Check out the up-and-coming foodie haven at Seletar Airbase and dine among its charming colonial bungalows – before it gets way too crowded.
Seletar Airport is set to open at the end of the year, and we’ve no doubt that the Seletar Airbase area, now the north’s hippest dining enclave, will get even hotter.
The redevelopment of the former British military airbase in Seletar stretches back to 2007, when plans to revitalise the area were unveiled. Fast-forward to today, and the Airbase is now an established place for foodies to head to.
Black-and-white colonial bungalows currently house restaurants in a pastoral setting, making it — like Dempsey — a go-to enclave to dine in. And with the $80 million Seletar Airport set to begin catering to chartered flight passengers as well as to budget travellers, we’ve no doubt that this quaint area is set to become much more bustling.
Ready to travel up north? Here are 7 places to eat in Seletar Airbase —until more open up, of course.
Where: 2 Park Lane
If you’re into the café scene, Wheeler’s Estate should already be familiar to you. The sister restaurant of Wheeler’s Yard in Balestier, Wheeler’s Estate is a multi-concept establishment comprising a restaurant, café and bar that opened in 2017. The two-storey colonial bungalow — once the home of a tech wing commander of the Royal Air Force — has a grill house downstairs and a restaurant upstairs where pizzas, sharing platters and rounds of cold beer are served in Instagrammable surrounds. Want to move outdoors? You can have an outdoor picnic at The Lawn on the first floor.
Where: 3 Park Lane
Across from Wheeler’s Estate stands The Summerhouse, a 45,000-sq ft conserved bungalow that’s home to Poppy Flora Studio, Nomad the Gallant (an on-site coffee roasting facility), Wildseed Café & Bar and the Summerhouse Dining Room & Balcony Bar, the main restaurant on the second floor. Dining at the restaurant is an otherworldly experience. Besides the grand white interiors, the restaurant also focuses on a healthy and sustainable menu with its farm-to-table concept that supports its “farming collective of growers, producers and kelongs”. The Wood-fired Free Range French Poulet from Toh Thye San Farm here in Singapore costs $28, while the 24 Hours Tajima Chuck Tender steak from New South Wales in Australia served with a Shiraz reduction is $45.
Want to dine outdoors? Book one of the three air-conditioned domes in the garden. You can also rent the area for wedding and events.
Wildseed Cafeé & Bar
Where: 3 Park Lane
Wildseed Café & Bar that’s on the ground level of The Summerhouse deserves a section of its own. All about the lazy Sunday vibes, this is a perfect place to chill around with a book in hand. The casual eatery serves hearty brunch bites, and you won’t want to miss its unique take on the classic Kaya Toast ($9, this atas version comes with sous vide egg). Other items on the menu include cakes, pastries, waffles — it has a whole “waffle factory” section with each dish at $16 — and freshly roasted coffee. It transforms into a bar at night with delicious summer-minded cocktails on offer.
Youngs Bar and Restaurant
Where: 3 Hyde Park Gate
Youngs Bar and Restaurant serves modern European cuisine with mains that are surprisingly affordable (from $16 for a pasta to $34 for the beef tenderloin) compared to the other eateries in the area. We really like the mussel pots ($23 and up) where you can choose from three bases: white wine, tomato or blue cheese.
Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Café
Where: #01-01 Maj Aviation Building, 80 Seletar Aerospace View
You don’t have to be into cycling to appreciate the interior and concept of Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafe, the brainchild of artist Poon Kng Joo. Enter the cafe, and you’ll be struck by the rows of vintage bicycles (collected by Mr Poon himself) and cycling paraphernalia hanging on the walls. With the Seletar Airport located right beside the café, this has the best view of planes taking off. You’ll tuck into a super-affordable menu that’s a mix of Western, Japanese and local dishes (the Gyu Don costs $7.80, while the Ribeye Steak is $22.80). This is also the place to go for a beautiful view of the sunset!
Di Wei Teochew Restaurant
Where: 1 The Oval
If you think that Chinese cuisine is a tad incongruous in these settings, you’d be right. But hey, you can’t knock Teochew cuisine, done well. Spearheaded by co-founder and head chef Khoo Tai Guan, expect authentic dishes like the Signature Teochew Cold Crab and Teochew Pan Fried Pomfret (seasonal prices). Other dishes to try at Di Wei Teochew Restaurant are Crayfish Porridge ($20 for a small portion) and the Fried Noodles with Shrimp and Honey Glazed Pork ($6 for a small portion). This flagship outlet at The Oval can seat up to 140 people, ideal for large family gatherings or company dinners.
Where: #02-02 JTC Aviation 2, 690 West Camp Road
Georges’ Hideout is an unpretentious pub for those who to chill over a cold one. There’s a menu of bar bites — bratwurst for $12.90 or the wings for $14.90 — to go along with the extensive collection of draft beers, speciality beer, wine and liquors. If you’re looking for a place to host casual special occasions or raucous group gatherings, this is a place to raise a glass.