The moment we heard about the arrival of Baristart Coffee on our sunny shores, we knew we had to talk about it. Hailing from downtown Sapporo, the specialty coffee joint has just opened its doors in the heart of CBD along the bustling Tras Street, and it has already become one of our favourite java spots in town. Here’s a look at some of their noteworthy offerings:

THE COFFEE

Helmed by global chief barista Yuuki Takechi, the folks at Baristart Coffee are highly trained in their craft so you can definitely trust them to churn out an impeccable cup of joe. Watch as the man expertly works his pour over latte art magic behind the counter, which will make your cuppa look extra Instagramable.

Baristart Coffee

A must-try is the BIEI Jersey Milk Coffee ($7.50), which is made with specially-imported Hokkaido milk for a richer and creamier consistency. For those who prefer a stronger brew, this option might not appeal to the serious caffeine drinkers – but we like that it still comes packed with plenty of aromatic flavour.

THE FOOD

For a joint with a strong focus on its coffee, we certainly did not expect to be greeted with a mouth-watering spread of savoury delights. You get the usual fare of avocado salads, pastas and sandwiches – but with a distinctly Japanese twist that makes it all the more authentic.

Obihiro Butadon

Standout dishes include the Hokkaido Carbonara ($17.80), a generous plate of cream spaghetti drenched in Hokkaido rich milk; and Obihiro Butadon ($18.80), a hearty bowl of glazed pork belly slices atop fluffy rice grains.

THE SWEETS

There’s something for the sweet-tooths too! Exquisitely created by a team of skilled Japanese pastry chefs, they offer an indulgent selection of desserts to end off your meal on a sweet note. If you’re here for the ‘gram, be sure to order the Shiro Kuma Shaved Ice ($9.80).

Shiro Kuma Shaved Ice

Shaped like a bear, this super kawaii treat is served with homemade syrup on the side that you can drizzle all over the brimming bowl. You can either opt for the signature Hokkaido BIEI Jersey Milk, or choose to have coffee, strawberry, mango or green tea to go along.

Just look at how cute it is! We can’t bear to dig in (sorry, we just had to).

THE INTERIOR

Baristart Coffee Singapore Interior

Similar to its Sapporo counterpart, the outlet in Singapore adopts a minimalist design coupled with quirky accents, wood textures and a splash of greenery – reminiscent of interiors that you usually see in modern and traditional Japanese homes. Although the space isn’t as spacious (you might want to come early if you want to avoid the crowd), it has an abundance of natural light which also makes for gorgeous food shots.

With good coffee, a laidback ambience and aesthetics to boot, Baristart Coffee is a clear winner in our books.

Featured image credits: yuki_takeuchi__, iris.nihao, baristartcoffee on Instagram

Baristart Coffee is located at 65 Tras Street, Singapore 079004.

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Still cracking your brains for the perfect team-bonding activity to do with your classmates? Ditch your after-school plans for these freshly-minted hangout spots that are sure to make your friends say, “Bojio!”.

Holey Moley

 
 
 
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For a game of golf with a playful twist: Regular golf is overrated; enter Holey Moley, a mini golf club and bar that turns a traditional game of putt-putt into a labyrinth of holes you can play across two floors. Located in the heart of Clarke Quay, this spacious joint pays homage to a variety of pop culture themes – think familiar scenes that look straight out of Game of Thrones, The Simpsons and even E.T. After getting your Holey Moley fix, gather your mates and chow down on the delectable range of classic American delights available, such as the giant three-pound Monster Burger and meter-long pizzas that are perfect for sharing. Live DJs will also be onsite to spin tunes all night long, just in case you feel like busting a move or two.

