The struggle continues. You finally snagged that first date, but now, where do you bring your date for that great first impression? You don’t want to seem as too overly-extravagant, or worse yet, fringing on being a cheapskate. Gasps.
After much careful consideration and dating research (which included opinions from both genders), we narrowed down 15 stellar locations perfect for a first date. One that would be kind to the pocket, but with a romantic enough yet casual ambience to hold meaningful conversations.
Seth: Here’s some advice for guys – I believe the first date should have some extra thought put into the location. However, splurging on the first date which may or may not even result in sparks flying makes everyone uncomfortable. Besides, you don’t want to date that materialistic girl that expects Waku Ghin on the first date.
That said though, guys, do always pay for the first date if you want to ever have a second date. No ‘going dutch’ unless you want to be labelled as “that stingy guy I went out with, ONCE”.
So here’s some of our top first date restaurants:
1. The Study
With its interesting British-inspired concept and quirky knick-knacks leading the way, The Study is surely a unique place to bring your first date. The interesting decor itself dotted with English quintessential culture is sure to impress! Not to mention, the laid-back atmosphere allows both of you to hold hearty conversations over their variety of comfort food for the soul; albeit with a modern twist.
What impressed us the most, was their Baked Sea Bass ($32), with slight hints of truffle, along with moist yet tender meat. But no, don’t even get me started on their huge donuts with cinnamon sugar and salted caramel cream ($15) for dessert. I literally died and went to donut heaven.
Address: 49 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089153 | Tel: 6221 8338 | Website
Just its spectacularly beautiful scenery alone here at Southbridge will certainly set you on the right track with your partner this first date. Not to mention the variety of appetising small bites available and their extensive cocktail menu, this location will seal the deal.
Southbridge is hailed for their uniquely flavoured raw (6 for $20 during happy hour) and cooked oysters (6 for $30); including favourites such as umami (ponzu and yuzu sauce, raw) and the unifeller (cheese and uni sabayon). Aphrodisiacs on a first date, even better! But be sure to check first if your date is a fan of oysters.
Address: Rooftop, Level 5, 80 Boat Quay, Singapore 049868 | Tel: 6536 5818 | Website
3. Lots Gourmet Stop
Being an Eastie myself, I’m always glad to find new notable restaurants popping up in my area, and Lots Gourmet Stop sure did not disappoint. Tucked away in a quiet street, Lots Gourmet Shop’s nifty and colourful interior is paired with a casual and relaxing vibe, such that both your date and yourself can settle in for some brunch and a nice cup of coffee over some conversations.
Our picks were their Blueberry Pancakes ($9), with its decadent yet fluffy base, paired with a slight crisp to the outer layer, sure would be one to delight. Their Lots English Brekkie ($14) was a worthy meal by itself, with generous servings of scrambled eggs, bacon, toast etc.
Address: 965 Upper Changi Road North, Singapore 507665 | Tel: 6633 9651 | Website
4. The Coastal Settlement
Nestled all the way in the nook of Netheravon road itself (pretty much the twilight region of Singapore), this cosy establishment gives one a sense of much-needed detachment from the city life. Surrounded with the floral and fauna from the nearby greenery, coupled with their vintage and colonial-styled interior, it exudes the perfect location for a romantic yet casual setting, provided you both stay in the East or the cab ride home is going to be a major bummer.
Our favourites were their thin-crusted pizzas, with the Char-grilled Wagyu Beef and Mushroom Pizza ($23) coming up on top. Their innovative combinations were extremely pleasing on our palates, and most pizzas were delectable. You could also mix flavours with the Half-Half option at $25. Their Calamari ($14) and Portobello Fries ($13) are a must-try as well.
Address: 200 Netheravon Rd, Singapore 508529 | Tel: 6475 0200 | Website
5. Fern & Kiwi
Serving authentic New Zealand cuisine, Fern & Kiwi offers hearty and quality meals with a cosy ambience to boot. A bar & eatery along the iconic Clarke Quay in itself, the wide selection of cocktails and finest roasts and desserts will leave you and your date feeling fully satiated.
