Date ideas at CHIJMES
A spot of elegant old-world charm amidst the modern skyscrapers of City Hall, CHIJMES with its unique laid-back vibes is the go-to hangout spot in the area. But apart from its most popular bars and trendiest cafes, its slew of other top hidden spots might inspire the perfect date ideas for some quality time with bae.
From affordable Michelin-starred ramen to sipping on cocktails at a pay-as-you-wish bar, these date ideas are perfect for an idyllic full-day itinerary at CHIJMES – conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from City Hall MRT.
1. Get pampered with Japanese hair treatments
On top of getting your hair done, a hair treatment can give you a confidence boost for those important dates.
Tucked away in an intimate corner of CHIJMES, Shun Sakurai Hair & Beauty is a Japanese hair salon that provides hair treatments to defrizz even the most damaged tresses. For a head of silky soft hair that makes it look like you just stepped out of a shampoo commercial, the TOKIO treatments (from $180) go beyond surface-level repair and work by replenishing your hair’s keratin.
Before and after the TOKIO advanced treatment – which seals the cuticle, or outer layer of each strand of hair to lock in moisture and reduce frizziness.
Image credit: @shun_sakurai_hairstylist_sg
The TOKIO treatments are only found in selected salons like Shun Sakurai Hair & Beauty and the silky effect can last for up to three months without retouches. For an extra boost, you can even opt for the TOKIO advanced treatment (from $250), especially if you want to revive your chemically treated, bleached, or even permed hair.
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 11AM-8PM | Sat 10AM-7PM | Sun 10AM-6PM (Closed on Mondays)
2. Dig into delicious bowls of Michelin-starred ramen
Sure, having a fancy meal with your boo can be a real treat, but it can be tough to peek at the receipt at the end without being mentally prepared.
Thankfully, good food doesn’t always have to burn a hole through your wallet. Konjiki Hototogisu, located right beside the City Hall entrance of CHIJMES serves Michelin-starred ramen that features an unctuous clam-based broth.
Some of their specialities include their Shio Hamaguri Soup Ramen ($14.90), Deluxe Tonkotsu Ramen ($14.90), and Shoyu Hamaguri Soup Ramen ($14.90), pictured left to right.
The Shoyu Ramen was lightly flavoured with truffle oil and all the ramen options on the menu consist of freshly-prepped handmade noodles to set it apart from the competition. It’s highly recommended to taste the individual components of the broth before digging in which made the meal quite the immersive experience.
Each bowl of ramen also comes with a flavour-packed clam rice side dish, and you can complete your meal with some Houji Tea ($1.90).
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11.30AM-3.30PM, 5.30PM-10PM | Sat & Sun 11.30AM-10PM
3. Have your daily fix of caffeine at a Korean-inspired cafe
South Korea is known for its multitude of aesthetic cafes lining the streets of Gangnam and Hongdae. But while we can’t travel just yet, visiting Dough with bae can help to curb some of that wanderlust and make you feel like the main characters in a romance K-Drama.
The Columbian pour over coffee ($12) featured a unique fermentation process and was fragrant and almost tea-like, while their in-house White Peony kombucha ($9.50) packed a fizzy, refreshing kick.
Apart from serving up fragrant artisanal single-origin coffees, Dough’s dainty bakes are also equal parts exquisite and #aesthetic. The spacious interior, along with chic decor and tableware will be sure to send you snapping away for the ‘gram.
Just like in a bakery, you’ll get to pick from the variety of fresh pastries on display. Some of the more popular choices include the Strawberry Brioche ($5), Passionfruit Black Tea Cake ($8), and Smoked Duck Focaccia ($6).
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 10AM-6PM (Closed on Mondays)
4. Enjoy specially curated craft beer
From bright, fruity IPAs to bold and creamy stouts, a refreshing pint at a craft beer bar might just be the perfect way to elevate date night with the incredible array of flavours making for riveting conversation.
At Almost Famous Craft Beer Bar, you’ll find 15 craft beers on tap with curated selections on a weekly rotation to cater to every palate. Full pints clock in at 440ML, but with varied options like the light and refreshing Passionfruit Wheat Ale (from $8) to the dark and chocolatey Kuri Kuro Dark Chestnut Ale (from $14), smaller servings of 220ML are also available for those who want to try ‘em all.
You’ll also find bar bites like Sriracha Wings ($12) if you’re feeling a bit peckish, or pasta mains like Chili Crab Shrooms Linguine ($16) for larger appetites.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 5PM-10.30PM | Sat 2PM-10.30PM | Sun 2PM-10PM
5. Pay-as-you wish for all food and drinks at this restaurant bar
To cap off the night scoring high on romance, Tin Box is the go-to spot for both Mandopop and jazz lovers. Their two outlets at CHIJMES, The Live House and Retro & Jazz Club feature music from the respective genres, and both offer a special pay-as-you-wish promo for all members.
To get in on this deal, all you have to do is to make a reservation at Tin Box and register as a member for free when you head down. After that, you can simply choose anything you want from the menu all night, and then pay as you deem fit as you leave.
Tin Box also features tie-ins with charities, where proceeds every Tuesday are channelled to a good cause – so you’ll definitely want to contribute a little extra to do your part.
Their drinks were definitely the star of the show. The Lil White Lie (left) was a refreshing citrus alcoholic drink while the Green Goblin (right) was a sour cucumber mix.
At The Live House, the Mandopop hits are accompanied by classic Chinese dishes like Szechuan Skewers, Prawn Laksa and Crispy Spicy Sichuan Chicken – which can even be customised with chicken skin or added spice for all you da la lovers out there.
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 4.30PM-10.30PM (Closed on Sundays)
Bonus: Feast to your heart’s content at an all-you-can-eat meat skewer buffet
Watching talented chefs carve freshly roasted meat at Carnivore CHIJMES makes for a unique addition to your list of date ideas.
World-renowned for our dollar-stretching capabilities, we Asians know the tenets of buffet-going by heart – especially the number one rule: make a beeline for the meat. At Carnivore Brazilian Churrascaria, you can focus on your date and put your well-honed buffet instincts on hold as your plate gets stacked with delectable, freshly-carved cuts of beef, pork and lamb.
Carnivore is a churrascaria – a Brazilian steakhouse – and they pride themselves on bringing a truly authentic experience. Chefs will make their rounds displaying their magnificent grilled skewers, at the ready to top off your plate with a barrage of meat. From the classic picanha cut of beef rump cap to meaty pork sausages, you’ll also get to pick the doneness of your meat, and pair them with a range of sauces for some extra zing.
With a sweeping view of the CHIJMES chapel and jazzy Brazilian bossa nova playing in the background, this experience will serve up the vibes for a memorable date night as you sip on a classic Caipirinha to wrap up the feast. The adult weekday price starts at $59 while the weekend price starts at $69.
End your meal on a Caiprinha ($14) – a unique Brazilian cocktail that’s also the country’s national drink.
Opening hours: 6PM-10PM, Daily
Date ideas at CHIJMES
A treasure trove filled with both popular spots and hidden gems, CHIJMES is the perfect addition to your repertoire of paktor destinations that’s sure to deliver a full day of fun and frolic.
Be it a meat skewer buffet or a pay-as-you-wish restaurant bar, CHIJMES with its 180-year-plus history and European-style courtyard also serves up an elegant and romantic backdrop for the ‘gram.
To find out more about the different events and promotions happening at CHIJMES for more date ideas, you can check out their Facebook profile and their Instagram to stay updated on the latest happenings in the area.
This post was brought to you by CHIJMES.
Photography by Huiwen Chan.