Address: 3B River Valley Road #01-01, Singapore 179021
Opening hours: 12pm – 1am (Mon to Wed), 12pm – 2am (Thurs & Fri), 10am – 2am (Sat & Sun)
Tel: 800-492-2410

King and the Pawn

 
 
 
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For a good ol’ board game sesh: Fancy going retro? For those with a penchant for nostalgia, hit up this one- of-a-kind board game bar and cafe along Purvis Street for some old-fashioned fun. From the solid menu of hearty grub and locally-roasted coffee, to the quirky decor and laidback ambience, everything about this 55-seater space makes you feel right at home. But what we’re here for is its winsome selection of over 300 board games to choose from, including crowd-favourites like Riff Raff, Cards Against Humanity and more. The best part? There’s no imposition of a time limit; all they ask for is a cover charge of $8 (Tuesday to Thursday) or $13 (Friday to Sunday) per person, and you can geek out for hours on end with your buds!

Address: 24 Purvis Street Level 2, Singapore 188601
Opening hours: 5.30pm – 11.30pm (Tues to Thurs), 5.30pm – 2am (Fri), 11am – 2am (Sat), 11am – 10pm (Sun)
Tel: 6259 1913

Virtual Room

 
 
 
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For unstoppable virtual reality fun: Virtual reality is all the rage recently, but what sets Virtual Room apart is that it offers a collaborative experience where you work together with several people as a team, as opposed to other VR places that usually only cater for one player. You also get your own dedicated room – that can host up to 22 players at a time – where you’ll be transported to the future to save the world from destruction alongside your Omega teammates. A slot here will set you back a hefty $44 to $49 per person, but you get 45 minutes of extensive gameplay so you actually wind up getting more bang for your buck.

Address: Lucky Chinatown B3, Singapore 059432
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon to Sun)
Tel: 6966 8060

SuperPark

 
 
 
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For a team-bonding indoor adventure: You don’t have to head to the great outdoors to taste an adventure. At SuperPark, thrill seekers can get your dose of adrenaline rush through a smorgasbord of all-new experiences at this 40,000 sq ft playground. Hailing from Finland, the indoor activity park houses over 20 activities ranging from the usual suspects of zip wires and tube slides, to a fully- equipped game arena where you can challenge your friends to a game of golf, baseball or street basketball. The folks at SuperPark sure ain’t kidding when they say there’s something for everyone!

Address: Suntec City Mall #02-477, Singapore 038983
Opening hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon to Fri), 9am – 9pm (Sat & Sun)

K.Star

 
 
 
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For a belt-worthy good time: When all else fails, there’s nothing that a karaoke session with the BFFs can’t fix. Sing your hearts out at K.Star, a first-of-its-kind karaoke bar with 25 uniquely themed rooms to fulfill your K-star fantasies. Feeling funky? Book a Panorama Room that comes with dynamic backdrops for a funky disco vibe. In the mood for something romantic? Snuggle up in one of the Mini Rooms filled with adorable plushies and decked out in fun wallpaper. Each room can easily fit six, with the largest VIP room able to host a party of 35. Prices are surprisingly affordable as they charge per room/hourly. For instance, a room for six costs $20++ per hour during Happy Hour – hit the max pax and you’ll be shelling out less than 5 bucks per person!

Address: Orchard Central #05-01, Singapore 238896
Opening hours: 12pm – 3am (Sun to Thurs), 12pm – 6am (Fri & Sat)
Tel: 6634 2801

This article was adapted from Teenage Passport To Your Future 2019.

More related stories: 8 Non-Cliche Ideas For The Best Class Gathering Ever5 Apps To Download For Awkward Social Gatherings

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Having made its debut to much fanfare at the Bayfront Event Space last December, the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival has successfully played host to a 1.4 million-strong crowd of adrenaline seekers across the four-month extravaganza. Back for its sophomore run from now till 24 March 2019, this year’s edition boasts 50 thrilling rides and attractions spanning over 23,000 square metres (that’s the size of four football fields), alongside a refreshed lineup of festival grub, fun workshops, music performances and more! If you’re heading down this weekend, here’s what you can expect.