We preferred their signature Classic Pork Spare Ribs ($18.50), but it might get a little messy with their huge portions, preferably shared by two. Their desserts were also fantabulous, with the Miniature Pavlovas ($12) and Moro Bar and Kahlua Cheesecake ($13) at the top of our picks.
Address: 3C River Valley Road, #01-02/03, The Cannery, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179024 |Tel: 6336 2271 | Website
6. Kilo at PACT
With a unique and innovative blend of Italian, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine, Kilo at PACT is sure to draw in the crowds alike. Coupled with their interesting concept mix of part retail store, part food-joint, your date and yourself can settle down for a unique experience here, amidst shopping and and industrial-chic sake bar on top.
Try the Salmon and Avocado Maki ($15), with crunchy soy flax seeds on top to impress us thoroughly. Their Baby Eggplant Donburi ($12) was an interesting delight as well, with generous portions of eggplants topped with tempura flakes and mascarpone cheese. Kilo at PACT offers really innovative fusion cuisine that is a notch above the rest, so if you’re looking for somewhere thats out of this world, Kilo would be sure to impress.
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #02—14-23, Orchard Central, Orchard Central, Singapore 238896 | Tel: 6884 7560
Behold art lovers and creative individuals alike. Ok rather, just anyone who wants to have a fun time actually. Arteastiq is the perfect place to have some piqued romance over a rather posh dining affair, be it lunch or dinner. You and your date can try painting canvases (coherently or not, who cares) over some bites at their dining area, which thus definitely sits well for both genders as an interesting and playful date.
Their menu is nothing short of impressive, with the Aphrodite-Crabcake Benedict (S$25) tantalising tastebuds with the perfectly runny egg yolk atop sweet, fluffy brioche bread. Viking’s Prime-Frikadel et Rosti (S$28) was a favourite as well, with the ingenious pairing of sweet potato rosti and chicken patties. Slathered with brown sauce, mustard and horseradish, this proves to be a dish with many complex layers of spices, but all the more delicious.
Address: 333A Orchard Road, #04-14/15 Mandarin Gallery, Singapore 238867 | Tel:6235 8370 | Website
8. Spuds & Apron
Sitting atop Mount Faber, the magnificent view of the island of Singapore awaits you and your date as you dine amidst this wonderful scenery. The uplifting view is further enhanced by the accompaniment of their live band on certain evenings, setting the perfect atmosphere for a date night.
We particularly enjoyed their Chilli Crab in a Tux ($13), a flavourful and rather sweet blend of crabmeat packed in a crispy outer shell of potato skin. For mains, their Tobiko Crusted Cod Fillet ($30) was delicately complemented with some form of mentaiko, along with tea soba and a slightly soured ponzu sauce.
Address: 109 Mount Faber Road, Singapore 099203 | Tel: 6377 9688 | Website
Coined as a sake-tapas bar, Bam!definitely qualifies as a place you would want to bring your first date. With its industrial chic decor amidst cosy, soft lighting, Bam! sets the ideal atmosphere for a round of meaningful conversations and hearty banter.
But don’t even get us started on the amazing food. As with tapas, one would expect to find interesting, unique interpretations of both Japanese and Italian cuisine here; albeit a constantly changing menu. If we had to choose, the Garlic Prawns, Raz el Hanout, Quinoa ($16) impressed us greatly, where its ingredients integrated together almost seamlessly to form this mouth-watering goodness that we just can’t get enough of.
Address: 38 Tras Street, Singapore 078977 | Tel: 6226 0500 | Website
10. The Mind Cafe
If you prefer a day of mind-simulating fun with your date, why not hop over to mind cafe, where you can rent any board game available by just paying a fee of $2 per hour each! What a great deal right? What more, food and drinks are available as well.
We played an interesting game of Saboteur while enjoying their Smoked Duck Spaghetti ($10.90). The food was pretty average, but the whole experience was definitely a memorable and fun-filled one.
