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This trail is about revitalising Katong Joo Chiat, Singapore’s first and only heritage town. It hopes to bring both tourists and more locals to the area to discover the stories this area has to offer. Besides just showcasing Peranakan culture, it will show how Katong Joo Chiat is a ‘Little Singapore’.
There will be new murals around the area painted specially for this art circuit, each telling a story about the history of Katong Joo Chiat.
Download the PDF version below!
7. Yong’s Teo Chew Kueh
5. Kim Choo Kueh Chang
Kim Choo Kueh Chang’s rice dumplings are a mainstay in Singapore’s diverse epicurean tapestry since 1945. Unyielding to the hands of time and untainted by modern influences, Kim Choo has indeed preserved the richness in taste and fragrance of Nanyang. But more importantly is its ability to preserve the traditional, unyielding to the hands of time and untainted by the modern. Today, Kim Choo offers a wide variety of products and services, which seeks to maintain and uplift the Peranakan culture of the Nanyang.
1. Sri Senpaga Vinyaga Temple
This Indian temple reflects Joo Chiat’s eclectic mix of cultures. Its history dates back to 1875, when an early Ceylonese Tamil pioneer built a small attap-hut like temple under a Senpaga tree, where a statue of the Lord Vinayagar (Elephant God) was said to be found. While the temple complex was re-built after damage was done during World War II, the main shrine remains intact and unscathed. The 21-metre high Rajagopuram makes it one of the tallest Indian temples in Singapore. The temple was marked as a historic site by the National Heritage Board in 2003.
2. Udipi Ganesh Vilas
Udipi Ganesh Vilas is a great place to find good quality Indian vegetarian food without breaking the bank. The restaurant offers a repertoire of wholesome vegetarian delights that deliver nutritional goodness and a memorable dining experience each time.
Tucked at one end of the quaint street of Ceylon Road, a stone's throw from the magnificent Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Udipi Ganesh Vilas is a rare jewel in the gastronomy scene in Singapore, offering a delectable fare of both Northern and Southern Indian vegetarian cuisine.
3. Birds of Paradise
Birds of Paradise delights in creating gelato of the finest quality, inspired by the botanical flavours of nature. They take long trips with their imagination to create their very own range of signature flavours, made from premium ingredients as far as possible. They flavour their gelato using natural and botanical ingredients: fruits, flowers, pods, herbs, and spices. They pay homage to the region by taking culinary cues from the South East Asian palate in the use of familiar herbs, such as basil and blue ginger. They take the time to gently infuse herbs and spices into their gelato, to create an experience that is wonderfully refreshing and yet finely balanced with flavours and aromas.
4. The Red House
The Red House Bakery is a popular reference to a relict confectionery shop, Katong Bakery & Confectionery, established in 1925. The name Red House Bakery was derived from the façade of the two-storey shophouse that was painted in red. It was famous for its traditional cakes and pastries such as its curry puffs and soft swiss rolls. This bakery was a popular breakfast haunt among Singaporeans living in the eastern part of Singapore. It was also known as a favourite hangout for local bands during the 1960s.
Customers who visited the bakery shop would choose and eat the amount of cakes or pastries that they desired and then proceeded to the cashier to make payment. The bakery shop practised a system of payment based on trust, as was the norm among old establishments. The bakery shop exuded old charm as the antique floral tiles and wooden furniture that greeted one upon entry would invoke a feeling of nostalgia. It was closed on 23 March 2003 after the shophouse where it was occupying was deemed as unsafe. As a conservation building, it has to retain its existing façade and as an Integrated Heritage Development, The Red House has a combination of residential, retail, bakery and a heritage gallery.
Now, the Red House is occupied by MICRO. Micro is a homegrown small batch bakery, known for their hand crafted sourdough bread & baked goods.Set in the Red House, Micro retains the heritage of a local neighbourhood bakery, offering their version of coffee, toasts, bread, cakes and many more.It is the perfect stop for a hearty breakfast and wholesome lunch. We have a special discount for you: Complimentary cake or bun with every $15 spending on takeaway items!
6. Rumah Bebe
The Rumah Bebe history begins in 1995 with a nyonya named Bebe Seet, who was spurred on to learn the traditional Peranakan art of beading slippers when she could not get a pair of antique “kasut manek” (beaded slippers worn by the “nyonyas,” Peranakan women). As far back as the 1900s or even earlier, young “nyonyas” were required to be skillful in beading their own footwear. This form of art has been passed down from the past generation, from mothers to daughters. However, after the Second World War, interest in beaded slippers waned. Beading became a dying craft but Bebe managed to seek a friend’s mother who taught her the basic techniques.
