Where the real Crazy Rich Asians hang out: the trendy places to spot Singapore’s movers and shakers

We spent a day with Esther Quek – one of the city’s most stylish and in-the-know denizens – to find out where the Lion City’s rich and famous like to play

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2018, 8:48am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 August, 2018, 9:10pm

The film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians hits US screens today, and if the Singapore-set film has the same effect that The Lord of the Rings trilogy had on New Zealand’s tourism industry, the Lion City is likely to see a bump in visitors after its release.

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To help you navigate the hot spots where Singapore’s movers and shakers mingle, we spent a day with one of the city’s most stylish and in-the-know denizens: Esther Quek.

From private members’ club 1880 to landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands and local spots such as food centre Lau Pa Sat, Quek took us on a whirlwind tour of the city state and showed us where Singapore’s real Crazy Rich Asians like to play.


Established in December 2017 and located in the happening enclave of Robertson Quay, 1880 has quickly become one of the hottest destinations among the city’s creative class.

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A members-only club, the space, designed by Timothy Oulton, features a screening room, a co-working space, a bar, a restaurant and a spa and grooming salon.

It helps to know a member if you want to check it out, but you can also book a room at the recently opened Intercontinental Robertson Quay, which is located in the same building, to access some of its facilities and get a taste of it.

Marina Bay Sands

As Quek points out, when Singaporeans want to impress guests from out of town, this architectural landmark, which also figures prominently in Crazy Rich Asians, is where they take them.

A visit to Ce La Vi, its rooftop bar offering sweeping views of Singapore’s skyline, is a must, not to mention grabbing a bite at one of the many high-end restaurants located in the building, including Cut by Wolfgang Puck.

Lau Pa Sat

Singapore’s hawker centres – food courts where you can sample the local cuisine – are a foodie’s dream, often igniting heated debates among the locals about which location offers the best laksa, nasi goreng, nasi lemak or chicken rice. From labourers ending their workday to posh “ladies who lunch”, everyone congregates there for a bite.

It’s no surprise then that Nicholas Young, the main character of Crazy Rich Asians, takes his American girlfriend Rachel Chu to Lau Pa Sat right after their 20-hour-long flight from New York to try Singapore’s wide array of spicy dishes.