We get it. It’s that time of the year where it feels like a mini nation or two descends upon the Marina Bay area — the F1 Grand Prix. Whether you’re there for Martin Garrix or Lewis Hamilton, we’ve highlighted a few Chope restaurants that you can book so you can beat the crowds and get your grub.
Nearest MRT: Esplanade
What better way to pregame the F1 with this contemporary Australian restaurant’s boozy brunch extended to 6pm on 15 and 16 September! For $58++, eat charcuterie, smoked halibut, yogurt et cetera to your heart’s content. Another $35++ nets you wine, beer, and cocktails. Don’t forget to taste some of chef Drew Nocente’s housemade salami, salsicca, lardo and coppa — his skill in traditional curing methods show, and you’ll be heading back for more, F1 or not.
Nearest MRT: Nicoll Highway
This Peranakan restaurant at one of Singapore’s newest hotels gets the cuisine right. We love the fish head curry, chap chye, and the buah keluak fried rice especially. They cook the food with love (read: a little on the slow side), but we believe that the F1 is as good as any other opportunity to make a meal out of it. Our tip: have an early dinner, fill yourselves up and saunter over to the circuit in time to catch your favourite racer take his place on the podium.
Nearest MRT: Promenade
If you don’t want anything too stuffy — whether you mean straight-laced or a lack of ventilation — Paulaner Brauhaus is perfect. This three-storey microbrewery is 100 percent casual, offering authentic German beer (the bronze boiler that sits at the centre of the bar is a must-see) that is particularly refreshing on a hot day. Can’t go wrong with the food either. We’re fans of the Beef Beer Goulash and the Pork Escalope. This place is also good for big groups, capable of seating up to 250 people in total — great if you are heading to the race with your entire department.
4. KURO Izakaya
Nearest MRT: Promenade
This contemporary izakaya stands out in greying Suntec City, not just because of its warm decor but also for its welcoming yakitori scents. Start off with an ice cold beer (or an orange calpis, if alcohol is not your thing) then better order away because the menu is long and you have cars to get back to. We’d recommend a few sticks of Grilled Kushiyaki, like Pork Belly or Tsukune (chicken meatball), and other comfort food like Curry Croquettes and Tonkotsu Udon. This laid-back restaurant is a good place to get your F1 vibe going.
Nearest MRT: Bayfront
The newest branch of the eponymous Michelin starred restaurant in Macau is right here in Singapore. If you need to turn up the heat (in air-conditioned comfort, of course), head over to the Marina Bay Link Mall and fire away with the Chili Oil Wontons, Bang Bang Chicken, Angus Beef Short Ribs with Mala Sauce and so on. Qi opens till 10pm, so you can keep this as a late night option, too.
6. Caffe Fernet
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place
This gorgeous restaurant in the historic Customs House opens up to a view of the Singapore River — a perfect setting to catch glimpses of cars accelerating down our cityscape. Drinks here are particularly ‘grammable, and you can’t go wrong since it is by the same folks behind cocktail hot spots like Jigger & Pony and Gibson. Feeling peckish? Caffe Fernet puts its own spin on traditional Italian food, and serves up a delightful charred octopus with fried chickeas, as well as simple cacio e pepe that hits the spot. There’s plenty of finger food too, like tomato poppers or olives, if you need a breather from the race.
Nearest MRT: City Hall
This household staple might be a common sight along the Orchard Road stretch, but here at its Raffles City branch, the high ceiling, greenhouse-esque shell in which the cafe sits may be a good place to get away from the crowds and revving engines. Dig into comforting soul foods like its Truffle Shoestring Fries, indulge in a juicy burger or Tiger Beer-Battered Fish and Chips, then wind down with a Sticky Date Steamed Pudding. Satiated? It’s time to make your way back to the circuit then.