At the boutique hotel Nostalgia in heartland heaven Tiong Bahru, glam meets colonial in an intimate collection of 50 rooms, all kitted out with top amenities, out-of-the-norm furnishings and artwork. Fittingly, Potion—the hotel’s open-air restaurant—also offers dinners a taste of tradition mixed with today.

Chef Max has created an interesting Australian-fusion menu that updates classic dishes with a modern, Asian sensibility. The lightly-fried and heavily delicious crab cake for example was served with cucumber pickles, a lychee papaya salad and tom yum mayo. The yummy lamb chop served over risotto is soaked in a lemongrass marinade before grilling and the risotto is dabbed with a sweet soy dressing.

Don’t miss the very traditional soft-centered hot chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream that offers nostalgia of the sweetest kind. Breakfast, lunch and hearty bar snacks are available as is a newly-launched Sunday brunch—all every bit as affordable as the dinner offerings.

The corner can get a little noisy from the street, but that makes it all more “heartland.” Besides, the soundtrack—whether from retro love songs on the good sound system or the live duo that plays on Friday and Saturday nights—and the sounds of ooh and ah from your fellow dining companions, make it all fade into the background.