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Cloudstreet
Photograph: Cloudstreet/ Facebook

The most romantic restaurants in Singapore

For date nights, anniversaries, big romantic gestures, and everything in between

By Nicole-Marie Ng, Delfina Utomo, Fabian Loo and Natasha Hong
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It doesn't have to be a special occasion to treat your partner to a romantic meal. There's a time to dine with big groups and there's a time to go el cheapo but when you're planning an anniversary or a special date night out and about town, it's best to take it up a notch with a proper sit-down dinner with all the trimmings. Here are our picks of the best value-for-money, romantically lit restaurants to wine and dine in Singapore. Let's get in the mood for love. 

RECOMMENDED: Best sustainable-dining restaurants in Singapore and the best rooftop bars in Singapore

Mott32
Photograph: Mott 32

Mott 32

Restaurants Marina Bay

Check out the sexy, elegant Mott 32 at Marina Bay Sands. Expect the same opulent touches the restaurant is famous for – from the stunning interior designed by starchitect Joyce Wang, to the Mod-Chinese menu. Munch on the Singapore-exclusive Peking duck polo bun ($10 for three), or sip on the Asian-inspired Fujian Negroni ($24) shaken with ginseng, lapsang souchong tea, and Sichuan pepper. But before you head down, remember to pre-order the iconic Peking duck ($108) that’s marinated for over 48 hours and smoked over applewood to earn a glistening char.

Afterwards A romantic stroll along the Marina Bay area is a must.

Rappu
Photograph: Rappu

Rappu

Restaurants Japanese Tanjong Pagar

Groove to rap music (‘rappu’ translates to ‘rap’ in Japanese) from the likes of Wu-Tang Clan to Kendrick Lamar as you indulge in sushi and cocktails. The crown jewel of the space is a 36-seater sushi bar, where food and drinks are prepped before your very eyes. Here, the menu will feature a concise selection of just seven handrolls, including an over-the-top creation crowned with uni, wagyu, and caviar for maximum enjoyment. 

Afterwards Take a lovely stroll along Duxton Plain Park.

 

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Dusk Restaurant & Bar
Photograph: Dusk Restaurant & Bar

Dusk Restaurant & Bar

Restaurants Contemporary European Bukit Merah

Located 100m above sea level, grab a cable car ride up to Dusk and take in panoramic views of the Harbourfront and Sentosa as you watch the sunset. Snap pictures under the evening glow as you tuck into an indulgent menu. Standouts include the tiger prawn capellini ($28) tossed with lobster-infused oil, duck confit ($33) with truffle oil and balsamico glaze, and the indulgent char-grilled prime beef ($98) served with red wine sauce that’s meant for two.

Afterwards While you’re at the peak, seek out the Poland’s Bell of Happiness to ring in joy and fortune as a couple.

The Dragon Chamber Dragon Claw
Photograph: The Dragon Chamber

The Dragon Chamber

Restaurants Chinese Raffles Place

Snoop around and look for a fridge door – for that’s where the real entrance of The Dragon Chamber is. Step inside, and you’ll be transported into a darker, more mysterious location – with old posters and chinoiserie that lend a grungy, underground vibe reminiscent of gang dens in old Hong Kong. The menu, too, is full of surprises. Uncommon ingredients are celebrated, resulting in dishes that include the Dragon Claw ($55), a crocodile paw braised in a herbal sauce, and the theatrical Flaming Pineapple Beef ($30). 

Afterwards Swing by Dopa Dopa Creamery for some of the best pistachio gelato in town.

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Zafferano dining room
Photograph: Zafferano

Zafferano

Restaurants Italian Raffles Place

The Italian restaurant is already known for its stunning views of the Marina Bay from the 43rd floor of the Ocean Financial Centre. And it hopes to elevate your dining experience further with fresh dishes from new head chef Andrea De Paola, a young cook that has worked in big-name kitchens, including the one-Michelin-starred Braci. He taps into inspiration from his hometown in Naples to present hearty Italian plates made with a creative spark.

Afterwards Head outside to its open-air rooftop bar for drinks with a view.

