This small mini-precinct is one of the city's top lifestyle destinations. It boasts a hip cluster of wining and dining establishments, set amid quiet surroundings that evoke old world charm. It offers a respite from the city, but is just a short distance from Orchard Road and, while you wouldn’t know it from the art galleries, antique furniture stores and weekend farmers markets that now call the area home, Dempsey used to be a military stronghold.
It was the site of the British army barracks in colonial times and the Central Manpower Base of Singapore (CMPB), where young men reported for military service, in the early 1970s.
Hidden within conserved colonial black-and-white buildings, you’ll see specialty food purveyors and restaurants to satisfy every craving. Indian curry houses are situated next to European eateries, local seafood establishments and premium grocery outlets.
Foodie highlights include European restaurant The White Rabbit. This airy spot is housed in the former chapel of the colonial British garrison. It's a beautifully refurbished space outfitted with wrought-iron grills, stained-glass windows and sage-green banquettes. Located at the back is The Rabbit Hole bar, where you can kick back and sip cocktails.
For your specialty food needs, there is Australian gourmet store, Jones the Grocer. Pick up the highest quality chocolate, jams, snacks and extensive array of cheeses here.
The first and third Saturday of every month sees a farmer’s market at Dempsey’s Loewen Gardens where you can get homemade pesto, fresh baked pies and organic vegetables to sample.
There's also plenty of local food to be had. Try Long Beach @ Dempsey, an inland outpost of the landmark seafood restaurant at East Coast Park. Find familiar local favourites like chilli and black pepper crab at this convenient location. Also, there’s Muthu’s Curry, an ideal spot to sample the Singaporean-Indian delicacy fish head curry.
In addition, art buffs will find much to explore. The MOCA@Loewen, a contemporary art specialist, showcases top works by regional names like Chen Liu and Fang Lijun.
For fashionistas, there’s Rouge French Designs, offering Asian-inspired clothes with a French touch. Look out for striking red and black pieces and a variety of intricate accessories. If you need a workout there’s Croyez @ Dempsey, a specialist fitness centre with personalised classes. The spot’s luxury facilities, set in green surrounds, will leave you feeling nicely refreshed. With so much to see and do, you’ll never tire of this bohemian enclave.