Open spaces, vast expanse of greenery and away from crowds — these are things we look for as we adjust our lifestyles during this endemic.
And they are exactly what you'd find at PLQ Parkside.
Located just across the road from PLQ Mall and a stone's throw away from Paya Lebar MRT station, the 'green' sanctuary makes a good respite for a well-deserved R&R.
After all, what's self-care without taking a break amidst 'nature'?
If feeling the gentle touch of a cool breeze on your face amid Mother Nature, taking a leisure bike ride through the Park Connector Network, or having brunch while watching your little ones run freely in an outdoor play is your thing, this city oasis would make perfect sense for your self-care day out.
Just the abundance of alfresco dining options in this area would make you spoilt for choices — like my bestie and I were.
Spending an entire day in 'nature'
Day-offs are not meant to be spent in front of more screens, so on this day we went to PLQ Parkside with no clear itinerary — except some tete-a-tete.
A quick five-minutes walk from the train station brought us to PLQ Parkside, and our first stop? 7-Eleven. Although it had a wide range of thirst-quenching options, we were intrigued by the Heineken beer on tap that dispenses ice-cold beer ($7.50) from the base of the cup.
Yes, it's the only 7-Eleven in Singapore that has this futuristic 'bar', yes, it dispenses from the bottom up, and yes, we're day-drinking with a breeze on our faces like we're somewhere in New York's Central Park.
And like Central Park, Instagram spots here are aplenty too. Watched Netflix's Squid Game? Then you might want to snap some pictures here at the outdoor play area — the slide and hopscotch area reminded us quite a bit of the setting of the intriguing hit series!
Alfresco and indoor dining spaces abound
Just beside the outdoor playground is an Aussie-style cafe Jimmy Monkey.
Nestled in a cosy corner, Jimmy Monkey feels more like an in-house resort cafe than a restaurant right in the heart of a commercial district.
Here, we had The Hulk ($16) — smashed avocado with chunks of feta and house-made dukkha over sourdough toast, the Prawn & bacon aglio olio ($24) which came with egg-battered prawns, rocket and tomato, alongside lattes (one hot and one iced at $5 and $6 respectively).
It was pure hearty goodness. Umami flavours from the aglio olio permeated our senses with every bite — a welcome addition to our palate after the beer we had.
With seats right next to the outdoor playground, the cafe is a must-go for those with children! Imagine this: a brunch date with your partner while your kids are kept busy and still within sight.
While the both of us have no kids of our own, the child in us still craved for something sweet after a meal, so it was off to Poke Theory for some acai. They are also known for their poke bowls catering to all you salmon fans out there.
We split an All or Nuttin ($6.50) between us and set off on an adventure within our novels — an excellent respite with a gentle breeze accompanying our read.
Returning back to reality, we decided that having to decide on one spot to have our dinner was too tough — so we had a serving each at two locations, Killiney and Chug Chug.
It's really times like this that we wish we had stomachs like professional mukbangers (people who broadcast themselves eating), or simply could hang out with more friends.
At Killiney, we tried part of their new menu — Hainanese pork chop burger ($14.90) and salted egg yolk soft shell crab pasta ($17.90) — which came with a complimentary bottle of beer each!
While some menu items are available at other Killiney outlets, PLQ Parkside's outlet is the only one in Singapore offering alcoholic options.
If you only have the stomach for one serving, definitely go for the pork chop burger. It's a new take on a traditional dish that's done surprisingly well.
Quote "happy birthday PLQ" in store to receive a beer (330ml)* with purchase of any bar bites (above $12) or mains ordered at Killiney.
*Available daily 5.30pm to 8.30pm till Nov 30. For dine-in only.
For more drinks, Chug Chug is known for their fusion food as well as wide range of drinks from draught beers, soju, sake to their in-house concoctions like Chug bombs and Chug shooters. We decided to try their PLQ Parkside outlet's exclusive Korean fusion menu.
Here's what we had: king prawn and pork belly kimchi ramen ($16), Chug's wasabi prime beef burger ($18.80), and grilled LA kalbi (marinated beef short ribs) ($24).
If strong flavours are your thing, these dishes will hit a home run for you.
The one thing we regretted was not having soju or sake along with our food. But that was only because we had already planned for a nightcap at Hibiki Sake Bar & Dine.
And the best part of this? The bar's just next door.
On our server's recommendation, we got a cold sake — Tsukiyoshino junmai ginjyo (the highest grade of sake) from Nagano.
While it typically costs $62 for a 250ml carafe, it was one-for-one during their happy hour from 5pm to 7.30pm, which means we only paid the same amount for a 500 ml carafe!
With such a long list of sake, wine, beer and bar snacks on the menu, we are definitely coming back for another girls' night out.
Just before we put an end to our self-care day out, we headed over to Salvo by Pasta Fresca to pick up some snacks and pizza for our families.
We've heard lots about this casual Italian restaurant and their offerings, so we got some Arancini (fried Italian rice balls) ($14.90) and a Burrata pizza ($25.90) to go.
With such affordable prices and lovely indoor and outdoor seating, it's a great go-to eatery especially for families!
Perfect green sanctuary for you to eat, drink and be merry!??? #PLQ♬ Nostalgia. R & B - table_1
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The article is brought to you in partnership with Paya Lebar Quarter.