PS.Cafe by the Sea
Photograph: PS.Cafe

PS.Cafe by the Sea at East Coast Park

Restaurants Bedok

There are many PS.Cafe outlets out there, but we are partial to the East Coast outlet which boasts views of the sea. This beachside outlet feels spacious, airy, with plenty of light to lend a touch of a tropical holiday vibe. And with its new waterfront location comes an exclusive seafood-focused menu: chargrilled octopus ($21), lemongrass mussel and clam spaghetti ($29.50) and Singapore chilli crab and prawns ($32) served with mantou and fried rice.

Afterwards Depending on the time of day, work off the calories with a scenic bike ride, or stroll under the stars. The breakwater is also a perfect spot to land a sneaky kiss. 

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Lumo
Photograph: Oddinary Studios

Lumo

Restaurants Raffles Place

Lumo – which means "light" in the constructed language of Esperanto – is a shining beacon of hope daring enough to open its doors during this period of economic uncertainty. But has everything it takes for a F&B business to survive in this day and age: a novel cocktail programme that runs the gamut of low ABV concoctions to those that will have you stumbling out the door, sharing plates of glistening meats straight from the wood-fire grill and a fun, convivial atmosphere peppered with American rock classics from the noughties. This is one for casual dates where you can just let loose and enjoy.

Afterwards Grab ice cream from Dopa Dopa Creamery – we highly recommend the pistachio gelato – and take a romantic walk down the Singapore River.

The Alkaff Mansion
Photograph: The Alkaff Mansion

The Alkaff Mansion

Restaurants Spanish Bukit Merah

The statuesque colonial building is home to three dining concepts, each offering a different vibe. Those of you on a first date can head to Wildseed Café, where cakes and all-day brunch at the courtyard keep things breezy and casual. Turn up the charm at Txa, a pintxos bar where you can snack on all manner of Basque-style bites or dial up the romance at Una on the second floor. The rich timber floors, white tablecloths and warm pendant lights help set the mood as you share a pan of paella and sides.

Afterwards Go on a romantic stroll around Telok Blangah Hill Park towards Henderson Waves, which happens to make one of the best make-out spots in Singapore.

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Cloudstreet
Photograph: Cloudstreet/ Facebook

Cloudstreet

Restaurants Tanjong Pagar

From the moment you step foot into Cloudstreet, the seductive painting of a woman in a state of undress beckons you towards the sexy dining room. The cavernous space is dark, sensual and lush – decked out in magnificent floral arrangements and an eclectic mix of furniture, all armed to charm. The best seats in the house are by the counter overlooking the open kitchen, where you and your date can watch as the chefs sautée, grill and plate dishes like betel-leaf wrapped oysters, lamb saddle and young jackfruit as well as a stout and liquorice bun that’ll have you licking your fingers and lips clean.

Afterwards Bars along Amoy Street are in no short supply. Walk down the road and look out for the neon pink sign that reads ‘Psychic’. It’s not a Tarot reader but Employees Only, one of the best cocktail bars in the city. Another secret spot is The Spiffy Dapper, a bar located on the second floor of 73 Amoy Street.

Olivia Restaurant & Lounge Singapore
Photograph: Olivia Restaurant & Lounge Singapore/ Facebook

Olivia Restaurant & Lounge

Restaurants Spanish Chinatown

Go on a trip to the sunny coast of Barcelona at Olivia Restaurant & Lounge. The bright and airy shophouse space along Keong Saik Road with accents of cerulean blue, sand-hued rope chairs and exposed brick walls look like kissed with a salty sea breeze is brilliant both in the day and at night. The menu is perfect for sharing with the likes of Ibérico ham croquettes ($10), confit onion and codfish Spanish omelette ($22) and black rice with grilled Mediterranean red prawn ($32).

Afterwards You’ll definitely want to save room for Olivia’s creamy homemade cheesecake ($14) but if you still have room for more then take a couple steps down to The Old Man for a digestif.

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Jam at Siri House
Photograph: Jam at Siri House/ Facebook

Jam at Siri House

Restaurants Contemporary Asian Tanglin

Crystal chandeliers, plush velvet armchairs and luxurious silken wallpaper elevate the dining room of Siri House – a multi-concept venue that also houses a condominium showflat, art gallery and retail corner. The food menu is thankfully more straight forward, with elevated comfort food by chef Ming Tan taking centre stage. Think deep-fried Hasselback potatoes smothered in mala mayo ($16) and pappardelle ($33) tossed in a prawn and lobster head bisque.

