is THE place to dine if budget is not an issue and you're looking for
a romantic night out in a quaint part of town.
A full-course dinner at some of the restaurants here can cost more than
a week's worth of the best hawker meals, but the ambience here is in
a league of its own.
after the Weekly Entertainment Club (a Straits Chinese proprietary club
founded in 1891), Club Street was once known for its clubs and trade
guilds. Today, the narrow street is lined by tastefully restored pre-war
buildings, and peppered with upmarket restaurants
and bars. When night falls, the buildings are aglow in warm colours
and you can hear the hearty laughter of merry-makers in the area. Club
Street attracts a more mature crowd and the bars here play more soothing
music which does not inhibit conversation. Even if you don't intend
to dine or sip a cocktail here, it's still a joy to stroll through Club
Street after dark
Street is within walking distance of Raffles Place
MRT Station, but if you can afford to eat here, the cab fare
should not be a problem!
at No. 1A Club Street is La Voix (Tel:
6220 6586), a French restaurant swathed in vermillion on the outside
and black lacquer on the inside. La Voix serves modern
French cuisine. I hear the crème brûlée with
Grand Marnier for dessert is heavenly. It is open from 12.00 p.m. to
2.30 p.m., and from 7.00 p.m. to 11.00 p.m. everyday, except Sundays.
Next to it is chic Shidong (Tel: 6224 1411),
known for its east-meets-west menu. Its
menu is so varied it'll take you a while to decide what to order. You'll
find melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin in béarnaise sauce for
S$24 to the value-for-money bento box combination of local delights
- laksa, mee siam with slipper lobster, and chicken curry with yellow
rice - for S$18.50. One of their lower-priced dishes would be the Peranakan
Laksa with Sauteed Clams - S$12.50 for a satisfying bowl of laksa with
fish cakes, cockles, prawns and otak, served with a side dish of sauteed
clams. For dessert, try their caramelized peach tart with vanilla ice
cream (S$4.50), or better yet, their crème caramel with blue
berries (S$7). Shidong's chic setting carries through to how water is
served as well - in a conical vessel resting on a stand. Shidong is
open from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. everyday, except Sundays. By night,
Shidong transforms into a bar playing easy-listening acid jazz.
Just past Shidong, there's a short offshoot on your left called Gemmill
Lane. The lane is named after John Gemmill, an auctioneer who
lived in the area during the 1800s. At No. 5 Gemmill Lane is an artsy
watering hole called Bar at the Box (Tel:
6327 1276). Located beneath a 3-level art gallery,
this unique bar also showcases pieces of art and has martini cocktails
named after famous artists. The martini cocktails cost from S$12 to
S$16 per glass. Right in the middle is a sushi
bar which serves sushi at S$3 and sashimi at S$15 for 2 servings.
The sushi bar serves till midnight. Bar at the Box is open from 11.00
a.m. to 3.00 p.m., and 5.00 p.m. to midnight from Mondays to Fridays,
11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. on Saturdays, and
from 3.00 p.m. to midnight on Sundays. Guys must be 25 to enter, and
ladies 21. The dress code is smart casual.
Opposite the Bar at the Box is Bombay Bar,
an English pub with a free pool table.
you re-emerge at Club Street, turn left and continue along until you
see the stylish Senso Ristorante & Bar
(Tel: 6224 3534) at No. 21. Here, you can choose to dine indoors or
outdoors in an idyllic and romantic courtyard. Chef Diego Chiarini has
worked in some of the world's leading restaurants, including Tokyo Four
Season's Bice (voted one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in the world)
and Monte Carlo's Hotel De Paris. Recognised as one
of the best restaurants in Singapore, Senso features 30 dishes
of starters, pastas and entrees originating from different regions of
Italy. The ingredients are sourced directly from Italy. Starters here
will set you back by between S$12 to S$20, the entrees S$16 to S$30,
and the desserts S$9 to S$12. Don't know if it's just me, but I felt
the food here was overrated. The ambience though was excellent.
dinner, adjourn to the bar for a round of Senso's signature drink -
champagne with strawberry puree. Drinks here are served with a dish
restaurant is open from 12.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. and from 6.00 p.m. to
10.30 p.m. daily, except Sundays. The bar is open from 12.00 p.m. to
midnight from Mondays to Thursdays, and from 12.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m.
on Fridays and Saturdays. The dress code is smart casual.
Opposite Senso is another trendy restaurant, Las
Pampas (formerly known as Gaetano), which serves Italian cuisine
with ingredients from around the Mediterranean. Chef Gaetano Ascione
has cooked for past American Presidents, Ministers, and who's who from
all over. Prices here are similar to those at Senso. Las Pampas is managed
by the same people as La Voix and Shidong.
on the same side as Senso, and a few doors down, is possibly the most
reasonably priced restaurant along this stretch. Owned by the
same people as Senso, Spizza (Tel: 6224
2515) at No. 29 Club Street serves pizzas fresh from a wood-fired oven.
The selection of 20 pizzas are all named after Italian women! A medium-sized
pizza costs S$13 and its S$16 for a large one (enough for 2). You can
include 2 flavours per pizza at no extra charge. Watch Chef Yuliana
from Southern Italy knead the dough and bake the pizzas in the wood-fired
oven from a bar stool. Chef Yuliana was once a waitress at the building
in Raffles Place where I work. Since her promotion to Chef at Spizza,
her hair is now slicked back neatly in a bun and she no longer sticks
a pencil behind her ear.
Further down Club Street, you'll come across Aphrodisiac
Bar (Tel: 6325 8529) at No. 47 Club Street, the lesser known
sibling of Bar Sá Vanh (which means
"Heaven" in Laotian) (Tel: 6323 0503) just next door at No.
