Dining out without the shivers on Valentine's Day

By Celine Asril
12 February 2014 11:38 AM Updated 12 Feb 2014

Dining out without the shivers on Valentine's Day

Every day is Valentine’s Day when you’re with your loved one. Romance is not just about the surroundings, it is also about the company

Even eating with your hands in a muddy ditch could be more romantic than clinking glasses in a fairy-lit gazebo dressed up with champagne and candles.

However, on an occasion as coercive as Valentine’s Day, couples are likelier to splash out for the lavish, table-clothed setting replete with candles, a violinist and full butler service.

To avoid the uncomfortable experience of having to watch couples suck face while you crunch your lobster, we suggest these plausible places where you may still have a good time on 14 February:

McDonald’s, or any fast-food chain is a good bet. If it was here that you had your first kiss when you were in your teens, well, that’s just your little secret, we suppose. And who doesn’t love a Happy Meal? The best part is, the cold, straight-backed, hard-bottomed chairs in these serve-yourself chains are not conducive for cuddling up, and couples can’t reach over the table for a peck without getting jabbed in the ribs, or play footsie under the table without getting stares from someone on their way to order a double quarter pounder with cheese. It’s not like they are able to use their own tablecloth and candles here – oops, better not give them ideas.

All you can eat for Valentine's DayFor more on Valentine's Day - including how to set up a date with escape routes, go to: All you should eat and drink for Valentine's Day (whether you like it or not)

The hair on your back will definitely not be raised by amorous couples when you eat at tze char establishments either. The food at New Ubin Seafood and Two Chefs Eating Place are hearty and satisfying and it will be a challenge for any couple to get seats – they will probably be surrounded by rowdy families celebrating the last day of Chinese New Year. The only hearts racing are those trying to place orders with the super-busy service crew. The bare bones coffee-shop surroundings will not set off any romantic sparks either.

Another place that is a good bet for a peaceful meal is Haji Kadir & M Baharudeen Sup Tulang. Couples trying to impress each other will not think to head there unless they want to witness their partner sucking bones with an order of the clothes-staining sup tulang (beef rib soup). They would also not patronise Mandalay Style, where diners sit on the low tables and chairs for a burp-inducing Burmese meal, unless they are already past the honeymoon dating period and really comfortable with each other.

For these very reasons, we consider the above options as safe hideouts from couples who use the excuse of a Valentine’s meal to engage in massive PDA.

If you’re looking for propriety to be your wingman, choose to dine in the company of more traditional folk. Plenty of wise hats hang out at establishments such as Red Star Restaurant,

Beng Hiang Restaurant and Mui Liang Zai Lian Kee Restaurant. It’s likely you won’t find any couples doing hanky-panky of any sort.

The same goes for Caffe Beviamo at Tanglin Mall (the unofficial Mall for Mummies) and all of these places. Just be prepared to dine in the company of children and the accompanying strollers.

Singletons looking to bio (Chinese dialect for “check out”) other singletons may get lucky at Esquina, Lucha Loco, Overeasy, any of the Harry’s outlets, Five Izakaya Bar at Hitachi Towers, Zsofi Tapas Bar and, uh, Hooters Singapore, where tables are mostly bar-height, seats are singular, and most patrons are there for the hot wings or of the single-looking-to-mingle ilk.

If you see anyone locking lips, it is just someone’s lucky night.

Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, good luck and have plenty of fun. If not, just do what the wise do – order a takeaway and stay home with your favourite TV show. There are 51 more weeks to make your social life sing.


Celine Asril is guilty of taking pictures before tucking in to all her meals; it’s a (good) hazard of the job – this editor of HungryGoWhere never sits down to two of the same meals in a week. Need proof? Follow her work twitter feed at @HungryGoWhere.

Celine Asril is guilty of taking pictures before tucking in to all her meals; it’s a (good) hazard of the job – this editor of HungryGoWhere never sits down to two of the same meals in a week.
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