Bebe made much progress on her own, researching the history of beading done by the “nyonyas” of the past. She started holding classes to share the joy of beading with others who are equally passionate about the craft. In 1999, as the beading classes became popular, she set up an independent boutique,” Bebe’s Niche” in Katong. The boutique specialised in beading classes, but also retailed beaded slippers, handbags and embroidered kebayas. A year later, she moved into bigger premises at Katong Village and then moved again in 2003. The old 1928 shop house which Bebe chose as her next boutique was ideal – its run-down state gave her scope to re-design. Today the tradition for exquisite, detailed and expertly handcrafted work continues at Rumah Bebe, where Bebe, the true Peranakan nyonya at heart, produces masterpieces of beadwork that is truly heart-warming to the discerning connoisseurs of Peranakan arts. Her signature beaded shoes are always a celebration of colours, textures and glamour.
Bebe also serves food. An exclusive culinary experience that compliments the identity of Rumah Bebe and the flavours of Peranakan food will leave their mark on visitors. Relax at our on-site cafe , enjoy a lunch of rice with Chicken Buah Keluak or indulge in a Peranakan hi-tea serving of Laksa Goreng and Kueh-kueh. “Choping” /Reservation is essential for both the food and seating at the island’s smallest cafe. Look out for weekend specialties Availability : Tues. – Sun.11.00am – 6.00pm. *Service charge of 10% is waived for Katong/Joo Chiat Art Circuit participants.
8. Houses with preserved façade
9. Sinpopo Brand
Sinpopo Brand is an ode to Katong and its heritage.
Since the 1950’s, Katong was well-known for its unique Peranakan culture and cuisine. Sinpopo Brand is located in a conserved shophouse in Katong and they serve authentic and traditional local gourmet dishes refreshed for the most discerning palates. They want very much to keep Katong’s heritage and its heritage businesses alive because it is a part of them as well. They run a full-fledged kitchen and cook their dishes in the traditional way, sprucing up the old traditional recipes to keep them relevant.
Complimentary Sng Muay Pop (drink) with any Georgous Mains purchased!
10. Cat Socrates
Founded in 2008, Cat Socrates is an independent retail shop offering a variety of well-designed products, including books & paper paraphernalia, home deco, kitchenware & furniture, fabric & sewing accessories, plants & pots, bags & fashion accessories, vintage memorabilia, even bicycles & homemade jams. They are always discovering new brands and designers from all over the world and bringing their creations to Singapore, they also provide a platform for local designers and makers to present their work to a wider audience.
RetroCrates is an independent record store in Singapore. Nestled in the local enclave of Katong in the East Coast, they sell new and pre-loved records covering music genres – pop, rock, jazz and more. They have new releases and reissues, with hundreds of used titles added to our inventory on a weekly basis. Started as an online store in 2015, they just wanted to share their love and passion for music with like-minded people. They opened this physical storefront in September 2016 fulfilling a personal dream of having their very own record store. In June 2018, they extended their premises with The Jazz Loft, a space dedicated just for jazz music.
MOX is a space for a diverse community of creatives, whether you are a creative-preneur, an established brand or a hobbyist - the variety of workspaces, communal facilities, activities and people in MOX will help you to grow, and create amazing work. They believe in celebrating and sharing the creativity of people, and the potential of spaces to bring people together for surprising outcomes. As a Creative Community, their members meet other creative entrepreneurs across a variety of disciplines from leather to ﬁne art. They are a Connected Workspace where creatives can focus on good work, and choose to actively engage with the public or their customers. The Opportunity Facilitator in them attracts requests for experiential creative workshops or experiences for both youths and corporates into opportunities for our members. They aim to be a Growth Enabler for creatives in different pathways - including appearing in Invade’s wildly popular creative markets, running creative workshops, and showcasing their works in the communal art gallery.
Scanteak is a vintage wooden furniture store within a now whitewashed colonial building. They believe in the importance of bringing families together. Their furniture designs are inspired by how you can better experience your family at home. They hope that their designs will facilitate conversations, inspire celebrations or simply help people to create a safe space where they can be themselves. Their designs are also inspired by the greater home we call Earth. Each of their designs maximise the usage of every single wooden log, so that no materials are waste. All their teak wood is sustainably and responsibly harvested. With family as their main focus of importance, their products go through rigorous formaldehyde testing in Japan, ensuring that there are no harmful chemicals that could harm your family.
