For a spot of fun with a local touch
Loof (a play on the way some Singaporeans pronounce ‘roof’), by the Lo and Behold Group, has been a local favourite since 2005. We love the breezy vibe, the old school Mamashop (check out their pre-iPad knick knacks and old-school snacks here) and the superb view of the Raffles Hotel.
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Quirky South-east Asian-influenced cocktails, such as its signature Loof Bubble Tea ($21) that comes shaken with vodka, orange liqueur, sour plum, passion fruit, calamansi, lemon, yogurt and fruity pearls, come highly recommended. And you should try their ‘Dude-Sin’ (think: modern Singaporean meets bar grub) dishes, such as the sinful B.C.M. Grilled Cheese ($18) — it’s a hearty dish of sourdough bread stuffed with cheese, pork mince and mushrooms, inspired by our local Bak Chor Mee.
Loof is at #03-07 Odeon Towers, Extension Rooftop, 331 North Bridge Road, tel: 6337 9416.
For a classy evening
Perched on the two highest floors of the National Gallery Singapore, Aura is a dining destination with a 90-seater Italian restaurant and a sprawling 200-seater rooftop Sky Lounge. Fronted by the amazing view of the Marina Bay skyline, Aura Sky Lounge is a sophisticated lounge and bar with a strong Mediterranean focus designed for effervescent conversations and chilling out.
While taking in the awesome sights at night, munch on some Foie Gras and Duck Sliders ($24) and toast to the good life with a Cosmic Karma ($18), which features homemade green-apple-infused vodka, lychee liqueur, lime and egg white.
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Aura is at #05-03 and 06-02, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrews Road, tel: 68661977.
For a spectacular visual display
There is no shortage of places for drinks on level 57 of the Marina Bay Sands (Spago has a laid-back garden feel, and there is the SkyBar at Cé La Vi), but Lavo — a partnership between Marina Bay Sands and restaurant-nightlife group TAO Group — remains our top pick for a special evening.
You not only have the dazzling lights of the city, but you will also have an excellent view of the outdoor light and water show display Spectra. Be mesmerized by the beautiful symphony of music, water and light, with a cocktail in hand – perhaps a 58th St. Negroni ($25), with Gordon’s Gin, Amaro Montenegro and Dolin Dry Vermouth. The bar/restaurant/lounge also features classic Italian-American cuisine ranging from pizzas and pastas to grilled steaks.
Lavo is at Level 57, Sands SkyPark, Hotel Tower 1, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue, tel: 6688 8591.
4. Mr Stork
For an escape from the hustle and bustle
Mr Stork, nestled on Level 39 of the exquisite Andaz Singapore, is a tranquil rooftop bar set among tropical landscaping with cobbled pavements and ten teepee huts. The unobstructed 360-degree view of the city skyline and the heartlands is definitely a draw, so do try to come by in the late afternoon (they open at 5pm), before it gets busy, for a nice stroll. The sunset, we hear, is stunning.
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Cocktails here lean toward the fruity and floral style featuring garden herbs and fresh fruits. We enjoyed Ruby ($22), a citrusy concoction made with lemon, ginger, fresh mint, vermouth and Ceylon Arrack, a traditional Sri Lankan spirit distilled from the sap of the coconut flower and aged in Sri Lankan oak casks, and also Rhubarb ($22), a fizzy drink made with fresh rhubarb puree, strawberry and lemon juice, sparkling wine and a shot of vodka. For bites, do try the fried chicken rice risotto balls ($14) served with chicken rice chilli and crab cakes ($19) served with aioli.
Mr Stork is at Level 39, Andaz Singapore, 5 Fraser Street, tel: 6408 1234.
For a taste of equatorial flair
Opened in August 2018, 1927 at SO Sofitel Singapore is a charming rooftop cocktail bar and pool set in the heart of the Central Business District that features contemporary equatorial cocktails and gourmet bar bites. Highlights include the Absinthe Colada ($26), an absinthe-infused variation of Piňa Colada, which has St. George Absinthe from California, agricole and cool créme de menthe alongside the classic base of coconut and pineapple.
