The redeveloped Seletar Aerospace Park (SAP) is the next foodie enclave to head to.
The first phase of The Oval @ SAP – which occupies 11ha – was completed at the end of December. It features four food and beverage tenants within walking distance of one another.
Youngs Bar & Restaurant – serving modern European cuisine – opened last October and its sister outlet, Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant, opened in November. In December, two multi-concept spaces opened – Wheeler’s Estate, by the Ong brothers behind Wheeler’s Yard in Balestier, along with The Summerhouse by lifestyle group 1-Group.
The Oval, part of the 320ha aerospace park surrounding Seletar Airport, is a short drive from Yishun, Jalan Kayu and Sengkang, and is being developed by government agency JTC.
The area comprises a cluster of 32 black and white colonial bungalows – which the restaurants are housed in – that were gazetted for conservation under the Urban Redevelopment Authority Master Plan 2014.
The Summerhouse, a sprawling 45,000 sq ft property, comprises a 90-seat restaurant of the same name on its second floor, and Wildseed, a 76-seat cafe by day and bar by night, on level one. It will open in December.
1-Group, which has a wedding business arm called 1-Host, runs Una, also housed in a colonial bungalow at 1 Rochester Park. The group will open another restaurant in a colonial bungalow at the Singapore Botanic Gardens by next month.
The Summerhouse’s kitchen is helmed by German chef Florian Ridder, who most recently was the sous chef of the Michelin-starred Alma by Juan Amador at Goodwood Park Hotel. The cuisine is “nature-inspired” and focuses on local and seasonal produce. Average spending is up to $30 a person for lunch at Wildseed and up to $120 for dinner at The Summerhouse.
The farm-to-table concept partners with Edible Garden City for its vegetables, along with Nomad the Gallant coffee roaster for speciality coffee, and florist partner Poppy – perfect for those looking to hold weddings there.
1-Group’s managing director Joseph Ong, 44, says: “We want to show that even in an urban setting like Singapore, we can still raise awareness about local sustainability. This is the first time we are working with local farmers and partners and we look to strengthen the local community.”
The $2.5-million Wheeler’s Estate (2 Park Lane, tel: 6262-0001, www.facebook.com/wheelersestate) is also housed in a two-storey colonial bungalow, and has various sections in its 4,046 sq m space. The second floor features the 150-seat Verandah restaurant serving Australian cuisine, as well as a 9m-long bar for wine, whisky and cocktails. It opens early next month.
The first floor includes a cafe as well as the Grill House for charcoal-grilled steaks and burgers using jarrah, apple and lychee firewood. Diners can also grab a mat and basket from the cafe counter and pick up snacks, sandwiches and drinks for a picnic on the lawn.
Avid cyclists can look forward to joining its cycling group, which will organise a 33km leisure ride from Wheeler’s Yard to Wheeler’s Estate via the park connectors.
While Wheeler’s Estate is a more fancy establishment with a kitchen equipped for large-scale events, the bicycle-themed Wheeler’s Yard will remain the same. Its brand director Ong Tiong Huat, 54, says: “Both have the same DNA, but they remain destination locations.” His younger brothers are involved in the business – Daniel Ong, 53, is the executive director and Ong Tiong Ann, 50, is the finance director.
The other two restaurants at The Oval are by food and beverage company Pentagon Group, with each housed in a single-storey bungalow.
Since opening last month, the 130-seat Youngs Bar & Restaurant (3 Hyde Park Gate, open: 11 to 1am Mondays to Thursdays; 11 to 2am Fridays and eves of public holidays); 8 to 2am Saturdays, 8 to 1am Sundays and public holidays, tel: 6734-2850) has introduced breakfast (8am to 2.30pm) and high tea (2.30 to 5.30pm) on weekends and public holidays.
Highlights on the a la carte menu include flank steak on mashed potatoes ($26); snapper & clams ($22); and bacon and eggs pizza ($18).
For a more traditional option, head to Di Wei Teo Chew Restaurant (1 The Oval) for Teochew fare such as cold crab, pork rib yam ring and Teochew-style shark’s fin. The kitchen is helmed by chef Khoo Tai Guan, 64, who has been running the group’s first Di Wei outlet at the Singapore Botanic Gardens for the past two years.
Pentagon used to run sports bar Champion Sports Lounge at the National Service Resort & Country Club in Changi, as well as the now-defunct Birdcage Bistro at Birdcage Walk in the Seletar area. Both closed earlier this year.
Besides The Oval @ SAP, other food options in the area include the aviation-themed Wright Bros Food Court and a Western cafe-pub called Georges’ Hideout @ Seletar. Both have been open since July.
This story first appeared on www.straitstimes.com on November 16, 2016.
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