Address: 60A Prinsep Street, Singapore 188664 | Tel: 8121 5188 | Website
11. Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
With its unpretentious, cosy interior, Nassim Hill proves to be just perfect for a casual date. Exuding relaxing vibes throughout this bakery-cum-bistro-bar, it still manages to maintain a romantic enough setting for a date to be held.
Here, you and your partner can definitely chat heartily over a round of Nassim Hill’s wide selection of food and drinks. Continue your date long after dinner has ended with drinks or coffe too. Did I mention that their happy hour is the longest in Singapore so far, from 8am – 8pm daily?
Among their many delectable dishes, we had a hard time picking out our favourites. But amongst the rest, a few that stood out particularly included the Chilli Crab Pasta ($18 for half portions, $25 for full) and The Reuben Sandwich ($18). We liked their bread very much too, with daily specials like the Guinness Stout, Orange Brioché and Cheddar Cheese Bread.
Read our full review of Nassim Hill here.
Address: 56 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Post Office #01-03 | Tel: 6835 1128 | Website
12. Supply & Demand
With 3 outlets around Singapore, our favourite pick has got to be their Esplanade branch, with a spectacular view over Singapore’s iconic skyline. Supply & Demand’s edgy industrial-chic decor with a laid-back atmosphere sets the mood for some hearty banter between you and your partner. Along with their Italian- Southeast Asian fusion cuisine, the bistro certainly qualifies as an excellent location for first dates.
Their pizza The Morning After ($21, 13″) proved to be a recurring favourite with regulars and newcomers alike. One interesting dish is Supply & Demand’s western twist to the Japanese Omakase, where one can choose the type of meat along with two sides – Beef ($29), to be prepared by the chef according to his preference of the day. Interestingly adventurous addition to the usual deal.
Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039802 | Tel: 6336 0588 | Website
13. The Folks Collective
Hearty Thai cuisine paired with a retro, old-school vibe, the Folks Collective is definitely an unique place to bring your first date to create a sense of piqued interest. Their decor certainly appeals to the nostalgic side of everyone, with old-school toys and memorabilia; albeit with modern Thai food.
With cute set lunches in special ‘tinkgkat’ style plating, at $9.90 per set, it was still pretty average tasting, but plus points for cuteness. Regulars go back for their Cereal Seafood with Soft-Shell Crab ($20.90), fragrant and crispy but still preserving the authenticity of Thai cuisine in its midst.
Address: China Square Central #01-25, 20 Cross Street, Singapore 048422 | Tel: 6536 6739 | Website
14. Drury Lane
Drury Lane exudes a cosy, warm atmosphere that is just great for a relaxed first date. The homely vibe coupled with the stellar comfort food they serve will certainly score points with your date, and their innovative spins each week for the weekend brunch menu can serve as a starting point to bring your date back for more of such delicious brunch!
A constant favourite of mine is their Rosti with Truffle Herbed Sunny Eggs, Avocado and Mushrooms ($14) and their Baked Eggs with Smoked Trout, Capers and Kale ($14), which we really loved.
Related Guide: Best Cafes for Brunch in Singapore
Address: 94 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088515 | Tel: 6222 6698 | Website
Tucked away at the humble Far East Plaza, one should not belittle this small storefront of Saveur. With its dimly lit interior, it still holds a romantic setting, in accordance with its affordable French cuisine. I mean, the French are known for romance right? You could also try out their other outlets at Purvis Street and Ion Orchard for a less casual setting but be prepared to queue, especially at the Purvis outlet.
Our favourites here include the Pan Seared Foie Gras with Lentils and pickled onion ($7.90), with a sweet light aftertouch despite the richness of the foie gras. Their Duck Confit ($10.90) is definitely a value for money choice, and Saveur proves to be an extremely affordable yet upmarket enough restaurant to bring your first date.
Address: 14 Scotts Road, #01-07B Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213 | Tel: 6736 1121 | Website
Cheers and happy dating!