SEE | Fall of Singapore | National Heritage Board
The Fall of Singapore in 1942 marks a tumultuous chapter in Singapore’s history, where stories of our forefathers’ strength and resilience emerged from the remnants of war. To mark the 81st anniversary of the Fall of Singapore, the National Heritage Board (NHB) returns with its annual Battle for Singapore initiative with a series of special guided tours, talks, exhibitions and film screenings documenting the event.
From now till Mar 5, Battle for Singapore 2023 will take participants on a journey to trace the roots of Singapore’s wartime past and uncover the hidden stories about various World War II (WWII) sites. This year, participants will get to explore the grounds of Fort Connaught through a special access tour, the first-ever public tour since the fort’s construction in 1878. Built for the defence of Keppel Harbour, a crucial shipbuilding and repair facility in Singapore, Fort Connaught was armed with 9.2-inch guns – these were the largest on Sentosa and were used to engage invading Japanese troops during the Battle for Singapore. The tour will give participants a glimpse into the abandoned Fort’s history, construction and role in Singapore’s defence during the Japanese invasion of WWII.
Participants can also get to embark on tours of sites such as Bukit Brown and Fort Canning Hill – home to a trove of lesser-known WWII stories from the nation’s veterans and civilians. They can delve deeper into Singapore’s history and learn about the courage and resilience of our war heroes and pioneers during the Japanese Occupation from NHB’s Museum Roundtable (MR) partners, such as Battlebox, Eurasian Heritage Centre, MINT Museum of Toys, Navy Museum, as well as the National Museum of Singapore and the museum's two WWII interpretative centres, the Changi Chapel and Museum and Reflections at Bukit Chandu.
For the full programme lineup and ticket prices, visit go.gov.sg/bsg2023.
Save the manta rays | Panerai
Italian watchmaker Panerai, and the world’s leading gaming brand, Razer, will co-host an interactive pop-up at Ion Orchard Singapore to raise more awareness of manta ray conservation. This “Make Time for Our Ocean” Interactive pop-up aims to engage watch enthusiasts and gamers alike and create awareness of the pressing issue of ocean conservation. The pop-up will take place at Ion2 (outside Ion Orchard), while the exterior façade of the mall will feature a giant digital display created especially for the event. While you are there, you can also view The Luminor Quaranta Razer Special Edition watch ($12,100), available exclusively at the Panerai ION boutique.
Anniversary concerto | T'ang Quartet
To mark the end of their year-long 30th-anniversary celebrations, the T'ang Quartet will be hosting a finale concert on Mar 3 at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YST), where they have been Quartet-In-Residence since 2003.
Entitled “Give and Take (Back and Forth)”, the concert will feature three sterling works from two outstanding composers – French composer, pianist and conductor Maurice Ravel and Singaporean composer Chen Zhangyi. The latter is an assistant professor at YST who teaches analysis and composition. He is also an accomplished conductor, violinist and violist.
The show's centrepiece will be Give and Take (Back and Forth), which Chen composed for the T'ang Quartet. In addition, we will enjoy another work of his, Twin Cinema for String Nonet, which was previously commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and written for the Stradivari Quartet and SSO musicians.
Twin Cinema for String Nonet will be performed by the T'ang Quartet, alongside guests Jamshid Saydikarimov (cello) and Dandan Wang (viola), as well as young talents from YST — Guennadi Mouzyka (double bass); Edgar Javier Lucena Rodriguez (violin); Hoi Khai-Weing (violin); Lee Wei-Fan (viola); and Sim Yein (cello).
Ravel’s String Quartet in F is modelled after a piece written a decade earlier by Debussy: first movement in sonata form, barbed interjections between plucked and bowed strings in the Scherzo, a moving and lyrical elegy following this before ending with a rhythmically quirky finale.
This special event is also part of YST's 20th Anniversary 2022/2023 Season programme. Tickets at $10 are on sale now at yst/eventbrite.com.
