If you’re on a business trip to Singapore, chances are that you’ll be spending some time in Changi. This vibrant neighbourhood is home to the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, Changi Exhibition Centre and Changi Business Park, among many other hubs of enterprise.
Whether you’re here on business or leisure though, the neighbourhood is home to wide open-spaces and old-world charm. Here are seven ideas for enjoying this off-the-beaten track precinct.
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 your exact specifications.
Inspired by the chap chye png (mixed economy rice) stalls at hawker centres, where customers get to 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 and American to create your perfect platter. Be sure to leave some space for the coffee, which is from local roasters Papa Palheta.
3. Escape the madding crowd
Take a break from the buzz of the city 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 spot 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, café and bar set in a relaxed kampong (a small village or community of houses) 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 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 Kashmiri Roganjosh—lamb cooked with red Kashmiri chillies—and the addictively flaky naan (Indian leavened bread) that’s baked with a variety of toppings including butter, garlic and mint.
6. Enjoy locally brewed beer
Little Island Brewing Co. does one better than serve up draft pints of craft beer—it brews its own, right on its idyllic premises in Changi. The microbrewery pours out made-in-Singapore golden ales, IPAs, lagers and ciders that you can pair with hearty American barbeque fare. And because Little Island is located a stone’s throw away from the sea, you'll get a great view as you sip on your suds.
7. Indulge in Japanese finger food and 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 Kronenbourg 1664 beer starting at just S$5 a glass all day. Snacks, too, start at just S$4.