Beyond the ‘Burbs

45 Minutes Out of Town
Bottle Tree Village
Where: 60 Jalan Mempurong, off Sembawang Rd., 6752-6953. Open daily 11am-11pm.
How to get there: Taxi.
What to eat: Chinese seafood. Think steamed fish, buttered prawns, black pepper crab—you get the picture!
What to drink: Ice cold beer.
Why come here: To look at the funky bottle trees and cycads the owner has cultivated, which you don’t see anyone else growing.
Related to: Bottle Tree Park in Yishun (you wouldn’t have guessed, would you!)
30 Minutes Out of Town
What: An Australian bottle shop with a café
Where: At Farmart Center, a farmers’ collective. 67 Sungei Tengah Rd. (in Chao Chu Kang), 6219-9897. Café open Mon-Sat 3pm-4am; Sun 11am-4am.
How to get there: Taxi.
What to eat: Western menu, specialties are pork knuckle, cheese sausage, and fish and chips.
What to drink: But wine, of course!
Why come here: This is a great place to pick up some good Aussie wine and have a leisurely meal while you’re at it.
Petals and Leaf Bistro
Where: Nyee Phoe Flower Garden, 240 Neo Tiew Crescent, 6793-6500; close to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Open daily 9am-6pm.
How to get there: Take the train to Kranji MRT and then a taxi. Bus 925 runs from Kranji station on Sundays and holidays to the bistro.
What to eat: Their menu is a combo of Western and local food—the fish and chips, fried rice and laksa come recommended.
What to drink: Wine, beer, cider.
Why come here: Short of trekking across the Causeway, this is the closest you get to countryside in Singapore. You can also pick up gorgeous plants from the nursery to take back to your flat.
20 Minutes Out of Town
Union Farm Eating House
Where: 435A Clementi Rd., 6466-2776.
How to get there: Bus 151 from Hougang or Kent Ridge Terminuses. Get off at either Ngee Ann Polytechnic or Maju Camp. The old-school Union Farm is the only kampong-like building left on this busy main road—you can’t miss it.
What to eat: “Paper wrap” chicken, noodles in oyster sauce (simple but done really well); and hard-to-find poultry like pigeon and quail.
What to drink: Beer, Chinese tea.
Why come here: This restaurant has been around for about 40 years—it’s clearly serving great food.­