Afterwards Take a romantic stroll around the Dempsey enclave. 

Bar Cicheti
Photograph: Bar Cicheti/ Facebook

Bar Cicheti

Restaurants Italian Chinatown

Bar Cicheti has all the trappings of a romantic restaurant: a dark dining room lit by a semicircle of pendant lightbulbs, gorgeous floral arrangements that perfume the space and pasta to recreate that iconic Lady and the Tramp scene. The (mostly) handmade noodles are done fresh daily and are used in dishes like the squid ink tagliolini. Fans of natural wines are spoilt for choice too. Sommelier Ronald Kamiyama is able to make pairing recommendations depending on your order, or feel free to split a bottle between the two of you.

Afterwards End your date on a sweet note with ice cream from Apiary, a small café that does simple flavours right.

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Restaurant Zén
Photograph: Restaurant Zén/ Facebook

Restaurant Zén

Restaurants Swedish Outram

Opens in November

Fair warning, a meal at Zén is going to cost you, so you best start saving up if you’re planning a birthday or anniversary blowout. Once you get over the sticker shock of its $450 menu, you'll find that dinner here is actually money well spent. You’re taken on a journey from the first-floor of this charming house on Bukit Pasoh to the third, savouring snacks, exquisite mains and petit fours along the way. Think of it as a four-hour retreat to a cabin in Sweden where the food is exceptional.

Afterwards If you can still manage, roll out the restaurant and into Gibson, which is open till late.

Art
Photograph: Art/ Facebook

Art

Restaurants Italian City Hall

Taking over the former digs of Aura Restaurant, Art by chef Beppe de Vito makes National Gallery Singapore its new home. The name is, after all, befitting of the space that houses the world's largest collection of Southeast Asian art. Expect equally thoughtful and intricately creations by the culinary maestro. Each meal begins with a parade of colourful snacks, painting the blank table canvas with splashes of colour in the form of baby radishes topped with bottarga, roasted chestnuts wrapped with 24-month aged prosciutto and pickled carrots. Order à la carte, or opt for one of its reasonably priced tasting menus: three courses for $78, four for $108 and five for $138 – available during both lunch and dinner. 

Afterwards Have a drink at Smoke & Mirrors or explore the galleries of the art museum and impress your date with your knowledge of the arts.

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Skai
Photograph: Masano Kawana

Skai

Restaurants Grills City Hall

Feel on top of the world at Skai. Nestled on the 70th floor of the Swissotel the Stamford, the restaurant’s sweeping views of the Civic District is reason enough for a visit. Break the ice at the bar before heading over to the plush sofas for a meal. Order up a series of sharing plates but beef things up with the main draw at Skai: steak.

Afterwards Make your way down to Anti:Dote for cocktails with a Korean twist.

Preludio
Photograph: Preludio

Preludio

Restaurants Contemporary European Raffles Place

Designer furnishings, gleaming tableware, elegant art-décor embellishments and feel-good music in the background are all the ingredients of a romantic restaurant. But where Preludio shines is in its ability to ignite conversations that last the evening. The menu is not confined by labels or a specific cuisine, but instead, it follows a theme. Following its Monochrome menu, its new concept centres around Time and boasts dishes like wild seabass with acquarello rice and Alaskan king crab with red bell peppers.

Afterwards If you still have room in your stomach, head to Park Bench Deli to split its famous peanut butter and jelly sandwich before heading to the recently relocated Shin Gi Tai above.

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Il Cielo
Photograph: Hilton Singapore

Il Cielo

Restaurants Italian Orchard

Nestled on the 24th floor of the Hilton Singapore, Il Cielo offers Italian-Japanese cuisine with a view of the rooftop pool. Feast on dishes prepared by chef Yohhei Sasaki who has cooked in Michelin-starred restaurants around Italy and has amassed a repertoire of signature dishes such as his Hokkaido sea urchin spaghetti with Sardinia bottarga and yuzu juice ($38). Il Cielo offers an à la carte menu, as well as an affordable set lunch from $28 during weekdays. But opt for the degustation menus ($138/$188 with wine pairing) for a taste of what chef Sasaki has to offer.

