COCONUTS HOT SPOT — The next time you’re off an another jet-setting adventure, the comfort foods of Colonial Club will be there to welcome you back to Singapore. Featuring a mishmash of Hainanese, Nyonya, western, and local dishes, the casual 80-seater in Changi Airport is the type of wallet-friendly place where travelers can easily have a quick bite before or after their flight.
If you can find it, that is. The black-and-white space is tucked away on the third level of Terminal 3’s departure hall, hidden behind the prominently displayed Paradise Dynasty, alongside fellow backseat neighbors like Collin’s and Itacho Sushi.
With a name like Colonial Club, the eatery naturally takes its inspiration from Singapore’s colonial era, and deftly fuses traditional Asian fare with western flair. Apparently, the chefs took a trip to Penang and Malacca to figure out the dishes that best represented the cuisine of the region’s colonial times, and sought out recipes from chefs across the Singapore Strait.
All that has resulted in a menu filled with the chefs’ renditions of familiar favorites. Signatures include Straits Nyonya laksa with soft shell crab ($18.90) — a bowl of rice vermicelli, cucumber, egg, fish, tofu, prawns, and an entire soft shell crab, crisp and waiting to be soaked into the creamy coconut broth — and the cafe’s version of nasi lemak ($15.90), a plate of blue pea rice, short rib rendang, otak, achar, sambal, and fried egg that looks photogenic but probably won’t take over your go-to spot for the iconic dish.
Other “colonial-style” options include the oxtail stew with potatoes, carrots, and a side of toasted baguette ($15.90), as well as Hainanese chicken chop ($15.90), a hearty portion of pan-fried, cracker-crusted chicken thigh dripping in tomato Worcestershire sauce with a side of potato wedges.
If you’re just there for a snack, try the steamed bread with butter and kaya ($2.90), roti ayam ($8.90) — slices of bread that are soaked in egg wash and pan-fried, then filled with minced chicken — or Inche Cabin Chicken ($13.90), deep-fried bird marinated with more than 10 spices and coconut milk. Really, it’s hard to go wrong with the words “fried” and “chicken” next to each other.
As for the meats, you’ve got choices like crispy skin roast chicken ($18/half, $36/full) served with Hainanese chicken rice, sirloin steak ($18/200g) slathered with herb butter mushroom sauce, and beef short rib rendang ($22).
Those visiting with little ones can get typical hawker “western” creations like spaghetti bolognese ($9.90) and fish and chips ($9.90) for the kids. Each plate comes with sides like gem biscuits and jelly (beware the after-meal sugar rush), and the young ones will also get postcards with illustrations of the dishes for them to get busy coloring.
To sit and chill for a bit, order the Hainanese tea ($3) — a belly-warming blend of coffee, tea, and Milo that’ll keep you company till it’s time to board the plane.
Colonial Club is at #03-33 Changi Airport Terminal 3, Departure Hall, 65 Airport Blvd.
6214-0268. Daily 10:30am-11pm.
MRT: Changi Airport