Singapore can be referred to as a concrete jungle in one breath, and a Garden City in another, with our beloved island being a beautiful mix of ancient and modern in one small package. More often than not, we find ourselves in concrete part – it’s where the office is, plus we get anxious when there’s not air-conditioning readily available around every corner.
For nature lovers, however, there are still plenty of options when it comes to seeking out green spots on the island. Particularly if you’re itching for a countryside-style lunch or dinner, with several venues in Singapore artfully blending modernity and greenery. So if you’re looking for that “city in a garden” feel (as eloquently put by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan), here are the best bars and restaurants in green spaces around Singapore.
A lovely pre-war, colonial-style house set in the middle of Rochester Park, Graze comprises of 5000 sq ft of lush gardens and water features, making it a picture-perfect venue for grand events such as weddings or large gatherings. You’ll be pleased to know that Graze offers fresh and simple homemade fare, which is complemented nicely by the casual, chic dining room.
But if you’re reading this, you’ll most likely be more enamoured with the 5000 sq ft garden oasis that you can enjoy from any of the three architecturally sleek outdoor pavillions, which are located just outside the main building.
Hatched (Evans Road)
If you’re the type of person who loves a brunch (and especially eggs), you will definitely fall in love with Hatched. Located just off the beaten path, right next to the Botanical Gardens, you’ll be spoilt for choice – almost every single item on the menu features a healthy serving of egg.
Not to mention that the entire place is decorated with egg-related items: Salt and pepper egg shakers, a stuffed toy chicken sitting atop a basket of cartoony eggs, and so on. If you’re looking to enjoy a nice morning stroll at the Botanics, this is the place to get your brunch on right after.
The name is a small giveaway for the inspiration behind this charming conservation building, built among lush greenery. Earthy hues of brown, greens and whites adorn the indoor dining space of The Garden, which features a giant tree right smack in the center of the venue.
True to their “au natural” theme, The Garden prides themselves on using only fresh premium produce for their natural goodness and flavours. If you’re looking for a wholesome, healthy meal set in the midst of a bright, airy – and of course, green – space, this venue will certainly deliver.
Nosh Restaurant & Bar
Another beautiful venue set in the heart of Rochester Park, Nosh is definitely the place to go to get away from the bustling city. A historical, black-and-white colonial house, the venue is decorated in a manner reminiscent of the countryside.
The highlight is certainly the lovely al fresco space, though there is an air-conditioned indoor dining space if you’d rather enjoy the view from the cool. However, if you happen to be throwing a nighttime party, you’ll find the outdoor space to be an absolute delight with a super relaxing atmosphere. All that’s missing are the jazz musicians (an excellent idea for your event, you can have that for free).
Eco Gourmet Café
Eco Gourmet Café is another venue located off the beaten track, in the lush foliage of Labrador Nature Reserve. Two things are immediately apparent about this place – it’s more restaurant than café, plus arriving at the venue can feel like landing on the shores of another country (Phuket, anyone?). Both these points are undoubtedly positive.
The venue is surrounded by greenery all around, with city noises being replaced instead by much-needed serenity and the chirping of birds. With unique global cuisine to dine on, this café come lounge is an excellent setting for intimate gatherings.
Spruce (Phoenix Park)
If you love American food, you’ll definitely love the wholesome and unpretentious modern American cuisine offered at Spruce. Even better, this venue is just a short distance from Orchard, but far enough to feel secluded. Housed in a renovated, barn-like building amid the embassies on Tanglin Road, this quiet venue is perfect for a cozy, small gathering of friends and family.
The Bark Café
What’s better than an outdoor dining experience in the actual woods? When it’s accompanied to live music, of course! Tucked far away in the East (right beside Changi Chapel and Museum), this gem of a venue will surely grant you reprieve from the bustling city. Fair warning, though: You’ll need to take a car/cab to get to this well-hidden destination. Of course, this only goes to highlight the remoteness of this venue, which would also make a fantastic setting for private events. The Bark Café features an outdoor dining experience, with an open concept kitchen to match, that is best enjoyed at night under the starry skies. Coupled with Bossa Nova tunes and pleasing fusion dishes, this venue is hard to beat as one of the top restaurants in green spaces around Singapore.
Daniel is the Editor-in-Chief of We Are Spaces a Singaporean online magazine founded in 2013 that covers all things event venues in Singapore. With the low down on restaurants, cafes, bars and more, if you’re looking to organise an event , look no further than the super helpful chaps at We Are Spaces .