Three new rides

Wave Swinger

Besides the classic mainstays of rollercoasters and vikings, there are also three spanking new rides in addition to its lineup: Wave Swinger, Freak Out and Jumper Jumper. The highlight attraction is no doubt the Wave Swinger, a swing carousel that is decorated with mural paintings of iconic landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands – which makes for a super photogenic backdrop if you’re here for the ‘gram.

Freak Out

The other two attractions are just as thrilling, but Freak Out takes the cake when it comes to upping the scream factor. As its name suggests, try not to freak out as this gut-wrenching ride sends you spinning in all directions (not for the faint-hearted).

Jumper Jumper

For a more family-friendly option, hop on the Jumper Jumper – the carnival equivalent of a fidget spinner that takes you round and round on a whirlwind adventure.

More fun and games

 
 
 
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Aside from the solid repertoire of rides available, you can also look forward to an array of fun-filled programmes to keep you entertained throughout – think food challenges, themed dress contests (more on that later), open mic sessions, interactive workshops for all ages and more. While you’re there, don’t forget to keep an eye out for a Chewbacca Santa roving the festival grounds!

Come dressed to win

Although admission is free, you’d still require a good amount of credits for the rides and games. Well, here’s an easy way for you to score more perks: simply come decked out according to the theme of the month, and the first 150 visitors donning the craziest outfits will walk away with bonus credits. Not only will you be the coolest kid at the carnival, you’ll also get more bang for your buck!

Enjoy live performances

What’s a carnival without a good soundtrack? Be treated to stunning live performances by homegrown music acts such as Among Four, Daniel Sid and DJ Gainzter, who are set to bring the house down with their addictive tunes. How’s that for supporting local?

Feast to your heart’s content

Prudential Marina Bay Carnival F&B

Feeling peckish after the rides? Pop by the F&B tent where you can indulge in a variety of lip-smacking fare – from hipster-approved meatballs served in a bucket at Sofnade, to classic All-American burgers found at Burg Nerds. With action-packed thrills, delicious grub and all-around good vibes, there’s plenty to play, eat and do at Prudential Marina Bay Carnival!

Prudential Marina Bay Carnival runs from 22 December 2018 to 24 March 2019, 4pm to 11pm daily (extended hours till 2am on New Year’s Eve). For more information, head over to www.marinabaycarnival.sg

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What a year 2018 has been! From all-night partying to explosive firework displays, end off the year on a high note at these celebratory New Year’s Eve countdown parties.

Bang Bang Club NYE Special: Future Shock

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Get the party started at Bang Bang Club’s NYE Special, along with Californian DJ J.Espinosa who will be spinning the decks with his high-energy EDM mixes – all the way into the first hours of 2019. Come dressed in your best futuristic glam get-up as you gather and countdown to the club’s very own version of the Times Square ball drop!

Tickets from $35, visit Peatix for more information.

Coastes New Year’s Eve Beach BBQ Countdown Party

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What better way to ring in the new year than an indulgent buffet as you dance the night away by the beach? Hosted by the good folks at Coastes, enjoy a rustic beach barbecue party that features a scrumptious spread of freshly-grilled seafood, hearty mains and sweet treats alongside live performances by music mastros Stephen Francis and Lily Anna Nuris.

Tickets from $75, visit Coastes for more information.

Esplanade New Year’s Eve Countdown

Esplanade New Year’s Eve Countdown

Join celebrity host Timothy Nga and local talents Nick Zavior, Amni Musfirah & The Hustlers, NovoBloco and Bloco Singapura for six hours of non-stop entertainment as you come together with your loved ones for a melodious end to 2018 at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.

Admission is free, visit Esplanade Theatres for more information.

Lulu Presents: Winter’s Garden

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Who says we can’t have a white Christmas in Singapore? Step into a winter wonderland and immerse yourself in the dazzling display of flamboyant performances at the transformed LuLu’s Lounge – think stilt walkers, jugglers and live musicians with a cheeky circus twist.

Tickets from $30, visit Peatix for more information.

