The most heart-wrenching moment for many of us in 2020 was having our travel plans thwarted. While we are still unable to fly to Bangkok and Tokyo for the holidays, perhaps this is the perfect chance for one to explore places closer to home. If you’re looking to spice up your outings, here are 10 hidden eateries that are deliberately hard to get to, so that your meals can be that much more exotic and interesting.
1. Hub & Spoke Cafe
Although the address of Hub & Spoke Cafe is ‘Changi Airport Terminal 2‘, it’s actually located outside the main terminal. Also, as of this writing, said terminal is currently closed. The best way to get there is of course by private transport, and you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the makeshift neon sign that reads ‘T2 Pick-up Drop-off’ at the first U-turn along Airport Boulevard.
The food here is generally inexpensive, and that’s strategically so given the main clientele of this cafe. Most visitors here are staff working at the airport, so it only makes sense to offer fuss-free, easy meals on a modest budget.
With that said, don’t be quick to dismiss cheap food for being unsavoury, because their Mee Rebus Java (S$5.50) is a divine creation. If you’re looking for an affordable option in the far-flung regions of Changi, Hub & Spoke is a perfect choice.
Located along Whitchurch Road, Colbar is a truly unique eating destination. Its rustic setting provides a throwback to the good ol’ days, where customers dine in a rustic, open-air setting. Abbreviated for ‘colonial bar’, it served formally as a canteen for the British army, a fact evident from its historical facade.
Its menu is also priced affordably, with local classics like Chicken Curry Rice (S$11) and Dry Hor Fun (S$8). They also serve up Western plates like the Cheesy Omelette & Chips (S$11) that are bound to whet your appetite. With Colbar lusciously surrounded by greenery, this hidden eatery makes for a great retreat from city life and a worthy reward for those who would venture a travel.
9A Whitchurch Road, Singapore 138839
+65 6779 4859
Tues to Sun: 11.30am – 8.30pm
3. 5 by Sans Façon
Seletar Aerospace Park is an oasis of hidden gems. One such destination is newly-minted 5 by Sans Façon. It is housed in a rustic black-and-white building, outfitted with cement screed and large, long wooden beams looming above for a quintessential barnhouse outlook.
Labelling itself as a French-inspired bistro, the menu is lean but with portions large enough for sharing, there are more than sufficient options to keep everyone satiated. Order the Bouchon Mussels (S$29) which come simmered in a white wine cream sauce that is silky and addictive, or go for the Calamarata (S$29) that features a glistening piece of duck confit along with asparagus, mushrooms, and shaved parmesan.
Where else can one feast on French cuisine while basking in the view of planes taking off at the nearby runway?
4. Soek Seng 1954
Also located in Seletar, this is one for the cycling fanatics. Soek Seng 1954 was opened by 64-year-old Poon Kng Joo, who set up the cafe beside Seletar Airport. Strategically located along a cycling route, this spot is perfect for cyclists who are looking for a place to catch a bite.
If you aren’t on two wheels, the view here is bound to excite you anyway. Come at sunset to catch planes taking off right before your eyes, while you dine on Beef Rendang (S$10.80) and Chicken Chop (S$10.80).
With such budget-friendly menu items, Soek Seng 1954 is a must-visit for your next meal.
5. 555 Halal Thai
When one thinks of Kranji, what comes to mind? I guess it includes the likes of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Kranji Marshes. As a proud Eastie myself, it is indeed rare for me to voyage to the faraway northwestern lands of Singapore, let alone to nosh. Imagine my surprise when 555 Halal Thai announced its opening at Gallop Kranji Farm Resort.
As the name suggests, Thai cuisine is the theme for the menu. Diners can expect a communal experience driven by mookata, UFO steamboats, grilled seafood, and not to mention classics like pineapple fried rice. Look forward to munching on your favourite dishes while experiencing the tranquillity of nature and the USP of all our hidden eateries listed here.
6. Bistro Gardenasia
Although there are a few farm-oriented cafes in this ulu northern part of Singapore, Bistro Gardenasia is a cafe, farm stay and event space all in one. While it is pretty inaccessible if you’re without your own transport, it’s worth the scenic drive and respite from the maddening cafe crowd.
The Char-grilled Ribeye Hor Fun (S$20) is a delightful mix of sweet, salty and peppery flavours that is enough to make anyone drool. You can expect more unique dishes which are lovingly paired with some of Kranji’s best views of nature. If you’re looking for a getaway from the city, this hidden eatery is definitely for you.
7. Whisk & Paddle
For the ultimate reward at the end of your trip, come to Whisk & Paddle to indulge in a relaxing evening by the river. Located along Punggol Waterway, this humble cafe serves up all-day brunch and pastries, so you’ll never leave hungry.
Its killer view is not all that Whisk & Paddle has going for it. Sink your teeth into Sticky Pork Ribs (S$28.80), or go for the Nanban Chicken Waffle (S$25.80), which features a unique Asian twist on traditional chicken and waffles. Its extensive menu selection will definitely make your trip down worthwhile.
8. Little Island Brewing Co.
This is one for the Easties; located just a stone’s throw away from Changi Village Hawker Centre, Little Island Brewing Co. is a family-friendly hidden eatery that serves casual bistro food along the eastern coast of Singapore. Enjoy the sea breeze while you dine with family and friends, or look forward to a leisurely evening stroll along the beach after your meal.
As the name suggests, this establishment also doubles up as a microbrewery with an assortment of craft beers. It promises an extensive menu to go along with your beverage, with unique options like Chicken Tikka Burger (S$18) and Wagyu Beef Brisket (S$22). In addition to the food, be sure to catch performances by the live band at the restaurant, so you can jam to some tunes as you feast.
9. Marina Bistro
Talking about dining by the water, Marina Bistro is located within Raffles Marina, a country club that overlooks the sea. With Tuas Link nearby, one can even spot the skyline of Johor Bahru from the restaurant!
Serving up local delights like Seafood Mee Goreng (S$15.80) and Nyonya Chicken Curry (S$11), there’s bound to be something for everyone. If you’re a member at Raffles Marina, you will also enjoy a discounted rate for the dishes here.
The magnificent views and plethora of food choices will undoubtedly make Marina Bistro a great choice for family gatherings or date night. Granted, the location is a little out of the way, especially for those in the East, but the stunning scenery will make it worth your while.
10. Woody Family Cafe
Tucked in the northeastern ends of Sembawang, Woody Family Cafe serves up authentic Peranakan dishes in a rustic setting. Furnished cosily, dining here gives one a feeling of warmth
and home. This sentiment is echoed through its thoughtfully prepared dishes as well, with classics like Nasi Ulam (S$14.90) and Buah Keluak Omelette (S$12.90).
The Peranakan Style Buffalo Wings (S$18.90) are a unique menu item with ten levels of spice, so spicy food lovers can challenge their taste buds. With such a specially curated menu, this hidden eatery is simply waiting to be uncovered by those who are in the area.