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Stories from Design Bridge: our favourite spots in Singapore

We’ve already heard from New York, Amsterdam and London, so naturally the next (and final) place we need to explore is the area surrounding our Singapore Studio. This week you’re in for a treat as we have not one but two people to tell you about some of their favourites places to eat, drink, socialise with the team, and grab a moment of creative inspiration close to our Singapore home. Here are Harry and Jens to fill you in…

Let’s start the day with a much-needed caffeine kick – where are we getting coffee?
Jens: My favourite is the mocha at Maison Ikkoku, which I discovered back in 2012 when Gavin and Sarah from the London Studio took me there – we were all working in the Singapore Studio temporarily at the time. When I came back to work in Singapore full time in January 2014 I was delighted that they were still around, their coffee roast combined with the specific chocolate they use is very nice. At one point I was known as “Mr Mocha” by the people who work there as I was going in at least once a day!

Harry: I’m not really a coffee drinker but I have been known to stop off for a hot chocolate at Working Title Café on the way in to work.

Chocolatey goodness all round. It’s almost lunchtime, what are we eating?
H: Mrs Pho does the most amazing pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). If it’s raining then we’ll often go to Box n Sticks for tasty Japanese food as it’s conveniently located right next door to the Studio.


Every now again you have to make the trip to the affectionately known “Army Market” for lunch, but my advice is to never go to a hawker centre solo – you definitely need someone who can guide you round as they can be quite daunting if you’re new to the area!


J: It’s known as the “Army Market” due to the stalls on the second floor selling military gear, but on the ground and first floors they offer plenty of different types of food from small stalls, all cheap. For those not familiar, a hawker centre is an outdoor food court that is typical all over Singapore, where people come together to eat lunch or dinner. You can find plenty of stalls serving the locally famous Singapore ‘chicken rice’.

I also like Sari Ratu for authentic padang (Indonesian food). You simply point at what you want. I usually pick the rice base (nasi), ayam gulai (chicken cooked in spicy yellow curry), beef rendang (spicy beef dish), a side of mixed vegetables and a small portion of fried sliced potato (similar to crisps).

Work is over for the day. Where shall we go for a drink?
H: The Hangar is great – it’s a quirky bar with strong cocktails, craft beer and a comedy Australian owner. We also like Blu Jaz for its live music and perfect finger food. Plus it has lots of tables so you can always find somewhere to sit.


J: German bar! Its official name is WitBier (the equivalent to Design Bridge London’s The Three Kings), although they only sell a few wheat beers. Alcohol can sometimes be expensive in Singapore but here the beer is cheap, the service is friendly, and it’s a small and cosy environment that’s perfect for a quick pint (or four) before heading home after work. Here’s a picture of the owner proudly holding the sign that our very own Jon Neal made for him:


Kampong Glam is a vibrant area – where’s your favourite place to visit for a bit of creative inspiration?
J: I work in IT so online, where else?! Otherwise, the aforementioned German bar always offers good banter and discussions that can sometimes get creative.

H: Haji Lane and Arab Street are right on our doorstep. Both are lots of fun with bright and expressive street art coupled with fabric shops, furniture stores and cool clothes boutiques.



We’re celebrating today – what are we getting the team as a treat?
H: I’m still fairly new so I’ve not been on a treat run yet, but when I do it will be most likely to Konditori, their pastries and Swedish sweet things look amazing!


J: It’ll have to be egg tarts for this one, Hong Kong style egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery specifically. There’s something about the crust that just hits home for me.


Harry Parnell is a Client Manager and Jens Holmberg is IT Manager, both are based in our Singapore Studio.

Want to work (and eat lunch) with Harry, Jens and the team? We’re looking for people to join us in Singapore – find the latest opportunities here.


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