Singapore – Explore Tanjong Pagar with Daniela Caccia

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Sometimes it takes new eyes to see the beauty in the everyday. Familiarity makes us forgetful. Travelers-turned-dwellers tend to bring out the beauty of the city they’ve taken up residence in.

Daniela Caccia, a regional marketing manager in the cinema/film industry, is one such jetsetter, frequently exploring Southeast Asia, and often flying to Korea, India, or New York on a whim. She shares that traveling is pure pleasure to her, the best expression of freedom and satisfaction of her natural curiosity.

At first drawn to Singapore for work, Daniela quickly fell in love with the city’s heritage charm and endless supply of hip restaurants. It wasn’t long before she moved here from Milan, and has been living in the Tanjong Pagar neighbourhood for the past six years.

The avid traveller shares with us her go-to spots around Tanjong Pagar in the mini guide below. She quips that her picks reflect her way of living – one that appreciates healthy choices, good vibes and understated luxury.

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Q&A with Daniela Caccia

What is one underrated thing about Singapore?
The well-preserved heritage buildings! The conserved areas are so charming and unique. It distinguishes Singapore from any other Asian city.

The best thing about living on Duxton Hill is…
It’s one of the most vibrant spots in Singapore. It’s more than just a food heaven. Here you can enjoy a holistic experience – from eating, drinking, yoga studios and even book stores.

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BREAKFAST:

The Populus Coffee
146 Neil Road
Located a stone throw away from my apartment, this is a specialty coffee shop nestled in the ground floor of a shophouse. Delicious food options for breakfast and lunch.

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Luxe Sydney
1 Keong Saik Road #01-04 Singapore 089109
A hot brunch spot on Keong Saik Road, it’s nice to enjoy a bit of the Sydney vibe on a Sunday morning. My pick from the menu is their quinoa pudding with coconut yogurt and fresh fruits.

 

LUNCH:

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Sprout
41 Duxton Road, Singapore 089505
A brand new salad shop on Duxton Road. They combine Asian and Western flavours in a range of salad bowls. My favourite is the Japanese Salmon Bowl with soba noodles, salmon and avocado, served with a soy and ginger dressing.

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Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road
All the ingredients used in the menu are organic and nothing is heated above 45 degrees. I love their Mushroom Feta Burger served with sweet potatoes and red cabbage. They also do vegan desserts like a raw chocolate salted caramel fudge with avocado cacao fudge, tahini, on a medjool dates and walnut crust. It’s a dream.

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La Latteria
40 Duxton Hill, Singapore 089618
I love having lunch in this relaxing and laidback restaurant on Duxton Hill. Expect a wide selection of mozzarella cheeses, homemade bread and pasta all for very reasonable prices.

 

DINNER:
For dinner,  I like to take a short stroll across from my apartment to Keong Saik Road. It’s nearer to Chinatown and there’s a good mix of bars and restaurants. 

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Cure
21 Keong Saik Road
If you’re looking for an unconventional culinary experience, Cure is the place to be. Opened by chef-owner Andrew Walsh, the seasonal menu features 5- or 7-courses, to satiate even the most demanding foodies. Slick minimal interiors of cobalt blue walls and grey make this a great place for a romantic date too.

Neon Pigeon
1A Keong Saik Road
Tokyo meets Brooklyn in this low-ceiling eatery enriched with graffiti treatement by street artist ZERO. Each course served in small Japanese-style dishes, perfect for sharing. I love the miso-roasted eggplant with fried lotus chips, the mushroom rice with egg yolk and the pan roasted sea bass with wakame.

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Meta
9 Keong Saik Road
Take tomato consommé and pomelo—a dish that expresses the very concept of Meta: seasonal French cuisine with an Asian twist. Here you’ll find fresh ingredients executed with finesse. The desserts are very Instagram-worthy too, with creations like blood orange cheesecake that comes in a gold colour.

Humpback
20 Bukit Pasoh Road
Great place for fresh Pacific Northwest oysters, small plates and gin-based cocktails. I’d recommend ordering 5-7 small plates to share amongst two.

 

DRINKS:

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The Cufflink Club
6 Jiak Chuan Road
Located in Jiak Chuan Road, it is one of my favorite cocktail bars and they offer intriguing drinks like the Porn Star and Jiak The Ripper which comes with a Barbie head in ice! For classic lovers, like myself, their Negroni Picante is amazing. The staff are very engaging, make sure to have a chat with the charismatic owner-mixologist Joel Fraser before leaving.

 

Potato Head Folk
36 Keong Saik Road
Part of the Potato Head family in Bali, the Potato Head Folk Singapore is housed in a 1930s shophouse right on Keong Saik Road. The Art Deco building is developed across four floors, each with a different décor style. The rooftop is like a lush, bohemian hideout where you kick back cocktails and have a nice view of the neighbourhood. [Also check out our cocktail collaboration with Potato Head Folk!]

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Lucha Loco
15 Duxton Hill
Not only is it a worthy visit for Mexican food lovers, this taqueria is set in an outdoor garden with colorful seats and Latin vibes. Magaritas are the best in the house – try the passionfruit margarita without sugar.

 

THINGS TO DO:

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Grassroots Book Room
5 Bukit Pasoh Rd, 089839
A charming indie bookstore with a café hidden at the back. Perfect for a cup of coffee and a relaxing read.

Lululemon
79 Duxton Rd, 089538
Shop for yoga gears at the four-storey lululemon boutique on Duxton Road. I heard they have yoga classes and workshops held there too.

OD Wellness
49 Neil Road
Feet (and body) heaven.  I love doing the 60 minutes foot reflexology which begins with a tea bath, cupping and a vigorous massage. The full body massage is also wonderful with relaxing aromatherapy oils to soothe the mind and body.