Sure, air con is our saviour but you can’t deny that sometimes a little fresh air is…refreshing for a change. And what better way to get some fresh air than with the promise of a great dinner, heartwarming company and a picturesque landscape? Every now and then we’re blessed with the most beautiful sunsets and evenings that just beg for our attention, that it’ll be such a waste if we don’t put it to good use.
So, we urge you, take a break away from dining at home or in an air-conditioned restaurant and go al fresco. We’ve shortlisted are nothing short of beautiful and delicious that you simply have to head on over.
The Black Swan
Photo: The Black Swan
Finishing work and looking to blow off some steam with you colleagues? This is the place for you. When you first enter The Black Swan, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a 1920s speakeasy – the interior stands out with its luxurious yet eclectic design.
Strings of light illuminate the space that’s usually jazzed up (literally) with the genre’s version of live pop and rock music. Admire the huge trees and wooden decor and you’ll soon forget that you’re in one of the island’s busiest districts.
Besides serving up its infamous for its premium steaks, The Black Swan’s glamourous menu also includes western favourites like The Black Swan Burger ($32), as well as oysters and an extensive drinks menu. Plus, if you come during happy hour you can get one of each for $11.
Our tip? Dress to impress and expect a pretty hefty bill.
Where: 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704
When: Mon: 11:30am – 11pm; Tues to Thurs: 11:30am – 12am; Sat and eve of P.H: 11:30am – 1am. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Photo: Lewin Terrace
It’s easy to forget that you’re living in a bustling city when you’re inside a classy, elegant and graceful colonial building, in the midst of Fort Canning’s lush greenery. Lewin Terrace, once the residence of the Chief Central Fire Station in the 1930s, is now a Japanese-French fusion restaurant the specialises in both ethnicities’ culinary techniques.
You could sit in the comfort of air conditioned rooms, or dine truly al fresco, right next to Mother Nature as you experience a gastronomical treat not to be forgotten – worry not about insect bites, you can kindly request the staff for insect repellent or mosquito coils. If you’re feeling a little generous, sit through the seven course dinner set which comes with accompanied by different wines to make your experience even richer.
Be sure to try the Wagyu Beef ($58), a crowd-favourite, and the Chocolate Parfait ($18) – the chocolate lover’s dream come true.
Where: 21 Lewin Terrace Singapore, Singapore 179290
When: Tues to Sunday: 12pm – 3pm (Last order at 2pm), Dinner: 6:30pm – 11pm (Last order at 9:30pm). Closed on Mondays.
Located in the one-hectare ginger garden of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Halia - Malay for ginger - is right by over 250 species of ginger, stunning foliage and palm trees. Constructed right as the ginger garden was being developed, meticulous details went into the interiors of Halia such that it suited and complemented the natural contours of the surrounding land.
Upon entering you’re greeted by a modest dining room with full height glass windows that give those seeking a more cool environment to still enjoy the glorious nightscape. Outside, decades-old palm trees and furniture with wooden elements whisk in the natural theme ask you busk in some western dishes – some of which that have been given a Singaporean twist, like Halia’s Singapore-Style Chilli Crab Spaghettini ($26).
Of course, a trip to Halia wouldn’t be complete without tasting some of their ginger-infused dishes, like the undeniably unique Ginger Spice, All Things Nice parfait ($9). If you’re there early in the morning, catch their breakfast menu too.
Where: 1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore 259569
When: Mon to Thurs: 9am – 9:30pm; Friday: 9am – 10pm; Saturday: 10am – 10pm; Sunday & Public Holiday: 10am – 9.30pm.
Dusk Restaurant @ Faber Peak
Photo: Dusk Restaurant & Bar
At the top of the Mount Faber, Dusk Restaurant & Bar offers one of the most beautiful views of Harbourfront and Sentosa Island. Not to mention, one of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll have ever seen. When you’re 100m above sea level and have an abundance of lush greenery all around you, it’s hard not to lose yourself in the beauty of it all.
The whole dining area is al fresco, so no matter where you sit, you’re guaranteed an amazing view of the sunset and the refreshing smell of the rainforest. The restaurant, which opened early this year, serves up some amazing tapas and unique nitro-brew cocktails that make your night even more memorable.
