Photo by Vincent Chong

If you’re on a business trip to Singapore, chances are you’ll be spending some time at the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, Changi Exhibition Centre, or Changi’s business parks, which house many multi-national companies and tech firms. While you are there, why not take some time to indulge in the wide open green spaces that are so rare in the city centre and enjoy the old world charm of this neighbourhood. Here are eight ideas for enjoying this off-the-beaten-track precinct as you take a break from work.

1. Have a taste of local hawker fare

For an unforgettable feast of uniquely Singapore cuisine, make your way to the Changi Village Food Centre. There’s plenty of delectable choices here, but you’ll probably notice snaking queues at some stalls, particularly those selling nasi lemak, which Singaporeans travel all the way here for. This divinely piquant dish comprises coconut rice served with all sorts of side dishes, including anchovies and sambal (chilli paste). Do join in the queues - they tend to move quickly - for some of the best versions of this dish you can find on the island.

2. Savour a customised meal

Have fun with your food at Table Manners, a casual-chic establishment that allows you to build-your-own-meal to suit your exact specifications. Inspired by the chap chye (mixed economy rice) stalls at hawker centres, where customers get to pick and choose from a wide variety of dishes, the proprietors have applied this concept to their European inspired menu. Choose dishes from an array of cuisines, including Italian, French, Cajun and American to create your perfect platter. Be sure to leave some space for their coffee, which is from local roasters Papa Palheta.

3. Escape the madding crowd

Take a break from the corporate world by seeking respite at Changi City Point. Conveniently located a stone’s throw from Changi Business Park, this mall has a landscaped rooftop garden for you to seek a bout of midday zen. It also houses lots of eateries where you can fuel up, as well as plenty of stores for you to pick up any basic necessities you may require.

4. Take a trip down memory lane

Experience what life was like in ‘80s Singapore at The Coastal Settlement, a whimsical restaurant, cafe and bar set in a relaxed kampung (village) environment. Furnished with eclectic knick-knacks and retro furniture, this off-the-beaten-track destination is very popular with the trendy brunch crowd for its hearty dishes. Swing by and spend a nostalgic hour or two at this space and remember to have your camera ready to capture this priceless blast from the past.

5. Enjoy comfort food

For tasty and authentic North Indian fare, pay Kinara a visit. This restaurant serves up a wide array of hearty, comforting cuisine, lovingly prepared by expert chefs. Standout dishes you must try include the mild but tasty leg of yoghurt-marinated lamb and the addictively flaky naan (Indian leavened bread) that’s baked with a variety of toppings including butter, garlic and mint.

6. Enjoy local food in a different way

If you’re in the mood for a wine pairing with a difference, include The Wine Company in your itinerary. Located at the idyllic Village Hotel Changi, this wine bar features an extensive portfolio of excellent tipple available by the glass or bottle. Its menu features plenty of local dishes such as char kway teow (stir-fried rice noodles) complemented with wine pairing suggestions for an unusual meal you won’t be able to get at a regular food centre.

7. Get after-work drinks

Did your meeting end too late for you to make it back to the city centre for Happy Hour? Fret not for Five Izakaya Bar is just a hop, skip and jump away. This Japanese-style bar offers unbeatable deals with ice cold Asahi beer starting at just $5 a glass all day. Snacks, too, start at just $5.