A Guide to Singapore’s Telok Ayer Neighborhood

Where to eat in Telok Ayer:


Focusing on omakase and kaiseki-style meals, Chef Derrick Lau presents a Japanese fine dining concept that is a breath of fresh air for the Asian dining scene in the area. The omakase lunch and dinner sets start at $68 and $108 respectively. For simpler Japanese fare, there’s a range of classics on the menu, from sashimi to yakimono.


This hip Mediterranean joint serves up other small plates like char grilled asparagus with garlic miso dressing ($14). Expect new funky-looking murals—graffiti-style—done up by the chef Manel Valero Ruiz and local artist SKL0 (a.k.a. Samantha Lo) in the cozy 40-seater.

Morsi & Sorsi

Opened by Lino Sauro of fine dining eatery Gattopardo, this casual (and cheaper) spot features an open-concept kitchen and a U-shaped bar. The menu focuses on ‘stuzzichini’—traditional Italian street food—with choice selections such as beef lasagna ($13), and toasted panini with parma ham, mozzarella, rucola and tomato ($13) or order the buffalo mozzarella platter ($23) to share.

The Muffinry

Muffins are aplenty at this unassuming café that schedules a weekly roster of sweet and savory muffins, including spiced carrot (co-owner Christopher Leow’s personal favorite), Earl Grey and fig (our pick) and even Green Eggs and Ham—all at $2.80. Those looking for more filling bites can tuck into their homemade pies (from $7.50) and mini sliders ($4). The original, snug space has since expanded to occupy three floors, welcoming regular open-mic nights.


It’s crammed during lunch hour, but the Pho Tai (sliced beef noodle soup, $8.50) or Bun Cha Gio (deep fried spring rolls with vermicelli, $9) make it all worth it. Finish your meal with a Vietnamese ice coffee ($2.50) which comes with its own drip filter.

Vanilla Bar & Café

If you’re looking for a place to sit and while the afternoon away, chill out in this cosy café which serves a variety of Japanese and Western fare. Try their Vanilla Dirt Cake ($8.90) which comes in a flower pot or pop by after work for their happy hours from 4-8pm for 1-for-1 draft beers and house pours.

Where to shop in Telok Ayer:

Made by Lauren Jasmine

The three-storey concept store combines its namesake label with a café to give you a single place to shop, eat and drink. Shop for their newest collection at the second level, then downstairs for their homemade pies such as Duck and Apple Cranberry ($8.50) while you sip a decaf Mescolato (Persian for ice-blended) Berry Breakfast ($7.90) made with blueberries, strawberries, low-fat milk and a touch of peanut butter.

Q Menswear

Get fitted from head to toe in a sharp set that not only shows off your form, but also speaks dapper from the cut, fabric to colour, by Raoul menswear alum and co-founder of bespoke menswear label Clothesmith Chong Han San. There are over 2,000 options in the fabric library to choose from for your bespoke suit—whether you like it conventional or quirky—and custom-made shoes by Hong Kong brand Shoe Artistry.

Where to stay in Telok Ayer:


This boutique heritage hotel pays homage to Singapore’s past and is also the island’s first hotel to incorporate a museum; guests enter the hotel through the former temple and headquarters of the 1800’s Hakka and Cantonese communities, Fuk Tak Chi. Its distinctive interior incorporates contemporary design with heritage features into its 37 rooms for a unique hotel experience.

Where to work out in Telok Ayer:

Athlete Lab

Tired of those run-of-the-mill fitness centers? Try pedalling your way through international circuits in this boutique indoor road-cycling gym. The compact space is fitted with Adjustabikes that are programmed to track the cyclist’s progress and adjust the settings accordingly. Membership choices range from $50 for a single session to the Yellow Jersey option at $300 a month.