What used to be a bustling centre of trade is now a buzzing hub of dining and leisure.

Boat Quay

Charlie’s Restaurant and Bar

Enjoy the view of the Singapore River at Charlie’s Restaurant and Bar with a glass of house special sangria ($16). Try the signature baby back ribs ($28) and Norwegian salmon ($28), where the fish is glazed with white wine sauce and comes with a side of assorted vegetables. Vegetarians aren’t left out as there are options like patatas bravas ($7) and cheese platter ($28). Be sure to check out their special happy hour house pours, draught beers, spirits and wines.

32 Boat Quay. Tel: 6533 5880

Met a Space Pod

Founded in 2015, Met a Space Pod is a space-themed boutique hostel for backpackers (from $50/night). Each capsule is surprisingly spacious and comes with air-conditioning, vanity mirror with lights, safe-box, charging station, a television, and even a mini fire extinguisher.

51A Boat Quay. Tel: 6291 5113

BonChon

Head to BonChon for some excellent Korean food. Famed for their spicy and non-spicy wings ($8.90/6 pieces, $16.90/12 pieces, $24.90/18 pieces), they also serve army stew ($26.90), bibimbap ($14.90), plus beer bites like seafood pancake ($14.90), kimchi fries ($12.90) and pan-fried gyoza ($7.90). What sets this outlet apart, though, is their bar and extensive alcoholic offerings. Their soju cocktails ($12.50) are on point and come in five flavours such as Yakult, blue lagoon and Korean pear.

53 Boat Quay. Tel: 8816 4797

Gosso Yakitori

At Gosso Yakitori, the smell of sweet grilled meats never fails to make us crave for yakitori. Their gosso dama ($7.80/2 sticks), one of the most popular items, is a skewer of tender chicken livers wrapped with thin stomach lining. Our favourite is the cheese tsukune ($7/2 sticks)—sweet and moist chicken meatballs with an ooey-gooey cheese filling. Their stuffed shitake mushrooms ($7/2 sticks) are not to be missed too.

64 Boat Quay. Tel: 6533 5152

Circular Road

Yoga Mala

Nope, you won’t find Sichuan hotpot here. Mala in Sanskrit refers to a string of prayer beads that draws disparate individuals towards a common focus. At Yoga Mala, re-centre your mind and body through reflexive yoga classes such as traditional Hatha, Hatha flow, Ashtanga, as well as aerial, prenatal and meditation classes. They even provide training for aspiring yoga teachers.

49 Circular Road. Tel: 6803 5031

Super Star K2

Nothing is quite as comforting on a cold rainy day as some tasty Korean barbecue. Super Star K2, the second branch of Super Star K (there’s also a K3), offers excellent service and speedy preparations. They utilise a charcoal-fuelled grill to give the meats that charred taste that we love. With many sides to pair your dishes and meats with, you also shouldn’t miss their seafood pancake ($26) and bibim naengmyeon ($12.80)—spicy noodles in a cold broth.

45 Circular Road. Tel: 6224 0504

Village Nasi Lemak Bar

The moment you’re loudly greeted by the neon lights and funky pop art at Village Nasi Lemak Bar, you know you’re in for a different experience. An automated ordering system speeds things up so that you can sooner taste the elevated local cuisine. Tuck into nasi lemak in various combinations, from something more familiar like the crispy crumbly chicken wing set ($7.80) to the more unusual Village beef rendang set ($9.50). We all know how critical sambal chilli is in nasi lemak and the house-made sambal doesn’t disappoint—it is sweet yet packs the right amount of heat.

57 Circular Road. Tel: 6443 0400

Meat and Green

Meat and Green is a spacious restaurant curates healthy salads and wraps inspired by Singaporean dishes. Our favourite is the pulled pork bak kut teh wrap ($12). The flavours of the classic local dish are prominent in the marinade, and the tender and juicy pulled pork is wrapped with crisp greens, cucumbers and peanuts. Another winner is the chicken rice wrap ($12), which features perfectly poached chicken drizzled with a chilli-ginger sauce. The chilli crab and fish salad ($13) is worth trying too.

84 Circular Road. Tel: 6557 0457

Bake It Yourself

Wish you could bake those elaborately decorated cakes on Instagram? Now you can. Founded in 2003, Bake It Yourself is an all-in-one enterprise that sells baking tools and conducts comprehensive classes in baking and cake decorating, from sculpting with fondant to crafting wired gum paste flowers. Check their website for discounts and special promotions.

Level 2, 9A Circular Road. Tel: 6100 2253

North Canal Road

The Mad Men Attic Bar

Kick back and relax at The Mad Men Attic Bar, a rooftop hideout with awesome live music and walls plastered with vibrant street art. Feeling peckish? Nibbles include stuffed wings ($18), succulent and juicy pork belly ($18), and good ole truffle fries ($10). Wash it all down with draught beer ($13-$15), house wine ($12), champagne ($14), or one of the specialty cocktails.

#03-02 (Attic Level), 11 North Canal Road. Tel: 6222 3529

Gyoza Bar

Gyoza Bar offers soothing music and a wide range of alcoholic beverages to complement their gyoza—from wine and champagne to sake and shochu. There are three varieties of gyoza: pan-fried gyoza ($8.50/5 pieces, $15/10 pieces, $19.90/15 pieces), boiled gyoza ($11) and soup gyoza ($13), which comes in a white ‘beauty’ broth or a spicy Thai soup. Their pan-fried gyoza goes particularly well with plum wine ($12).

Level 2, 7A North Canal Road. Tel: 8319 0875

Hung Kang

Hung Kang not only offers traditional Teochew cuisine but also uses special ingredients and spices imported from China. Their signature dishes include barbecue whole suckling pig ($208)—juicy meat with smooth, crispy skin that has been hand-grilled to perfection—and Teochew chilled yellow-roe crab ($80/kg). The flesh of the crab gets a flavour boost from the sweet and tangy dipping sauce. Create your own set meal ($39.80, min. two pax) to mix and match four to five dishes and enjoy complimentary Chinese tea, rice or porridge.

Poh Heng Building, 28 North Canal Road. Tel: 6533 5300

South Bridge Road

Santa Grand Hotel

Looking for a comfy staycation venue? Santa Grand Hotel is a centrally located boutique hotel that has a great view of Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay. It is also in close proximity to two train stations, Clarke Quay and Chinatown. Check their website for promotions and discounts for special occasions. Rates from $128.

57 South Bridge Road. Tel: 6298 8889

Gold’s Gym

If you’re seeking a personal trainer or a personalized workout programme, Gold’s Gym may be your answer. With services such as fat loss, bulking and pre/post-natal training, you can choose the option that best fits your needs and body type. Book an appointment by phone.

43B South Bridge Road. Tel: 3110 5888

Legendary Bak Kut Teh

A plethora of bak kut teh restaurants has popped up over the years, but Legendary Bak Kut Teh remains one of the few family-run chains. Using only fresh Indonesian pork and Sarawak peppercorns, their bak kut teh recipe has remained unchanged through the years. Whether you order their original bak kut teh ($8) or premium ribs ($10), savour tender meat that tears off the bone easily along with a fragrant, peppery soup that goes wonderfully with white rice.

42/46 South Bridge Road. Tel: 6535 9969