CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Enter through the shophouse doors at Esora; the pineapple tepache and vermouth jelly Roaring City cocktail at The MO Bar; dramatic drapery from Stolen; The Moon bookshop celebrates the printed page; the regal exterior of The Capit
EAT + DRINK Esora
Hidden along a row of period shophouses on Mohamed Sultan Road, Esora is a meditative culinary experience. Taking his cue from Japanese kappo cooking, head chef Shigeru Koizumi calmly channels his obsession with micro-seasonal ingredients such as white maitake mushrooms, conger eel, aged akazu vinegar and Hokkaido corn. The dishes are as beautifully austere as the interiors designed by local studio Takenouchi Webb with blonde timber, washi paper, and diffused light. restaurantesora.com; dinner menu S$188.
The MO Bar
With the opening of the soigné MO Bar, the Mandarin Oriental has finally closed the gap in its otherwise formidable resumé. Lined with thick tapestries and tessellated metal panels inspired by Polynesian tattoos, the bar is at its best at night when the skyscrapers along Marina Bay are lit up like the Fourth of July. The top-notch drinks menu features 14 lethal mixes laced with imaginative blends like black-ink coriander soju, Indonesian pandan rum, fermented mangosteen and carbonated Scotch tea. mandarinoriental.com; drinks from S$24.
STAY The Capitol Kempinski Hotel
Three years after it was meant to open as a Patina hotel, the Kempinski now headlines the Richard Meier–designed Capitol. One of designer Jaya Ibrahim's last projects, the 157-room hotel straddles two grand heritage piles—the Capitol, built in 1933, and Stamford House from 1903— which explains the eclectic mix of Art Deco and colonial grandeur in the public spaces. Framed by a green wall, the bijou rooftop saltwater pool is easily one of the prettiest in town. kempinski.com; doubles from S$568.
Six Senses Duxton
For the debut of its first urban hotel, the Six Senses group could not have picked a more charming spot: a beautifully restored row of late 19thcentury shophouses in a leafy stretch of Chinatown. Inside the 49-room property, interior designer Anouska Hempel has indulged her penchant for dramatic stage-sets to create intimate nooks charged with imperial yellow, vibrant reds and lacquered blacks. A Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner is also on hand to temper jet lag. sixsenses.com; doubles from S$390.
In 2007, Elyn Wong turned her back on a highflying career in advertising for a second wind as a fashion designer. In that short time, she has built a loyal following for her trademark backless numbers and flattering sculptural cuts. This popularity accounts for the procession of stylish mavens who stream through the lobby of Straits Clan, a members' club in Chinatown, and up to her pop-up studio and atelier for a private consultation or a nose through her tightly edited collection. stolenstolen.com.
In an age where media pundits regularly predict the demise of print, The Moon defiantly celebrates the joy of the physical book. Set in a threestory Chinatown shophouse, this hippy-chic indie bookstore features an eclectic haul of obscure but interesting titles, the curation including an admirable sweep of ethnic and women writers. A café stocked with cakes and nibbles on ground level, and a top-floor reading room strewn with lowslung sofas complete this bibliophile's dream hangout. themoon.com.sg.