Heading to Gillman Barracks? Immerse yourself in art, dining and drinking experiences, and fun events for the family.
We admit Gillman Barracks doesn’t quite qualify as a neighbourhood but this trending enclave in Singapore with multiple art galleries is the go-to spot for those seeking a dose of contemporary art (with a side of good food). Oh, and creative art enthusiasts can also keep a lookout for exciting events. Here’s what you need to know about this ex-deserted colonial barracks turned hip hotspot.
Gillman Barracks guide: Food & drinks
1. Wheeler’s Tropikana
Get ready for a tropical adventure at Wheeler’s Tropikana. We’re talking lush greenery, clay-themed hues, bamboo accents, and even an outdoor pool! The menu combines Australian flavours and the zest of the Pacific Islands, featuring dishes such as grilled Tasmanian salmon, Franklin River trout tartare, Fremantle octopus tapas, and more. Sip on indulgent signature cocktails that make you forget you’re still in Singapore.
Wheeler’s Tropikana, 9A Lock Road, Singapore 108926
2. The Naked Finn
No-frills seafood grill, alfresco style – that’s what you can expect at The Naked Finn. It’s turned the little nook it calls home in Gillman Barracks into the perfect respite from the city. Here’s where you can enjoy a wide array of seafood: from Pacific cupped oysters to scallops, octopus, and wild-caught Mozambique lobster, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The Naked Finn, 39 Malan Road, Singapore 109442
Hopscotch is a grilled food paradise in Gillman Barracks serving locally crafted cocktails. With a simple concept of providing diners with good grub and great vibes, this eatery is the perfect spot for a chill evening. Get a delightful flight of flavours with blends of old and new with the cocktail menu, crafted with modern techniques. Plus, vibe out to live music on Friday nights with acoustic sets by duo Cynthia and Linus.
Hopscotch, 45 Malan Road, Singapore 109455
A biker den-inspired bar and grill, Handlebar is an unconventional joint with grilled burgers and meat. Everyone’s welcome here – you don’t have to be a biker to enjoy this unique dining experience. Head over for some unconventional lunch adventures.
Handlebar, 10 Lock Road, Singapore 108938
There’s no way you won’t crave desserts after a day of gallery-hopping. Specialising in premium ice cream creations, Creamier promises quality ingredients and amazing flavours. Indulge in sea salt gula melaka or Earl Grey lavender ice cream, we say! Oh, and don’t miss out on the golden waffles.
Creamier, 5A Lock Road, Singapore 108927
Gillman Barracks guide: Art galleries & things to do
6. Show your local pride
Opened by Stephanie Fong in 2006, Fost Gallery pays special focus to emerging local artists. It has featured works by Jimmy Ong, one of Singapore’s best-known artists, as well as sculptors Chun Kaifeng and Grace. Another local gallery that’s a must to visit? Yeo Workshop. The contemporary art gallery curates intriguing exhibitions by both local and international artists and hosts interesting programmes, allowing art lovers a chance to engage with talented artists in Singapore.
7. Check out modern art
Head to Mucciaccia Gallery for a modern take on art. Contemporary and fine arts enthusiasts can admire the range of exhibition works by Italian and international artists that explore 21st century modern art. This gallery also hosts thought-provoking events and debates. For South Asian contemporary art, pop by Richard Koh Fine Art Gallery. With intercultural influences, its artworks connect people with the evolving Asian fine arts scene.
Find out more about issues with social significance through the exhibits at Yavuz Gallery. Curating both emerging and established artists’ works, the gallery promotes intercultural conversations. Meanwhile, historical significance and humanism are the two main aspects of the exhibitions at Sundaram Tagore Gallery. Alongside the installations, it also hosts cultural happenings like poetry readings, music performances and book launches. For an immersive art experience, visit The Columns Gallery. Originally established in New York, it aims to bring together emerging and established Korean artists and the global market.
8. Attend an event or two
To promote art appreciation and visual literacy in Singapore, Gillman Barracks hosts tours, exhibitions and artist-led workshops. Everyone’s welcome to join! Friends of the Museums hosts an art and history tour every Saturday to showcase the exciting exhibitions and historical landmarks.
9. Admire art of the East
Swing by ShanghART to marvel at captivating artworks by some of China’s most influential art institutions and artists. Folks with a penchant for Japanese art must make it a point to visit Mizuma Gallery and Ota Fine Arts; the galleries are known for curating snazzy exhibitions by renowned Japanese artists.
10. Join the art club
Immerse yourself in Singapore’s burgeoning art scene and join elite art association Arnoldii Arts Club. It offers art aficionados a chance to pick the brains of renowned artists through casual lectures, events, and even international tours. Don’t forget to make the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) one of your pit stops of the day. Developed by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and supported by the Economic Development Board (EDB), it’s a treasure trove of creative programmes like exhibitions, talks, and music performances.
How to get to Gillman Barracks
The easiest way to get to the hidden art hideout? Take a cab. Otherwise, you’ll work up a sweat on your 10-minute walk from Labrador Park MRT.
If you’re driving in, take note: Gillman Barracks can only be accessed from either Malan Road (turn in from Alexandra Road) or Lock Road (turn in from Depot Road). Tip: remember to bring an umbrella. The serene destination promises lush greenery and tranquil open spaces, but that also means you’re likely to get drenched if it pours. It’s no fun when you have to sprint from block to block in the rain!
There you have it: our definitive guide to the art galleries, events and restaurants at Gillman Barracks.