Take a breather with al fresco dining in Singapore.
Singapore’s tropical weather isn’t ideal for dining outdoors but on days that aren’t scorching (yes, that does happen sometimes!) or during the evenings, it’s nice to enjoy a meal in al fresco – a.k.a. the great outdoors.
Whether this means nestled in lush gardens, beside the water or up high above on a rooftop, you’ll definitely be digging the al fresco vibes. So get out from the air-conditioning and into the al fresco dining area at these beautiful restaurants.
Located in the Ginger Garden within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, this aptly-named restaurant (halia means ‘ginger’ in Malay) blends in perfectly with its surroundings which is no surprise once you find out that it was constructed simultaneously with the development of the Garden in 2000. You can sit in the dining room, with its full-height glass windows which provide stunning views, or relax in the cool surroundings of the garden. The restaurant has a breakfast, brunch, set lunch and all-day dining menu, as well as a communal menu for four that’s available during dinner only. Do try the very unique Halia’s Singapore-Style Chilli Crab Spaghettini.
The Halia, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens (enter via Tyersall Avenue), 1 Cluny Rd., 259569
Enjoy a scrumptious meal in lush surroundings in the heart of a HDB estate and one of the nicest-looking parks in Singapore. Grub has a Burger + Noodle Bar in Balestier but its cafe in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is the one we’re talking about here. Even if you arrive at the restaurant in a bad mood (for whatever reason), we guarantee the greenery all around you will soothe you in no time. Food-wise, there’s a range of burgers, pastas, meat/seafood dishes and desserts to choose from, and the weekend brunch (9 am to 5 pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays) is definitely worth a try too. Ingredients for all their food items are sourced locally wherever possible and its signature burger buns are customised and freshly-baked by a local bakery.
Grub, 510 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 (Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park, Pond Gardens), 569983
It’s a cafe, a patisserie and a bar, and you’ll find it at the ground level of The Summerhouse, a two-storey colonial bungalow at The Oval in Seletar Aerospace Park. Operating as a cafe by day and a bistro by night, it’s a great spot to while a few hours away, whether you’re looking for a meal or just some quiet time in the relaxing countryside with a coffee, cake or cocktail. Weekend brunch is available on Saturday, Sunday and public holiday from 10 am to 3.30 pm, and the range of sweet treats and waffles are good choices too. Don’t forget to stroll through the sprawling edible garden, which provides ingredients not just for their dishes but their garden-inspired cocktails too. Oh, and did we mention the place is an Instagrammer’s dream?
Wildseed Cafe & Bar, Level 1, 3 Park Lane, Seletar Aerospace Park, 798387.
Duxton Hill is one of the most quaint areas in Singapore but it’s also rather hip and is home to a number of bars and restaurants. There are some leafy pockets too and this Mexican cocina and garden bar is one of the best sites to enjoy the greenery. It serves authentic Mexican street food with a gourmet twist, in a casual setting. Expect a selection of Mexican classics such as tacos, quesadillas and burritos, try the set lunch or pop in for dinner and choose the chef’s selection of dishes to serve a party of either six or eight, if you can’t decide on anything from the a la carte menu. If you’re enjoying the atmosphere, relax with a drink from their extensive selection of margarita, tequila-based cocktails and mezcal spirits.
Lucha Loco, 15 Duxton Hill, 089598
Who doesn’t love a good burger? And a good burger with a stunning view – who in their right mind would say no to that? Hop over to OverEasy at One Fullerton, which boasts sweeping views of the Marina Bay skyline. This classic American diner might feel all American inside but, once you step onto the al fresco area, it’s the beauty of Singapore that takes centre stage. Its location by the bay means you’ll be cool outdoors while you dine on your burger, mac & cheese and buffalo wings, or just making one of their famous milkshakes last as long as possible. Brunch is served all day on weekends.
OverEasy, One Fullerton, #01-06, 1 Fullerton Rd., 049213
Not only is this restaurant located 100m above sea level, it’s also surrounded by a lush rainforest. This means you’ll get a tranquil feeling while dining here but you’ll also get some very awesome panoramic views of the harbourfront area and Sentosa too (it’s also very soothing to watch the cable cars go by). In fact you’ll get one of the best views in Singapore here, right on top of Faber Peak. It’s also an excellent spot to catch the sunset so it’s ideal for a romantic meal or if you’re just looking for some Insta-worthy photos. European tapas is the order of the day here and you can make your experience last longer by sipping a wine/cocktail or two after dinner.
Dusk Restaurant & Bar, Faber Peak Singapore, Level 2, 109 Mount Faber Rd., 099203
You’ll be transported back to the colonial days when you visit this restaurant as it’s housed in a traditional black and white bungalow from 1935, in Gillman Barracks. Dine in style indoors or in the al fresco area – you’ll certainly enjoy the lush greenery and the charming ambiance. The cuisine here is Western, with hot favourites such as fish and chips, steak, pasta dishes and pizzas. It’s also a popular wedding venue, which gives you an idea of just how gorgeous the surroundings are.
Masons Restaurant & Bar, 8 Lock Rd., Gillman Barracks, 108936
You don’t need to be on holiday to enjoy some relaxing beach vibes. Kick off your shoes and get lost in the laid-back atmosphere here as you take in the calming sights and sounds of the sea. Situated along a stretch of Sentosa’s Siloso Beach, there are even sun-beds and deck chairs right next to the water so you can get up close and personal with the sea while you dine. Grab a sandwich, a burger, a pasta or just some beach bites. It’s also popular during brunch on weekends and public holidays, from 9 am to 3 pm.
Coastes, 50 Siloso Beach Walk, 099000
By Balvinder Sandhu, March 2019 / Updated February 2020 / Updated February 2021 / Images courtesy of the respective restaurants featured.
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