Makan

8 cafes in Singapore inspired by popular holiday destinations

Satisfy your wanderlust with country-themed cafes and restaurants right here in Singapore

Missing that exotic year-end long vacation now that you are home and back in the office?

Fret not. There are actually a clutch of ambience-heavy cafes in Singapore that will transport you to that faraway destination you cannot stop thinking about while you enjoy some drinks and snacks.

Leave your passport at home - all you need is a long lunch break or a free weekend afternoon.


PHOTOS: RESPECTIVE ESTABLISHMENTS

WALKING ON SUNSHINE

#03-07 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road (Tel: 8877-8800)

Let this oasis in town transport you to the Korean countryside while you feast on Western fare with a Korean twist - think Bulgogi and Mixed Bean Salad ($19.50) and Spicy Pork Panini ($17.50) - surrounded by lush floral and botanical decor, complete with rustic wooden tables.

Boasting an in-house hair salon, nail bar and photo studio, this may just be your squad's next favourite hang-out spot.

BLU KOUZINA

#01-21, Dempsey Hill, 10 Dempsey Road (Tel: 6875-0872)

Dreaming of spending an idyllic getaway on one of Greece's many gorgeous islands? Gather a few friends and treat yourself to authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Blu Kouzina. Try the Kalamaki Souvlaki ($20.80), a beef kebab served with fresh onion, sliced tomato and pita, and the Xtapodi ($39.80), a firm yet tender grilled octopus.

The dishes are made with fresh ingredients directly from Greece and you will feel refreshed after lounging by the lovely floor-to-ceiling windows of this white-and-blue themed eatery.

SUSHI AIRWAYS

20a Baghdad Street (Tel: 6291-1151)

The journey is as important as the destination, so hop onboard the aircraft-themed Sushi Airways. Resembling the interior of a plane, the quirky restaurant is staffed by people dressed as flight attendants.

Choose between sushi, sashimi, handrolls and other Japanese dishes or if you are up for a treat, try the omakase ($180 to $250 a person), complete with seasonal specialty items that are flown in every week.

OVEREASY

#01-06 One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road (Tel: 6684-1453) or #01-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road (Tel: 6684-1453)

When you think of comfort food, does a piping hot burger and a side of fries washed down with a frothy milkshake, come to mind? If so, hit up OverEasy, which features Instagram-ready neon signs and arcade game machines. It is a great experience to dig into classic American fare in this picturesque diner right out of old comic books.

BERIWELL

#01-01, 19 East Coast Road (Tel: 9182-0747)

Beriwell serves up not only a Bali vibe, but also healthy and deliciously fruity snacks.

Grab a berry delicious signature acai soft serve with your choice of toppings ($6.90/$9.90) and enjoy the icy treat while hanging out at the wooden tables and rattan chairs. While you are at it, take a photo against the coconut tree murals for that Instagram-worthy shot.

THE READING ROOM

19 Bukit Pasoh Road (Tel: 6223-1608)

Calling all book lovers - this elegant English cafe is the place for you. Get comfy with a good novel and some coffee against a backdrop of bookshelves, oddities and plush couches. You will feel like you have been transported straight to London. You may want to skip breakfast, since the affordable brunch offerings are popular.

MERCI MARCEL

#01-68, 56 Eng Hoon Street (Tel: 6224-0113)

Francophiles and lovers of French cuisine will get swept off their feet by Merci Marcel's Parisian-inspired decor.

It stands out among the many hipster cafes in Tiong Bahru for its large menu - with a rotating cheese menu, as well as main dishes and sharing plates. Get a croissant while you are at it - light, buttery and crispy, the humble pastry is done perfectly here. Do not forget to browse the selection of wines, spreads and cheeses and take a little French flavour home.

PANAMERICANA SINGAPORE

Sentosa Golf Club, 27 Bukit Manis Road (Tel: 6253-8182)

If you are all about Latin-American flavours, love your meat grilled and your spices flaming, head to Panamericana Singapore.

Our recommendations? Its refreshing Peruvian Ceviche ($18) with green mango and fresh slices of snapper, or the Land and Sea ($28) that is an intriguing mix of crackling roast belly and scallops topped with jicama salsa. Do not forget the Churros ($14) with dulce de leche that will send you to dessert heaven.

This article first appeared on Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com)

Food & Drink