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Tourists at home

Jovi Ho
Jovi Ho9/25/2020 6:0 AM GMT+08  • 6 min read
Tourists at home
Dining on local seafood atop Marina Bay, enjoying a staycay at Haji Lane and more in this edition of Weekout by Options.
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This week, explore new ways to rediscover Singapore while supporting our local brands

Celebrating local produce

LeVeL33, MBFC Tower 1

What’s in a name? By christening a seafood dish after the fish farm where ingredients are sourced, LeVeL33 hopes the colloquial title will highlight the profile of one kelong (a fish farm out at sea that is built on wooden stilts) in Singapore.

The Ah Hua Kelong Seafood Bouillabaisse ($28) features local mussels, prawns, clams and fish delivered fresh every single day from its namesake fisheries in Pasir Ris and Sembawang.

Post-circuit breaker, a new menu at LeVeL33 replaces the former offerings in favour of a focus on health and sustainability. Besides popular favourites like the Wagyu Tri-tip steak ($48, 250g), dishes such as the Mushroom Risotto ($28) and Corn-Fed AnXin Chicken ($32) carry clear symbols, marking them as suitable for vegetarian or gluten-free diets.

Diners can also opt for plant-based or gluten-free versions of some dishes.

Since opening in 2010, all of LeVeL33’s beer remains brewed in small batches with modern equipment. For $78, keep your mini fridge stocked with LeVeL33’s 12-pack beer subscription. Choose your favourite brews and have them delivered to your door every month — sign up for a six-month subscription and enjoy a special price of $70 per 12-pack. Making up for lost time from the “circuit breaker” doesn’t get easier than this.

A weekend at Haji Lane

Parkroyal on Beach Road

Ready for a “Singapoliday”? Parkroyal on Beach Road has unveiled the “Simply Yours: The Exclusive Couples Retreat” getaway package, with an emphasis on exploring cultural and heritage sites in the area.

Priced from $238 per night, the package features late check-out till 4pm, with club breakfast, refreshments and evening cocktails on wheels for two persons.

Guests enjoy 30% savings on in-room dining and 25% savings on a la carte treatments at St. Gregory Spa. The hotel also boasts a wellness floor with a gym and outdoor swimming pool.

As part of the package, guests can look forward to complimentary “local experience workshops” conducted in-house, including Chinese tea appreciation, dim sum making and a cocktail masterclass. Outside the hotel grounds, guests enjoy preferential rates for a two-hour #Instawalk tour of Kampong Glam, and batik and perfumery workshops.

The package is valid for bookings and stays from Sept 1 to Dec 31. Parkroyal on Beach Road is SG Clean-certified, and couples will receive a complimentary Pan Pacific Cares Pack, which includes hand sanitiser, face masks and sanitised wipes.

Singapore Archifest 2020

Sept 25 to Oct 31

Taking place over six weekends, the annual festival organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) is going “hybrid” with a mix of physical and virtual programmes.

Since starting in 2007, Singapore Archifest advocates for vibrancy in local design culture by creating opportunities for the public and architectural professionals to interact. With the theme “Architecture Saving OUR World”, the festival invites all to discover how architecture can address today’s most pressing issues, such as climate change, food shortage and public health.

The festival will kick off on Sept 25 with the forum, “How can we place architecture at the frontline?”, which will have an opening address by Minister for National Development Desmond Lee. The forum will also be streamed “live” at 7pm on Singapore Archifest’s Facebook page.

As part of this year’s decentralised programmes, look out for pop-up activities ranging from a look at Singapore’s burgeoning urban farming scene at Edible Garden City’s Citizen Farm, to Parking Day Singapore on Oct 3, showcasing how everyday spaces like carparks are transformed to reflect the “new normal” of safe distancing.

For more information on Singapore Archifest 2020, visit www.archifest.sg.

Singapore Writers Festival 2020

Oct 30 to Nov 8

What does intimacy mean in a time of quarantine and safe distancing? Presented in a digital format for the first time, the 23rd edition of the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) returns with a line-up of programmes inspired by the theme of “Intimacy”.

Organised by the National Arts Council (NAC), this year’s festival invites authors and audiences to discuss and reflect on the impact of the pandemic, and how people are able to engage digitally and connect with one another despite being apart.

This year’s international headliners include Pulitzer Prize-winners — comic artist Art Spiegelman (Maus), poets Sharon Olds (Stag’s Leap) and Tracy K Smith (Life on Mars). Also featured are fantasy fiction writer Cassandra Clare (City of Bones), Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin (Three Body Problem / “三体”) and English author Zadie Smith (White Teeth).

The digital direction marks a turning point for the festival, says returning festival director Pooja Nansi. This is the local poet’s second year at the helm of the SWF. “We are thrilled to offer our audiences this strong mix of online and offline touchpoints, and are excited to see how digitalisation can bring about greater convenience to festival-goers who will be able to attend a wider range of programmes,” she says.

Get your digital festival pass at an early bird price of $12 from now till Oct 9 via Sistic ($20 thereafter). The pass includes access to all international headline programmes and all festival workshops.

Raise a glass for charity

Mo Bar

Like many events this year, the eighth edition of Negroni Week is going virtual. From Sept 14 to 20, Mo Bar at Mandarin Oriental joins the celebration by featuring one of the signature cocktails from its Volume Two menu.

Presented by James Beard award-winning US magazine Imbibe and the famed Italian aperitif Campari, Negroni Week has collectively raised nearly $3 million for various charities since its inception in 2013. For the entire month of September, fans of the Italian cocktail can pledge donations to a list of charities (primarily in the US), as part of this year’s efforts to raise funds to support hospitality charities.

As part of Negroni Week 2020’s digital-focused fundraiser, the bar spotlights the Nomadic Forager, inspired by Mr Black coffee liqueur. This spirited Negroni comprises Campari, Sweet Vermouth and Coffee Liqueur for a caffeine-filled tipple.

Guests can also purchase the Nomadic Forager for takeaway to enjoy at home from the bar or via the Mandarin Oriental website at singapore. mandarinorientalshop.com ($18, 140ml single serving).

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