The Historical Neighborhood of Jalan Besar

At the end of 2014, the famous Lavender Food Square of Singapore shut its doors. It was a great place for the foodies then, but it still is now.  Between Kampong Glam and Little India is still a great place to go eat.  One great place to eat, where your food is cut with scissors, is Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice.  Another is Sungei Road Laksa for laksa that is still cooked old school over a charcoal fire.  If you prefer your food to be from out of this world, you need to go to Fu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster cake, where the snacks are shaped like UFO’s and you can never eat just one.  The famous Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant is where to go if you have a knack for dim sum late at night.

If you are more into coffee than food, the best local spot for you to meet your addiction is at Chye Seng Hual Hardware. The General Company, just upstairs, is a wonderful place to enjoy good designs while drinking your coffee.  The wide array of artisan products on display will tempt even the most humble artist to sign up for one of the craft workshops offered there.  The Bravery offers a unique lavender latte and serves up some wonderful pancakes if you are in the area for brunch. Looking for something sweet?  You need to check out Windowsill Pies.  You will be drooling over their homemade tarts from the window when you go.  Another sweet spot is the Butter Studio for delicious cupcakes.

Are you in the market for some new clothes?  If so, perhaps you should try shopping at a.e.i.o.u, a retro shop that is also famous for their avocado coffee.  The Refinery is another cool place to eat that offers a workshop full of crafts in their upstairs area.

If it’s close to time for dinner, head over to Suprette.  There, you will find a large selection of grown up drinks and delicious comfort food.  If you are more into French food, Cocotte is a rustic place to eat, or you can go to Babette for foie gras donburi and steak prepared in the French-Japanese way.

No matter what your taste in food and shopping, Jalan Besar has something for everyone!

Keong Saik

Are you looking for the place in Singapore where all the cool kids hang out?  If so, you need to check out Keong Saik.  This area in the red light district has become the place to hang out for all of the trend setters.  The area is on the fringe of Chinatown and is focused around three roads, Teck Lim, Jiak Chuan, and Keong Saik.  It is known as the best destination to hang out after dark.

In order to gain access to the library, you have to whisper the password to the bookkeeper.  This place is a secretive watering hole that serves cocktails you can only imagine from behind a bookcase.  Next door is The Study, a place that looks and feels like a British bistro, where you must ask for the key.  If you are looking for a place that is geared towards men, The Cufflink Club is your place. It has decor that is brooding and a menu of drinks to match that.  Copper is the new kid on the block and has the biggest selection of gin in the area.

If you are looking for dinner in the area, an all in one venue is offered by Potato Head Folk.  They offer a cocktail lounge, burger bar, and an alfresco tiki-style bar on the rooftop.  If you want more of a casual dinner, Muchachos is open from noon until midnight with good valued Mexican food.  Another option is a restaurant that is dimly lit, reminiscent of Tokyo in the 1950s, called Mariko’s.  It got its name from a fictional manga hooker from Japan.

Are you interested in finding a place for dinner that is a bit more daring?  The ever changing menu offered at Lollapalooza will please those with adventurous palates.  Esquina’s has tapas that are excellent, yet pricey.  If you are more into desserts, try out Banana Tree , a chain out of South Korea, for desserts served in kooky pots.

Keong Saik also has cool things in the daylight hours. Rose Citron offers home furnishings that are French and Asian inspired, as well as children’s items and accessories.