In the past, this used to be a very distinct and conspicuous red building that housed the Joo Chiat Maternal and Child Health Clinic, established in 1907. It was initially set up to deal with the high infant mortality rate in Singapore at the period of time. However, after World War II, the clinic shifted its focus to cater to the nation’s general public who was badly affected during the Japanese Occupation.
14. Peranakan Houses
This neighborhood’s most iconic road is famous for its distinctive Peranakan pre-war architecture. Every shophouse boasts ornate ceramic tiles, floral motifs, and pastel-colored exteriors. The majority of these duplex terrace houses were built in the 1920’s, and some have even won awards for their well-designed spaces.
15. Kuan Im Kuan Ti Kong Temple
Mysterious Temple. Only the mysterious things cannot be found on google.
16. Lotus at Joo Chiat
Situated in the heart of Katong, Lotus at Joo Chiat is a beautiful reminder of Singapore’s rich Peranakan culture but yet with modern convenience. It integrates the renovated 1930’s conservation houses with more modern apartments and amenities to create a truly bespoke property like any other exclusive modern private residential enclave. A mix of houses, apartments and studios are available, with lavish architectural details and interiors that showcase fine Peranakan decorations.
17. The Intan
The Intan is a collection of all things Peranakan, and more. It is an ambitious attempt to try and reconcile the beauty of the past into a modern home setting. It is an aspiration to find creative ways of yielding otherwise purely decorative and beautiful artifacts a new lease of life. The Intan aims to give some insights to the bygone chapters of the Peranakan Culture. Come for an experiential encounter with the unique Peranakan culture. Learn about the history, traditions & lifestyle of the Peranakans.
18. Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah
Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie takes great pride in their long family tradition of making the most authentic handmade popiahs in Singapore. Their popiah skin masters twirl dollops of dough in mid-air and coax paper-thin popiah skins out of baked dough on a searing hot pan. No other place in Singapore makes handmade popiah skin that is so softy, chewy, resilient, and paper-thin as Kway Guan Huat Original Joo Chiat Popiah. Popiahs may be traditional hawker food fare, but at Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah & Kueh Pie Tie, traditional popiah skin making is a culinary art and a family heritage they are proud to preserve.
For over 70 years, they have been making popiah skins the traditional way - painstakingly by hand, using a secret family recipe handed down from their forefathers in Fujian province, China. This is why they are one of the few shops in the area that has been able to retain the nostalgic flavours from the past. Joo Chiat Road has been the heart of their popiah skin making operation even before World War II, and has been made and sold there ever since.
Watch the Popiah Masters working on the hot pans delivering fresh chewy popiah skins directly into your hands. What's more, have fun performing your own DIY Popiah Wrap in adjoining restaurant complete with many other local chinese cusinines such as fish head curry, home made braised tofu, pan fried soya sauce king prawns. There are also popiah theme appetisers - "popiah fritters" which comes in an assortment of flavors i.e Mala, original and Salted egg Yolk as well as Popiah desserts such as Popiah wrap with yam and ice cream which are hugely popular with our customers. With that, enjoy 10% off all Ala carte dishes!
19. Eurasian Association
The Second World War was a dark period for the Eurasian community, with many imprisoned in Changi given their links to the Singapore Volunteer Corps, the British Armies or families with British family names. The post-war era saw the Association slowly rebuilding community bonds. For the Association, 1989 was known as the year of the Eurasian Awakening, when a younger group of Eurasians decided to take the lead in uplifting the community. This was a turning point for the Association – membership increased, and new programmes and activities were introduced. Many were driven to rekindle a sense of belonging to the community, especially amongst the younger generation of Eurasians.
During the 1990s, the EA expanded its outreach to Eurasians all over Singapore and took on a role to look after every Eurasian who needed help, particularly in education and family support. The Eurasian Association, as a Community Self-Help Group working for the public benefit, provides services for Singapore Eurasians in two key areas: educational advancement and welfare for needy Eurasians. In addition, the EA dedicates resources towards the preservation of Eurasian culture and heritage, increasing awareness about Eurasians in Singapore, and providing an avenue for community bonding.