What are some of the hottest things to buy, know, do and eat? Here are TAN MIN YAN’s favourites.

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What are some of the hottest things to buy, know, do and eat? Here are TAN MIN YAN’s favourites.

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STAYCAY AT: Three uniquely Singaporean accommodation options

Hotel Indigo (www.ihg.com/hotelindigo)

Neighbourhood: Katong

In a nutshell: Heritage hotel in a cultural neighbourhood.

The look: A Peranakan and traditional-chic homage to Katong’s roots. Carrom boards double as desks in rooms while a feature wall with Peranakan ceramic patterns adorns the reception area.

Eat at: Baba Chews, the inhouse restaurant which serves locally inspired dishes like Beef Short Rib Rendang, as well as coffee made from beans roasted by Common Man Coffee Roasters.

Why stay here: You fancy staying in a room modelled after a traditional Peranakan home. And if you’re really craving some Katong laksa, it’s just across the road.

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The Warehouse Hotel (www.thewarehousehotel.com)

Neighbourhood: Robertson Quay

In a nutshell: Warehouse complex turned boutique hotel by the river.

The look: Literally industrialcool, with a palette of cool greys and warm browns, double-high ceilings, and peaked roofs.

Eat at: Po, whose menu is conceptualised by mod-Sin king Willin Low. Naturally, dishes feature his signature contemporary riff on local cuisine.

Why stay here: Before it was the iconic Warehouse Disco of the 1980s, the complex was apparently a hotbed for shady underground dealings in the 20th century. Super cool.

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COO (www.staycoo.com)

Neighbourhood: Tiong Bahru

In a nutshell: A boutique hostel dubbed a “sociatel”, with a focus on its social spaces and use of social media.

The look: Young and hip. Design elements take inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhood – the front entrance, for example, is framed by metal mesh that resembles the gates in old housing estates.

Eat at: COO Bistro, which operates with a “glocal” (global and local) vision. Expect a modern take on local dishes – such as a prawn noodle dish with fettuccine – and bistro mainstays like burgers.

Why stay here: You and a few friends are looking for an aff ordable staycation– book an entire dorm room with four beds to get the whole space to yourselves.

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GO TO: Hot lifestyle destination VLV

Housed within the heritage building where Indochine Forbidden City used to be, VLV is an amalgamation of a posh Chinese restaurant, fashionable lounge, courtyard bar and riverside dining area, a grand concept three years in the making. Founder and ex- Catalunya director Dolores Au shares with us what to expect from Singapore’s next big go-to spot. It’s a magnet for a stylish, well-heeled audience. “The beauty of this venue is that it speaks to a wider market. Its four zones cater to different experiences: the lounge for nightlifeseeking individuals; the alfresco courtyard bar for fans of live music from home-grown bands; the restaurant for an elegant dining experience; and the riverside dining area for supper-seeking folks.” Expect great Cantonese cuisine and good music, conceptualised by chef Martin Foo and DJ Mass Ramli respectively. “I am a fan of chef Martin – he brings with him 25 years of exquisite Chinese cuisine experience, which has received rave reviews for taste and presentation. DJ Mass Ramli stands out for his talent, professionalism and in-depth knowledge of music, the DJ world and in-club entertainment. His affability also makes him a dream to work with.” It will hopefully give Clarke Quay some much-needed vibrancy. “Clarke Quay lacks an offering that provides an experience on a par with other top venues around the world. With VLV’s lush interiors, and exquisite food and drink off erings coupled with the entertainment line-up, we hope to show that the area appeals to a mature, sophisticated crowd too.”

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With a resume that includes a stint as the senior executive chef at Tung Lok Group’s fine-dining restaurant, Tong Le Private Dining, chef Martin Foo is already earning praise at VLV for his predominantly Cantonese menu. Here are some of our favourites. Beggar Chicken: The deboned chicken is marinated in a special house sauce before it’s wrapped in lotus leaf and baked for 3½ hours in clay for meat that’s fall-off -the-bone tender. Peking Duck: A 45-day-old duckling is slow-roasted, then served with avocado, crispy beancurd skin, spring onions and cucumber. Go for a generous application of the accompanying truffl e foie gras sauce over the crepe before you pile on the other ingredients. Black Garlic Sea Whelk Soup: This encompasses all the rich flavours of the ocean, while the black garlic adds a surprising sweetness.

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