How many times have you entered a restaurant because it has good vibes? It just feels good.
And have you stopped in your tracks before going in because there was something wrong with the ambience?
Don’t you agree that the ‘feel’ of the restaurant – from the décor, lighting, music, furniture, even menu design – may matter as much as the food to many customers?
The environment or setting in which you eat can also add to the enjoyment. It does not need to feel high end or classy. For instance, the best zi char food has to be eaten in a coffee-shop atmosphere, however hot or crowded it is.
Strangely, the discomfort of piping hot food plus warm stuffy air can make a meal enjoyable and bring out the role of the drink, like an iced cold Coke, even better.
Here are 5 Restaurants in Singapore with that special atmosphere:
The Classroom – Supply & Demand
The new Supply & Demand at Orchard Gateway has a theme that spells ‘classroom’ – with tables and seats refurbished from actual school furniture, chalkboards, book shelves and menus in the form of report books.
Don’t worry. Dining here will not remind you of detention classes. Some of their Italian dishes have a Southeast Asian twist, such as Spicy Pork with Thai Basil Pasta and Sambal Marinara (somewhat spicy so you may need to reach out for a can of Coke). The vibe is vibrant, so you would wish you could stay in class a while longer.
The Childhood Land – Flee Away
Sometimes you wish to escape back to the 80s, where life was a lot more carefree. You may get that from Flee Away café at Dunlop Street, decorated with many childhood toys and memorabilia.
There is a big orange aeroplane that hangs from the ceiling, a 50s television near the cashier, shelves littered with old-school toys, toy soldiers and rubber duckies, comic books to browse, and old movies posters on the side wall.
The Japanese Home – Suju Japanese Restaurant
There are many Japanese restaurants in Singapore, but few would remind you of a Japanese home like Suju at Mandarin Gallery does.
Suju’s main feature is in offering authentic Japanese home-style food of rice, miso soup, traditional side dishes and simple mains. The interior also feels like you are dining at a Japanese friend’s place – wooden cupboards filled with clay crockeries, potted plants, and customary tea pots – a serene and intimate setting.
You can feel right at home taking sips of Coke while watching the world go by when you take a window seat overlooking Orchard Road.
The Chinese Inn – Dian Xiao Er
The first thing you would notice of this restaurant could be the service staff, all wearing olden Chinese waiter uniforms and headgear. The decor of this local Chinese restaurant famous for their ducks is styled after a Chinese inn for travellers, hence the stone-bricked walls, heavy wood round tables.
The branch at NEX is decorated with OTT ang-pao red ribbon lanterns to fit its wedding theme. Whereas the flagship store at Vivocity has customers sitting in an olden traditional tavern, enjoying a scenic view of the distant Sentosa island.
Olden Chinatown – Soup Restaurant
Soup Restaurant, other than having distinct old-school Chinese dishes such as Samsui Ginger Chicken, traditional steamed dishes and boiled herbal soups, has an atmosphere that is reminiscent of cultural heritage found in Chinatown.
Some Chinese restaurants may be too noisy and rowdy for family dinners and conversations, but Soup Restaurant presents a leisurely mood, where the traditional meets the modern, so you feel equally at home sipping from a refreshing can of Coke in between spoons of Chinese herbal soups.
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