CHIJMES (30 Victoria Street)

CHIJMES–the 159-year-old grand dame

In her past life as a convent compound, CHIJMES housed an orphanage, schools, dorms and a chapel. The site underwent redevelopment after 1983. Part of the compound became SMRT’s HQ; and the remaining complex was renamed CHIJMES (reopened 1996)–after the convent’s acronym (Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus) and the peal of the tower bells. Its recent $45-million revamp saw the lowering of its cloister walls along Victoria Street for more visibility, and the addition of three corner entrances. Look out for the Lawn Market (6-7 Dec), The Artisans & Craftsmen Market (14-15 Dec), an Exotic Asia X’mas Special at CHIJMES (18-21 Dec), and of course, the NYE Countdown at CHIJMES (31 Dec).


Dimbulah Coffee (#01-17)
Find your java respite at Dimbulah, or “long watering hole”. Their roasted Arabica coffee beans hail from Dimbulah Mountain Estate, in Tropical North Queensland. All their cuppas are double ristrettos (from $4 for a short espresso). Go for ‘1664’ beer battered fish and chips ($18) or an Aussie steak pie ($6). Daily 7am-12am. Tel: 6336 4700

HERE & THERE Kushiyaki Bar (#01-11/12/13/18)
Bar bites from as low as $5 (Tzatziki ginger chicken skewers), mains from an affordable $20 (foie gras and wagyu beef rice). Grab a side for $9 (Earl Grey cured salmon tartine) or $10 for umami truffle fries with real black truffle shavings. Sat-Thu 11.30am-11pm, Fri 11.30am-1am. Tel: 6333 0116

Oyster Bar

Oyster Bar & Wine Dining Wharf (#01-19)
Start with a chef’s selection platter of the freshest ($36/6 pcs), then try them steamed with white wine ($28/4 pcs), fried ($9/2 pcs), or grilled with four toppings ($28/4 pcs). There’s also homemade sangria ($8.80/glass), a wine punch, for a fruity nightcap. Daily 5pm-12am. Tel: 6332 6789

On-Yasai (#01-03/04)
Thaw out in this rainy weather with comforting Japanese-style hotpot. Literally meaning “warm vegetables”, go for the signature yasai platter ($9.90), or the more premium Japanese Wagyu katarosu (chuck roll, $24.90). Daily 12pm-11pm. Tel: 6336 4002



New Asia Bar (Level 71)
For great views, a pumping party and tipples at knee-shaking heights. Take the express elevator for a smooth but ear-popping journey. A cover charge applies on special nights, but otherwise, a drink in hand will suffice. Monday’s the night for $15 martinis, Thursday for $10 housepours, or if you’re driving, a $10 mocktail (before 9pm). Chow includes pizzas from their wood-burning oven (from $30 for Margherita). Events: 24 Dec, 10pm-late for The Ultimate Christmas Party; 31 Dec, 10pm-late for the New Year’s Eve Spectacular Countdown Party ($50 nett). Wed-Thu 7pm-2am, Fri-Sat, eve of PH 7pm-3am, Sun & Tue 7pm-1am; last Friday of the month 7pm-4am. Tel: 9177 7307

ODEON TOWERS (331 North Bridge Road)

Odeon Towers–for a chillax session on the roof

Mainly an office building, 23-storey high Odeon Towers also has an extended two-storey retail podium block. Look out for the reflecting pond, punctuated with rocks, a green planter wall, and a timber boardwalk just across the water feature.

Asia Grand Restaurant (#01-02/08)
Go for the good value and tasty Peking duck ($38, limited to one per table), with crisp skin you can wrap in egg rolls and a $10 top-up for fried rice after. Chefs use the wok, claypot and bamboo steamer as a nod to preserving Cantonese culture and tradition. Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm; Sun & PH 10am-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. Tel: 68870010

HAN ”“ Cuisine of Naniwa (#01-04)
Splurge on specialty Kushikatsu (from $18/3 sticks), or skewers dipped in batter and panko (breadcrumbs) and deep-fried. In the good hands of executive chef Seiichiro Arakawa, try the Osaka sushi morikomi bento lunch set ($65), or go all out for dinner with the Ohmi beef courses (from $180, grade A4-7 and 8). Mon-Sat 12-2.30pm, 6-10pm. Tel: 6336 2466


