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Mohamed Sultan Road:
Singapore's Hottest Nightlife Scene


If you're looking for Singapore's hottest nightlife, head for the clubs, bars and restaurants packing Mohamed Sultan Road and Robertson Walk.

by Jack Song

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Mohamed Sultan Road:
Singapore's Hottest Nightlife Scene

ot long ago Singapore nightlife was an oxymoron. What few stirrings there were after dark could be found in buttoned-down establishments within the city-state's many four- and five-star hotels. Fortunately, the authorities have wearied of trying to keep a lid on the lion city's libido and are turning a blind eye to the mushrooming of lively after-dark decadence. Most hotspots have sprung up in one of three nightlife hubs: Zouk, Boat Quay and Mohamed Sultan Road.

     Any one of these areas throws off enough local color and action to satisfy the most inveterate club crawler. Each is only a stone's throw from the others. But if you're young in spirit (or when swilling spirits), in town for only one night, and want to wallow in a memorable concentration of dance clubs, bars and restaurants reeking local color, head for Mohamed Sultan. It's the liberating new haunt of Singapore's younger set.




On weekend nights expect to wait in line to enter the more popular hotspots along Mohamed Sultan Road.


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     When people say Mohamed Sultan, they actually mean a four-block area that's bounded to the west by Mohamed Sultan Road, and to the north by River Valley Road. Many of the establishments are actually on Unity Street, Robertson Walk or Unity Square. All of them are crowded with restaurants, clubs and bars.

     The district is said to have been born in 1992 when a local real-estate tycoon named Peter Wong opened Front Page. What initially sprang up in its wake were converted shops and godowns (Chinese-style warehouses) decorated in a picturesque — not to say tacky — "Old Shanghai" style, complete with Chinese lanterns and dragons. More recently, however, Mohammed Sultan Road has seen a new wave of establishments sporting cleaner, trendier looks, but with enough atmospherics to remind all that Singapore was historically the jewel of Indochina. Their walls vibrate to up-to-the-minute rap, dance, trance or retro from back in the day.

     One charming custom among Singapore's denizens of the night: the all-night coffee hours and food hawkers at the Newton Center Circus. After a night of partying, those not yet ready to flop into bed can enjoy local delicacies like caramel bean curd and teochew porridge at one of the stalls that are open until sunrise.

SOME MOHAMED SULTAN ROAD HOTSPOTS

Next Page
17 Mohamed Sultan Rd

     As the direct descendant of MSR's putative original settler, Next Page is a local institution. The action begins with an extended happy hour that runs from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays to Saturday nights you can dance to top-40 tunes. Also has pool tables. Attracts a thirty-something crowd that's decidedly more mature than that of neighboring The Page.

Dbl O
11 Unity Street, #01-24 Robertson Walk

     "Double-Oh" is the MSR haunt for glamorous young professionals out to impress themselves and each other. The sound system, soaring ceilings and luxe decor create a sense of opulence. The music changes every night of the week, ranging from dance hits on Wednesdays, to house on Fridays and retro on Saturdays. Expats make a significant percentage of the crowd here. PAGE 2

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“If you're young in spirit, in town for only one night, and want to wallow in a memorable mix of dance clubs, bars and restaurants reeking local color, head for Mohamed Sultan Road.”



Next page is a progeny of the journalist bar that kicked off Mohamed Sultan's rise into Singapore's liveliest nightlife district.



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