Whether you’re back in the office or still working from home, building anticipation for the end of the week is crucial for your mental health, according to experts. From a retrospective on existentialist horror to a whiskey-infused staycation experience, there’s more than enough to do both on- and offline this weekend. Without further ado, here are five lovely ways to treat yourself and your loved ones this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Have a ‘Proper Dinner’ at 28 HongKong Street
Friday night: 28 HongKong Street may be one of the best ranking bars in Asia, but it’s had to adapt to new hours like the rest of the pack during Phase 2. As a part of its evolution, the bar has introduced a new ‘Proper Dinner’ menu, serving food alongside its world-class artisanal cocktails and spirits. Each menu, as dishes rotate periodically throughout the month and beyond, will be crafted and curated by an celebrated chef from the United States. From Souther Comfort dishes to Cuban Cuisine from the heart of Miami’s Little Havana, the new menu at 28 will delight every kind of appetite.
Naturally, the bar won’t let its guests go home thirsty. A selection of signature cocktails will accompany each dinner menu, featuring overseas favourites like the Brown Derby and the Ginger Highball. 28 HongKong Street, though hidden behind an unassuming 1960s shophouse façade, naturally presents an intimate speakeasy vibe and a lively hip-hop atmosphere. Now, it has the American eats with which to ground its initial inspiration, the New York dive scene of the early aughts.
Kick back with a whisky on the balcony at The St. Regis Singapore
Saturday afternoon: The Macallan Sling & Stay is for whiskey connoisseurs and novices alike. In celebration of The Macallan’s launch of its newest 15 Year Double Cask Whisky, The St. Regis Singapore has launched an experiential staycation like no other. Founded in 1824, The Macallan has a reputation that precedes it, its very name heralding the arrival of an outstanding single malt product of distinctive Scottish character.
Check into the St Regis and enter your own luxurious Grand Deluxe room, outfitted with a sleek The Macallan mini bar. There, you can indulge in one of the most exquisite whiskys in the world, one dram at a time. The experience comes complete with a welcome bottle of the iconic whisky, a private in-room cocktail-making masterclass, an epicurean breakfast for two, and a gift set of The Macallan Whisky 12 Year Trio (Sherry Oak, Double Cask, and Triple Cask Matured) to take home with you the next day.
The St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
The Macallan Sling & Stay package is available now until December 31, and requires a booking at least 2 days in advance
Reservations: 6506 6888 / [email protected]
Let your palate fly across the world at Lucha Loco
Saturday night: Leisure travel might still be off the radar at the minute, but restaurants like Lucha Loco are working their magic to bring the heart of Mexico to their tables. For the month of October, indulge in a special regional menu inspired by the lush rainforests of Tulum.
Expect fresh, piquant flavours in its refreshing dishes—our winning number for the evening was the seafood ceviche, a winning combination of plump octopus and juicy prawns tossed in orange and lime. Also call for the Pescado al Pastor Taco, stuffed with buttery sautéed barramundi, grilled pineapple, roasted capsicum and a creamy habanero aioli for a mild hit of spice. Finish off your evening with one of their citrusy cocktails or the Arroz Con Leche, a well-balanced rice pudding dessert topped with gelato from local ice cream company Tom’s Palette.
Be scared by the screen at the ArtScience Museum
Sunday morning: In order to mark the 100th anniversary of the first horror film—1920’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari—the ArtScience Museum is ringing in the spooky season with a phantasmagoria of both on- and offline programmes. Arthouse fiends can indulge in a gloriously restored print screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or a curated selection of surrealist master David Lynch’s early short films.
Also available will be several gripping séances conducted over livestream by local musician Fauxe, as a part of the museum’s Late at Home lineup. Chills and thrills will be further weaved into the marrow of the the museum’s online content throughout the month of October, as virtual tours will lead guests back down the dark and winding path of the ArtScience Museum’s biggest past exhibitions, academic commentaries of horror in film and architecture, and several Singaporean illustrators’ nightmarish reimaginings of Caligari as a figure in local folklore.
Test the invisible lines of power at The Arts House
Sunday afternoon: Power Play 2020: Invisible Lines is a newly conceived arts festival that has invited more than 40 international and local artists from 18 geographical locations to come together to explore, question, and subvert the institutional hierarchies and structures that govern and threaten our lives. Sociocultural, socioeconomic, and socio-political narratives will be prodded and provoked by The Art House’s festival artists; expect your preconceptions to be shaken and challenged.
