With its majestic temples, bustling hawker centres and streets decorated with red lanterns, Chinatown is truly a sight to behold.
Beside its iconic attractions and places of worship, Chinatown is an ever-evolving space, with hidden gems and exclusive establishments that are well worth uncovering. Here’s what you may have missed on your first visit to the neighbourhood.
Dining with a twist
Don Ho – Social Kitchen & Bar
If you love a bustling atmosphere, alongside a delectable meal, drop by Don Ho – Social Kitchen & Bar. Accessible from the back of The Working Capitol, this charming restaurant places an emphasis on sharing plates and global flavours.
The space’s playful, Hawaiian-themed décor is as inspired as its menu, which include dishes like Kombu beef sliders, red snapper fillet and crisy spiced quail. If you’re looking to spark scintillating dinner conversations, this is the restaurant to visit.
Don Ho — Social Kitchen & Bar at The Working Capitol. 1 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089109. +65 6223 5001.
Mon-Fri 5.30-10.30pm; Sat & Sun 11am-4pm, 5.30-10.30pm.
Nestled on the second floor of a heritage shophouse along Telok Ayer Street, Kabuke combines the arresting aesthetics of kabuki (traditional Japanese performance that fuses drama, music and dance) with a curated menu of sake (Japanese rice wine) and comfort food.
In homage to the colourful theatrics of kabuki, the bar food at this establishment is equally playful. Expect to feast on decadent fusion dishes like rice bowls heaped with foie gras, sea urchin and wagyu beef or scallops with black truffle.
If you’re looking to refine your palate for alcohol with a taste of the Far East, we recommend ordering their Aragoto Sake Flight, which comprises a trio of dry, medium and sweet sake.
Kabuke. 200A Telok Ayer Street Level 2, Singapore 068638. +65 8822 5525.
Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm; Sat, Sun & PH 6-10.30pm.
Ann Siang House
Ann Siang House’s electric blue colonial exterior is hard to miss as you make your way up Ann Siang Hill. Besides housing a restaurant and bar, it’s also a boutique hotel for travellers looking to immerse themselves in this beautiful district.
The former is a trendy pizzeria that serves up a range of delicious pizzas, alongside American comfort food. Carnivores should opt for their J-Dog pizza—which comes with pork sausage , bacon and pepperoni—while purists should sample the original, which is the restaurant’s take on the classic Pizza Margherita.
To find the latter, take a ride up the elevator to the rooftop of Ann Siang House, where you’ll find the aptly-named The Other Roof. This urban oasis boasts a range of tea-infused cocktails and a beautiful view of the surrounding streets of Chinatown and Singapore’s vibrant cityscape.
Ann Siang House. 28 Ann Siang Road, Singapore 069708. +65 6202 9377.
The Other Roof at Ann Siang House. 28 Ann Siang Road Rooftop, Singapore 069708. +65 6100 2882.
Wed-Fri 4.30-10.30pm; Sat & Sun 2.30-10.30pm.
Blue Label Pizza & Wine at Ann Siang House. 28 Ann Siang Road #B1-01, Singapore 069708. +65 9821 9362.
Bookworms will be over the moon when they visit this quaint establishment along Mosque Street. If you’re the sort who travels the globe with a book in hand, browsing this bookstore and cafe’s collection makes for the perfect (occasional) wet-weather plan in tropical Singapore.
You’ll find titles reminiscent of a well-read friend’s book collection: the selection here includes an eclectic mix of modern literature, fantasy chronicles and children’s titles.
The establishment’s founder, Sarah Naeem set up the space with a tightknit community in mind, and you’re bound to find likeminded lovers of the literary at its monthly yoga sessions, readings and recitals.
The Moon. 37 Mosque Street, Singapore 059515.
Le Bon Funk
Despite being a newcomer to Singapore’s vibrant food scene, Le Bon Funk has already drawn a loyal following of aficionados who’ve fallen in love with their natural wine selections.
Headed by sommelier Jos Kjer and chef Keirin Buck, this wine bar and kitchen may be easy to overlook amidst the hustle and bustle of Club Street. The establishment is helmed by chef-owner Keirin Buck—former sous chef of Michelin-starred Burnt Ends—and offers a menu that changes daily, based on the freshness of produce.
Le Bon Funk. 29 Club Street, Singapore 069414. +65 6224 1490.
Tue-Thu 5-10.30pm; Fri & Sat noon-10.30pm; Sun noon-5pm.
The Singing Bowl Gallery
You don’t have to be an archaeologist to excavate fascinating facets of the past. Instead, drop by The Singing Bowl Gallery—a repository of Tibetan and Buddhist spirituality.
As its name suggests, the store sells a range of beautiful singing bowls, inverted bells used in Tibetan Buddhism as part of religious rituals and practice. The establishment also holds a range of workshops for those looking to learn more about sound therapy and meditation.
The Singing Bowl Gallery at SBF Center. 160 Robinson Road #04-12, Singapore 068914. +65 9477 7533.
Mon-Sat noon-7.30pm; Sun noon-3.30pm.
Anthony The Spice Maker
Singapore’s food paradise can be hard to part with, even if this isn’t your first visit. Thankfully, you’ll be able to bring home a taste of our island’s cuisine with the wares at Anthony The Spice Maker.
Tucked away in Chinatown Complex’s wet market, this charming store is run by third-generation owner Anthony Leow, whose family has been in the spice trade since 1979.
Many of the store’s handcrafted spice blends were inspired by Anthony’s earliest customers, who came from varied walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, making this establishment a great place to peruse to get an authentic taste of the Lion City.
Chinatown Complex. Block 335 Smith Street #B1-169, Singapore 050335. +65 9117 7573.
For a full list of outlets, click here.