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STAY | Garden staycation | Gardens by the Bay
Fancy a staycation in a comfy duplex suite that looks out to the picturesque gardens of Gardens by the Bay? Check yourself into a Garden Pod – a high-class chalet offering tourists and locals a unique retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban living, set against a panoramic view of the city skyline of downtown Marina Bay. Nestled within the unique foliage of Serene Garden, the property is made up of four duplex suites constructed from 40-foot repurposed shipping containers.
Guests will enjoy all the trappings of boutique hotel living, where your two-storey accommodations will include a plush king-sized bed, en suite bathroom, living room with TV, outdoor patio and high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity. Each room is also scented with an ambient scent by Maison de L'Asie, a homegrown niche fragrance house.
Other uniquely sustainable features include photovoltaic solar panels, recycling bins, drink coasters made from recycled plastic by The Plastic Project Singapore, and drinking glasses made from repurposed glassware by homegrown company Soda Lemon. Unfortunately, there is no concierge or front desk. Check-ins are done electronically, and there is no housekeeping or room service. However, a full-service kitchen and BBQ pit on-demand are at your disposal. To book a suite, visit www.shippingcontainerhotel.com. For more details, visit www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/gardenpod.
EAT | Contemporary-Thai delights | Restaurant Chedi
Restaurant Chedi, located in a 1930s shophouse on Hamilton Road, joins the ranks of the cool restaurants, cafes and watering holes dotting Jalan Besar, a popular foodie destination. The understatedly sophisticated 36-seater restaurant, helmed by chef-owner K-Jin Lim and head chef Miller Mai, dishes out down-to-earth, authentic flavours of Thailand in a refined tasting menu.
Working from an open kitchen, the chefs’ tightly curated opening menu is a contemporary take on the ancient kingdom’s rich culinary heritage, which blends traditional recipes with modern techniques while paying close attention to the provenance and quality of ingredients. Carefully balancing the heady attraction of hot, sour, salty, and sweet with the restrained application of contemporary culinary techniques, they promise a deliciously fun night out that beckons repeat visits.
Some must-tries include the Miang kham (wild betel leaf, secret Thai miang reduction, Rayong dried shrimp and Hokkaido ikura); Tom kha gai (baked chicken wings, foie gras infused sticky rice and tom kha crème); Gaeng som fak thong (Japanese pumpkin, piquant curry, Chilean sea bass, cha-om and traditional Thai fish floss); Signature salted ikan kurau (threadfin) fried rice; and Six-month cured threadfin, crab meat and tobiko.
Restaurant Chedi is at 15 Hamilton Road. For reservations, visit restaurantchedi.com or call 8686 6169.
DRINK | Tuscany wine showcase | Angra Wine & Spirit
For the first time, discover the best of Tuscany as notable winemakers and owners from Tuscan wineries visit Singapore together to personally showcase their wines and share their stories in “Gems of Tuscany” – a one-day event on Mar 4 consisting of a walkabout wine tasting at the Raffles Hotel and a gala dinner at Osteria BBR by Alain Ducasse.
Organised by Angra Wine and Spirit, the event will showcase Tuscany’s best wines, including the newly-released and highly-anticipated Italy’s First Growth Super Tuscan 2020 and classics from Il Marroneto, Fattoria le Pupille, Tenuta di Biserno, Sassicaia, Ornellaia, Mazzei, Petrolo, and Bibi Graetz, among others. You can also expect to taste over 24 wines, some of them not yet on the market.
As the evening transforms, wine and dine with the winemakers at the gala dinner. This wine-focused six-course degustation menu will feature a selection of eight world-class Tuscan wines for an incredible night of fine indulgence. The menu is curated by chef Natalino Ambra to be perfectly paired with different classic and unique wines, including Mazzei Siepi 2018, Il Marroneto Madonna delle Grazie 2018, Bibi Graetz Colore 2016, Tolaini Picconero 2010, Petrolo Galatrona 2013, Fattoria le Pupille Saffredi 2018, Tenuta Argentiera 2016, and Tenuta di Biserno 2016.
The 2pm to 4pm walkabout tasting at Raffles Hotel East India Room is priced at $98+ per person, while the 7pm Gala Dinner costs $328+ per person (includes complimentary entrance to the walkabout). Get tickets from Eventbrite.