Local knowledge: Singapore

Author: LOH LIK PENG
Photography: Loh Lik Peng

Entrepreneur, hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng shows us the secrets of his city.

Loh Lik Peng is the founder and director of Unlisted Collection, with hotels and restaurants in Singapore, London, Shanghai and Sydney, where the portfolio includes The Old Clare Hotel, Silvereye, Automata and Kensington Street Social. He travels frequently but lives with his family in Singapore.

Though I travel and my routine changes…
on Saturdays I always try to ride scooters with my four-year-old son at Gardens by the Bay, a huge park on the Marina Bay waterfront. We'll stop at my café Pollen for coffee and cake.

For weekend lunches…
we often go to PS Café or Bincho, one of my restaurants and my son's favourite, for little don rice bowls.

For a business lunch…
Odette, at the new National Gallery Singapore is great: a lovely location, lots of natural light, quite formal.

Speaking of the National Gallery Singapore…
I love it. Opened in November, it spans two of the city's oldest buildings transformed into galleries, a gift shop and a wonderful kids' activity centre.

I like my coffee from…
Chye Seng Huat Hardware, done brilliantly in a former hardware shop in an industrial area in Lavender. The guys who run it are true coffee nerds, travelling to Ethiopia and other places to source their beans, then they age and roast them in two antique roasters.

For comfort food…
Singaporeans love chicken rice. I order it at Tian Tian near my office at the Maxwell Food Centre. For some people it's about the rice or chilli - for me it's how the chicken is cooked.

For the best collectables…
a guy called CK is incredibly knowledgeable and has a fantastic warehouse that he opens on request (+65 9382 3438). He's got incredible collections of fans and bicycles, antique tin signs and much more.

Visitors are always surprised…
when I take them to the colonial-era MacRitchie Reservoir, with pockets of rainforest, criss-crossed by boardwalks and walking trails. It's stunning.

For peace and quiet…
I love the Asian Civilisations Museum, in the middle of the city, to be transported to a different place - perhaps India or Cambodia. It's educational but you can also withdraw from the world here.







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