So it’s your turn to pick a spot for date night and you’re out of ideas. The key thing to remember is that while quality food and drinks are important, the goal is a good time. To that end, why not add a little adventure to your next date night and check out a hidden restaurant or bar?

From an Asian eatery hidden behind a fridge door to a tiny cocktail bar that’s big on charm, these gems are deliberately hard to find but reward the intrepid with unique dining experiences.

Burger Joint

There are burger joints and then there’s THE Burger Joint, the cult burger franchise from New York. Just like the OG outlet that’s hidden inside a posh hotel, the Singapore edition is just about impossible to find if you don’t know where to look. Here’s what you do: head to Ding Dong along Amoy Street, walk to the back where Gemmil Lane is at and push through the heavy black doors indicated by the neon sign on the wall — it’ll feel as if the both of you are infiltrating some secret military bunker…

 

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Past a pair of heavy velvet curtains, you’ll find an American-style diner with graffiti-strewn walls and handwritten cardboard signs. There are more than 10 burgers to choose from, all variations of the classic recipe (no zhuzhed-up wagyu-truffle variations here). We recommend going for the bacon cheeseburger with “the full works” (i.e., lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, ketchup and mustard), $19.80. The bar is stocked with craft beers and a wide selection of bourbon, so this is also a great place for after-dinner drinks.

 

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Burger Joint is at #01-03, 115 Amoy Street.

Junior

Junior is also called “the pocket bar”, and it should be obvious why the moment you step into this cosy cocktail joint off Cook Street (look for the white door beside a small sign). With just 10 seats, it’s quite possibly the tiniest bar in Singapore. But what it lacks in space it more than makes up for in terms of character, with tropical ferns covering the ceiling, mustard-yellow walls lined with handmade rattan panels, and intimate two-seater booths all bathed in warm mood lighting.

Junior Pacifica

The bar takes on a new concept every six months or so, the latest being the Tiki-centric Pacifica. Highlights include the refreshing Zombie, $25, a Tiki staple featuring a mix of three kinds of rum, falernum, grapefruit, lime and spices. Don’t be fooled by the pretty presentation and easy-drinkingness (I’m sure that’s a word) – this is one potent cocktail. And then there’s The Old Salt, $25, a blend of honey, preserved lemon, grapefruit and seaweed-infused mezcal for an added umami punch. The bar bites are also worth a mention – we loved the Crab Rangoon, $12, a fried wantan-style treat of crab meat, cream cheese and chives served alongside homemade sweet chilli mint sauce; and the Blistered Peppers, $8, charred peppers coated in a togarashi spice blend served with grilled pineapple.

 

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Junior is at 43 Tanjong Pagar Road.

The Dragon Chamber

This speakeasy restaurant and bar is hidden behind a drinks fridge at an unassuming Circular Road kopitiam – how cool is that? Inspired by old school gambling dens, the dimly-lit interior features ornate marble-and-wood furniture and walls covered with artworks from local and regional artists referencing ancient Chinese myths. Your date will be impressed, for sure.

 

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The menu is all about Chinese classics with an adventurous twist. Be sure to try the Wagyu Truffle Hor Fun, $68 for 2-3 pax; Dragon Mountain (lobster fried with Sichuan spices), $88 for 2-3 pax; and Firecracker Chicken and Maple Fritters (chicken chunks with Sichuan spices served with maple syrup-infused you tiao), from $16. If you dare, go for the Dick Soup, $30. That wasn’t a typo – the herbal soup features an actual crocodile penis swimming alongside chunks of mushroom and chicken. The drinks menu features a wide selection of in-house ales and asian-inflected cocktails (the coffee-infused Crazy for Coconuts, $16, is a must-try!).

 

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The Dragon Chamber is at 2 Circular Road.

Bincho at Hua Bee

By day, Hua Bee is a typical Tiong Bahru kopitiam serving mee pok and kaya toast. By night, it transforms into a yakitori joint accessible via a nondescript backdoor. The interior has a Blade Runner-esque industrial vibe, with fairy lights, exposed concrete and wire mesh walls lined with copper plates – very cool.

 

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Go for the Omakase set, from $80, where chef Asai Masashi improvises 12 courses of yakitori dishes featuring premium cuts of grilled chicken. Highlights from the a la carte menu include the Breaded Mie Oyster Set, $25; Bincho Ramen Set, $40; and Beef Hamburg Curry Set, $48; all of which come with an appetiser, salad, soup, karaage and dessert.

 

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Bincho at Hua Bee is at 78 Moh Guan Terrace.

HUSH20

 

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HUSH20 is a hidden restaurant accessible via the backdoor of a shophouse in Duxton Plains Park. We don’t recommend popping by unannounced – the intimate space only takes reservations for 30 every night, and the tables are snapped up sometimes days in advance. Drop them a text via Whatsapp at +65 81272728 to secure a spot for date night.

 

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HUSH20 features a new menu each month, with the interior reflecting the theme (like a beach-inspired setting complete with sand and fish nets during a seafood-themed run). This month’s theme is “The Land”, and features free flow pork and beef ribs AND beer and wine for $79.

HUSH20 is at 14 Bukit Pasoh Road.