Getting messy with a saucy slab of barbecued pork ribs is best done outside, the sun in your face and grass under your feet. And you’ll have the whole hog at this out-of-the-way American BBQ joint along the Kallang River. We mean that literally: Camp Kilo Charcoal Club is famed for its whole roasted pig ($12/100g) and boneless lechon ($12/100g), as well as chipotle pork ribs ($15-$30) and roast chicken ($10-$18) that come fresh off the grill. The sides aren’t to be sniffed at, either. Corn sautéed in jalapeno butter and chipotle mayo, with a fistful of furikake crowning the dish ($10), makes for the perfect accompaniment to the heavier meats.
The best time to go... As early as possible! The lechon is only available until 6pm on Saturdays, and there are limited quantities of everything.
Sun, sand and surf (well, almost)
What’s a trip to the beach without lazing on a deckchair, Mai Tai in hand? At this sprawling seaside restaurant in Sentosa, you can do just that. Besides tropical cocktails, Coastes stocks a formidable array of draft and bottled beers ($13-$19), and the nosh is unfussy yet vibrant enough to live up to the restaurant’s beachy vibe. Go for the refreshing citrus crab salad ($18) or, if you’ve little ones in tow, one of the five pizzas ($20-$25) on the menu.
The best time to go... Friday evenings in August, when jazz musicians take the stage as part of the Jazz by the Beach festival.
Hijinks in the CBD
Swing through the art deco-inspired dining room and you’ll find yourself in The Black Swan’s new al fresco space. Live music – typically jazzed-up versions of pop and rock standards – will make you forget you’re beside one of the busiest streets in the city.
Make like a member of the moneyed flock around you and order the Tajima wagyu striploin ($60), a grain-fed cut – and add on a half portion of Maine lobster ($30) while you’re at it. Since a dram wouldn’t be the best idea for sipping outside, go for the Whisky Business ($21), a cocktail of chamomile-infused whisky, strawberry jam, mint and citrus.
The best time to go... During happy hour, of course. From 5 to 8pm on weekdays, housepours, wines and draft beers go for $9 a glass, and oysters $2 a shell.
The aroma of freshly baked sourdough breads and meats grilled on cast iron stoves wafts through the open-air restaurant that’s still comfortably air-conditioned. Watch cars cruise down East Coast Road as you tuck into dishes like the deliciously creamy four-spice chicken liver pate ($12) and Norwegian blue mussels ($25) cooked in a hoppy lager with spicy chorizo, both best served with a side of Firebake’s homemade bread. There are four types to choose from: white, wholemeal, rye and fruit, and each is baked in its hand-built, wood-fired ovens that you’ll find in the heart of the restaurant.
The best time to go... While the restaurant proper opens at 6pm, head down at 5pm if you only want the sourdough – that’s when they’re hot from the oven.
Return to nature
You’ll forget you’re in the heart of the city the moment you enter this restaurant housed in a charming black and white bungalow. It’s surrounded by greenery that you can appreciate from the balcony as you savour Japanese and French fusion dishes prepared by chef Keisuke Matsumoto. The five- ($128) and seven-course ($188) menus change with the seasons, highlighting the best produce flown in fresh from Japan. In the summer, you can expect to see Challans duck with truffle sauce and Hokkaido sweet corn with foie gras, among many other decadent creations.
The best time to go... Lewin Terrace regularly hosts wine tastings and special dinners that highlight an ingredient – so keep tabs on its website to find out more.
Eclectic bits and bobs are littered throughout this former army barracks turned casual dining restaurant. Pick a seat out on its veranda, which features swings and rocking horses for the kids, and choose from a wide range of both local and Western eats. There’s rosti with smoked salmon and a cheesy chicken sausage ($23), half-and-half pizza ($25) that you can choose two toppings – we like the wagyu with mushrooms – and, for dessert, waffles ($13) with ice cream.
The best time to go... In the mornings, before the sun unleashes its true strength. There’s a brunch menu available from 11am to 4pm, too.