Afterwards Hop from one hotel to another by checking out the hidden-from-view The Other Room at Marriott Tang Plaza.

Summer Hill
Photograph: Summer Hill

Summer Hill

Restaurants Bistros Clementi

What started as a small neighbourhood shack selling roast chicken on paper plates has evolved into a family-friendly bistro with plenty of options. Tucked along Sunset Way in Clementi, Summer Hill is the answer to those looking for a heartland date where the little ones are welcomed to tag along. The candlelit table is covered in mahjong paper for the kids to doodle on while the adults feast. Reservations required.

Afterwards There aren't a lot of options in the Clementi heartlands but Holland Village is a short drive away. Pop into 2am:dessertbar for a sweet treat or Wala Wala for live music and beer.

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The Butcher's Wife Crispy pig ears
Photograph: The Butcher's Wife

The Butcher's Wife

Restaurants Tiong Bahru

Having a gluten intolerance or dietary restrictions doesn’t mean you can’t have an amorous meal at a restaurant just like all the other lovebirds. The Butcher’s Wife takes allergies seriously, ensuring that not a trace of gluten makes its way to the kitchen, giving you peace of mind and a satisfied stomach. An added bonus: it also has a decent selection of natural wines if you're looking for options beyond the typical Bordeaux.

Afterwards Tiong Bahru is packed with quaint cafés where you can get a dessert and a cup of tea.

The Gyu Bar
Photograph: The Gyu Bar

The Gyu Bar

Restaurants Japanese Tanglin

The Gyu Bar might seem like an unlikely place for a date but step inside the 35-seater restaurant and it is a breath of intoxicatingly smoky air. This is where to go if both you and your date are meat enthusiasts. The 10-course ($138) beef-centric omakase menu features premium Wa-Oh Japanese beef from Kumamoto in different cuts you can cook up on the grill. In the spirit of omotenashi (that’s Japanese hospitality for you), you can pick a sake cup from the shelf and enjoy a premium pour on the house.

Afterwards You'll find Winestone, an affordable wine bar where glasses go from just $10, right next door.

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Restaurant Ibid
Photograph: Restaurant Ibid

Restaurant Ibid

Restaurants Singaporean Raffles Place

Without the demand of impeccable manners and Sunday’s best, Restaurant Ibid is a stylish yet casual abode, worthy enough for first dates, anniversaries and anything in between. Restaurant Ibid’s 'Nanyang-style, contemporary Chinese-meets-Singaporean cuisine is sure to please. Offered in six-($98), and eight-course ($138) menus, dishes to expect include mozzarella cheese-oozing spring onion shaobing, beef short rib with fermented nashi pears and strawberries and cream with local herbs.

Afterwards Cosy up at the intimate 28HKS for a nightcap or two or head to the boisterous RVLT for a bottle of natural wine.

Birds of a Feather
Photograph: Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather

Restaurants Chinese Chinatown

Got a date who appreciates things with a little bit of heat? The botanical Birds of a Feather might shout romance but wait till you feast on the Western dishes with a Sichuan twist. Inspired by the teahouses of Chengdu, the place is the perfect spot for a quiet lunch or dinner and getting to know each other. And there's plenty to talk about from the delicious chewy yam noodles in Good Slime Shine ($23) and Sweating Mussels ($29). But if spicy food makes you work up too much of a sweat, save this spot for when you're about five dates in.

Afterwards You're at Amoy, home to some of Singapore's best bars. Try to locate Operation Dagger with your date or down some drinks with a side of palm reading at Employees Only.

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The White Rabbit
Photograph: The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit

Restaurants Tanglin

An abandoned church restored to a dining hall surrounded by lush greenery, what could be more romantic than that? This fairytale setting is a perfect spot for special dinners and romantic gestures. This is also your last chance to dine in this picturesque place, before it closes on May 1 to make room for a brand new concept by The Lo and Behold Group.

Afterwards Don't have to go far, the chic outdoor bar, The Rabbit Hole, await you and your date. Order a couple of its signature gin and tonics, the perfect respite from Singapore's balmy climes.