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According to Head Bartender Thomas Sobota, this addictive drink was concocted to evoke the adrenaline of escaping for a holiday. He recommends pairing his cocktails with the bar’s Relish Platter ($40) which comprises a selection of Beef Po’Boy (Wagyu hangers brioche), Crispy Pork Belly, Coco Prawns (tiger prawns with coconut and avocado), Jerk Chicken (spicy chicken with Scotch Bonnet chilli, onions and garlic) and Chipotle Poppers (chipotle with whipped cheese and sweet corn).
1927 is at Level 6, SO Sofitel Singapore is at 35 Robinson Road, tel: 6701 6800.
6. Lin Rooftop Bar
For an Asian twist
This Asian alfresco rooftop bar sits atop Link Hotel in the trendy Tiong Bahru district. Its interesting cocktail menu includes international classics as well as their house concoctions that incorporate flavours of the East such as lychee and sour plum.
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There’s even a bacon-infused whiskey cocktail cheekily names the “Tipsy Pig” — the umami flavour of the bacon, our bartender explained, helps balance out the sharpness of the whiskey.
Lin Rooftop Bar is at Link Hotel, 50 Tiong Bahru Road (closed on Sundays), tel: 9487 4290.
7. Potato Head Folk
For a magical evening
If you haven’t heard, Keong Saik is the place to be, and Potato Head Folk prides itself as an iconic landmark on this street. Apart from their amazing burgers, their rooftop bar on the fourth floor has the perfect ambiance to kick back and relax with a drink or five. Think fairy lights, garden furniture and a bohemian vibe.
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Potato Head Folk is at 36 Keong Saik Road (closed on Mondays), tel: 6327 1939.
For something elegant and groovy
Framed by an infinity lap pool and lush landscaping, this stylish rooftop bar, with a gorgeous view of the Marina Bay area, is a favoured spot for parties and celebrations. Come weekdays, you may find networking events a happening, while weekends are popular for birthdays and after-wedding parties.
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Nibble on their popular Butter Poached Lobster Roll with Mayonnaise and Truffles Fries ($33) or Mini Wagyu Beef Burgers ($27) – while sipping on refreshing cocktails such as Red Lantern ($24), which has tequila, watermelon, cucumber, lime, and their Imperial Berry Mojito ($28) with rum, berries, mint and Champagne.
Lantern is at Level 8, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore, 80 Collyer Quay, tel: 6597 5299.
9. SuperTree by Indochine
For super special occasions
If you’re observant enough, you’ll spot a little buzz at the top of the tallest supertree — that’s SuperTree by Indochine you’re looking at. There’s an air-conditioned restaurant at the lower floor, but we recommend heading up to the open deck rooftop bar to enjoy the refreshing evening sea breeze and fully take in the panoramic view of the Marina Bay skyline.
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SuperTree by Indochine is at #03-01 Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, tel: 6694 8489.
For a quieter getaway
This one Michelin-starred Italian restaurant-bar might be smack in the middle of Boat Quay, but it’s a serene hideaway to watch the hubbub from above. We love their smooth, polished spins on classic cocktails. Be warned (or excited): they do double shots!
Braci is at Level 6, 52 Boat Quay (closed on Sundays), tel: 6866 1933.
11. 1-Altitude Gallery & Bar
For the ultimate view
This award-winning venue, often referred to as the “world’s highest alfresco bar”, stands 282 metres above the Singapore’s Central Business District. The 360-degree view of the city’s spectacular skyline from here is unparalleled. So it is no wonder that this remains a coveted spot for celebrations, parties and weddings.
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Snap the best photos at its triangular tip, or lounge in one of their cabana beds as you sip a cocktail. The Gallery & Bar is part of the multi-concept lifestyle destination 1-Altitude, which occupies over 16,000 square feet of space spread across four levels (including the ALT Café & Bar on the ground floor) at One Raffles Place. The restaurant, Stellar, at level 62, is helmed by Executive Chef Christopher Millar and features progressive Australian cuisine, while the club lounge at Altimate (level 61) is an exclusive nightspot.
1-Altitude Gallery & Bar is at Level 63, 1 Raffles Place, tel: 6438 0410.
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Text: Atika Lim and Xie Huiqun