Marina Bay: Food Truck Fest

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Eat your way to 2019 at the Food Truck Fest with a lip-smacking lineup of local delights! Located right at the promenade of Marina Bay Sands, you are in for a culinary adventure as you tuck into a truckload of gastronomic treats like the signature USDA Black Angus ‘Choice’ Ribeye with ‘Heart Attack’ Fried Rice from New Ubin Seafood, to the famous Salted Egg Burger from The Quarters.

Admission is free, visit Food Truck Fest for more information.

Siloso Beach Party 2018

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Countdown in style at Siloso Beach Party, where you’re set for a bangin’ night of spectacular fireworks and electrifying tunes from Asia’s finest DJs including Tomorrowland alum, Jay Hardway. For a more exclusive experience, treat yourself to some VIP tickets to enjoy the best views of the grand fireworks finale at the stroke of midnight!

Tickets from $48, visit Sentosa for more information.

Star Island Singapore Countdown Edition

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End your 2018 with a bang as you immerse yourself in a multi-sensory fireworks musical coupled with larger-than-life pyrotechnics and synchronised light shows. Bringing the futuristic beauty of hanabi to our shores, don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind theatrical extravaganza along with a variety of fringe activities, including roving performances and a DJ party!

Tickets from $38, visit Star Island Singapore for more information.

Let’s Celebrate 2019

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Celebrate the start of 2019 with your favourite local celebs at Let’s Celebrate 2019 organised by MediaCorp. Aside from the exciting display of technicolour fireworks, you’ll also get to enjoy thrilling performances by notable homegrown acts like Taufik Batisah, Gentle Bones, Joanna Dong and more.

Admission is free, visit Let’s Celebrate 2019 for more information.

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Celebrate the spirit of giving in style. If you’re not into the traditional ways of gift wrapping, these out-of-the-box DIY ideas will definitely make your presents stand out under the X’mas tree.

Apply some flower power

Apply Some Flower Power2

For something rustic, how about sticking a small bouquet of dried flowers onto your presents? Use small bunches of dried flowers and wrap them up with leftover wrapping paper, and secure with some twine.

Stitch it up

Stitch It Up2

Here’s something that will put a smile on your friends and family: a gift stuffed into a star-shaped envelope. Draw the shape of a star on two pieces of construction paper. Make sure that it is large enough to contain your present. Cut the two pieces out using scissors. You’ll need a sewing machine, needle and thread for the next step. Sew up the seams along the sides of the star, but remember to leave one corner unstitched to insert your gift. Fill it up with tinsel and your gift and sew up the last bit.

Go for gold

Go for gold2

This DIY gift-wrapper is at once wallet-friendly and pretty. You can recycle gold-foiled shopping bags and punch out circles using a hole puncher. If not, store-bought foiled paper works too. Using glue, stick the circles on plain brown or white paper. Once dry, wrap your present and embellish with a couple of Christmas ornaments for a festive touch.

Add some star accents

Add Star Accents2

This quick and easy gift-wrapping idea puts a spin on the conventional bow and ribbon combo. Keep it monochrome for a modern take. You’ll need a star-shaped hole puncher, stack of art cards, string, scissors, construction paper and glue. After wrapping your gift, wrap the string around it a few times. Punch out stars from the art cards and glue them to the string. Finally, add gift tags and you’re done!

Consider natural elements

Consider natural elements2

This super simple gift-wrapping idea is so easy it takes no time at all. You’d have to spend some time outside foraging for leaves though – ferns make good choices as they sport intricate designs. Once you have wrapped your present, tie it with twine and slip a leaf under the knot. You can add personalised gift tags too.

Feather away

Feather flair2

Impressive as they may be these feather gift tags are functional too. Gift receivers can re-use them as bookmarks! To make, trace out outlines of feathers on coloured art card. Cut them out and brush some gold poster paint at the ends for the gold-dipped effect. Once dry, secure them to ribbons using glue. 

A version of this article first appeared on SquareRooms.

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