The bustling Serangoon Gardens is most known for its famous hawker centre, Chomp Chomp. These days, there’s a swelling selection of upmarket eateries in the neighbourhood. You can find in the area too, a French gourmet store that stocks fine French cheeses as well as an artisanal bakery. Read on for the five spots you cannot miss.
Tucked away in the second floor of a shophouse, seven-year-old Arbite is practically a veteran in Gardens’ dining scene. Chef-owner Marc Wee has cultivated a uniquely local menu, boasting a thoughtful mish-mash of European-Singaporean cuisine. Think dishes such as tom yum fries, salted egg crab pasta, and a sublime gula Melaka kaya French toast. Arbite is a play on the German word for “work” – “arbeit” – and it’s evident in Wee’s dedication to fine produce. We’re particularly enamoured by his homemade saffron taglioni, and locally farmed seabass served with laksa pesto risotto.
66A Serangoon Gardens Way. Tel: 9456-3807.
Come nightfall, and the Gardens invariably take on a mellow, boozy vibe. Indulge in a post-work prandial at Plonk, a casual bar and tapas restaurant named for the Australian slang wozzrd for inexpensive wine. In a dim, cosy dining room, sip on an Argentinean malbec, and pick from a hearty selection of Mediterranean-inspired food. Small plates include Serrano ham and Manchego croquettes and falafel with beetroot puree, while meatier options such as Plonk’s beef rendang with cous cous or Moroccan braised lamb shank will please the particularly peckish.
7 Maju Ave. Tel: 6286-4688.
03: Steam Box
Forget hotpots, tabletop grills, or mookata restaurants, the latest communal eating trend is “steam potting”. At Steam Box, recently opened in Serangoon Gardens, diners sit around a tabletop steamer. They take their pick of a list of raw ingredients, such as marinated ginger chicken thigh, fresh flower crabs, scallops and prawn dumplings, which are then cooked in front of them. Within four to six minutes – thanks to high-speed steaming – the food is ready, with all nutrients and flavour sealed in. But the piece de resistance is yet to come. Throughout the meal, a wholesome mix of rice, broth and condiments is bubbling merrily under the steamer, absorbing all the dripping juice from the cooking ingredients. Once the ingredients are done with, scoop up the flavourful congee for a hearty, belly-warming end to the meal.
68 Serangoon Garden Way. Tel: 6281-6939
04: Bread King
Venture further into the residential estate, and you’ll be rewarded with the Bread King. Headed by Brazilian-Japanese baker Pedro Muniz, this tiny stall tucked away in the Burghley Squash and Tennis Centre puts out sublime loaves every morning: piping hot sourdough bread, flaky croissants made with Brittany butter, fruit breads with muesli. “I work 16 hours a day,” he said. “But for my customers, it’s worth it.”
43 Burghley Dr. Tel: 6289 2508
At Quartier, a French supermarket, Gallic goodies reign supreme: Ortolan truffle cheeses and Le Rustique camemberts, saucisson from Lyon, fresh baguettes, and chef-prepared meals such as coq au vin, pork and lentil cassoulets, and duck confit. Its location in Gardens’ is strategic with the French School of Singapore just nearby. However, the grocery aims to serve the local community too.
78 Serangoon Garden Way. www.quartier.sg