If you’ve already sampled our local cuisines, take your taste buds on an adventure at these themed restaurants that will rouse all five of your senses. We’re talking about food courts that resemble a lush English garden, cafés modelled after TV show hangouts, and even restaurants with dishes that bear the likeness of your favourite superheroes and cartoon characters.
Here are a dozen eateries where you—and your palate—will never be bored.
Dine with Hollywood stars
Central Perk is a stunningly accurate replica of the café found in F.R.I.E.N.D.S., down to the plush orange couch where the gang from New York would gather. In fact, you’ll see Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross all over the décor and menu. Dishes here borrow references from the hit TV show, so fans will be able to spot creations like Ross’ Thanksgiving Sandwich and Joey’s Big Breakfast.
Central Perk at Central Mall. 1 Magazine Road #01-01, Singapore 059567. +65 9025 2524.
It’s not an official Harry Potter café, but it won’t take a diehard fan to spot the many references to the wizarding world in Platform 1094. Long wooden tables, chandeliers, wands and witches’ hats adorn the space. The menu is equally magical, with tipples like Truth Venom —made with rum, blue curacao, orange and grenadine—and mocktails such as Elf’s Dream, a concoction of orange, pineapple, ginger and banana.
Platform 1094. 1094 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 328192. +65 6204 6003.
While you may not get to drink tea with the Mad Hatter or play croquette with the Red Queen, Wonderland Savour is still an enchanting jaunt down the rabbit hole for Alice In Wonderland fans.
The décor here pays homage to the most recent remake of this literary classic by Tim Burton, and you’ll be having your meal while admiring the whimsical portraits of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.
Besides its range of classic Western dishes—like truffle carbonara pasta and duck confit— the restaurant also boasts a well-stocked bar if you’re hankering for an after-meal tipple.
Wisma Atria. 435 Orchard Road #02-08/13, Singapore 238877. +65 6369 1357.
Feasts for pop culture fans
The Dragon Chamber
If you’re a fan of noir and crime-themed dramas, The Dragon Chamber will be right up your alley. This restaurant will have you feel like a detective in a Hong Kong drama, with its gritty ambience and hidden location.
Once you’ve sussed out the entrance, reward yourself with a Chinese fusion feast, including dishes like their Golden Cloud Dragon Mountain—made with fried lobster tossed with egg floss— and the Dragon Claw, a crocodile foot braised in herbal sauce.
The Dragon Chamber. 2 Circular Road, Singapore 049358. +65 6950 0015.
Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 5-10.30pm.
With its evolving line-up of popup themes featuring beloved cartoon characters, Kumoya Singapore is bound to enchant both the young and the young at heart.
Previous themes included the iconic muppets from Sesame Street and everyone’s favourite beagle Snoopy from Peanuts. The current theme features the adorably awkward trio of stars from We Bare Bears.
The restaurant’s menu evolves to match the café’s theme, but visitors can expect to indulge in Western comfort food like fries, sundaes and burgers.
Kumoya Singapore. 8 Jalan Klapa, Singapore 199320. +65 8946 4181.
Tue-Thu & Sun noon-9.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-10pm.
All roads lead to good food
Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafè
Two-wheelers, of a different sort, are the stars of Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Cafè. Handsome vintage bikes hang on the walls of the café, which also serves as a meeting point for local cycling enthusiasts.
Thanks to its location further out from the city centre, you’ll be able to spot planes taxiing across the Seletar Airport runway while you tuck into a medley of Western, Japanese and local dishes.
Soek Seng 1954 Bicycle Café at MAJ Aviation Building. 80 Seletar Aerospace View #01-01, Singapore 797563. +65 6659 6124.
Tue-Thu & Sun 10am-10pm; Fri & Sat 10am-11pm.
Go on a wild ride at Handlebar, a restaurant, bar and biker’s wonderland. This hangout is fitted with modified vehicle parts, like a pool table fashioned out of a used car body, and bar stools made from parts salvaged from Vespa scooters.
The highlight here is the frozen margaritas—Handlebar shakes these up with a repurposed motorcycle engine. But of course, nothing screams “biker bar” more than the brotherhood of burly, leather-jacketed men who frequent the joint.
Gillman Barracks. 10 Lock Road, Singapore 108938. +65 6268 5550.
Tue-Thu & Sun noon-midnight; Fri noon-1am; Sat noon-2am.
Cafés caught in time
Revisit Singapore’s yesteryears in this vintage-themed restaurant. The dining area is reminiscent of a living room from the 1960s, with antique décor and furniture littered around the comfortable space. The food at Sinpopo, likewise, harks back to a simpler time. Try the wagyu beef horfun—an indulgent take on a local favourite—and their signature gula melaka (palm sugar) cake.
Sinpopo. 458 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671. +65 6345 5034.
Everything about Colbar café is old-fashioned—and that’s because it genuinely is. The Hainanese eatery served as a canteen for British troops back in the day, and has retained much of its rustic charm. Nestled in the lush foliage just off Portsdown Road, Colbar’s al fresco area is perfect for whiling away a lazy weekend over craft beers and local nosh.
Colbar at Wessex Estate. 9A Whitchurch Road, Singapore 138839. +65 6779 4859.
The Coastal Settlement
With traditional ice kachang (local shaved ice dessert made with red beans, jelly and syrup) machines, Vespa motorcycles and typewriters on display, The Coastal Settlement can easily double up as a vintage museum. The food is worth travelling to the eastern end of Singapore, with The Settlement Big Breakfast, steak and eggs, and chicken and waffles among its signature dishes.
The Coastal Settlement. 200 Netheravon Road, Singapore 508529. +65 6475 0200.
Mon-Fri 10.30am-11pm; Sat, Sun & PH 8.30am-11pm.