Go for the Twilight sharing platter ($49) if you’re with a group of friends or the highly-raved Tiger Prawn Capellini ($28) for yourself – the huge prawns sit on a bed of sauteed angel hair pasta that’s infused with lobster sauce. Try out the nitro-brew cocktails, or ask the sommelier to recommend suitable wines to pair with your dishes.
Where: 109 Mount Faber Road, Level 2, Faber Peak Singapore, Singapore 099203
When: Mon to Thurs: 4pm – 11pm; Friday & Sat & Eve of PH: 4pm – 2am; Sunday: 11am – 11pm.
Overeasy @ One Fullerton
You might’ve been to its counterpart in town, but the Overeasy outlet at One Fullerton boasts one of the most spectacular views of the city skyline – be it day or night. It’s clear-cut that Overeasy’s food and interiors are influenced by quintessential American diners, from the red and white checkered floor tiles, to the pastel blue lounge chairs and the light-up sign board. The al fresco area however, has a more hip vibe with marble tabletops and chic black chairs. Just the right amount of chic so that the view still wins our hearts.
Run by the same folks behind The Black Swan, Overeasy serves everything you could imagine ordering from an American diner – mouth-watering burgers, chicken waffles, the ultimate eggs and sausage diner breakfast and of course, tall glasses of milkshake. Be sure to try the To Die For Burger ($24), The Truffle Burger ($28), and their Housemade Waffles ($12) which will put a sweet ending to your night.
Although the items are quite pricey, it is pretty reasonable given the location. You can also check with the waiters to see if the items’ portions are meant for sharing, to split costs.
Where: 1 Fullerton Road, #01-06, 049213
When: Mon to Thurs: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 1am; Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5pm – 2am ; Sat: 11:30am – 1am; Sun: 11:30am – 11pm.
Sabio by the Sea
Photo: Sabio by the Sea
If you’ve got the time, bring you and that lucky one over to Quayside Isle for a dinner like no other. Overlooking the glimmering Sentosa Cove Marina, Sabio by the Sea offers a wide space for you to relax and unwind – compared to its outlets in town which are more enclosed and draw a larger crowd. A lot of thought goes into the furnishing be it the hand painted Catalan wall tiles or the hand carvings inspired by a 200 year old bar.
The al fresco area pours out to the waterfront, bringing you the fresh sea breeze and a gastronomical Spanish experience with its tapas, grilled meats and seafood (of course). You’ll want to try the Croquetas de Jamón ($14) – ham croquettes with a creamy filling – and its Churros ($11) which come with either homemade chocolate or caramel sauce.
For a bigger bite, get its infamous Paella de Pescado ($29 for two people) – a moist but of course delish rice dish that’s served with calamari, sea bass, mussels, clams and shrimps with a crusty brown layer. The most fitting dish for dining by the sea, if you ask us! Round off the night with one of Sabio’s very own Sangrias.
Where: 31 Ocean Way #01-02, Quayside Isle, Singapore 098375
When: Mon, Weds & Thurs: 12pm – 10:30pm; Friday:12pm – 11pm; Sat: 11:30am – 11pm; Sun: 11:30am – 10:30pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Three Buns at the Potato Head Folk
Photo: Elaine Chow/ Instagram, Potato Head Singapore/ Facebook
Occupying the iconic pre-war shophouse that sits at Keong Saik road, the Potato Head Folk houses not just Three Buns within the building, but also Studio 1939 (a bar) and The Rooftop (a rooftop bar). The facade of the building remains the same, but is brought to life with eclectic and whimsical walls and decor, hand painted murals and playful sculptures by Australian creative David Bromley.
Although you could choose to sit at the Three Buns’ dining area on the second floor, dining al fresco at The Rooftop – which also serves some of Three Buns’ dishes – will be an even more magical experience. The space fits 30 people, so be there as soon as you can as they don’t accept reservations for The Rooftop.
Three Buns serves up burgers, hotdogs and rice bowls, for those wanting to go the less sinful way. The Naughty Fries ($13) highlights the restaurant’s western-asian fusion in the best way possible by incorporating Asian and Indian spices in this western classic. The burgers, a hit amongst the urban crowd, are served with wholemeal buns, but you could also opt to have them wrapped with lettuce leaves instead. Of course, be sure to complete your trip with one of their drinks.
Where: 36 Keong Saik Rd, Singapore 089143
When: Tues to Thurs & Sun, 11am – 1am; Fri & Sat, 11am – 2am. Closed on Mondays.