You’ll want to be seen here! Here’s where to eat, drink, shop, and chill out at this bustling enclave in the Duxton neighbourhood
Telok Ayer, we’ll be fond of you forever but if there’s a neighbourhood to give our fave one a serious run for its money, it’s the leafy and lush Duxton Hill. From the many, many great eateries here representing all sorts of cuisine from Mexican to French, to the independent stores that will keep you occupied if you’re in for a spot of shopping, this neighbourhood not too far from the city is one to explore.
There’s a reason why we picked this spot as the next homefor our Honeycombers Dinner Society. Serving up innovative Chinese cuisine that will satisfy modern palates and also please the traditionalist, Xin Divine’s star dishes include Szechuan-style tortellini in chilli oil, Poulet de Bresse with foie gras (their rendition of ‘drunken chicken’), seabass served with Szechuan-style eggplant and topped with deep-fried enoki, and the minimalist but beautiful dessert that is an osmanthus sphere with chilled winter melon and rock sugar soup.
Xin Divine, 10 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089594
Duxton is a busy ‘hood when night falls, but if you’re looking for a quieter spot away from the post-work madness in the area, this intimate Italian fine dining spot sitting atop Duxton Hill will offer a welcome respite. It’s a pretty space, with seats spread across the rustic main dining room, the roofed courtyard and an alfresco terrace that’s perfect for balmy nights. Treat yourself with a majestic Black Angus tenderloin Rossini-style with an escalope of foie gras and black truffle sauce or some oven-roasted crispy suckling pig served with a millefeuille of potato and goat’s cheese, broad beans frittata and suckling pig jus.
Alba 1836, #01-01, 28 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089610
French cuisine runs the gamut of classy to cosy, and this restaurant is no doubt the latter. The cosy restaurant houses just seven tables where diners can watch Chef Paul in action, as he personally prepares his contemporary French dishes. Rhubarb offers a six course menu that features mains like wagyu onglet, snails and bone marrow, capped off with novel desserts like gingerbread with fromage blanc sorbet, mandarin oranges and chocolate.
Rhubarb Le Restaurant, 3 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089589
The allure of Sabio lies in its constantly changing menu that showcases fresh, seasonal ingredients flown directly from Spain. Be transported to the vibrant and animated tapas bars in a Spanish town as you sip away on a glass of crisp Sangria, accompanied with shavings of of premium Jamón Iberico.
Sabio, 5 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089591
With its pastel-coloured garden bar and buzzy vibes, this Mexican taqueria is our go-to place for a tequila party. You can’t leave without ordering yourself a couple of tacos and elotes, a Mexican street-style grilled corn rubbed with mayo, chili, and cotija cheese. Don’t forget a mezcal cocktail to complete the night!
Lucha Loco, 15 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089598
Latteria Mozzarella Bar
The guys behind famed Italian restaurant, Il Lido, have a soft spot for cheese – particularly of the mozzarella variety – and this bar is proof. It boasts a variety of fresh mozzarella cheese in varying shapes and sizes, all flown in directly from Italy’s artisanal producers. But cheese isn’t the only attraction here; the outdoor area, with the fairylights and tranquil setting, beckons romantic dates and intimate gatherings.
Latteria Mozzarella Bar, 40 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089618
Pince & Pints
Lobster is the only thing on the menu at Pince & Pints – grilled, steamed or with chilli – and the tour de force is undoubtedly the lobster roll. Packed with generous servings of the good stuff with a side of mesclun salad, fries, and garlic aioli sauce, this bad boy is packed with flavour and certainly won’t disappoint. Wash down all that seafood with a refreshing pint of craft beer.
Pince & Pints, 32 Duxton Road, Singapore 089496
L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro
Only serving one main dish, L’Entrecôte The Steak & Fries Bistro does a stellar steak and fries meal that comes with a mouth-watering secret butter sauce. Oh, and did we mention the fries are free-flow? Score!
L’Entrecôte – The Steak & Fries Bistro, 36 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089614
Inaho’s Kitchen Bar
Arguably Duxton’s best-kept secret, this hole-in-the wall Japanese izakaya is hidden on the second floor of a shophouse, with only a nondescript sign outside the door on the first level indicating its location. Inside, you’ll find in-the-know Japanese salarymen lining the long, wooden bar and tucking into their banshaku sets, which comes with a mug of Sapporo beer and other inventive dishes. Make sure you get some sake on the side as well.
Inaho’s Kitchen Bar, 60 Duxton Road, Singapore 089524
ETNA Italian Ristorante
Fun fact: ETNA is the name of Italy’s most iconic volcano on the east coast of Sicily, and is also short for Every Table Needs Attention. The rustic yet elegant restaurant knows how to please the masses – with well-seasoned Sicilian and Mediterranean plates, including some diverse antipasti, a perfectly grilled Atlantic cod fish fillet, handmade ricotta cheese and spinach ravioli, fresh pizzas, and classic Italian desserts, at affordable prices. Italian vinos are must-tries on the drinks menu, but there are also Aussie and French labels, as well as whiskys and aperitifs to go with your meal.
