It’s cool, gritty and full of character. We’ve been raving about this grungy precinct for a while now and with more recent happenings
around the area (like the final hoorah
of Immigrants Gastrobar), it’s about time to revisit the neighborhood
1. It’s your last chance to dine at Immigrants Gastrobar
Joo Chiat Road restaurant Immigrants Gastrobar
(467 Joo Chiat Rd., 8511-7322) is closing its doors on Aug 31
and there will be a special menu of signature dishes like buah keluak fried rice, beef rendang, ngoh hiang, tripe sambal and kueh ko swee by Chef Damian D’Silva. It’s $50 per person and bookings of a minimum of 10 people is required.
2. New walking tours
There’s a new self-guided tour called Choo Yilin Presents Joo Chiat’s Secrets
, brought to you by famous jewelry shop. It’s a free walkabout. All you have to do is to download the Secret Joo Chiat map here
and the trail covers attractions like The Intan
(69 Joo Chiat Terrace, 9338-2234
), a private Peranakan museum tucked away in a row of heritage shop houses, maker workshops hosted by local leather goods brand The J Myers Company and even a Peranakan afternoon tea session. For something a bit grittier, sign up for a nighttime walk with Geylang Adventures
, whose young and amazing founder we interviewed recently
3. The Tuckshop is expanding
One of our favorite neighborhood gastrobars, The Tuckshop
(403 Guillemard Rd.), has a hip new outfit right next door, the aptly named Recess
, a communal social and event space for activites ranging from private parties to creative workshops. They even have catering services, if you want a no-frills, stress-free party planning process.
4. Last chance for durian
There are no scary ah bengs welding choppers at Fruits Top 1 Department Store (608 Geylang Rd., Lorong 36, 9889-4906/9109-0051). Instead, you get legit names like Mao Shan Wang, D24 and D13—all from the store’s Johor plantation. We’ve just been told that their durians are only available for two more weeks, so it’s now or next year.
5. New feminist buddies
Exchange insights at a bimonthly book club by Singapore Committee for UN Women
which talks about gender issues stemming from local and international non-fiction works. For the group’s next meeting on Sep 17, 7:00-8:30pm
at Geylang Public Library
(50 Geylang East Avenue 1), the book du jour is A Life Less Ordinary
, an autobiography about the harrowing life of Indian domestic helper Baby Halder.
6. You can tour the Geylang River
The revamped canal has tons of food options such as Bottle Cap
(511 Guillemard Rd, 6743-4470), a pet-friendly alfresco bistro-cafe overlooking the water and specializing in classic Western favorites like Italian herb chicken and pork and beef meatballs in barbecue sauce. For cheap and good coffee, go to Brawn & Brains
(100 Guillemard Rd., #01-07, 6348-8892)—
their lattes cost $3.50.
7. And some shopping
Make some time for hip Joo Chiat boutiques Cat Socrates
(448 Joo Chiat Rd., 6348-0863), an indie ouftit selling quirky crafts and curios by independent designers and Hat of Cain
(18 Joo Chiat Terrace, 8809-6242), which specializes in Panama hats hand-woven in Ecuador.
8. Or just spend a day at the spa
Knead all tension away at g.spa
(#02-02 102 Guillemard Rd., 6280-8988), which offers a stay-all-day spa entry comprising free-flow food and drinks, a 60-min massage and full access to its facilities including pools and saunas. Or simply sweat it out at Yoga Inc.
(#01-08 100 Guillemard Rd.), located in the Old Singapore Badminton Hall. Choose from their 12 classes ranging from Basic to Flow, an advanced practice which builds on your strength and stamina through continuous sequences.