Planning dates can be tough – so much pressure. Not only do you have to worry about whether your beloved will be swept off his or her feet by the alluring ambience of the place, that the food will not give both of you food poisoning and that the waitstaff don’t do anything offensive, you also have to hope and pray that when the bill arrives your face does not turn white. Never fear, we’ve done some research and found a couple of romantic restaurants that won’t break the bank.


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1. Casa Verde

1 Cluny Road

Dining in the lush greenery of the (now UNESCO-listed) Botanic Gardens sounds like a dream only ladies who sip tea with their pinkies out can afford. But thanks to Casa Verde, a casual eatery operated by the Les Amis Group, you get to dine al fresco with a view of the verdant park without spending a bomb. The menu offers a mix of local and international food, and pastas cost from $12 to $19 while pizzas are $21 to $24.


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2. Da Paolo Pizza Bar

44 Jalan Merah Saga #01-46

Being trapped inside a shopping mall is not exactly a recipe for a romantic date. On the other hand, dining al fresco in the peaceful neighbourhood of Chip Bee Gardens offers a much better atmosphere. Da Paolo Pizza Bar serves up the usual chic ambience the Da Paolo brand has become known for, as well as some pretty damn good pizzas and pastas, which cost about $20 to $30 a pop.

Subscribe to The Entertainer app and you can get a 1-for-1 deal on mains, making them very affordable indeed. Imagine having two huge pizzas that can feed four people for $30. You’re definitely not going to be leaving the place hungry. Great place if you’re going on a double date!


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3. La Petite Cuisine

10 Jalan Serene, #01-05 Serene Centre

If your date prefers a cosy ambience to something big, glamorous and spectacular, you’ll love this little French restaurant at Serene Centre, which is a hidden gem only those living in the area know about. The interior is very simple and will suit your date if he or she is an unpretentious sort of person. Best of all, you’ll be delighted at the mains, most of which taste great but cost well under $20. There is no service charge or GST.


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4. Azmaya

30 Robertson Quay, #01-12/13 Riverside View

Shabu shabu tends to conjure up images of people stuffing their faces unglamorously at a buffet. But at Azmaya, you enjoy the poise and refinement of an authentic Japanese joint – without having to skimp on the food. This shabu shabu restaurant’s charming ambience, attentive staff and excellent buffet prices (go on Mondays to Thursdays to enjoy the pork shabu shabu buffet for under $15) make it a winner for a casual but classy date.

5. Alfresco Gusto

2 Orchard Turn, #01-15 ION Orchard

This stylish Italian bistro on an alfresco deck will make you forget that you are in fact at ION Orchard. At Gusto, you’ll enjoy authentic Italian pizzas and pastas in a stylish setting that won’t have you shivering in the air con or gazing out of the restaurant distracted by the hoards of shoppers. Mains cost about $20 to $30, but if you have a subscription to The Entertainer app you’ll enjoy 1-for-1 on all mains, which brings them down to a very decent price.

6. The Ship

1 Scotts Road, #03-16/18 Shaw Centre

Not many know about this secluded little restaurant nestled in a corner of Shaw Centre, but those who do have loved it for decades. The Ship serves up Singapore-style Western favourites like Maryland chicken, oxtail stew and rack of lamb. American steak can be had for $33.90 to $42, while most of the other mains are in the $16.90 to $25.90 range. The ambience is charming in a retro sort of way and very intimate-this is the restaurant your grandpa would have taken you to on his birthday.

7. Artichoke

161 Middle Road, Sculpture Square

Sure, the Middle Eastern cuisine at Artichoke is pretty exotic, but the real draw of this place is its charming courtyard location. Take your date for brunch here on a Sunday afternoon and sunbathe in the garden as you pretend to read the books you brought with you… you get my drift.

This story was published on SoShiok.