ETNA Italian Ristorante, 49/50 Duxton Road, Singapore 089513
Grab a bite to start or end your (very late) night at the Kilo Merienda. From Ang Mo Bak Chor Mee to Camp Kilo Charcoal Club Pulled Pork Tacos to Baskets of Fries, a rotating menu means you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Kilo Lounge, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road, #01-02/04, Singapore 088444, p. 9824 9747, Opening Hours: Fri-Sat, 11pm –late
Xiao Ya Tou
Here’s a modern Asian restaurant that turns local cuisine on its head. Highlights include the crispy, wrapped otak rolls filled with spicy fish paste, and the XYT ayam percik, where grilled spring chicken is cooked with coconut cream and lime. And as it turns out, if you bring your own eggs (no, really) , you even get $1 off their signature XYT char kway teow!
Xiao Ya Tou, 6 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089592
Looks like Duxton’s quite the hotspot for brunch and comfort food, and Botanist is definitely a contender for one of the best places for your weekend brunch fix. There’s loads on the menu to choose from – baked eggs, tagliatelle carbonara, slow-cooked beef cheek, croque madame. Food coma, here we come.
Botanist, 74 Neil Road, Singapore 088839
Mavrx Coffee Apothecary
How do the Duxton Hill folks do mornings? Coffee from Mavrx Coffee Apothecary of course! This joint in Duxton serves up no-nonsense and good coffee for the early and lunch crowds. Have your coffee to go or sit for a while at the shopfront for some people watching before you get back to the grind.
Mavrx Coffee Apothecary, 1A Duxton Hill, Singapore 089587
Group Therapy Coffee
Good for comfort food, Group Therapy is located on the second floor of a restored shop house and is identifiable only by a teeny signboard and a flight of wooden stairs. Tuck into the delish Belgian waffles and chilli crab pies, while lounging on sofas and reading from the extensive collection of books.
Group Therapy Coffee, #02-01, 49 Duxton Road, Singapore 089513
The Populus Coffee & Food Co.
Gastro-cafe The Populus Coffee & Food Co. is good for coffee and huge, hearty brunches. Rice bowls, waffles with ice cream mountains and fluffy scrambled eggs, this place is all about big flavours and great comfort food.
The Populus Coffee & Food Co., 146 Neil Rd, Singapore 088875
Its exquisite fruit-focused Japanese- and French-inspired cakes, tarts, and pies are purely made without baking powder, artificial rising and softening agents, stabilisers, and preservatives. The softness and moisture of the baked goods, according to the team at FLOR, come from the natural aeration of eggs as they are whipped to their full peak. Sell-out creations are the Strawberry Souffle and Mango Pie, so be there early if you want a bite.
FLOR Pâtisserie, #01-01, 2 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089588
Every neighbourhood needs its good ol’ pub. For Duxton, there’s this pub named after a Monty Python song. The Brightside is where you want to go for happy hour, beers (by the buckets!), cocktails and footy nights with the gang,
The Brightside, 37 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089615
Hosting winemakers regularly for cellar door tastings and wine dinners, this quaint wine bar is a great place for an enjoyable session of wine appreciation. Other than supplying a wide selection of independent Australian and New Zealand wine, Merchants also dishes out a really mean cuppa java as well as delicious bites.
Merchants Wine Cellar, 52 Duxton Road, Singapore 089516
Praelum Wine Bistro
Well-crafted French-Asian bites, a 600-strong wine collection and a quaint, down-to-earth vibe make this snug spot popular with nibblers and sippers. Wines by the glass are dispensed from the bistro’s card-operated Enomatic vending machines, available at three different amounts – taster, half and full – for 16 European labels of New World whites, reds, rosés and dessert wines. Bottles, on the other hand, are stored in the carefully curated walk-in cellar that holds fine wines such as the 82’ Lafite Rothschild, 82’ Latour, 82’ Petrus, 70’ CVNE Rioja and 93’ and 99’ Screaming Eagle. Impressive…
Praelum Wine Bistro, 4 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089590
Yes, besides wining and dining, there is shopping you can do at Duxton Hill as well. The multi-label store Monument Lifestyle was started by husband and wife team, Dustin Ramos and Iris Sangalang and was inspired by their love for coffee, the beach, quality goods and the Californian lifestyle.
Monument Lifestyle, 75 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089534
Sustainably restored under the designer Anouska Hempel (acclaimed for her Hempel and Blake’s hotels in London), Six Senses Duxton has 49 guest rooms and suites: we’ve had a peek, and can vouch thatno two are exactly the same. Guests are in for an eccentric, elegant surprise when they enter the hotel, which includes large golden fans and strong hues of black, gold and yellow, layered with Oriental screens and calligraphy wallpaper from Anouska’s personal collection. Staying for a bit? Check out the antiquarian library themed lobby bar serving up the hotel’s signature house cocktail of hot whiskey, brandy and absinthe, crowned with a yellow chrysanthemum.
Six Senses, 83 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089540
Littered with Books
This quaint indie shop is one of our favourite bookstores in the city. They’ve got fantastic service, competitive prices, a well-edited selection of reads, and readily bring in books when requested.
Littered with Books, 20 Duxton Road, Singapore 089486
Venture a little further in this hood and you’ll probably stumble upon the architectural wonder, The Pinnacle@Duxton. A stone’s throw away from the CBD, this award-winning 50-storey residential development features the world’s two longest sky gardens (500 metres each). While the first sky garden located on the 26th floor is reserved only for residents’ use, visitors can make their way up to 50th floor – which is open to the public – to enjoy a picturesque bird’s eye view of the quaint neighbourhood.
Pinnacle@Duxton, 1 Cantonment Rd, Singapore 080001
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