Mention the words “airplane food” and neatly organised bentos with bland flavours come to mind. Not at Runway80 though, where the decor is done to mimic a retro-themed runway and the food is plated to whet appetites.
Tucked away from the neighbouring provision shops and eateries on Upper Paya Lebar Road, Runway80 is the latest cafe cum bar addition to the industrial neighbourhood of Tai Seng. While that’s nowhere near any runway in Singapore, the decor is done to match the cafe’s name, with little details like model airplanes, world maps, and clocks displaying the time in other parts of the world giving the space a unique touch.
A couple of dart machines complete the look for Runway80’s night time bar setup, and you can have a go at it while waiting for your food and drinks.
Speaking of food, I was pretty amused by the menu, which is designed to resemble a passenger’s manual. Inside is a multitude of mains, sides, and drinks named after international airports around the world. Even the airport that each dish is named after, represents the country of origin for the cuisine of that dish – talk about attention to detail!
Coffee is sourced from Dutch Colony, with the beans hailing from the Karnataka Kerala Plantation in India, as well as Fazenda Amarela in Brazil. The Caramel Latte ($5.30 hot, $6.80 iced) is pretty on point; the caramel is subtly sweet and does not overpower the coffee.
Food wise, I highly recommend the Chicken and Waffles ($16.80). Generously portioned, this American staple is served with not one, but two dips – maple syrup and salted egg yolk sauce, that complement each component perfectly. The waffles are light and fluffy, and the maple syrup adds a sweet note without verging on cloying. The savoury notes of the salted egg yolk sauce added some richness to the chicken as well.
The buttermilk fried chicken is the true star of the dish. The medley of flavours from the marinade explodes on your tastebuds, the skin is perfectly crisp, and the meat is flavoursome and tender. Definitely one of the stronger chicken and waffles in the local cafe scene.
The generous portions of chicken and waffles means diners with smaller stomachs can share this main dish with a couple of sides. Having said that, the individual components do fill you up quickly, but not to the point of bursting. I would definitely order the chicken as a side to share with friends over drinks!
While located a ways away from Tai Seng MRT, Runway80 is a promising cafe with great grub. Hope they add dessert to the menu sometime soon!
Address: 163 Upper Paya Lebar Road
Nearest MRT: Tai Seng
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 1am daily
Contact: +65 94877083
Menu: Mains, Drinks (Non-Alcohol/ Alcohol)
Extra Charges: No