Sometimes, for some travelers, not even the "world's best airport" can cut it.
Singapore's Changi Airport may have everything a tired air traveler needs pre-flight, from currency exchange to "Singapore's tallest slide" (!), but sometimes all you really want is a quiet, dimly-lit corner serving up good food, a fast Internet connection, and a widescreen TV.
Places like the Green Market fulfill exactly this function: you pay extra for a premium level of service and comfort. The fee subsidizes a more subdued environment, distinct from the hyperactive vibe of the rest of Changi Airport. With the Green Market, you get a space that evokes a Japanese casual restaurant, a more laid-back area where you can spend your Singapore layover in peace and privacy.
Still, note the word "premium" - it'll cost you SGD 32 (about $23) for the full Green Market experience. Is it worth the price?
What You Get Past the Gate
Green Market is located at Terminal 2, on level 3: the upper floor of the pre-departure area (after Immigration). Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer lounge is within the immediate vicinity. The large, green signage announces its presence.
Upon entry, the waiter will usher you into a long, 204 sqm space; ambient light is low, and spotlights on the tables and buffet provide most of the illumination. Continuing the "green" theme established by the Green Market's branding, the space sports a relaxing, natural color theme replete with greens and earth tones.
Anybody can walk in and order anything from the a la carte menu, but the best value Green Market experience costs SGD 32, which entitles you to the following perks within the Green Market:
Food. The Green Market styles itself as a Japanese restaurant with a few added extras. Thus the thoroughly Japanese menu: you'll be allowed to pick from the all-you-can-eat salad and appetizer menu, and the day's set meal will also be served at your table.
Internet access. The Green Market provides access to their WiFi upon request (ask for the password from the staff). Two long tables with benches serve as the Green Market's workstation corner.
Mixed media. Near the workstation, a 40-inch LED TV broadcasts cable news (not too loudly, though). A selection of international magazines lies in a neat pile below the TV.
Green Market's Japanese Fare
Your guide ate very well at the Green Market, thanks for asking: with only a couple of hours' layover, the Japanese spread in the restaurant provided more than adequate tummy filler for the flight ahead.
The salad and dessert buffet takes up one whole side of the restaurant space. Caesar and Waldorf make an appearance, as does a fresh fruit selection for health-conscious diners. But the buffet is only the beginning; the set menu is the real heavy hitter.
The set menu for the day included a small bowl of chawanmushi; a few slices of utterly fresh salmon sashimi; a morsel of grilled codfish and a bowl of garlic fried rice. Apart from the welcome drink (a choice of lime juice with pearl barley or green ice tea with aloe vera), all additional drinks and orders from the a la carte menu cost extra.
Selections from the a la carte menu include more Japanese favorites, along with a few international surprises: tempura, softshell crab roll, saba teriyaki bento, cold tofu, Chinese claypot noodle, and a red tea (rooibos) espresso with no caffeine and five times the antioxidants found in green tea. Expect to spend about SGD 40-60 for an additional meal ordered a la carte.
Green Market's Services
While a WiFi signal is available throughout the Green Market, the long-tabled workstation at the corner of the restaurant provides a more convenient place to work (the first table I sat at was simply too small for both my meal and my laptop).
An office facsimile this is not: you take a place at a table and bench, and you may need to share the bench if the restaurant fills up. An alcove near the wall provides two electrical outlets, although they're designed to fit Singaporean plugs; if you don't have a universal plug converter with you, you're out of luck.
The television airs cable news channels, volume tuned down for comfort. Immediately below the TV, you'll find a set of newsmagazines for your perusal, mainly Time, Fortune and The Economist.
The whole restaurant can seat 80 at most; the small, intimate tables and low lights providing plenty of privacy for patrons sitting down for a meal or drink before their flight. For short waits before your flight (1-2 hours), the Green Market is a great value deal for Changi Airport flyers: you get plenty for your SGD 32.
Green Market at a Glance
Location: Changi Airport Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge level 3.
Amenities: Salad and dessert buffet, set menu included in entrance fee. A la carte menu available upon request. Free WiFi. TV and magazines available. Open from 6am to 1am daily.
Contact Details: Phone +65 6546 1928, www.plaza-network.com
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.