Including international creatives like Hijack, Kyun-Chome, and Iwona Ogrodzka, as well as local artists like Adrian Tan, Nature Shankar, and Veronyka Lau, Power Play 2020 will release a number of programmes in waves from now until the second week of November. It promises to be an eclectic melting pot of events like performance art, film screenings, artist talks, and workshops.
Power Play: Invisible Lines will run from 23 October-8 November
Catch a seafood dinner at Catfish
On Friday night: If a TGIF tipple is what you’re after, Cure Concepts’ newest fish grill and raw bar Catfish is the perfect place for unbuttoning your collar. With an array of fresh seafood served up cooked or raw and a dinner menu featuring Asian-inspired plates, where Catfish really shines is in its innovative, experiential appetisers.
The mini cone selection is a crowd favourite—it’s hard to miss the Instagrammability of tiny crispy wanton skin cones loaded with a range of unexpected toppings like scallop sashimi and beef tartare. Another standout dish is the sesame prawn and scallop toast garnished with copious amounts of uni and caviar, each bite laced with rich umami flavour. Wash it all down and shake off the work week with one of Catfish’s signature cocktails—the Tom Cat, in particular, comes spiced with tom yum and Chalong Bay rum for a feel-it-in-your-bones buzz.
Tune into a German flick at The Projector
On Saturday afternoon: A staple of the local film circuit since 1978, the German Film Festival is back against the odds this year, as the producing Goethe Institut has partnered with local retro picturehouse The Projector to screen this year’s best German and Swiss features in Singapore.
The Projector, an oasis for alternative, arthouse, and indie films since its opening in 2015, will show four titles in its three movie halls. Flicks to catch at the Green Room, the Blue Room, and the Redrum (pun intended) include festival-opener O Beautiful Night, as well as System Crasher, Styx, and Cocoon. The festival will also stream an additional four movies on-demand via new platform The Projector Plus: The Most Beautiful Couple, Chris the Swiss, Die Ruden, and Head-On.
The 24th German Film Festival will present from 15 October-1 November
Tickets and more information can be found here
Check into the Raffles Hotel for a luxurious theatrical experience
On Saturday night: Lovers of the stage, take heed. Singapore residents looking for unique staycations are called to indulge in the new Suite Theatre at Raffles experience. An immersive dive into the local arts and culture scene, guests will be able to choose from three distinctive productions for private viewing from the luxurious comfort of an elegant suite at Raffles Hotel Singapore.
Have a day to yourself, exploring the gardens of the hotel, enjoying a complimentary history tour, or sipping a Sling on your verandah, before your Raffles Butler makes arrangements for an in-suite screening at your convenience between 6 and 8pm. Throughout, you can enjoy a specially-curated selection of cocktails and canapés—call it dinner and a show. From a SingTheatre musical revue, to a multimedia show featuring incorrigible Singapore Boy Hossan Leong, to a Pangdemonium Broadway classic, something for everyone can be beamed to you from the comfort of your king-sized Raffles bed this weekend.
Take a baking masterclass and bring home your Nonya creations
On Sunday morning: Roll up your sleeves and prepare to get traditional; Chef Julie Yee’s Baking Lab will be running two cake-baking workshops this Sunday. In the morning is a lesson on chocolate chiffon sponge cake, layered with Asian fudge, followed by an afternoon class on pandan kaya fudge cake and sponge.
Chef Julie Yee has been running her Baking Lab since 2013, frequently holding pastry and cake classes through ToTT Cooking Studios in Tampines. Having first learned to cook Nonya cuisine with her grandmother as a child, the chef now passes on her professional skills in making everything from sourdough to egg tarts, macarons to caramel, patiently coaxing students in both English and Chinese towards edible masterpieces.
Julie Baking Lab, 163 Bukit Merah Central, #03-3597, Singapore 150163
The Chocolate Chiffon Fudge Cake Class will be hosted from 10:30am-2pm on 18 October, with the Pandan Treats Class following it the same day at 2:30-5:30pm
Contact: 9157 9159 / [email protected]
Dive into music at a transposed Venice Biennale exhibition
On Sunday afternoon: Song-Ming Ang, Singapore’s representative at the 58th Venice Biennale—the “Olympics of the art world”—last year, will bring his incendiary exhibition to his home country for the first time. Presented in full at the National Museum, Music for Everyone: Variations on a Theme is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding how people relate to music on a personal and societal level.
