Unexplored Singapore

You haven’t seen it all. You say you have, but you haven’t. This little guide will give you some suggestions next time you’re feeling a little adventurous.

Food

Wheeler’s Yard
You won’t stumble across this place because it’s snugly tucked away on an industrial street two roads from Balestier Road. The bright blue doors of Wheeler’s Yard are closed, but upon further analysis you’ll find an ‘open’ sign pointing to the right. Follow the path and you’ll uncover the side entrance of what looks to be a bike shop set in a warehouse.
The café to the left is what you’d imagine an artist studio would be in such a space – deconstructed fixie bikes on the wall, a long dining table with three full bikes sitting in the middle. The menu focuses on coffee and brunch options, though if you’re hankering for something heavier, the Ultimate Beef Yard Burger ($26.90) is a delicious mess. The beef patty – apparently infused with wagyu fats – is cooked medium-rare, with fries and homemade BBQ sauce.
You’ll need to arrange a gym session to burn extra calories knowing there’s cheese, bacon, lettuce, caramelised onions and onsen poached egg – but that’s what the bikes are for, right? The space is open at night as well, with some craft beers, wine and ciders to try. Other than the bikes and accessories, the shop also has an hourly bike rental and a nice collection of vintage furniture to gawk at.
28 Lor Ampas, 328781. 6254 9128. wheelersyard.com

Kilo Kallang
The open-air concept restaurant fusing European and Asian cuisine sits upon the top floor of the TURE building. What’s the TURE building, you may ask? The closest MRT is Lavender – an 8-minute walk away – along the Kallang Basin. Make the journey over, and you’ll be treated to dishes like pork belly with purple mash and crackling, beef tongue tacos, as well as goat cheese and ricotta gnocchi. The cocktail menu has a few interesting takes on homemade infused spirits – like thyme-infused gin and jalapeno tequila.
66 Kampong Bugis, 338987. 6467 3987. kilokitchen.com

Drinks

Mikkeller Bar Singapore
The microbrewery in Denmark, loved for its collaborate brewing with other breweries around the world, brings its phantom ethos to Singapore. Making bars in the US, Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul, Singapore is the next lucky city to get a bar. Located at DECK, the stacked shipping container space next to The Hub on Prinsep Street, Mikkeller founder Mikkel Borg Bjergsø has set up 20 taps – all serving up various types of boutique beer.
The long wooden bench seating outside and loose gravel floor gives this space a very thrown-together feel, putting the focus purely on the range of beers and ciders available – all served in 200ml and 400ml glasses (ranging from $9 to $23 in price). You’ll struggle to make your first choice with what’s on offer. The Koppi IPA ($9/$17) is a 7.2% coffee IPA with a great mixture of hops and infusion of coffee beans. The Spontan Peach is a fruit Lambic beer with 7.7% alcohol content – fruit with a punch. It’s incredibly relaxed, and a treat once the sun goes down – you might struggle if the sun is still bearing down, as there’s no place for shade.
120A Prinsep Street, 187937. 6352 0950. facebook.com/mikkellerbarsg

The Great Escape
After closing for renovations and ruffling the feathers of fans of the hidden café-slash-bar, The Great Escape up in the car park near The Projector is back in business.
It’s bare minimum in terms of décor, but that’s what makes it a great little rooftop space with a view of MBS and the Sports Hub. Head to indie cinema The Projector first and see a flick before deconstructing it over a cocktail.
6001 Beach Road, #05-00 Golden Mile Tower, 199589. 9180 6728. facebook.com/thegoldenbar

Parks

Punggol Waterway Park
Punggol couldn’t be any more north, with Malaysia’s Johor Port easily visible from the beach. Unless you’ve ventured around this neighbourhood for a reason, chances are you’ve not ventured this far up. The recent construction there is aiming to change that. There are a plethora of HDBs under construction, but among all the chaos of buildings sprouting to life is a calm bike path.
Starting at Punggol Jetty – where you can rent a bike from GoCycling – follow the eastern path past the many restaurants along the Punggol Settlement, breezing past the entrance to Coney Island. Eventually you’ll come across Sunrise Gateway – you’ll see a gorgeous red bridge to your left – and have to turn right. Follow this right-hand turn, and you’ll begin the journey. This bike path brings you through Punggol along a river. The variety of designs on these HDBs are a great sight, but what’s more interesting is when reaching the Punggol Waterway Park.
As you pass Kelong Bridge – looking like a pile of tubes stuck to a bridge – and the SAFRA building, you’ll reach Waterway Point. This shopping mall is almost fully complete, with a view of the river and nearby arch bridge. This trip is best done as a bike ride – unless you’re looking to collect 13,000 steps on your Fitbit pedometer.
Sentul Crescent Road, 822313. nparks.gov.sg

Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve
On the top-left part of Singapore – even further north than Jurong Frog Farm – is this great escape from the hustle of the city. The 202-hectare nature reserve rich with animals, plant life, ponds and waterfront views along the boardwalk is barely visited, due to it being hard to access – there’s access via bus 925 from Kranji MRT station.
There are five viewing platforms or ‘pods’ placed around to spot wild osprey birds, but also mudflats to check out benthic organisms – living in and on the bottom of the ocean floor – during low tide. There’s information everywhere for kids to read along the way, and a Visitor Centre explaining about the ecosystem of this special place.
301 Neo Tiew Crescent, 718925. nparks.gov.sg

Places

ION Sky
You wouldn’t know it when visiting ION Orchard, but 56 floors up you’ll find an incredible view of the city – for free. At 218 metres high and with 360-degree views of Singapore, you’ll be able to grab some great photos.
There’s also a high-tech interactive telescope to scout some well-known locations around town. Along the windows you’ll be given little snippets of information about what you’re seeing – such as Singapore’s sunsets only lasting 12 minutes.
The entrance is next to Salt Grill & Sky Bar on the fourth floor. It’s quiet and calm, and…did I mention it was free? Take your camera, or a book even – some students might have taken advantage of the tranquillity – and enjoy.
2 Orchard Turn, 238801. 6238 8228. ionorchard.com

The Animal Resort
Want to see five acres of farm animals for free? Giving kids and adults the chance to come a whole lot closer to nature, this farm has a range of animals to see – birds, cassowaries, geese, fish, horses, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs and more. You can buy some hay or carrots to feed some of the animals, who’ll either slowly nibble it bit by bit, or inhale the entire thing. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s a whole different experience than the zoo. You can take the 86 bus from the Yio Chu Kang MRT, but a taxi from there is suggested, as it’s a bit of a walk down the road to the farm.
T81 Seletar West Farmway 5, 798061. 6482 1160. theanimalresort.com