49. If you have time for only one drink at Club Street, Bar Sá
Vanh is definitely the place to be. This exotic
bar is divided into 2 zones, connected by a wooden platform bridge,
complete with an impressive, 3-storey high waterfall
and a koi pond. The numerous sculptures
which adorn the bar are Indochinese, depicting the heritage of the owner.
You can even choose to have your drinks on a 6-metre
long opium bed. All in all, this award-winning bar which offers
a mesmerizing setting and is not to be missed if you're in this part
of town. The bar is open from 5.00 p.m. till late.
the bar is Indochine Restaurant (Tel: 6323
0503) which offers refined Indochinese cuisine from Laos,
Cambodia and Vietnam in a plush setting. Most of the dishes can
be ordered in either standard portions (shared by 2 to 3 persons) or
large portions (shared by 4 to 6 persons). The popular Sai Kog (Laotian
pork sausage) is a must-try. The sausage is eaten by wrapping it with
a fresh lettuce leaf and herbs and spices, chilli, peanuts, lemon and
ginger. For dessert, order the Sapphire of Pailin consisting of fresh
water-chestnut wrapped in potato starch served in coconut milk with
No. 81 Club Street is a European restaurant named Union
Restaurant & Bar (Tel: 6327 4990), which has received very
good reviews for its food. The croquette de fromage, moules served with
4 different sauces (including lemongrass and coconut!), the fillet of
salmon wrapped in bacon, wild mushroom truffle fettuccine, and baked
Portobello mushroom in sabayon sauce, all come highly recommended. Union
is a chocolate-lover's paradise. For desserts,
try the Belgian Chocolate Cake with a hot fudge centre, served with
vanilla ice-cream, or the Callebaut Chocolate Fondue which is eaten
by dipping fruits, marshmallows and wafers in a pot of molten Belgian
Chocolate. For a more refreshing alternative, go for the lychee-champagne
sorbet in mascarpone with passion fruit coulis, fresh figs and shaved
white chocolate. Union is open from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. from Mondays
to Fridays, and from 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays.
They are closed on Sundays.
neighbour at No. 85 Club Street is L'Angelus French
Restaurant (Tel: 6225 6897), which serves French
cuisine in a laid-back feel. L'Angelus also serves chocolate
cake with a molten chocolate centre. It goes for S$10++. L'Angelus is
open from 12.00 p.m. to 2.00 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays, and from 7.00
p.m. till late on Mondays to Saturdays. They do not serve lunch on Saturdays
and are closed for the whole day on Sundays.
up is Nectar Restaurant & Bar (Tel:
6323 4544) at 87 Club Street, a restaurant serving fusion
food and which features an 8-metre long
alabaster table illuminated from within running down the length
of the restaurant. The restaurant has received mixed reviews for their
food and service. For starters, you could try their nori-wrapped tempura
tuna sashimi dipped in ginger salsa and sweet and sour macadamia sauce
or the traditional wasabi in soya sauce. For the main course, their
teriyaki cod on wasabi mashed potatoes, sugar beans and enoki mushrooms,
and their roulade of sole and zucchini in pesto sauce with baby capsicum,
leek, and nameko mushrooms are recommended. Two and three course set
lunches are available at S$18+++ and S$25+++, and you can design your
own 4-course set dinner at S$48+++. Nectar is open from 12.00 p.m. to
2.30 p.m. and from 7.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. daily. The dress code here
is smart casual.
Across the street from this row of 3 restaurants is a cozy Spanish bar
called Barrio Chino (Tel: 6324 3245) at
No. 60 Club Street. This bar is a popular choice with expats.
Next to Barrio Chino is yet another Italian restaurant, Da
Paolo (Tel: 6224 7081) at No. 80 Club Street, which is famed
for their pastas. My friends have unanimously described the pastas here
as "to die for" and "bring tears to your eyes",
but I've never once cried eating their pasta… Their squid
ink pasta is a fun dish, but avoid ordering it if you're on a
date. The ink dyes your teeth and lips charcoal black making you hilariously
unattractive. For dessert, choose their panna cotta at S$7. Da Paolo
is open from 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays, and from
6.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. on Mondays to Saturdays. They are closed on
As you approach Ann Siang Hill, you'll
see the bright neon sign of Damenlou Hotel. The family running the hotel
also operates a restaurant called Damenlou (Swee
Kee) Restaurant (Tel: 6221 1900) at the same premises. In my
humble opinion, their prawn paste chicken
(S$15 for a large plate) is No. 1 in Singapore.
Their sliced fish bee hoon (white rice noodles), black pepper beef,
honey pork rib and beef horfun (white flat rice noodles) are excellent
as well! The air-conditioning does not work and the ambience is far
from romantic, but the fact of the matter is I am happier eating here
than anywhere else along Club Street. Just my 2 cents worth, but I'd
rather have value-for-money good food with no frills. Hai and I even
celebrated one Valentine's Day here…
Damenlou Hotel, turn right and walk down Ann Siang Hill till you see
Beaujolais Wine Bar (Tel: 6224 2227 , www.beaujolaiswinebar.com)
on your right at No. 1 Ann Siang Hill. Beaujolais has a romantic
setting for those who wish to enjoy a glass of wine by the candlelit
sidewalk, with some mouth-watering accompaniments like garlic mushrooms
and tomato bruschetta. Expats love it here. It is owned by the same
people who operate Harry's Bar at Boat Quay. Beaujolais is open from
11.00 a.m. to midnight on Mondays to Thursdays, from 11.00 a.m. to 2.00
p.m. on Fridays, and from 6.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m. on Saturdays. They
are closed on Sundays.