Singapore may have the most powerful passport in the world, tying with Germany, but sometimes, you just can’t spare the time or money to go overseas. Your next best option? Looking for places in Singapore that make you feel like you’re out of the country. Here are 10 eating places that fit the bill.
We’d love for this to be our dining room – and it’s this very playful yet homely ambiance of this Australian restaurant, decked in pretty pastel hues and whimsical murals, that we love.
It’s got the food to match, too – try the melt-in-your-mouth Slow-Cooked Mangalica Pork and the Slow-Roasted Beetroot Salad with homemade duck ham, fresh plum, rosella jam and Tasmanian pepper berry.
#01-26/27 CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St, Singapore 187996
Old school is the new cool, and this diner knows best. Cute Volkswagen Kombis are parked at its doorstep (They’re also available for hire!); step inside where retro floor tiles and whimsical touches like rotary dial telephones, memorabilia, and even vintage barber chairs carry on the theme.
Even the food, mostly Thai and Chinese fare, are prepared with recipes passed down for three generations. Old school, did you say?
66 Yio Chu Kang Rd, Singapore 545568
Overeasy is half American diner, half cutesy Williamsburg cafe. Old-school fixtures and iconic diner booths are framed by a pastel feature wall, and laced with touches of green. The only giveaway: the splendid view of Marina Bay at this riverside hotspot.
Here, give up your cheat day for classic diner fare like their crowd favourite Good Ol’ Fashioned Mac & Cheese.
#01-06 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Rd, Singapore 049213
This casual Japanese restaurant doesn’t feel like Singapore – unless, that is, you happen to be on a plane above Singapore land. Boarding passes, airplane windows and waitresses dressed as airline stewardesses add to your unique dining experience at this aircraft-themed restaurant.
Don’t worry, there’s no sub-par airline food here, only the freshest sashimi and sushi flown in straight from Japan four times a week. We’re all aboard!
20a Baghdad St, Singapore 199659
Knots Cafe & Living
What would a cafe opened by a florist look like?
Like this: woody furniture accented by plants, with terrariums and bunches of roses, orchids and sunflowers adorning the space.
The cafe even doubles as a furniture shop – you can even buy the very chair you’re sitting on!
#01-07, 160 Paya Lebar Rd, Singapore 409022
Reminiscent of an elegant Parisian boudoir look, this French-inspired cafe is certainly worthy of its reference to Marie-Antoinette, the last Queen of France.
Food fit for royalty: regional French savoury specialties as well as luxurious pastries and confectionery. C’est délicieux!
Punggol East Container Bistros
Love the hipster food scene of Los Angeles or London? You’ll love these off-the-beaten-track container bistros that don’t quite feel like anywhere else in Singapore – scratch that, they don’t feel much like Singapore at all.
Except they’re got local and Asian-inspired grub like Sambal Stingray, Korean Fried Chicken; plus, comfort food like Fish and Chips, cheap craft beers and more.
50 Punggol East, Singapore 828826
Image: ST Photo / Lim Yaohui
This isn’t the set of the hit TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. We mean, it is – it’s a cafe that’s designed exactly like so, from the iconic orange sofa to the brick walls, and even Chandler and Joey’s foosball table.
The food? The menu is inspired by representative food items on the show as well, from Chandler’s Thanksgiving Chicken to Phoebe’s “I Can’t Eat Meat” Steak.
#01-01 Central Mall, 1 Magazine Rd, Singapore 059567
Brasserie Les Saveurs
Stepping into the plush Brasserie Les Saveurs, you’d expect an epicurean experience of refined French cuisine, and that’s exactly what you’re given.
Free your afternoon and tuck into a lavish spread of scones, sandwiches, desserts and more at Afternoon Tea, while the resident pianist serenades you with a live performance.
The St Regis singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd, Singapore 247911
Nox – Dine In The Dark
Abandon all concern about your surroundings on this mysterious sensory journey – stripped of your sight, savour a 3-course dinner as your personal guide brings you on a gourmet journey of discovery in a completely dark dining room.
With your amplified sense of taste and smell, discover the subtleties of flavour and the art of cuisine, along with signature cocktails customised to your palate.
269 Beach Rd, Singapore 199546
Text: Pinky Chng / The Finder / March 2017
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For more food stories, read 10 Singaporean Hawker Foods That Are The Healthier Choice and Are These 7 Breakfast Mistakes Ruining Your Diet?