The Summerhouse
Photograph: The Summerhouse

The Summerhouse

Restaurants Seletar

When it comes to romantic meals, it's always important to pick a place with good lighting and good food, of course. The Summerhouse excels on both counts. It sources ingredients from local, Malaysian and Australian farms and growers and celebrates farm-to-table dining. Dine in the spacious dining hall of the colonial bungalow or book one of three air-conditioned domes strategically placed in the garden. They fit up to six guests – there's a minimum spend of $300 – and are themed in different styles. We can't think of a more romantic place to pop the question.

Afterwards Stick around for house pours and wine or head to the nearby Wheeler's Estate for ice cold beer and some live music.

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Caffe Fernet
Photograph: Caffe Fernet/ Facebook

Caffe Fernet

Restaurants Italian Raffles Place

When it comes to dates, first impressions count. And Caffe Fernet easily impresses with its gorgeous decor and even more impressive view. The shiny long bar beckons with warm tones of brown, brick red and gold, and the restaurant portion overlooks the glistening Marina Bay – so don't be surprised if you see people popping the question. They might be drunk on love or Caffe Fernet's happy hour promotions: frosés at $12, spritzes for $13 and specialty cocktails going at $15. It's all served alongside hearty modern Italian fare like cacio e pepe and veal meatballs.

Afterwards Take your date to locate The Secret Mermaid and try out one of Kelly D'Cruz's concoctions or head to Kinki for a Japanese-influenced cocktail at the rooftop bar. 

Monti
Photograph: Monti

Monti

Restaurants Italian Raffles Place

Seal the deal by bringing your date to Monti, at Fullerton Pavilion with a breathtaking view of Marina Bay. Tugboats sail right past your table as you tuck into traditional Italian fare like the Acquerello Risotto ($42), finished tableside in a wheel of Parmesan and topped with freshly shaved black truffle.

Afterwards Make your way to Kinki’s rooftop for a selection of Japanese sake and bar snacks.

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Pollen
Photograph: Rory Daniel

Pollen

Restaurants European Marina Bay

Housed in Gardens by the Bay’s climate-controlled Flower Dome, Pollen can get a little chilly – giving you the perfect excuse to cosy up with your date. Be treated to a multi-course menu or order à la carte where you'll find options like a beef wellington or two. Alternatively, head to the second floor for a light bite or afternoon tea.

Afterwards Enjoy complimentary access to the Flower Dome and cross the bridge over to Marina Bay Sands for drinks. Party it up on the roof at CÉ LA VI or unwind over a bottle of wine at Adrift by David Myers.

Le Binchotan
Photograph: Le Binchotan

Le Binchotan

Restaurants Tanjong Pagar

Named after the white charcoal used to grill its French-Japanese tapas, Le Binchotan now serves Hokkien mee loaded with fiery sambal belachan by day and its signature French-Japansese dishes at night. Limited seats are available for dine-in so do make a reservation.

Afterwards Saunter over to Ann Siang Road and have dessert at PS.Cafe or have a drink at the swanky New York-style speakeasy, Catchfly.

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Lucha Loco
Photograph: Lucha Loco

Lucha Loco

Restaurants Mexican Tanjong Pagar

Go for the seats inside, where the low lights and worn pastel walls transport you to a gritty Mexico City saloon, or those on the outdoor terrace, which is lit by sunset and candlelight later at night. Lucha Loco's always a great bet for its upbeat vibe and disarmingly messy Mexican street fare that's bright and spry on the palate. Finish off dinner with some mezcal cocktails and good conversation.

Afterwards If your date's a cocktail geek, go make more conversation over the drinks at Tippling Club or share a bottle of wine at Praelum Wine Bistro on Duxton.

Cafe? & Bar Gavroche
Photograph: Café and Bar Gavroche

Café and Bar Gavroche

Restaurants French Tanjong Pagar

This is as close as you'll get to a romantic Parisian bistro. Chef Frederic Colin's kitted out his long shophouse unit with Art Nouveau posters, rattan chairs, cobblestone floors and a vintage cooker his grandmother nurtured the family with. To carry the experience through, elegantly cut your way through Croque Monsieurs and Madames or a tartine in between sips of one of the many house wines, eaux de vie and pastis. 

