This June, join us as we bring you on a journey – one that first starts with dizzy anticipation that dine-in is finally resuming, followed by a sigh of relief that things might be starting to be on the up-turn and, finally, the barely concealed longing of visiting far-flung lands.
While the notion of travel might still be far on the horizon, who is to say you cannot be transported to new places while still on our sunny island? Here are five restaurants that bring travel right to your doorstep – or table, in this case.
Think of Cappadocia and a dreamy landscape dotted with fairy chimneys come to mind. Indeed, Cappadocia is a land of imagination, a place that looks like it fell off the pages of a storybook. Be transported there at the restaurant named after the very location, located in the heart of the Bugis district.
Enjoy a visual feast for the senses once you step into the place; glowing lamps hang from the ceilings, with iridescent paintings covering the walls. The ceiling is covered with a gorgeous, gilded design, with a mural of Cappadocia’s renowned hot air balloons adorning the walls. Food-wise, dig into native Turkish food, such as the mezza platter, lamb mandi, and chicken shawarma.
69, Bussorah St, Singapore 199482
Monday to Sunday: 11.30am – 10.30pm
2. Café Monochrome
Avid users of Instagram will recall a time where our feeds were plastered with images of Korea’s jaw-dropping 2D cafes. Café Monochrome is Singapore’s very own rendition, and it looks no less spectacular! The innovative use of white space and black lines makes the café look as if it is entirely two-dimensional, decked out with furniture that blends right in. Every corner of the café is basically a photo opportunity.
While there, dig into a plethora of Western mains to the tune of truffle cream pasta and spicy baked fish, or Japanese donburis topped with smoked duck or smoked bacon. For dessert, indulge in a scoop of ice cream atop a waffle, or two crispy pieces of you tiao (fried dough fritters).
216, Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207749
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 10pm
Closed on Mondays
Next, embark on an adventure to the intriguing land of Sri Lanka. Said to be “bringing the sights, sounds and tastes of Sri Lanka’s streets and markets to Singapore, Kotuwa means ‘fort’ in Sinhalese, paying tribute to the many ancient forts that can be found in the country.
Helmed by Chef Rishi Naleendra, a highly popular chef who has brought his other eateries such as Cloudstreet and Cheek to success, Kotuwa is set to impress. The fare reflects the diverse flavours and influence of the colonising British, Dutch, and Portuguese. Check out the devilled cashew, lychee achcharu, kaju curry, or the polos ambula.
2 Dickson Rd, First floor within Wanderlust Hotel, Singapore 209494
Wednesday to Friday: 6pm to 9.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12.30 to 2.30pm and 6 to 9.30pm
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Immerse yourself in the snazzy gardens of abroad at Nalati, a resplendent garden-themed café. The café serves more than just food – it might not be the newest kid on the block, but it is worth checking out for the experience it offers. Be greeted by experiential shopping, a digital art wall, and more. Every Friday, Nalati also plays host to a series of Friday Wine Pairing Dinners.
Tuck into an array of Western and Asian fare – dishes to take note of are the pan-seared foie gras with signature wine sauce, truffle scented mushroom soup, grilled seafood platter (for four pax), Singapore chili crayfish, steamed lobster with egg white, twice-cooked pork belly, and Xin Jiang big plate chicken.
Level 1 & 2, Republic Plaza 1, 9 Raffles Place, 048619
Monday to Saturday: 11.30am to 10pm
Closed on Sundays
5. Freakin’ Yummy Izakaya
Teleport to the alleys of Japan at Freakin’ Yummy Izakaya. The magic is in the details: the walls are plastered with Japanese murals, with iconic red lanterns dangling from the ceiling. The lanterns hang amid a canopy of pale pink cherry blossoms, which envelop a bar counter, alongside a row of high tables and chairs.
Living up to its Japanese counterparts, the entrance of the restaurant is inconspicuously nestled between a 7-Eleven outlet and an Irish pub. Be spoilt for choice with a large range of yakitori (Japanese skewers), and wash it all down with shots of sake or whisky.
57, Circular Rd, Singapore 049412
Monday to Friday: 11am to 2.30pm and 4.30pm to 10pm
Saturday: 6 to 10pm
Closed on Sundays