4 great reasons to head back to Jalan Besar this weekend

Jalan Besar may not share the same “hipster” clout as other indie-hoods like Tiong Bahru and Kampong Glam, but there’s always plenty of action happening along this bustling stretch off Little India and Lavender. From salted egg and chili crab croissants to a secret underground film club, this underrated area is bubbling with exciting developments. 

Antoinette’s croissant frenzy continues

, 4 great reasons to head back to Jalan Besar this weekendChili crab croissant, Antoinette

Possibly the next big food trend after salted egg yolk croissants, more local renditions by French-inspired patisserie Antoinette are stirring demand for the buttery pastry. Delving into Singapore’s hawker favorites, the chili crab croissant is one of Chef Pang’s latest creations and features a house-made,savory-spicy tomato sauce. Besides croissants, also new on the menu is the scallion arlette, a modern interpretation of chong you bing, a popular Chinese street snack. 

More hip new cafes have opened up

, 4 great reasons to head back to Jalan Besar this weekendBao Makers

Chye Seng Huat Hardware’s not the only decent coffee shop in area—for more than just brunch and lunch grub, head to Roots Kitchen. The menu has hearty and unpretentious items for brunch and dinner, like baked camembert with apple chutney and Nagano pork rack, which you can have with a selection of beers, wines and spirits. Plus, their happy hour promotion (11am-8pm daily) includes draft beer at $10 per pint and selected housepour wines at $9 per glass. 

Another stylish nook to dine at is Bao Makers, a Kinfolk-style cafe which offers Western-fusion baos on top of other Japanese-Western mains, desserts and coffee. There’s the braised pork belly, bulbogi, salted egg shrimp, teriayki chicken, nanban chicken and chili crab bao to try, with vegetarian options available upon request. 

And a shiny new boutique hotel 

Newcomer Hotel Boss may not be brimming with quirky, design-driven rooms and cool art vibes, but the boutique hotel makes up for the lack of a creative facade (it looks like an office building in the CBD) with luxe, airy spaces and an expansive sky terrace and swimming pool. It also has a decent selection of food and retail stores like seafood restaurant Gills N Shells, and is located close to Kampong Glam. 

There’s something exciting for film buffs too

, 4 great reasons to head back to Jalan Besar this weekendThe Projector, photo credit: Philipp Aldrup

Cinemaphiles might be interested in a couple of brainy/serious/arthouse film events happening at Hotel Vagabond and The Projector. On Mar 28 at 6pm, Hotel Vagabond is hosting a free screening of the documentary In the Spirit of Laxmi, which follows the efforts of conservationist and ex game-ranger Gerhard Wiehahn and his experience raising an abandoned leopard cub in Rajasthan, India. 

And if you can’t get enough of the great lineup of lesser-known films like What We Do in the Shadows (don’t miss the supernatural-themed afterparty) at The Projector, then apply for a membership to an underground film club by the independent cinema operator by sending your email address over. Once approved, you will then have access to screenings of ‘secret’ movies. More information here