Afterwards Fret not, popular Jekyll and Hyde might have moved out of its original location along Tras Street but you can still try its locally inspired cocktails at Cheeky, a new café at Neil Road that's a short walk away.

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Potato Head Folk
Photograph: Potato Head Family

Potato Head Family

Restaurants Burgers Chinatown

Looking for someone who's more fun than high-maintenance? Watch them eat a burger. Three Buns offers an extensive selection of burger-and-the-works options, and plenty of quirky art to talk about between mouthfuls. When you're done, bring the conversation upstairs to the rooftop garden for potent tiki drinks among lights and shophouse rooftops. 

Afterwards Have classy tipples from Live Twice, a new bar that evokes the spirit of mid-century modern Japan. 

Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay
Photograph: Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay/ Facebook

Sabai Fine Thai on the Bay

Restaurants Thai Raffles Place

Impress your date with Thai fine dining that’s not too stuffy while taking in glistening views of Marina Bay. The amber-lit restaurant lets you bask in a warm glow as you savour traditional dishes like Yam Mamuang, a spicy green mango salad with prawns, chicken, roasted coconut, grounded peanuts and sweet sauce ($18.70) and tom yam gung ($26.50) that have been elevated a notch.

Afterwards If you can’t get enough of marina views, walk along Fullerton Bay to Overeasy for a pint or two.

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JAAN by Kirk Westaway
Photograph: Masano Kawana

Jaan By Kirk Westaway

Restaurants French City Hall

Save this one for a special occasion. Or not. With breathtaking views of the Singapore skyline, Jaan is an intimate 40-seat restaurant that takes you on a culinary journey to chef Kirk Westaway's hometown in Devon. The small seaside town on the south-western coast of England continues to be a source of inspiration in Jaan's menu, which focuses on fresh seasonal produce.

Afterwards Head down to Anti:dote at the Fairmont for a nightcap or walk a little further to Loof, where the party goes on late into the night.

Terra
Photograph: Terra by Seita

Terra

Restaurants Tanjong Pagar

This is a great restaurant to keep returning to for date night as no two meals at Terra are exactly the same – even though you can request for your favourite dishes in advance. Chef-owner Seita Nakahara regularly travels to Japan to source for new ingredients. As such, the omakase sets of Tokyo-Italian cuisine are changed seasonally depending on what arrives in the kitchen that day. Don’t confuse what you’ll be eating with fusion food: 'Tokyo-Italian' simply refers to authentic Italian dishes that are made from the best Japanese produce available.

Afterwards Hop over to Junior, a small pocket bar that seats a maximum of 12 people – reservations mandatory.

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La Taperia
Photograph: La Taperia/ Facebook

La Taperia

Restaurants Spanish Orchard

The service at this Les Amis Group restaurant is as charming as the warm tones and upbeat mood of its Spanish-inspired decor. Share a spread of vivid tapas and small plates like the Galician-style octopus, charcoal-grilled Iberian presa and a pan of paella, and then take dessert and a digestif on its terrace after. 

Afterwards Walk towards Tanglin and disappear into Forum's basement for bespoke cocktails at The Horse's Mouth, or walk further down the road and steal into one of the side lounges of Manhattan Bar at the Regent Singapore for more drinks. 

Ristorante Da Valentino
Photograph: Ristorante Da Valentino

Ristorante Da Valentino

Restaurants Bukit Timah

This family-run Italian restaurant has charm oozing out of its bricked walls and the candlestick-topped Chianti bottles that rack them. 'Homely' is the operative word here, and the food aims neither to shock nor titillate but satisfy. Deeply. There's nothing like authentic Italian food to break the ice with your date. Comforting but still keeping it classy, dig into the Fettucine al Granchio (squid ink pasta with crabmeat and a creamy tomato sauce) and you’ll understand why.

Afterwards You're stuck out in Turf City but we'd recommend trekking out to The Straits Wine Company off Sixth Avenue for some alfresco tipple.

Complete the date with these...

Piedra Negra
Photograph: Piedra Negra

The best bars for a date

Bars and pubs

Can you ever sip your way into someone's heart? We can't say for sure, but these boozy spots around town might just do their bit to frame you in a totally-would-date vibe. (And the alcohol won't hurt, either.)

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