Spanning Sembawang to Changi, these restaurants — located off the beaten path — are worth the drive to for a sumptuous meal and time away from the madding crowd.
Weary of frequenting restaurants in shopping malls? Check out these makan places instead. They may be located in far-flung corners of the island, but these eateries are buzzing with atmosphere. The next time you feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle, take a leisurely drive to these rustic spots for an out-of-the-country feel.
Nestled in the Seletar Aerospace district, this aviation-themed café is tucked within a hangar, complete with views of a runway and parked airplanes. While far from the city, it’s worth making a trek here for the greenery, if not the planes.
Inside, the café has everything an aviation enthusiast could wish for. Metal airplane parts are moulded into a table, a helicopter anchors the dining area, and even the floor has runway markings. Sit by the window for a ringside view of parked planes while you devour mains such as roast chicken, pan-seared seabass and angus ribeye steak.
66 Seletar Aerospace View
Hangar 66 WOA Aviation
Tel: 8711 8677
Mon, Wed–Fri: 11am–10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 9am–10.30pm
SMITH MARINE FLOATING RESTAURANT
Thought you needed to leave Singapore to visit a kelong? You couldn’t be more wrong. A 15-minute boat ride gets you to the Smith Marine Floating Restaurant, a modern kelong floating on the waters between Pulau Ubin and Changi Point Ferry Terminal.
Here, you can savour freshly caught seafood. Choose from five- to 10-course set menus, featuring sambal mussels, chilli crab, steamed prawns and lobster with pumpkin sauce. The set menu prices include the fare for the two-way ferry.
Between Changi and Pulau Ubin
GPS Coordinates: 01’23’52”N–103’57’42”E
Tel: 9792 7609
THE COASTAL SETTLEMENT
If you are into all things retro, you’ll have fun poking around this casual diner. Located on the outskirts of Changi, it contains a treasure trove of memorabilia such as antique bicycles, Vespa scooters, vinyl record players, and typewriters. The restaurant is spacious and airy, with plenty of natural light for indoor wefies while the surrounding greenery provides ample opportunities for outdoor shots. Fun fact: The building was previously known as Block 20, Changi Camp, and used by the Royal Air Force as a fault control and telephone exchange.
The Coastal Settlement has both indoor and al fresco dining, and the menu is curated to offer local dishes with a contemporary twist. It’s perfect for group dining with sharing plates of har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken), crispy pork ribs and TCS wagyu cubes; there are also seafood options, such as assam fish head curry andmala seafood pot. Alternatively, come for high tea — the set includes mod-fusion creations, such as cendol panna cotta and Asian tart.
200 Netheravon Road
Tel: 6475 0200
Sat, Sun & PH: 8.30am–11pm
Last order for lunch: 2.30pm
Last order for dinner: 9.30pm
WOODY FAMILY CAFE
Woody Family Cafe is a closely guarded secret among residents in the area. Closeted in a residential estate near Sembawang Park, this cosy family-owned and -operated cafe boasts eye-catching decor and is speckled with vintage paraphernalia.
Spice lovers will enjoy the Peranakan specialties done with a modern twist, such as pork knuckle with garam assam and cod fish fillet garam assam. Customers also rave about the nasi ulam and Peranakan-style buffalo wings. The wings are marinated in 15 different spices and are graded according to nine levels of spiciness — from very mild to towering inferno — to test tolerance levels. A non-spicy version, sweetie spice, is also available for the less daring.
12F Andrews Avenue
Tel: 6758 1185
Last order for lunch: 2pm
Last order for dinner: 10pm