Besides being a treasure trove of Peranakan* culture and charming architecture, the enclave of Katong-Joo Chiat is a regular stomping ground for local foodies who crave diversity.
From home-made Peranakan dishes to artisanal gelato, the neighbourhood boasts a range of dishes that’re bound to expand your culinary horizons.
*The term is an Indonesian/Malay word that means “local born”, which generally refers to people of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
For an East-meets-West experience
The 1925 Brewing Co.
If you’re curious about how what a local get-together of dinner and drinks feels like, pay a visit to The 1925 Brewing Co..
Instead of french fries and burgers to go with your craft beer, this family-run restaurant and pub serves up Teochew-inspired staples like smoked eggplant and orh nee (yam paste dessert). A prominent Chinese dialect group in Singapore, the Teochews are known for a cuisine characterised by its delicate flavours and fresh ingredients, making this a great place to experience how Chinese food has evolved in our city.
With eight distinctive brews (proudly made in the Lion City) to pick from, this is the perfect place for alcohol aficionados looking to take their first step into the world of Singaporean craft brews.
The 1925 Brewing Co. 261 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427515. +65 6909 1425.
Tue-Fri 11am-3pm, 6-11pm; Sat & Sun 6-11pm.
British Hainan is a great place to learn how food bridges cultures. Our Hainanese people were the first ethnic community to master Western cooking techniques during the colonial era, and you’ll be able to taste that influence at this family-owned eatery.
The restaurant’s menu includes British comfort food like truffle fries and English pork sausages, as well as Hainanese-Western staples such as Hainanese pork chop and oxtail stew. The restaurant’s interior and furniture are equally inspired by Western culture, with a trove of vintage memorabilia and retro trinkets to admire after your meal.
British Hainan. 75 Carpmael Road, Singapore 429812. +65 6336 8122.
Mon, Wed-Sun 11am-5pm, 6-10pm.
For true-blue local dining
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata
More than just a hawker stall, Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata has been a beloved stomping ground among Singapore east-siders for over three decades.
If you’re looking to eat breakfast like a local, you should certainly consider having a meal here. Prata (South Indian flatbread) dipped in curry is a local breakfast staple, and this stall serves up a version that’s light and crisp. Foodies who’re curious about how this delectable dish is made can observe the owners of this establishment at work kneading and frying the prata.
For first-timers, we recommend ordering the original kosong (plain) prata or the egg prata, to better appreciate the simplicity of tastes. Be sure to spice up your meal with the establishment’s rich mutton and fish curries.
Mr and Mrs Mohgan’s Super Crispy Prata at Tin Yeung Restaurant. 300 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427551.
Mon, Thu-Sun 6.30am-1pm; Tue 6.30-11.30am.
Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant
Looking to enrich your senses with authentic local flavours? Make Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant—the oldest Peranakan eatery in Singapore—your pitstop for lunch.
Peranakan food is famous for its rich, complex taste profiles, and the establishment serves up a medley of classic dishes, ranging from babi pongteh (stewed pork with fermented soya bean) to sambal udang (chilli shrimp).
Fun fact: Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson visited Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant in February 2019, and sung praises about her dining experience. Talk about a superhero-sized thumbs up!
Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant. 40 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427764. +65 6344 2761.
Daily 11am-3pm, 6-9.30pm.
Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice
For many Singaporeans, chicken rice is more than just an iconic local dish—it also holds fond memories as their go-to comfort food.
Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice’s rendition of this dish boasts fragrant rice and generous portions of tender chicken meat, topped with sesame oil and fried garlic. The store also serves achar (pickled vegetables) to whet your appetite and complimentary bowls of homemade soup.
If you’re visiting during lunch, we suggest making a trip down before noon, as 30-minute-long waits are common.
Katong Shopping Centre. 865 Mountbatten Road #B1-85/87, Singapore 437844.
For desserts and sweet treats
Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique
A favourite of foodies with a sweet tooth, Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique offers a range of botanically-inspired ice creams. Instead of conventional flavours like chocolate and vanilla, the establishment serves up ice cream made with unique herbs, spices and flowers.
The most popular flavours here include Strawberry Basil, Pandan and Pistachio. Takeaway pints are available if you’re looking to enjoy these sweet treats from the comfort of your hotel room.
Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique. 63 East Coast Road #01-05, Singapore 428776. +65 9678 6092.
Tue-Thu & Sun noon-10pm; Fri & Sat noon-10.30pm.
Dona Manis Cake Shop
For a taste of tradition that’ll have you nostalgic for your mother’s baking, drop by Dona Manis Cake Shop.
A hidden gem located in the basement of Katong Shopping Centre, this traditional bakery is a favourite among local residents. This family-run establishment serves up a delectable assortment of pastries, baked fresh daily at six in the morning.
While their tarts and signature cream pies are certainly delicious, the star attraction here is arguably their banana pie, an indulgent mix of butter, banana, almond and coconut.
Katong Shopping Centre. 865 Mountbatten Road #B1-93, Singapore 437844. +65 6440 7688
Mon, Thu-Sat 9.30am-5pm; Sun 9.30am-4pm.