Mention Tiong Bahru, and locals will tell you it’s one of the most happening hoods in town. Lined with row after row of quaint art deco shophouses, the residential estate is jam-packed with some of the city’s hottest food and lifestyle establishments, not forgetting the heritage-rich places that offer a slice of traditional Singapore. Carve out a day here in your itinerary and be richly rewarded with wonderful eats, offbeat shopping and a spot of culture.
All venues are near the Tiong Bahru MRT station
1. Grey Projects
More than just an art gallery 1 Grey Projects, is also a workspace, library, studio and residency to support creative experiments, propositions, exchanges and other activities.
There’s nothing strange about this gem of a store. 2 Strangelets houses interesting knick- knacks, designer homewares, and stylish accessories. Pop by to be inspired by wonderful crafts and design.
Get lost in this little indie bookstore crammed with stacks of local, classic and contemporary literature. 3 BooksActually also publishes books under Math Paper Press, and peddle other curios and stationery.
Behind a 70-year-old minced pork mee pok (flat yellow egg noodles) stall - which opens in the day – is this grungy open-concept yakitori restaurant, 4 Bincho, which serves some stellar grilled bites and mean cocktails in a traditional coffee shop setting.
5. Tiong Bahru Market
At the heart of the neighbourhood is this sprawling wet market and food centre 5 Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre, where you’ll find famous local fare like chwee kueh (steamed rice cakes topped with preserved radish) and lor mee (braised noodles), as well as fresh groceries.
6. We Need A Hero
This one-stop, head-to-toe grooming salon just for men, 6 We Need a Hero takes care of everything from haircuts to wet shaves, brow grooming, waxing, and IPL services. Go get ‘em, boys.
7. Curated Records
If you’re on a hunt for indie music (think Laneway) on vinyl, this pint-sized hangout 7 Curated Records is probably your best bet with over 1,000 records, including mainstream titles, to dig through.
8. Tiong Bahru Bakery
Arguably the city’s top spot for French pastries, this perennially packed pâtisserie 8 Tiong Bahru Bakery is famous for their perfect croissants. If you like your sweets, don’t miss out on the notorious kouign amann, a layered, heavily caramelised and buttery pastry.
9. Qi Tian Gong Temple
Dedicated to the Monkey God, this unmissable temple 9 Qi Tian Gong Temple has been around since the 1920s, with the first and eighth lunar months bustling with festivities in celebration of the Deity’s birthday.