Instantly recognisable for its Gothic spires, stained-glass windows and lush grounds, the iconic CHIJMES complex, was originally home to the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) back in 1854.
Today? It’s a popular lifestyle destination, with more than 20 delicious eateries and lively bars plus chic services. But, if you think you’ve “been there, done that”, think again! There are new live acts to entertain visitors each week.
On any given Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening, you can spy The Roving Stage – featuring mimes, fire performers and other “wow!”-inducing acts – roaming throughout the CHIJMES Lawn and corridors. Or, you may enjoy some live music by a DJ or the beloved ’80s band Energy playing at the base of the cathedral.
So, enjoy a pampering session any of CHIJMES’s three pick-me-up spots, grab yourself a table at one of its 8 innovative F&B outlets, then sit back and soak it all in!
This modern teahouse focuses on Japanese teas – curated straight from ethically grown farms, then delicately brewed just for you. Choose from loose-leaf teas like the “intense umami (savoury)” Gyokuro or “sweet, woodsy” Hojicha Karigane, or the premium-grade matcha (powdered green teas). While you’re there, why not dig into the cafe’s homemade desserts or stock up on your own hand-crafted tea accessories (e.g., whisks, scoops and caddies)? (#01-04)
Tapas lovers, rejoice! This new vino bar serves Spanish delicacies such as Josper Grilled Octopus ($26 and up), Organic Padron Peppers ($14 and up) and Ham Croquetas (from $8 for two) – and all are responsibly sourced (think wild-caught seafood and pesticide-free produce). (#B1-05)
Spanning 3,500 square feet and with state-of-the-art equipment, this co-working space allows personal trainers to train clients for surgery rehab, weight loss, mixed martial arts and more. (#B1-03/04)
Having won accolades in Tokyo – including the title of “No.1 Ramen in Japan” in 2017 and 2018 – Konjiki Hototogisu is finally here! Its flagship store’s Triple Soup Ramen is made from a broth with Hamaguri clams and pork bone, and comes with unique toppings like black truffle paste. (#01-17)
At this buffet, the food comes to you: Its knife-wielding passadors (meat waiters) carve up to 15 different succulent meats right onto your plate! And, the rest of its spread boasts 16 hot and cold dishes, from soups and salads to housemade desserts. (#01-30)
At this 24-hour urban oasis, skilled therapists massage away your stress – with foot reflexology, TCM-style Tui Na massage and more – or help you bliss out with its various spa services. (#B1-01/02)
If you’re already a fan of 1-Michelin-starred Lei Garden, a SG mainstay since 1987, you’ll love Lei Yard – its al fresco eatery at CHIJMES. The menu comprises Lei Garden’s signature dishes and popular dim sum delights as well as Western faves like Shrimp Spaghetti with Cream Sauce. (#01-24)
One of CHIJMES’s two authentic yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurants, Renga-Ya (Japanese BBQ & Steak) buys entire cows for its beef, directly from Japanese farms. Must-order menu item: Royal Ohmi Wagyu BBQ Set (from $94.90 per person for a minimum of two), for the finest, melt-in-your-mouth meat. (#01-11/12)
More than just another Japanese hair salon, Shun Sakurai Hair & Beauty offers Total Makeovers, including a consultation about your face and head shape, skin colour and much more! (#B1-08)
Go to this laidback eatery for its wood-fired pizzas, hearty pasta dishes and other classic Italian comfort foods. Bonus: Its outdoor seating offers great views of CHIJMES’s live acts every week! Get your evening started by taking advantage of Giardino Pizza Bar & Grill’s wallet-friendly, 1-for-1 happy hour specials on house wines and spirits, draught beers and martinis. When to go, exactly? Mondays to Fridays, from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sundays, from noon to 7 p.m. (#01-32)
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ Restaurant is Japan’s best-loved yakiniku restaurant. And, in Japan, they have a saying: “People who eat together from the same pot of rice develop stronger, more meaningful relationships.” At the SG outlet, you can share the warmth of grilled meats along with the warmth of your dining companions’ company. Try the 80-gramme, well-marbled Kagoshima Wagyu Premium Karubi “Zabuton” (from $43.80) – cut from between the ribcage and shoulder blade. (#01-01/02)
By Sara Lyle Bow, October 2018
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