Get Merry Ready: Alternative Christmas feasts to ring in the festive season

With Christmas just around the corner, AsiaOne and PLQ are here to help you Get Merry Ready. From fashion tips to shine bright at that upcoming date, to gift ideas for the love of your life and date night dining recommendations, stay tuned as we bibbidi-bobbidi-boo you into the star of the season!

The year-end festive season is the time to celebrate with loved ones, reminisce on the year gone past, and embrace new beginnings.

But who are we kidding, the best part of the Christmas holidays has to be all that feasting, oh, and let's not forget the presents too.

Indulgence, however, need not be all about that roast turkey or honey-baked ham. After all, it's the company that counts — whether it's bringing your bae on a romantic date or just chilling with friends.

If you're all about soaking in some good vibes and great food in a place that's not too ulu to get to, the restaurants at PLQ Parkside, Paya Lebar Quarter are definitely ones to consider.

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of PLQ Mall with lush botanicals, open spaces, and even an outdoor kids' playground, you won't notice that you're right smack in the middle of the two busy thoroughfares of Paya Lebar Road and Sims Avenue.

Best of all, it's just a short five minutes walk from the Paya Lebar MRT interchange making it a very convenient location, especially if you don't drive.

It’s always a good time at Killiney and Chug Chug

If a casual drinking sesh with your mates is a prerequisite for a good time, then check out yet another new-kid-on-the-block, Killiney, as well as its next-door neighbour, Chug Chug.

Think Killiney and the traditional kaya toast, half-boiled eggs and coffee springs to mind.

But with its newest and swankiest concept to date, there's more to it than just the regular old-school breakfast. Come nightfall, the space transforms into a bar-cum-bistro, complete with neon lights.

The menu offers patrons ice-cold beers as well as fusion dishes such as salted egg soft-shell crab spaghetti, sambal egg fried rice and laksa.

Or hop over next door to Chug Chug, a family-friendly bar. The food menu consists of mainly Korean-style dishes, with a mix of Japanese and Western influences. Think Bibimbap alongside Japanese Pidan Tofu and a Kimchi Buttermilk Chicken Burger.

Visit them at PLQ Parkside: Killiney, #01-10, Chug Chug, #01-09

Impress the fam bam at Rempapa or Zing by Xi Yan

Newly-opened at PLQ Parkside, the people behind these two dining establishments already boast an impressive street cred.

Heritage restaurant Rempapa, helmed by MasterChef Singapore judge Damian D'Silva, serves up comforting dishes designed to warm your hearts and tummies.

With flavours spanning across Chinese, Peranakan, Eurasian, Malay and Indian cuisines, this is a joint we're sure grandma would approve.

Unlike most other restaurants, Rempapa serves up a full day spread be it breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner. Open daily from 10.30am on weekdays (9.30am on weekends and public holidays), you'll be spoilt for choice with a myriad of rich flavours and diverse menu options.

In the day, expect to find a mix of local favourites with a twist, such as stir fried chee cheong fun, nasi lemak (served with whitebait instead of ikan bilis) and its signature Rempapa Pork Chop Curry Rice — an amalgamation of the well-loved Hainanese dish with Japanese tonkatsu.

In the evenings, rich and flavourful dishes such as the Baca Assam (a beef brisket stew) and Lamb Leg Rendang rule the menu and are sure to tantalise your taste buds.

Zing, on the other hand, is the latest brainchild of Hong Kong celebrity chef Jacky Yu, who's behind contemporary Chinese restaurant Xi Yan.

The new restaurant aims to give diners a sustainable and "conscious-dining" experience, and was created in collaboration with social enterprise, The Social Kitchen, which helps support disadvantaged communities by creating employment.

The cuisine at this mod-casual eatery marries both eastern and western influences, with healthy salad bowls sitting comfortably on the menu alongside intriguing dishes including Lychee Plant-based Chicken and Tteokbokki Prawn Gratin.

What we really want to try though, for obvious reasons, is a dish cheekily named, "The Squid Game".

Visit them at PLQ Parkside: Rempapa, #01-01/02/03, Zing by Xi Yan, #01-06/07/08

Catch up with besties at Jimmy Monkey cafe or Salvo by Pasta Fresca

If a leisurely, kid-friendly catchup with friends is more your speed, then check out Jimmy Monkey Cafe, located at the corner of PLQ Parkside.

