrown chocolatier Anjalichocolat has released a “From Singapore…lah” collection of colourful, handcrafted chocolates incorporated with quintessentially Asian ingredients such as kalamansi, gula melaka, teh tarik, five-spice powder, and lemongrass. Get them in boxes of nine or 16 by placing your order online or at the brand’s brick-and-mortar store.
Anjalichocolat, 73 Loewen Road #01-15, Singapore 248843