Music for Everyone explores the amateur creation of music and how sound affects agency, and riffs off of a series of concerts organised by the Singaporean government from 1971 to 1985. Ang’s exhibition will be made up of nine works, including a three-channel video installation of children improvising on instruments, recorders rearranged into idiosyncratic sculptures, and music manuscript collages. His egalitarian approach to art deconstructs the limits of “good” and “bad” music, questioning who is allowed to designate it so, and grapples with the concept of how music helps to inform ideology.
Rock out to Flock at the Nest
On Friday night: The Nest is a new hole-in-the-wall music venue sequestered in the Pasir Panjang Power Station, in all of its preserved industrial aesthetic glory. Though it remains closed to live audiences, the joint has been taken over by 24OWLS, a group of the music event programmers behind Laneway, and will play host to a weekly digital performance event that kicks off this Friday. The first edition of the hour-long concert series, Flock at the Nest, will feature Marian Carmel, lewloh, and Benjamin Kheng. A ticket to the show also guarantees quirky cocktails or mocktails, complete with names like ‘Unicorn Barf’ and ‘Deeznuts,’ delivered to your doorstep by pandemic-born brand GudSht. For the discerning music fan open to new sounds, Flock at the Nest promises to be an intimate live showcase.
Clear your mind at Gong on the Moon
On Saturday morning: The Moon is one of Singapore’s best independent bookstores, and also doubles as a popular cafe and event space. They’re known for carrying feminist tomes and local authors in spades, and curates a clean, distinct aesthetic to match its whimsical literary sensibilities. Its hanging plants and sunlight-dappled walls couple beautifully with its slight witchy vibe, which will come in handy for the bevy of enchanting and eerie events its team has planned for October. One of those events is Gong on the Moon, their monthly event of contemplative reflection and sound meditation that welcomes in the new moon. The gong bath meditation provides an opportunity to restore energy fields, rebalance the body’s frequencies, and rejuvenate the entire being, while alleviating stress and clearing the mind. It’s an ideal activity for Mental Health Day.
Enjoy a seven-course Persian meal at Shabestan
On Saturday night: Embark on a gastronomic journey to Persia at Shabestan, the award-winning restaurant celebrating its seventh birthday with an all-new seven-course menu titled ‘Seventh Heaven.’ Guests are welcomed with a glass of prosecco, wine or a mocktail, before being invited to stroll down a culinary path of delights cooked using traditional Persian recipes and techniques. A standout option for main course is Shabestan’s Shah Pasand Chicken, a special recipe from the Gulf, where tender boneless chicken breasts are marinated in saffron and herbs. Another mouth-watering dish is the Tekeh Masti, a dish made up of premium beef fillet cubes marinated in yoghurt and Persian spices. The minds behind the menu are also eager to show off their newest signature dish, the Impossible Kebab, to complement a fan-favourite vegetarian staple, the Sabzi Kebab.
Get lost in a green world at Pocket Gardens Surprise
On Sunday morning: Gardens by the Bay is welcoming visitors back to the Flower Dome with Pocket Gardens Surprise. Guests will have the chance to explore the Dome’s hidden corners and nooks in order to unearth a wealth of lush mini-gardens—and never get bored, as the greenery displays are changed every two weeks. Starting this week is An Urban Oasis, located by the Dome’s largest tree, the African baobab. The newest display, which joins, among others, Hanging Garden and It’s Always Teatime, chronicles Singapore’s journey to becoming the Garden City. Also present in the Flower Field is the ongoing Edible Garden display, which draws inspiration from traditional French potager gardens and features a range of ornamental vegetables, herbs, and flowers. With the disruption of the supply chain of flowers due to COVID-19, Gardens by the Bay has designed and cultivated a series of beautiful floral displays to welcome the local community back.
Read your heart out at The Substation’s B.A.C.A.
On Sunday afternoon: ‘Baca’ means ‘to read’ in Bahasa. Around that simple concept, experimental arts programming venue The Substation has designed a weekend of gathering to celebrate independent literature and those who love it. Punk artist-in-residence Shaiful Risan will lead visitors through a series of books, zines, periodicals and other independent publications across generations and countries from the ‘90s to present day. Also speaking will be Khairul Jafni (creator of an online and physical zine showcase platform AFTER), Michael Chua (author of Maid In Singapore) and Steve Lodge (author of The Hall of the Shepherd’s Pie). Guests will be invited to browse a crowdsourced collection of modern local zines displayed in the space, and to make their own zines. All the necessary accoutrements—typewriter, scrap paper, and stationery galore—will be provided to feed your creative and rebellious spirit.
