Date spots in Singapore that no longer exist
Impressing your date in the year 2018 is tough. Not only do you have 1,001 options, you’ve also got a wafer-thin line between thoughtful and tacky. Thankfully for us “old” ones in our mid to late 20s, life was a lot simpler a decade ago – and so was the dating game.
If you’re a right-swiping Gen Z reading this, get ready for a list of some of the most popular love haunts of the 90s and a dose of classic romance.
1. HMV Heeren
Image credit: The Inncrowd
While you can now easily CSI the crap out of your date in a matter of seconds and know everything from his mother’s first name to the number of exes he’s had, all info-gathering was done during the date itself back in the day.
What better way to find out about someone’s taste in music than to bring them to the largest CD shop in Singapore? Some of us were even guilty of using their scheduled autograph sessions as an excuse to ask people out.
2. Fuji Ice Palace at Jurong Entertainment Centre
Image credit: tanatanakyn
Fuji Ice Palace was Singapore’s first ice skating rink, and that in itself was big enough of a draw to attract couples to one end of the island for the experience. It was also one of the few date ideas that would guarantee some hand-holding if both of you were noobs on ice.
3. Borders Bookstore at Wheelock Place
Image credit: Zyn-e.com
When couples wanted to cut the noise of the Orchard road crowd, they’d flock to Borders at Wheelock Place for HTHTs on the floor of the self-help section with the smell of roasted coffee beans wafting through the air.
Why the self-help section? It offered the most privacy from prying and judgemental eyes because people were too paiseh to be seen looking for help in the form of a book.
4. Neoprint shop at The Heeren and Orchard Cineleisure
Image credit: Rachel Yohannan
Neoprints were to us what wefies on IG are to everyone today. There was something special and romantic about being close in a small booth that made taking a Neoprint that bit more special. I think they call it sexual tension.
And because most of us could only convince our parents to get us the camera-less Nokia 3310, and the more fortunate ones had 2.0-megapixel camera phones on which images weren’t the best.
Hands up if you also stuck them all over your personal belongings as a show of love for then-boyfriend/girlfriend.
RIP Neoprint shop of Cineleisure and The Heeren:Annex. You will be forever missed.
5. Graffiti Cafe @ The Heeren
Not the actual one at The Heeren, but you get the picture.
Image credit: puccipattypig
After neoprints, natural progression had it that some of us would end up bonding over a bowl of Pontian mee at Graffiti Cafe on the top floor of The Heeren. And because vandalism was strongly encouraged, the cafe was extra popular with cheesy romantics who made an effort to leave their mark of love every time they paid a visit.
Image credit: shansational
That also meant the rest of us also read all the graffiti around us trying to guess which first name couples were people we knew. And though their outlet at Far East Plaza still stands, their OG outlet at The Heeren is one that 90s kids still hold dear.
6. Aquarium at Wisma Atria
Image credit: hitachi-aqt.com
Don’t be mistaken, Wisma didn’t have an actual aquarium à la Underwater World in Sentosa. This was just a standalone tank encasing the bubble lifts in the basement of the mall. But it was a significant landmark for even the blindest bat of a date to know where to meet since mobile phones were still a want – not a need – back then.
Plus, the smell of Famous Amos cookies always made the wait less painful if your date was late.
7. McDonald’s at King Albert Park
Image credit: Pbase
Before Starbucks Rochester Park took held the title as the most charming spot to have a study date, McDonald’s at King Albert Park was it. Their 2-storey outlet was the perfect place to huddle in a corner over notes and a pile of fries, never having to worry about being chased out by the management over a lack of seats.
Rumour has it that the quiet park next door was particularly well-known for another type of “studying”, but we’ll leave that up to your imagination.
8. Steps of old Marina Square
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
If you’ve lived long enough to celebrate National Day at the old National Stadium, you’ll know that for some strange reason, people took pleasure in sitting on the steep and wide steps of the old Marina Square – day or night.
It wasn’t a particularly breathtaking view, but it was free and you could almost always guarantee a quiet spot on the steps for some mouth-to-mouth action or to watch the sunset and talk until your mother paged you home.
9. Taco Bell at the top floor of Shaw House
Image credit: Taco Bell
It didn’t matter if you worked for your pocket money or got it from your parents; Funds were limited and dining at a restaurant was something reserved solely for special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays.
Meals on casual dates usually meant eating at fast food central on the top floor of Shaw Towers and getting your pick of Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, KFC, and even Taco Bell. Sadly, Mexican fast food was still a little too exotic for our taste buds back then – so we had to bid Taco Bell goodbye.
Now post-reno, all that remains is McDonald’s.
Defunct love haunts of 90s kids
So there you have it – 9 vanilla, but super rewarding date spots around Singapore we will always live to remember. If you’re on the hunt for some epic date ideas to add some spice to your love life, check out our updated list here.