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Time Out: Singapore

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore may be one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in, but it’s also one of the most colorful, with a telling juxtaposition of new and old. At its heart in the Central Business District, glistening skyscrapers rise among a kaleidoscope of historic shops. Nearby, at Gardens by the Bay, a swathe of green landscape provides a much-needed reprieve from the urban buzz. When hunger (or thirst) strikes, pick from the bumper crop of hot cafés, restaurants or bars and discover why Singapore was crowned Asia’s culinary capital and one of the world’s hottest cocktail cities.

Jigger & Pony.        

There are many towering eye candies at Gardens by the Bay, not the least of which is the Avatar-esque Supertrees (1)—towering concrete and steel vertical gardens covered with more than 162,900 plants. For a respite from the heat, make a beeline for the temperature-controlled Flower Dome, the world’s largest columnless greenhouse, or be awed by the 35-meter man-made Cloud Mountain at the Cloud Forest.

Sample a tasting menu of avant garde Singapore fare at Restaurant Labyrinth, which fuses modern cooking techniques with classic local flavors (the chili crab is a must). Across the road, Lokal serves Melbourne-style brunch; don’t miss the smashed avocado and ricotta open-faced sandwich. For lip-smacking street food, Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre is a solid favorite of celebrity chefs.

For drinks mixed with fresh juices, herbs and house-made bitters, head to Anti:dote in the Fairmont hotel for a citrusy Corpse Reviver #2. Or hop over to Jigger & Pony, a stalwart with close to 30 types of homemade syrups and infusions. Subterranean speakeasy Operation Dagger offers all these and more—think bottle-aged carbonated cocktails and sous-vide tarragon-infused gin.

Discover the city’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods with a local breakfast of bak chor mee (minced pork noodles) at the Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre. Then proceed to the ground floor wet market to witness how locals shop for groceries. Stop for a mid-morning coffee break at 40 Hands, followed by lunch at PS.Cafe Petit Tiong Bahru.

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