Photo: Wheeler's Estate
The redevelopment of the former British military airbase in Seletar stretches back to 2007, when plans to revitalize 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 — for now.
1. Wheeler’s Estate
Photo: Wheeler's Estate
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 ouotdoors? You can have an outdoor picnic at The Lawn on the first floor.
Wheeler’s Estate is at 2 Park Lane. Tel: 6262 0001
2. The Summerhouse
Photo: The Summerhouse
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 resto is an otherworldly experience.
Photo: The Summerhouse
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.
The Summerhouse is at 2 Park Lane. Tel: 6262 1063
3. Wildseed Café & Bar
Photo: Wildseed cafe and bar
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 a 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.
Wildseed Café & Bar is at 3 Park Lane. Tel: 9643 9116
4. YOUNGS Restaurant and Bar
Photo: YOUNGS Bar and Restaurant
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.
YOUNGS Restaurant and Bar is at 3 Hyde Park Gate. Tel: 6734 2850.
5. Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Café
Photo: Soek Soek 1954 Bicycle Cafe
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!
Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Café is at #01-01 Maj Aviation Building, 80 Seletar Aerospace View. Tel: 6659 6124
6. Di Wei Teochew Restaurant
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 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.
Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant is at 1 The Oval. Tel: 6262 5946
7. Georges’ Hideout
Photo: Georges' Hideout
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, specialty 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.
Georges’ Hideout is at #02-02 JTC Aviation 2, 690 West Camp Road. Tel: 6694 1159