Sky High Hawker
On Friday night: In collaboration with some of Singapore’s most celebrated master chefs and rising stars in the culinary world, Marina Bay Sands’ iconic rooftop restaurant and bar CÉ LA VI is presenting high-flying hawker-style dining. From 57 floors above the street, local culinary masters will present their signature dishes alongside special treats curated just for the Hawker event. This will include the award-winning Janice Wong of 2am:dessertbar, Pang Seng Meng of New Ubin Seafood, and Gwyneth Ang of One Prawn Noodle, alongside third-generation hawkers who have worked alongside the likes of Gordan Ramsey, like Hassan Abdul Majeed of Cafe Mariam. Come and experience the pioneering next wave of Singaporean cuisine for yourself.
Check out a living legend’s first virtual art exhibition
On Saturday afternoon: Cultural Medallion holder Lim Tze Peng is still going strong at age 100. Singapore’s oldest living artist has been plumbing the depths of his memories throughout the year, conjuring scenes of pre-modern Singapore, all painted from memory. This exhibition, titled “A Century of Memories” and Lim’s first done online, will feature 20 of his new works. His distinct old-school style—pinning rice paper to wooden boards and using traditional ink-painting techniques—will be complemented by more than 100 works inspired by his body of work, showcased in a parallel virtual gallery “next door” to his.
Party at a MASKquerade
On Saturday night: The Rice Ball, put on by local theatre company WILD RICE, has gone virtual this year. The annual celebration has changed up its format to include a gourmet meal delivered to your doorstep, prepared by the minds behind lauded restaurants like Odette, Braci, and 3 Embers. Guests can also look forward to a silent auction and afterparty in addition to the main show itself. The Ball is directed by Glen Goei and Pam Oei, who will also double as the Mistress of Ceremonies. With a script penned by Alfian Sa’at and Thomas Lim, the show will feature well-known local performers like Dwayne Lau, Siti Khalijah Zainal, and Andrew Marko, as well as WILD RICE founder Ivan Heng. There will be individual and group prizes for those deemed Best-Dressed, but as with all virtual events, the company has noted, pants are optional.
Check out the new menu at Caffe Fernet
On Sunday morning: With bold new-Italian flavours, the 130-seater restaurant Caffe Fernet will introduce guests to an arresting new array of delights this weekend. Executive Chef David Tang, drawing from his own personal culinary journey, has blended traditional Italian methods with local produce to create a series of meals that are deceptively simple and extraordinarily satisfying. Boozy brunchers, take note: an updated and accomplished modern aperitivo drinks will be introduced to diners concurrently. Inspired by the neighbourhood bars that line the streets of Italy, the Caffe’s tipples will be divided neatly into frose, aperitivo, spritz, and negroni. This weekend, grab a few friends and head down to the historic Customs House along the Fullerton Bay waterfront, to sample Caffe Fernet’s signature convivial hospitality and its sparkling-new menu.
Tune into the annual Painting with Light film festival
On Sunday evening: At the end of a busy weekend, curl up on your couch with your laptop or tablet to watch an international film on art. National Gallery Singapore presents the third edition of the hugely popular film festival, “Painting with Light,” now moved completely online and made free for all viewers. Viewers can look forward to 20 short films and full-length features, including several local premieres of films like “Woo Woo” by Ismail Basbeth and “The Mental Traveller” by Taiki Sakpisit. Together, this selection of stories explores the tangible and intangible aspects of home within a multitude of contexts, revealing the fragility of the concept itself—particularly in the face of ever-changing global and local environments.
The National Gallery’s Painting with Light digital film festival runs from 2-25 October
Happy Hour at the Asian Civilisations Museum
On Friday night: The ACM, a staple of Singapore’s normally-thriving tourism scene, has found new and inventive ways to engage with local audiences, a quieter city, and Asia’s rich artistic heritage this summer. One of their newest events is Happy Hour, a Friday digital series exploring lifestyle, art and wellness. Last week saw the airing of the first installment, “Out of Curiosity”. Live on social media, movement artists Hafeez Hassan and Clyde Charlene Judith offered an interpretive dance session based on the ACM’s collection of treasures. Brillyn Toh of Hock Siong, a second-hand furniture company specialising in antiquities, also appeared to field questions and take viewers on a tour of the famous local shop.
This Friday will feature Erni Salleh, a dynamic authorial talent and finalist for the 2020 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, and interior stylist Priscilla Tan, who will share expert tips for beautifying your own home. The night will end with a cocktail-making Zoom masterclass from Jekyll & Hyde, one of Singapore’s pioneering cocktail bars. Registering for this event will get you access to exclusive DIY cocktail packs, which will be delivered to your home. Senior bartender Byron Tan will then take you through his step-by-step guide to preparing two curious cocktails at home.
