By Eimear Elkington
The dos and don’ts of dating can be a minefield. Family and friends love to weigh in on who you should date, where you should take them and who should pay. But whether you’re new at the dating game or in a long-term relationship, romance is alive and well in Singapore. There are date options to suit everyone – whether you want to surprise your partner, spice up your relationship, or ask out that crush you have your eye on.
Wine and dine date ideas
When most people think of taking someone on a date, dinner is what generally comes to mind. The dinner date is a classic and gives you the chance to get to know each other better. You can try any cuisine and fusion you could imagine in Singapore, but aim for an area of town with multiple venue options, it can be fun to try one spot for dinner and another for an aperitif or coffee.
If you’re flush with cash try dinner at Brasserie Les Saveurs at The St. Regis or Italian restaurant Basillico at The Regent. Both serve fine dining cuisine in beautiful surroundings that will make your date feel pampered.
Chijmes is great if you’re on more of a budget, and it has a range of food and drink options, or Saveur on Purvis Street, which delivers fine French food without the hefty price tag. Another option is Orange Thimble café in Tiong Bahru, which serves a range of drinks and light meals, and arguably the best ice cream in Singapore.
Looking for something a little more low key, perhaps lunch? Go to Yum Cha in Chinatown or Halia at the Botanic Gardens – if the lunch goes well you can take your date for a romantic walk through the orchard garden afterwards.
Brunch or high tea
If you want something a little more unique than taking your date to dinner, perhaps try a champagne brunch or high tea. Singapore is a city that loves a good brunch and there are a range of options – from high-end champagne brunch at The Fullerton to those at casual cafes like Nosh or Kith Cafe. An afternoon high tea also allows you and your date to indulge in a bygone era and eat delicious finger sandwiches and scones from the iconic three-tiered stands.
For dining that takes the excitement up a notch try the Nox ‘dine in the dark’ concept, a multi-sensory dinner experience served in pitch darkness. Laugh and cozy up to your date as you try to guess the ingredients of each dish. Another adventurous option is ‘sky dining’ in the Singapore Cable Car – enjoy three courses and wine as you take in panoramic views of the city skyline in your private cable car.
A drink with a view
Something else to remember is that a lot of people love taking photos. Perhaps consider a date venue with amazing views where you can get to know each other and simultaneously make your friends envious on social media. 1-Altitude, Ku De Ta, Swissotel The Stamford, Level33 and Lantern at The Fullerton Bay all have impressive views of the CBD. Aim to arrive in the early evening and enjoy a sunset drink while watching the sun go down and the city light up.
Out-and-about date ideas
If it’s a first date, or conversation has been a little slow, try a date that involves an activity. Not only are these types of dates sometimes a lot more fun, they also give you and your partner plenty of food for thought and discussion.
Shows and performances
If your date likes music, try taking her to see live jazz at Blu Jaz or Sultan Jazz or keep an eye out for upcoming festivals like Mosaic and Laneway. If a cinema date is a little too clichéd for you, try a theatre show, dance performance or musical. They also say laughter warms the soul, so consider taking in some stand-up comedy at Comedy Masala or The Comedy Club. If being a voyeur is not enough for you, bond with your date by starting a new hobby together – try art, cooking or dance classes.
Nature and exploration
Exercise releases endorphins and being outside in nature is great for your health and wellbeing. Try taking your date for a bike ride along the East Coast or a kayaking session exploring MacRitchie Reservoir. You could also take a day trip to Palau Ubin, or pack a champagne picnic and find a secluded corner of the Botanic Gardens. If you feel like getting a little more rural, take your date on a trip to Kranji’s agricultural region and explore the heart of Singapore’s countryside.
Adventure and thrill seekers
If you’re dating a thrill seeker make a beeline for Sentosa. Singapore’s leisure island has ideas to keep any adrenaline junkie entertained, from indoor sky diving to theme parks to the flying trapeze. If you want something a little more tame, try taking your date rock climbing, playing laser tag or giving stand up paddle-boarding a go.
Quirky ideas for an idle weekend
If you’ve got a free weekend, why not plan a full itinerary of events for you and your date. You could go antiquing, take a tour of the Tiger Brewery, play karaoke, or go romantic stargazing at The Science Centre Observatory. If your date loves animals try taking her to the newly-opened Cat Café Neko no Niwa at Boat Quay – you can cuddle up with a kitty over a latte and show your sensitive side.
Discover Singapore anew
For a fun date idea if you’ve always lived in Singapore, try acting like tourists in your own city. Take a river cruise, pose for happy snaps at Marina Bay, or stroll around the Gardens By The Bay. You could also consider taking a staycation to re-experience the joy of your own city. Singapore has no shortage of hotels, or rent a whole apartment on the other side of the island. This also gives you the chance to cook your date a romantic dinner and show off your culinary skills.