The waterfront locale of Collyer Quay has everything Krystal Choo, founder and chief executive officer of Wander, a travel app for singles, wants in her busy lifestyle—quiet corners for solitude, eateries that churn out quick, tasty lunches, and hip dinner spots for dates.
The Collyer Quay area is a curious part of the city centre: a little sleepy, yet full of energy at times; a place filled with history, and facing a changing waterfront cityscape. It’s particularly special to me because I am deeply obsessed with contrasts. I started frequenting the area when the library opened at the Esplanade.
I love to visit Books & Cranny at the Esplanade to read modern literature and ponder philosophical ideas while sipping on a cappuccino and enjoying their pulled chicken burger. I come here alone to gather my thoughts; the peaceful atmosphere allows me to do that.
Orgo on the Esplanade’s roof terrace is an open space one can unwind at. I bring friends from overseas here so they see a slightly different part of the city—a quieter and more respectful space. I start with their Pork Rillette to tease my taste buds, move on to a Beef Tenderloin and end with an Affogato.
I tend to have very quick lunches that I take in between meetings. The Rotisserie is my go-to place. I’d dive right into their succulent Quarter Chicken with salad, but on stressful days I’d have a warm BBQ Chicken Panini—the touch of caramelised onions complements the sweetness of the chicken in such a comforting way.
To let my hair down, I go to The Exchange with my girls as they work in the area. At first glance, it looks like a bar but their kitchen is not to be underestimated. You will love their Duo of Chicken—roasted chicken breast, and slow cooked chicken leg with seasonal buttered vegetables. We usually have a ball of a time there. Their drinks selection is extensive, it’s a stylish place with a laid-back vibe, and the well-heeled crowd is fun to look at. I don’t drink often so I made my own sweet mocktail, which they were inspired by and wrote into the menu. Now ‘Krystal’s Vision’ is the only thing I order.
The spherical glass house of Catalunya gives one the feeling of dining on some European waterfront location. I look forward to their Lobster Rice, which is close to a risotto. I love how the graininess of the rice contrasts very nicely with its starchy creaminess. If my date wants to share, we’ll order the tapas. The Roasted Meat Canelon and Croquetas De Jamon are hearty options I would choose.