The Asian Civilisations Museum’s Friday Happy Hour will be streamed from 6pm on their Instagram
Contact: 6332 7798 / [email protected]
Note: Attending ‘Curious Cocktails with Jekyll & Hyde’ requires a $25 ticket, which can be accessed here
We The Fest 2020: Virtual Home Edition
On Saturday afternoon: Say goodbye to that Jakarta traffic. An annual summer fiesta in Indonesia, We The Fest was initially cancelled in June—before it was announced in August that it would be resurrected online by its plucky organisers. The result will be two days of free at-home partying, where you can jam out to their phenomenal lineup of 26 international artists. Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi will be (virtually) present, as will London-based pop duo Oh Wonder, and saxophonist-rapper Masego. The festival will be hosted by two homegrown talents, radio host Reza Chandika and singer-songwriter Vidi Aldiano, and will include numerous Indonesian artists, like soul band Maliq & D’Essentials and metal-dangdut duo Gabber Modus Operandi.
Make dinner a party at Zouk Capital Kitchen
On Saturday night: Having shelved its dancing shoes for a later date, Zouk Group pivoted in July to gourmet dishes, quickly turning their renowned Capital lounge into a pop-up restaurant that’s worthy of a celebratory dance in its own right. The result, an adaptation of remarkable ease to the post-pandemic landscape, the second-level Capital Kitchen is a vibrant, intimate experience that retains a nostalgic trace of its once and future nightclub identity.
Seating 100 guests at a time, the establishment serves up a wide array of Asian and Western dishes straight out of the preeminent RedTail kitchen. If your opportunistic streak is feeling particularly twitchy this weekend, Capital Kitchen also offers the chance to circumvent the miles-long Paparch bakery waiting list, as the famed burnt cheesecake can be ordered (quickly, due to limited daily quantities) for dessert. Naturally, all that feasting can be accompanied by Zouk’s very own (and very wide) “bottle service” of sake, wines, spirits, and cocktails.
Test out the healthy menu at Super Loco Robertson Quay
On Sunday morning: For brunch this weekend, it’s more than worth rocking up to the Loco Group’s Robertson Quay restaurant, as they’ve overhauled and completely revamped their weekend menu. They’ve done away with all but a few crowd favourites; but, of course, they’ve kept the gorgeous view of the Singapore River right at their doorstep.
The name of the game for this Super Loco is putting a healthy spin on classic brunch fare, such as the Gluten-Free Blue Corn Waffles with Fried Chicken (which can be swapped out for spiced Mexican pulled jackfruit). With produce from Malaysia and meat from organic, free-range farms, it’s guilt-free dining at its finest. Their boozy brunch boasts a low-calorie Skinny Margarita, and a languorous mid-morning meal can be topped off by tucking into the vegan brownie, made with sweet potatoes and chocolate-cashew butter, served with a side of refreshing coconut sorbet. Says Chef Jason Jones of the new menu, “Each thing that we do, there’s an element of consciousness that we put to it, to say, ‘This is going to be good for you.'”
On Sunday afternoon: This Friday, the annual Archifest celebration kicks off. A collection of over 100 exhibitions and events related to architecture, the festival is organised by Singaporean architects, for enthusiasts of all ages. This year’s theme—”Architecture: Saving Our World”—seems particularly prescient, and invites participants to examine the role of architecture in today’s climate and delve into Singapore’s urban environment from the ground up. A virtual conference and pavilion are particular cynosures, but new events will occur all month long.
This Sunday features two different events that exemplify the new hybrid model the festival will be testing for the first time. The first is an online Gouache Workshop, designed to teach novices how to paint landscapes in the style of Gouache, or opaque watercolour. When you sign up, you’ll receive a promotional discount code to purchase the materials required at Overjoyed (The Cathay). From 10am on Sunday, participants will be guided through trialling the unique properties of the Gouache medium, color mixing and brush handling methods.
Later in the day, there’s a physical event, “Tensengrity Structures,” at Edible Garden City. Half-workshop, half-exhibition, the experience will acquaint ticket-holders with “tension-integrity,” a feature of architectural elements that are supported by continuous tension systems with discrete or disconnected rigid elements. Structures like the floating table and the Singapore Flyer benefit from tensegrity, and now participants will, too, as they will have the chance to build architectural model kits and manipulate a 4m diameter tensegrity prototype.