If you’re looking for more than the archetypal candlelit dinner

That time of the year comes around once again, where florists and restaurants alike flood with dinner reservations and bouquet deliveries, frantic romantics everywhere rack their brains for the dream date, and the pressure for a night of magic mounts high. If a specially curated menu and a bottle of wine just won’t cut it for you and your alternative-loving bae, though, here’re five meal ideas that put their own little spin on the classic dinner date.
 

11 Closing: An Afterparty
 

The name might already ring familiar—Dawn Ng’s performance piece 11 is iconic for the way it scripts conversations between strangers within sound-enclosing confession booths. Celebrating the serendipitous end of her installation, couples and singles alike can experience the nearly-soundproof booths for themselves; be it to exchange mushy sweet-nothings in privacy, or to mingle and meet new faces, the parameters of human relationships continue to be explored and tampered with. A departure from the necessary silence of the performance piece though, DJ Mr Has fills the room with groovy 70’s hits instead; amping up the feel-good vibes ideal for romance. You can even fill up on wittily-christened Chi11i Crab Sliders and Penici11in; but otherwise soak in good company and good tunes.
 

Back To The 90’s Valentine’s Edition
 


Ditch the stiff dinner dress and leather formal shoes for your dancing shoes instead, and head over to Level Up for their eclectic nostalgia-themed party. With neon lights, retro arcade games and booze, you can count on Level Up to bring the ethereal, timeless other-world vibe conducive for romance and a loving peck or two. Have yourselves a good meal with their Valentine’s Couple Set Dinner starting at $68, and clink glasses of housepour reds before dancing around with other nostalgia-bitten lovebugs, to the tunes spun by DJ Tang. Root around in the backs of your closets for your most 90s-looking outfit and stand to win the lucky draw, or retreat to a window seat with the boo and admire the scenic Singapore River; giving you the necessary riverside views without any of the hoity-toity business.
 

Dine In The Dark by NOX
 



Bid harsh fluorescent lighting adieu and elevate your other senses instead, by having your dinner in pitch-black darkness. Known for their Dine in the Dark concepts, Nox presents a meal with heightened intimacy, one where your lack of vision will turn the attention onto meaningful conversation with your significant other instead. Three-course dinner is served to you in their pitch-black dining area, so cue the awkward fumbling of limbs and silverware; but fret not, for you will be guided and served by blind or visually impaired individuals, and learn from them along the way. Try not to accidentally stab your date, and learn to build up trust and rapport with each other; all while gaining a newfound empathy for other perspectives. Head on over to the lit-up bar lounge after to learn about the dishes consumed, and walk away having filled both your stomachs and your hearts to the brim.
 

Love is Going Back to Booze-sics
 



For an extra cosy and intimate touch to your date, why not make something sweet yourselves? Try your hands at either dessert or cocktail-making, learning from the experts at Beast & Butterflies; make indulgent Pumpkin Tiramisu if you’ve both got a sweet tooth, or learn to mix cocktails if you’re both alcoholics alcohol-loving aficionados. Both workshops happen in the afternoon, so you’ll have plenty of time to head back and dress up for dinner; or, you know, laze around the house and whip up more with the take-home recipes, while watching Netflix. Either way, you’re spending tons of quality time together, and that’s what counts (no judgement!).
 

Pillow Tok Secret Supper
 



There is no better way to connect than through meaningful conversations over good dinner, and the creators of Pillow Tok have got that down with their own little twist. Turning cards into a tool that facilitates conversations, Pillow Tok asks all the right questions; singles and couples are invited to mutually ponder about their own relationships and the way they give and receive love. Hosted in a homey space adorned with naturally-made trinkets, tuck into a three-course vegetarian dinner, clink glasses with new faces opposite you at the table, and prepare for a night of vulnerability and laughter. At the end of it, you’ll have come to newfound realisations about love, made new friends, and walk away fulfilled both in your stomach and your soul.