Not all date spots are created equal. While a posh Italian joint might work for someone you met through a friend, it may be a bit too much for a Tinder date. Looking for the perfect place to get to know someone? Don’t fret – we found four spots in Singapore for every type of date.
For the guy you met on a night out: Summerlong at 60 Robertson Quay
If you met the guy at the club, your first date should be during the day – so you can see if he’s as cute in broad daylight as he was under the dim glow of the bar (and the influence of way too many G&Ts).
Why not go for a brunch date at Summerlong? Nestled along the Robertson Quay stretch, this relaxed riverside bistro is decked out with inviting hammocks and canvas-backed chairs for you to sit back and enjoy the breeze as you dine and sip on sangrias.
Summerlong’s new brunch menu focuses on Mediterranean-inspired dishes made with seasonal ingredients. The main attraction is The Counter. For $23, you get access to a wide spread of salads, grains and house-baked treats, including grilled eggplant served with yoghurt and herbs, and roasted pumpkin with tahini lemon dressing.
Another standout is the Real Turkish Breakfast ($35++), comprising spiced sausage with Turkish beans alongside sides like harissa, cured beef and smoked olives. If you like to start your day with something sweet, go for the indulgent Brioche French Toast & Summer Berries ($19++).
For the best-friend-turned-boyfriend date: Three Buns Quayside at 60 Robertson Quay
You’re already friends with him, which means he has probably seen you at your most unglam moments. So no big deal about chowing down a burger in front of him, right? This is why you’ll enjoy a brunch date at Three Buns Quayside, which is also along Rob Quay.
This isn’t your average burger shack. Just about every ingredient that goes into making a burger here is made from scratch, from the house-made sauces to freshly-baked buns and the patties made from prime cuts of Australian beef.
Pair the killer burgers with the Insta-worthy interior (you can’t go wrong with an industrial look accented with lots of potted plants), and you’ve got the perfect spot for a chilled out date. Plus, your BFF-turned-BF is already used to your flatlay-snapping ways, so why not take advantage of that and snap more photos?
Highlights from the menu include the Red Man, $28. Unlike the other burgers here, the “patty” is actually a tender slab of beef cheek slathered with a housemade rendang sauce, sandwiched between fluffy buns made from coconut oil/milk.
Then there’s Bun DMC, $16, which features a watermelon rind-relish stacked on fried shallots, onion puree and sriracha mayo on buns oozing with melted cheese.
The brunch menu (which is only available on Saturday and Sundays from 11 to 4pm) also includes must-tries such as Kinky Afro, $21, which comprises savoury buttermilk pancakes served with a chicken sausage patty, fried eggs and a generous drizzling of maple syrup.
For the date who loves having fun as much as you do: NINETEEN80 at 21 Tanjong Pagar Road
Arcade bars are all the rage right now, and are perfect for first dates. So if your date loves gaming as much as you do, try the newest kid on the block, NINETEEN80, which takes you back to the 80s with neon lights, nostalgic pop music (think A-ha, Michael Jackson and Madonna), old school arcade games (like Space Invaders, Pac Man and Puzzle Bobble), and more retro pop culture references than you can shake a joystick at.
After playing a round of Street Fighter, grab a seat at one of the gaming tables with a screen so you and your date can play another round while waiting for the food to arrive. Speaking of which, NINETEEN80 is all about bar bites and pizza, so expect handheld food designed to be munched on between gaming sessions as opposed to plates of spaghetti.
Our pick is the Donatello (named after the brainy Ninja Turtle, not the Renaissance sculptor), $26 – a pizza featuring chicken, avocado and mixed chillies. The space transforms into a club later at night and gets pretty packed, so be sure to head down early!
For literally ANY kind of date: Bar Cicheti at 10 Jiak Chuan Road
We saved the best for last: Bar Cicheti is a new Italian bistro at the Keong Saik dining enclave that’s perfect for just about any kind of date.
The charming interior has an upscale yet unfussy vibe, perfectly complementing the simple yet sublime menu of handmade artisan pasta dishes.
Each meal comes with a complimentary starter of grilled sourdough and honeyed ricotta – a scrumptious prelude to the gastronomic awesomeness to come.
You won’t go wrong with just about any pick from the focused one-page menu, but for your first visit, we recommend going for the Burratina, $25 (a mozzarella pouch filled with cream cheese served with grilled sourdough and onion jam) and Agnolotti, $15/$28 (beef cheek wrapped in flattened pasta topped with shaved parmigiana). The pasta dishes come in two sizes – regular and large – and we suggest going for the former so you and your date can try out more options.
Bar Cicheti takes its drinks just as seriously, offering a selection of classic Italian cocktails and craft wines from independent boutique winemakers. Our pick is the Artist Formerly Known as Peach, a delicious rosé with a hint of fizz and notes of tangerine and lime. It’s an easy-drinking vino, so be careful!