Loof (#03-07 Extension Rooftop)
Welcome to Odeon Towers’ nightcap spot–the roof, or Loof. Its playful and Singlish name suggests what’s ahead: bar food that’s #SoSingaporean (Loof Flies $9, Babi-que Sliders $16), and cocktails with a Southeast Asian spin (Bandung Bloom $17, Ho Chi Mint $17). Make a trip to their version of the Mama Shop for “I don’t friend you”  books, coin-operated kidult rides and old-school snacks. Events: 11 Dec, 8pm-12am for Pops of the Top; 24 Dec, 9pm-late Christmas Eve party; 31 Dec, 9pm-2015 New Year’s Eve countdown. Mon-Thu 5pm-1am, Fri-Sat & eve of PH 5pm-3am. Tel: 6338 8035


Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade–upscale shopping

Operated by the hotel: kopitiam-style Ah Teng’s Bakery (#01-09), and Long Bar (#02-01), the birthplace of the Singapore Sling. The retail area houses over 35 international and regional fashion and designer stores, F&B, premium gift shops–with the verdant grounds in sight to complete your leisurely afternoon experience.


Leica Gallery (#01-18)
It’s a beautiful, classy showcase of the cameras from this reputed German brand. Take your time in the Leica Gallery–admire the premium pieces and find out more from the friendly staff. Prices upon request. Daily 10am-8pm. Tel: 6336 9555

Surrender (#02-31)
The stylish clothing store draws you in with its artisanal brands and high street labels. It’s a bit hipster too: graphic tees and jackets from Japanese brand Neighbourhood (crafted with pride, yo!), footwear by Fujiwara Hiroshi x Nike, and HEAD PORTER Tokyo pouches. Mon-Sat 12-8pm, Sun & PH 12-5pm. Tel: 6733 2130

SunnyHills (#03-05)
These bite-sized pineapple cakes from Taiwan brand SunnyHills are a great addition to any festive table. Till 26 Dec, Christmas gift sets are available in two sizes: $25/10 pcs and $50/20 pcs. Or get the limited edition version ($27) that comes with 10 pieces of tangy and buttery pineapple cakes and a bottle of pineapple juice. Daily 11am-7pm. Tel: 8522 9605


RAFFLES CITY (252 North Bridge Road)

Raffles City–where fashion, food, and a fountain meet

The shopping mall is part of a 28-year-old complex that also houses an office tower, a convention centre and two hotels. New in: Boost Juice Bar (#B1-51, opened 30 Oct) and premium ice cream stop AFE + BEA Nothing Ordinary (#B1-68, opened end Nov).

Fountain (Basement One)
Dine beside the leaping fountain at PODI (#B1-45) or choose to sit around it and chow on bites from Epi D’or bakery (#B1-44), Tsukiji Gindaco (#B1-54) and Tip Top (#B1-55).

NBC (#B1-22)
If you’re looking for a giant Totoro plushie or an elusive Midori notebook, NBC is the place to go. Packed with stationery and gifts from Japan, it always has the latest San-X toys and a trove of notebooks. Pick up a planner here for the new year! Tel: 6336 7466.

Das Erzgebirge-Haus (#03-27)
Great Christmas gift ideas galore in this traditional German wood craft shop. Purchase a decorative nutcracker, an intricate Schwiboggen or arch light, or a Yuletide music box. You’ll also find toys for the kids and Guardian Angels for your desk. Tel: 6334 1920.

Hong Kong Sheng Kee

Hong Kong Sheng Kee Dessert (#B1-79)
Apart from the eatery’s HK wonton noodle, and mango pomelo sago, grab their promotional items and new dishes like plum sauce pork rib noodle ($7.50). Top up $1.90 for lemongrass jelly with passion fruit and soursop or almond paste, and steamed yam cake. Daily 11am-10.30pm

Osaka Ohsho (#B1-75)
The gyoza specialist’s pan-fried meat dumplings boast elastic yet thin skin, and a balanced savoury filling of minced pork ($3.90/6pcs). Must tries: mabo tofu & double cooked pork ($14.90), fluffy Tenshin Han ($9.90, a cross between mui fan and omu rice). Daily 11.30am-9.45pm. Tel: 6338 5584

Raffles City Market Place (#B1-01/02)
The gourmet supermarket’s just been re-launched with more spacious layout. For desk lunch bentos ($6.50 for Thai green chicken curry), salads (from $4.99), a “Food of the World” aisle, and a “Wellness” corner (wholegrain pasta and gluten-free snacks). Cart home heirloom tomatoes from France, rose garlic from Spain, and choice cuts of U.S. beef. X’mas tipple pick: the limited edition Rekordelig Premium Winter Cider ($7.70/500ml) from Sweden. Daily 9am-11pm. Tel: 6336 2676