Katong Revival

Everyone knows about the wildly famous 328 Katong Laksa, Sin Hoi Sai Eating House, Boon Tong Kee and Chin Mee Chin Confectionery (just to name a few); this is a foodie heritage haven after all. But aside from the classics, a bunch of new eateries have sprung up and now call this picturesque area home. There’s no doubt that the landscape of available cuisines has changed, and for the better, too. We’ve scouted around to bring you some of Katong’s new kids on the block.
The French Bakery
148 East Coast Rd., 6344-6826.
Just a month old, we were pleased to find various treats such as green tea financiers ($2.50/box of three) and rum chestnut cake ($4)—an almond sponge base, layered with chestnut paste and rum mousse. They also offer up some savories, including butter croissants and other flaky pastries. But we’d go straight for their scrumptious mini lemon cheese tarts ($1.20); crisp, lightly-sweetened pastry shells cradling a cream cheese filling tinged with zesty lemon. The chocolate fudge cake ($4.90) that they put out is also a winner, satisfyingly chocolatey without being the least bit cloying.  
Joo Joo
131 East Coast Rd., 6346-7604.
Housed in the same space as Awfully Chocolate (its parent company) and Mooshi Bakes, this casual kushiyaki (Japanese grilled dishes) joint is bustling with hungry patrons. Or maybe it’s just the overflow from folks looking for baked goods. Either way, this is the place to hit up for a quick nibble or even a full-fledged meal. Choose from skewers such as pork belly with quail’s eggs and miso ($4.90), chicken thigh and leek with sea salt ($3.90) and scallops with garlic butter dressing ($5.90). For something more substantial, pile on the carbs with a helping of their cha siu and egg rice ($3.90).
Mooshi Bakes
131 East Coast Rd., 6346-0984.
Also under the same family as Awfully Chocolate, this pastry shop is a well-oiled machine, despite having opened only two months ago. It continues to supply all the bread for the Everything with Fries and EwF outlets, as well as offering its own goodies (all of which are baked on the premises daily, so you can be assured of freshness). Substantial-sized cream puffs (not those dainty, wimpy ones), Bartlett pear frangipane and strawberry cheese tarts are all tempting options. Aside from their namesake mooshi breads, they also offer a spinach loaf (the perfect way to get tots or big kids like ourselves to eat greens). If it’s good enough for Popeye, it’s definitely good enough for us.
Pavé Chocolates & Confections
93 East Coast Rd., 6342-0677.
Our new favorite dessert parlor, set up by four friends of greedy disposition (their words, not ours). When we first discovered it two months ago, the décor and menu were admittedly a little sparse. But as they say, good things come to those who wait (so we did, albeit grudgingly). And in this short span of time, Pavé’s really started to come into its own. This quaint patisserie makes some mean chocolates. Case in point, the Ooze ($14.90). Bite into this sinfully dark chocolate bar, studded with cocoa nibs, which hides a seductive sea-salted caramel. We know a Parisian who’ll gladly venture across town for their bonbons. Another unique creation is their Laputa Blanco ($8.50), a creamy thyme-scented hazelnut and almond frozen parfait. These kitchen dwellers are always experimenting with different flavors and recipes, which suits us just fine.
91 East Coast Rd., 6440-9200. 
Right next door, you’ll find a two story shop house. The first floor is part café, part patisserie (with freshly baked cakes and breads on display), while the second is a warm and cozy dining room. That’s thanks primarily to the generous use of wood-tables, chairs, couches and flooring, with ivory accents scattered around (inverted umbrella lights add a touch of whimsy to the inviting feel of the place). Texan chef Randy Torres whips up hearty, home-style comfort food, such as their house tomato soup ($7.50). Other dishes to try include the Maryland style crab cake ($10), with a julienned cucumber-herb salad, and his chicken saltimbocca pasta ($16.50)—spinach tagliatelle barely coated in a light Marsala cream, topped with a piece of grilled chicken, sweet caramelized onions, crisp prosciutto and fried sage that make for a symphony of textures and flavors.

Also look out for:
#01-01, 89 East Coast Rd., 6345-3646.

We had a peek into this alluring, well-designed gelato establishment (even though it isn’t officially open for business yet, hopefully by the end of the month). And boy, are we glad we did! Several tasting spoons of gelato later (thanks to kind owner J.J.), we knew we’d be back. We won’t ruin the surprise for the rest of you, but it’s yet another good reason to make the trek out.
103 East Coast Rd., 6344-2985.
From what we’ve been told by the owners, this will be a traditional Thai seafood barbeque restaurant that’s opening for business this weekend. We’ll keep you posted. Or if you beat us to it, don’t forget to report back.
Ramen Culture
#01-01, 85 East Coast Rd., 6345-1998.
A few doors down from Coccogelo, Ramen Culture has staked out their spot on the stretch. As this is the second outlet of the Japanese noodle joint (their first is in ICON Village), you can expect more of the same delicious black pig ramen. 
Oldies but goodies

328 Katong Laksa
216 East Coast Rd., 9732-8163.
Boon Tong Kee
199 East Coast Rd., 6478-1462.
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
204 East Coast Rd., 6345-0419.
Sin Hoi Sai Eating House
187 East Coast Rd., 6440-6956.