Escape and evasion during Singapore Maritime Week

Singapore: Maritime conferences are generally hard work and educationally focused. As such, a smart attendee should plan for both diurnal and nocturnal ‘networking’ opportunities. After all, too much focus on the state of the markets is now widely accepted to be an HSE issue. Splash provides readers with a special guide to Singapore to coincide with the launch of the tenth Singapore Maritime Week.

So, where should you take a key client for a nice bite to eat, and perhaps an event-appropriate sundowner? And, if you’ve got a spare hour during the day, how can you make the most of the local experiences at hand? Pay attention…your marketing ROIs and KPIs just might depend on the following.

Let’s start at the beginning. Breakfast—it’s the most important meal of the day. Roti prata is a local favorite. A flour-based crispy pancake, roti is one of Singapore’s signature dishes. To get the best roti you have to ‘go local’ so this will mean an open-air restaurant or hawker centre. Located a little out of town, one of the best roti stalls in Singapore is Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Roti Prata at 7 Crane Road in Joo Chiat. The trip is worth it, and this is one of the last places to (reputedly) still make their own dough.

Labrador Park (or Labrador Nature Reserve) is a great escape from the concrete jungle. A reminder of colonial times and the Second World War defence of Singapore, this reserve combines thick vegetation, gun emplacements, and a waterfront park. It’s also handy to the MPA building if you find yourself in that part of town.

For lunch, why not try laksa, a coconut curry dish made with chicken, seafood, and noodles. It has a bit of spice to it, and it is a local favourite. The Zhen Mei laksa on Bukit Merah Lane opposite Queensway Shopping Centre has a great local reputation and the claypot spin on this recipe results in wonderfully rich flavours. Again, this is a local outdoors dining experience. This hawker centre is relatively hard to find, tucked in between local shops and apartments (ask a taxi driver to show you the way). The surrounding area is also well worth exploring.

Although the haunts of Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, and Club Street still pull in the crowds, Singapore is going through a bit of a speakeasy phase. This offers up a few different options for client entertainment. So, ruining the surprise and ‘exclusivity’ of the speakeasy concept, here’s our top picks.

Operation Dagger at 7 Ann Siang Hill is an underground cocktail bar with great décor and an impressive set to ceiling lights (I wouldn’t want to be the lighting manager).

Try and find the glass door with a rectangle and inverted crown. The bar is located at the bottom of the staircase.

Much like the ‘tailor’s shop’ front in the spy movie Kingsman: the Secret Service, The Library at 47 Keong Saik Road comes with a ‘front’ business and a secret door. However, it also comes with great cocktails and food. So if you fancy yourself as a covert operative (with a possible drinking problem), this is the place to be.

Finally, located through a non-descript, unsigned, door 28 Hong Kong Street is Singapore’s original ‘unbranded’ bar. Internationally lauded, this is one of Singapore’s best-ranked establishments. Reservations are essential.


This travel article first appeared in Maritime CEO’s recently published fuels and lubes special, in association with UniMarine Lubricants. The magazine, which will be distributed during Singapore Maritime Week, is available to read online for free by clicking here.

Graeme Somerville-Ryan

Graeme Somerville-Ryan is the Marketing and Business Development Director (Asia) for the international law firm Wikborg Rein. He also consults to businesses in the shipping, insurance, oil and gas, and financial services sectors on marketing strategy, communications, social media, and profile development in Asia.
Back to top button