Clarke Quay may be one of the Lion City’s best-known nightlife hubs, but sophisticated locals often prefer to head to Robertson Quay when the sun goes down for exceptional drinking and dining. This wharf used to be one of the three biggest in Singapore and retains much of its historic charm. There’s an undeniable buzz to this picturesque stretch along the Singapore River a short taxi ride from the central business district.
La Maison du Whisky
As the name implies, this upscale watering hole is where whisky lovers congregate on the weekend. Even connoisseurs can learn a thing or two at this space, which stocks an impressive selection of whiskeys and whiskies (there’s a difference!) from regions around the world. The usual suspects from Japan, Scotland and the United States are all present, as well as powerhouses from lesser-known producers. Should you discover a special single malt that strikes your fancy, La Maison Du Whisky also acts as a shop and has an extensive collection of bottles for you to purchase for your private stash.
Wharf Oyster Bar
Bivalves and bubbles are always a winning combination, especially when the oysters are freshly shucked and the Champagne is perfectly crisp and cool. In the evenings, Wharf Oyster Bar attracts a mix of beautiful people, high-rollers and couples seeking a romantic evening. Splurge on the bottle of the good stuff and order an even dozen. You can also opt instead for mains such as the miso-glazed black cod accented with tart yuzu compote or a mammoth, one-kilogram tomahawk chop accompanied by a trio of sauces.
Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar
A vast selection of 700-plus bottles, as well as star sommelier Renny Heng’s in-depth knowledge, makes this one of the best wine bars in the city. Book in advance if you’d like to score one of the coveted seats at their wine dinners, which spotlight a particular region and aim to educate attendees about unusual vintages. Though your trusty sauvignon blanc and pinot noir are certainly here, Verre Modern Bistro & Wine Bar is the perfect place to branch out from your comfort zone and find some new favorites.
Step into a small slice of Ginza at this funky izakaya serving authentic yakitori cooked over blazing hot binchotan charcoal, which adds a subtle smokiness to just about everything. Choose from more than 70 types of skewers, including the ever popular foie gras, accompanied by 60 different sakes. In addition to the usual junmai daiginjo and honjozo varieties of sake, Shunjuu Izakaya showcases sparkling sake and nigori (unfiltered, cloudy sake), which is seldom seen outside of Japan.
A stylish trattoria with a laid-back vibe, Publico at the luxe InterContinental Singapore Robertson Quay serves regionally inspired Italian fare made from top-notch imported ingredients. The unfussy atmosphere makes it ideal for a casual bite, but the quality of the cuisine and the service are worthy of a fancy dinner date or business meal. Swing by early for an aperitivo from their inventive list of contemporary Italian cocktails.