Another morning-to-night concept, you'll not only be able to have your coffee in the morning when it opens at 8am, but the cafe also boasts a bar that serves beer on tap, cocktails and wines.

For frazzled parents, probably one of the best parts about the cafe is the children's playground located right at the side of the cafe.

Have a much-deserved delicious brunch date while still being able to keep a watchful eye on your kids as they're being entertained? Check.

Hankering for some casual Italian dishes and desserts? Indulge in freshly-made pastas and pizzas at Salvo by Pasta Fresca, along with their one-for-one Happy Hours from 2.30pm to 7pm.

Those who are still gunning for that traditional Christmas meal can look forward to their Stuffed Honey Truffle Glazed Chicken and Italian Panettone.

Visit them at PLQ Parkside: Jimmy Monkey Cafe, #01-10, Salvo by Pasta Fresca, #01-05

Have a tipple or two at Tipsy Bird Gastrobar, Wine Connection, and more

If the above options aren't enough to tickle your fancy, simply cross the street, where you'll find yourself with even more options.

And they're not just within PLQ Mall, where you can also find casual coffee places such as Paris Baguette and Komma — perfect for a quick afternoon tete-a-tete with your girlfriends.

Or pop by Wursthans Switzerland to some authentic rosti and sausages for Christmas and pretend that you’re on holiday in the Swiss alps. For a full dining experience, check out Tipsy Bird Gastrobar, located at PLQ 2 and dine in a jungle of “good vibes and great grub”.

Its eclectic menu comprises classic American-style burgers, innovative Asian-inspired quinoa bowls and wok-fried dishes such as KL XO Hokkien Mee.

And while its neighbour, Wine Connection Bistro serves predominantly Mediterranean-inspired dishes, its extensive menu and wine list will leave you spoilt for choice. In addition, the classy ambience and reasonably-priced food makes it the perfect place to enjoy a comfortable, cosy evening with your date.

And if we haven't mentioned, most of the restaurants featured here offer both air-conditioned and al fresco seating options, so you can choose to enjoy the breeze on a cool December night as you dine.

Visit them at PLQ 2: Tipsy Bird Gastrobar, #01-08, Wine Connection Bistro, #01-07 and PLQ Mall: Wursthans Switzerland, #01-39, Paris Baguette, #01-03/05/06, Komma, #01-20

Items featured in video:

Floral dress ($59.95), H&M, PLQ Mall L1
Dangling earrings ($18), Kimoj, PLQ Mall L1
Beige belt ($22.90), bowler hat ($39.90), TRT, PLQ Mall L1
Beige bag ($99), pointed-toe shoes ($129), Aldo, PLQ Mall L1
Oversized long sleeve shirt ($59.90), tapered pants ($49.90), Uniqlo, PLQ Mall L2
Burnt orange pullover ($29.90), Bossini, PLQ Mall L2

Zing, PLQ Parkside
Christmas set lunch: $38++ per pax (U.P. $50)
Mesclun and Fruits Garden Salad with Signature Kamquat Honey Dressing
Basil Pumpkin King Prawn Soup
Xi Yan Bossam (kimchi fermented bean curd pork in lettuce wrap)
Black Truffle Chicken Angel Hair Pasta
Xi Yan Artesan Ice Cream, or Xi Yan Salted Yolk Custard Tang Yuan

Rempapa, PLQ Parkside
Nasi Lemak (Fish / Chicken), $17
Kai Fan, $18
Slow-Cooked Belly Pork with Ah Seng Sauce, $23
Lim Peh Sliders, $22
Papa’s Old Fashioned, $22
Ginger Flower, $22
Mei Gui Lu, $18

Tipsy Bird, PLQ 2
Hyogo Japanese Oysters (half-dozen), $24
Wagyu Beef Cubes, $18
Hazelnut Choux Au Craquelin (part of Christmas set)

Wine Connection, PLQ 2
Tuna Tataki Salad, $19
Smoked Chili Aglio Olio, $13
Meat Lovers' Platter, $59
Dessert Medley, $16 
Mediterranean, $18

Burrata on Heirloom Tomato Salad, $21

This article is brought to you in partnership with Paya Lebar Quarter.

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