The most compelling and exciting features of this city are often in the little hidden gems – just waiting to be found and explored.
Sometimes, the best discoveries happen when you look in places that you didn’t think to look! Tucked away in the heart of the CBD, China Square Central holds a wide array of fantastic finds, especially for hobbyists. Discover the secret wares of culture and lifestyle, and duck into cafés for exquisite dining experiences.
Are you a fan of vintage goods and antiques? Wing Antiques & Collectibles houses some of the most incredible collectibles from days gone by – with their large collection of vintage toys, books, coins, and even posters, adverts and photos from the Second World War era! The little shop is reminiscent of the nostalgic mom-and-pop stores of the golden days, with a warm, cosy ambience of being surrounded by old books and trinkets. Wing’s little store is a rabbit-hole of promise, where you can find anything you can imagine.
Fancy something a little more up-to-date? China Square Central features three shops that specialise in vinyl and pvc collectibles for hobbyists and collectors alike! Past Time Collectible sells a variety of vinyl statues and action figures from Western and Asian popular culture. Similarly, Hobby Atelier carries a spectrum of collectibles, ranging from Chogokins, vinyl or PVC statues, Gashapons, trading figurines, Squishies, hobby magazines and posters. Looking for Japanese Toku, Sanrio/San X, or figurines of your favourite anime characters? These stores might just be the place for you!
Forty42 specialises in 1:6 scale collectibles of custom toys and figurines, and also provides customised services such as reparation works and prototype making.
Once you have had a tour of these specialty shops, it’s time to chill out with a cuppa! For many, coffee is not just a warm beverage, but also a way of life. Enjoy some brunch at Espressolab with their exquisite Smoked Salmon Croissant ($8.00 nett) topped with a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate ($6.00 nett) drink. Or try their Grilled Salmon with Yuzu Orange Dressing ($14.80 nett), along with their special Lattés! The grey tones and wood accents that make up Espressolab’s interior creates a chic-modern feel, making it the perfect rainy afternoon hideaway with a cuppa and a good magazine.
If you work around the CBD, come chill out after work at &SONS. The industrial feel of the chrome and copper lights are complimented with suave, black-and-white tiled floors and tufted leather benches, creating a sleek and trendy environment – perfect for your I’ve-had-a-long-day cocktails. Try their Baccala cakes with Sea Urchin Sabayon, or their Homemade Artisanal Pastas. Heading here for lunch instead? Try their big lunch plate specials – their Carbonara will leave you craving for more!
And while you’re in the area, feel free to check out the historical buildings and sculptures! Façades of old Singaporean shop-houses have been preserved in and around Chinatown, where the intricate baroque and Victorian architectural details are still adorned on pillars, trims and windows. You can also check out some of the historical statues, which provide snippets of what life looked like in Singapore before modernisation. Don’t forget to snap an Insta-worthy #OOTD in these elusive spots!