Janice Wong is a chef and owner of restaurants including Janice Wong Singapore and 2am:dessertbar. The native Singaporean is renowned for her cutting-edge desserts and has twice been named Asia’s best pastry chef.
My favourite view in Singapore is from my restaurant in the National Museum of Singapore. I come here at least four times a week when I’m in town. I make my morning coffee and gaze out of the window at the lush greenery and Fort Canning Park next door. Often you find roosters wandering around. These moments relax me before my day begins.
Where to live
Newton is a hub for locals and expats alike since it is right next to the city centre. Within Newton, the neighbouring Orchard Road and Novena district you can find everything: from famous local hawker centres to fine-dining restaurants and heritage homes nestled between the condos and public housing.
It is such a convenient location, allowing me to access some of the best of what Singapore has to offer in terms of food, nightlife and even culture. There are beautiful short walks to be had on tree-lined streets where heritage homes are kept in tip-top shape, making you feel like you have time warped 50 years back.
Where to eat
For breakfast, I usually take my coffee at The Hangar on 25 Arab Street, where you can enjoy an all-day brunch menu. A.R.C. Coffee on Sultan Gate is also good for a coffee fix, as they serve a variety of single origins and blends.
Little India is a good pick for lunch. Jaggi’s, at 37-39 Chander Road, is one of the best places for no-frills north Indian cuisine. I highly recommend the garlic naan with butter chicken.
At dinnertime I would usually go to Newton Circus, a food hawker centre that is rich in diversity and culture. There is Indian, Chinese and Malay food. One of the best local dishes available is the oyster omelette — the wait is approximately 15 minutes.
Where to sip cocktails
Emerald Hill, off the Orchard Road, is a good spot to enjoy cocktails. No. 5 Emerald Hill opened in 1991 and is an iconic bar in Singapore.
Another nearby bar I frequent around the area is Manhattan at the Regent hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, which is classy, comfortable and private. I usually order an Old Fashioned — they have a wide selection of whiskey.
Where to relax
A 10-minute bike ride away from Newton is the lush greenery of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There are many different trails one can chose to take a walk or jog on. The garden’s renowned orchid collection is definitely worth a visit.
Where to catch some jazz
I like Blu Jaz Cafe at 11 Bali Lane. I really enjoyed a recent performance by Chok Kerong, Soh Wen Ming and Andrew Lim. Their music is original and their synergy, love and passion are evident.
Where to work out
I jog around the neighbourhood in Newtown at Hooper Road, where there is a small park, and down to Orchard Road, Emerald Hill and back. The loop is about 5km. The best time to run is in the evening; I prefer jogging outside to using a treadmill as one can feel the freshness of the air through the city’s greenery and enjoy the scenery.
Photographs: Franz Navarrete; Antony Souter/Alamy; Iain Masterton/Alamy; Dreamstime
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