24 Hours in Singapore: The Magnifeco Edit

Naiise Singapore GinLee at Threadbare & Squirrel The Loving Hut Singapore Threadbare & Squirrel Menu Board at Open Farm Communities

By Kate | City Guides
Posted May 30, 2016

Singapore is one of those onion cities; from your arrival into Changi’s ultra modern airport, to your time in any of the glossy hotels and shiny malls, it could seem that Singapore is lacking in options that appeal to conscious consumers (or those choosing a more curated experience). But peel back the layers, break though the underground mazes and you will be rewarded with quaint shophouses, temples, open-air food courts and a treasure trove of the new ‘designed here’ and “made here’ options that are driving the city’s goal:  to design for innovation, growth and better quality of life.

You could spend weeks uncovering the new breed of emerging designers, brands, shops, restaurants, and experiences. But if you only have 24 hours, here is our must find list:

Shopping – Local:

At first glance, Orchard Road (find Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Tokyo Hands and more) seems like the antithesis of ‘local’, but we like it for Singapore originals like:

Naiise: This domestic chain stocks lifestyle products across all categories, from both local and international brands, with a common criteria: good design. Pick up the award winning Singapore Sling Marmalade as a souvenir for…. well, everyone.

Threadbare & Squirrel: A well-curated boutique that stocks clothes, bags, baubles and everything in-between. A great place to find unique and emerging designers, like Singaporean born, Israeli-based Ginlee.

Kapok: Singapore has three locations of this Asian stalwart; two can be found on Orchard Road. However, don’t miss the flagship on Middle Road. Housed in the National Design Centre, Kapok at NDC offers not just the usual array of eclectic and avant-garde labels but also a handful of Singaporean labels such as Desinere, Kuru, Stale & Co and more.

Eating – Healthy:

The multi-cultural cuisine of Singapore is one of its greatest lures. Nestled between three cultures (Malaysian, Chinese and India), you can find amazing Chili Crab, Laksa and Nasi Padang, and if you’re craving Indian food try the Roti Prata and Fish head curry. Those that want farm-to-table or vegan can also choose:

Open Farm Community: OFC mixes urban farmland, creative chefs, and delicious seasonal fare to offer foodies and families a chance to reconnect with nature and food. The tranquil 35,000 square foot property, that let’s you play in the garden before your eat, is an oasis within the hectic city. Reservations recommended.

Afterglow:  This vegetarian eatery, located on one of Singapore’s coolest dinning stretches – Keong Saik Road will appeal to  raw foodists, vegans and anyone who loves good food. Try the Deconstructed Sushi Bowl (shitake mushrooms, avocados, seasonal pickles and a mild wasabi dressing, on top of brown rice).

The Loving Hut – This international vegan chain can be found amidst the heritage shophouses and charming shops in Joo Chiat (also known as Little Vietnam).

Munch – Love that this healthy, food court option’s tagline is “Eat no Evil”. Seek when in Funan Digitalife Mall, Novena, Robinsons and Raffles.

Finding – Your Tribe:

Singapoerans are highly educated, and multi-lingual. Want to find out what’s really happening in the city – talk to city-dwellers. The hip and stylish can be found at:

LePark: The brainchild of the owners of Afterglow, a play on ‘lepak’, the Singlish term for ‘chilling out’, this multi-faceted rooftop location offers street food, craft beers, DJ’s, bands and cross-cultural pop-up festivals.


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