Love alfresco dining? From a natural wine and sourdough bread pop-up to a casual grill concept in an industrial canteen, we spotlight five alfresco dining experiences you may want to try out.
Alfresco dining has always been a thing in Singapore. But in recent times we’re increasingly seeing very interesting outdoor dining concepts pop up, offering diners rather different fun experiences to eat and drink in the open.
So if you’re not averse to dining out with our tropical heat and humidity, we’ve put together a list of five relatively new alfresco dining experiences in Singapore for your drinking and dining exploration.
Le Vin, Levain at Tiong Bahru Bakery combines sourdough with natural wine.
Fans of natural wine, take note. Pop-up wine bar Drunken Farmer finds itself a semi-permanent home at Tiong Bahru Bakery’s flagship Eng Hoon Street location, with an outdoor sundown takeover called Le Vin, Levain that combines its natural wines with Tiong Bahru Bakery’s recently-launched range of French-style sourdough breads.
And seeing how they both heavily lean on the natural process of fermentation, it’s little wonder that the two pair so well together. Tiong Bahru Bakery’s Sourdough “Couvert” of sliced sourdough and foccacia may look like a simple repast, but each bite is packed with flavour. Pair the Sourdough “Couvert” that with the fresh and fruity rosé pétillant naturel that is the Lise et Bertrand Jousset ‘Rose a Lies’ for a perfect start to a meal. You’ll also want to pick at the “Plateau de Charcuterie”, a platter of cured meats featuring house-made pancetta, bresola and coppa.
There are a few sourdough pizza options; the Olive Lardo & Confit Eggplant is a fun twist, but he Margherita will be perfect for those who love their classic toppings. Alternatively there’s Sourdough Pita for those with smaller appetites; it comes with a most delectable housemade labneh made from cow’s milk sourced from a local dairy farm.
Drunken Farmer resident wine expert Eduardo Bayo is usually on hand at Le Vin, Levain to recommend his range of minimal-intervention wines. Wines by the glass go from S$8 to S$11, and S$45 to S$75 by the bottle. We do think wining outdoors in the heritage district of Tiong Bahru is a rather lovely and leisurely way to while away a lazy evening.
So France recreates a Parisian terrasse in Duo Galleria.
Miss your annual getaway to Paris? If so French bistro-epicerie So France at Duo Galleria has converted their outdoor space into a terrasse where you can recreate that idyllic Parisian bistro lifestyle.
Even better, that temple to all things French has put together a more casual, Mediterranean tapas-style food menu for the terrasse space compared to the one they have in the restaurant. You’re looking at the likes of Assorted French Cheeses & Cold Cuts for those who like to pick at specialty cured meats and AOC cheeses, or various dips such as Baba Ganoush and Hummus to go with bread and vegetable sticks.
But the real star of the menu are its Croque Monsieurs. Choose between Ham & Cheese, Bayonne Ham, Petit Basque, or Mushroom & Cheese as fillings, with which we recommend you wash down with copious amounts of wine for the ultimate City of Lights experience. The fresh crispness of the Domaine Reverdy Sancerre 2018 in particular does a perfect job in cutting through the richness of the toasty.
Not hungry? That’s ok. Just get yourself a Lillet Sonic – a refreshing aperitif of Lillet Blanc, soda, and tonic – with which to observe passers-by or watch the sun go down.
So France | Duo Galleria, 7 Fraser Street #01-51/56, Singapore 189356 (Google Maps link) | 8am to 9pm Mondays to Thursdays; 8am to 10pm on Fridays; 9am to 9pm on Saturdays; 9am to 6pm on Sundays | 6909 6449.
Aperol Spritz galore at Bayside Drinks & Eats.
Laidback open-air Marina Bay hotspot Bayside Drinks & Eats at One Fullerton is one of those drinking holes hidden in plain sight; chances are you may have walked by and not even noticed. It’s a lot easier to spot recently – Bayside has tied up with Italy’s iconic orange bittersweet aperitif Aperol, and you’ll find bright dashes of orange emblazoned all over.
And yes, while you can avail yourself to their range of house wines or beers, it’s the house cocktail Aperol Spritz that you want here. Come by especially during sunset hour between 5pm to 7pm and you can even get a great deal on the Aperol Spritz at $25+ for two.
Or better, drop by on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm for its recently-unveiled weekend brunch, where you can have unlimited Aperol Spritzes, beer, wine, bubbles and house spirits for S$70+. Just make sure you complement your drinks with some bites – we highly recommend their delectable Chili Crab Roll, a chili crab twist on the lobster roll.
TXA Gastrobar at Alkaff Mansion rolls out customisable punch bowls.
You may think there’s little reason to visit Alkaff Mansion in Telok Blangah Green unless you’re attending a wedding. But you’d be wrong – tucked on one side of the multi-concept lifestyle and dining destination is the alfresco terrace space TXA Gastrobar that may just cement itself as one of your favourite outdoor drinking holes.
Previously TXA Pintxo Bar, TXA Gastrobar recently revamped itself from being Basque-focused to a more whimsical, modern European slant. Grub is generally family-friendly too. You’re looking at the likes of Burrata Pizza, a pie loaded with burrata cheese, Serrano ham, cherry tomatoes and arugula, or the deliciously creamy calorie-bomb that is Smoked Duck Truffle Carbonara Pasta.
On certain weekends – every first Friday and Saturday of the month – TXA Gastrobar rolls out the barbecue too, with live BBQ stations showcasing a spread of grilled items with its “Weekend on Fire” offerings. The TXA Platter is totally built for sharing with the entire family, a trencher for the carnivorous loaded with grilled goodies such as spring chicken, onglet steak, sausage, and spit roasted pork.
Drinks-wise, TXA Gastrobar has most of the bases covered – beers, wines, cocktails, and more. But we’d recommend the customisable Sangria Punch Bowl perfect for sharing that TXA recently unveiled. Here you can pick between red or white wine, rum or brandy, as well as various fruit options to garnish and flavour your sangria.
And if you’re lucky enough to visit on a beautifully clear night, you may even be able to star gaze as you sip on your sangria.
Garang Grill displays grill chic in an industrial park.
Originally a three-month pop-up in Slake on Swan Lake Avenue back in 2017, casual barbecue concept Garang Grill finds a new home at New Ubin Village alongside New Ubin Seafood in an open-air canteen located within a Tampines industrial park. While it may be somewhat out of the way, it offers an unpretentious coffee shop experience that is fun as it is unusual.
And its grill house fare is certainly not what you’d expect to find in an industrial canteen. After all, not many canteen operators own a Spanish Mibrasa charcoal oven, which can churn out delicious smoky meats in record time. We’re particularly big fans of the Crispy Pork Jowl, which you dip into a moreish gula melaka miso sauce, and the Korean-style marinated short ribs that is the LA Galbi Beef. Those who love their steaks are likely to enjoy the grass-fed Argentinian Striploin, which came out beautifully tender and juicy.
There’s a carb dish on the menu worth a look too. Purists may sneer at the Classic Carbonara, which gives the quintessential Roman dish a Singaporean twist by serving it in a claypot. But the house-smoked pork belly – in lieu of guanciale – works fabulously well to give the creamy pasta a blast of savoury smoke.
Garang Grill doesn’t have a drinks list, but it does have a free BYO option for diners. That’s right, feel free to haul along your own bottles of wine, cognac and whisky to complete your kopitiam experience.
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