A Food Tour from Kallang to Joo Chiat
Have you ever had reason to roam the streets from the river near Kallang to Joo Chiat? I recently took myself on a little food tour of fun and unusual places to eat and drink in the area. I’ve written about some of these before, but not in a way that may be as accessible as this post. Hopefully you can take a half day to explore some of these cool haunts around this fun part of town.
Beat the Crowds for lunch at Hill Street Bak Chor Mee
Bak Chor Mee was one of my first real Singaporean food loves. Remarkable given that pork was far from my favourite food before I lived in Singapore. Bak Chor Mee is a pork based soup that is served ‘dry’, that is with a little gravy in the bottom of the bowl, and a serve of soup on the side for you to make your bowl ‘wetter’. Piled on top of the gravy are a myriad of pork cuts, some minced pork, sliced pork, pork wontons, pork liver and yummy crispy pork bits for extra flavour. You can ask for your Bak Chor Mee with chilli or less chilli (I go for the chilli, it’s spicy but doesn’t blow your head off). A small bowl is $6 and it will totally fill you up.
Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
466 Crawford Lane, #01-02, Singapore, 190466 (closed first Monday of every month)
A short walk from Lavender MRT
Stop for an Avocado Coffee at aeiou
If you’re doing this little food tour over one day it may be a bit much for your stomach to guzzle down one of the filling avocado coffees at aeiou. In that case you may be better off with an espresso to perk you up after the heaviness of the Bak Chor Mee. But if you can fit it in, the avocado coffee at aeiou is a meal in itself. You can read more here.
111 King George’s Avenue, Singapore
phone +65 6291 2698
A 5 to 10 minute walk from Hill Street Tai Hwa above
Nip in for Dessert at Haig Road
I’m still working up a complete post on my favourite desserts in Singapore but high on the list is the putu piring from Haig Road hawker centre. These little rice cakes, filled with sweet and warm gula melaka, coated in flaky coconut are the ants pants. They’re light, fluffy and just the right amount of sweetness with a slightly salty aftertaste. Yummmm. They are best consumed when purchased though, when I brought them home to have later in the evening they were a little on the dry side.
Haig Road Putu Piring
Traditional Haig Road Putu Piring
#01-08 14 Haig Road, Singapore
Hop on the MRT from aeiou and go from Lavender to Paya Lebar (3 stops), then it’s a 5 min walk
Take Tea at Phoenix Hill Tea Merchant
I wrote a whole post about Phoenix Hill back in October last year. The lovely couple that run Phoenix Hill were so welcoming and knowledgable about tea that I’ve been back a couple of times. Overall I’ve sat for many hours with Julie and Steven, learning about and appreciating different teas. If you have any interest in trying some different kinds of Chinese tea you should pay them a visit to learn more. You can read more here.
Phoenix Hill Tea Merchant
32 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore, 427756
phone +65 6348 7172
An 11 minute walk from Haig Road
Sample Traditional Peranakan cuisine at Nam San
For those new to Singapore food, Peranakan cuisine is the unique cooking style of the Nonya (women) who married Chinese immigrants who came to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore between the 15th and 17th centuries. One of the popular dishes that can be found in Joo Chiat is Otak Otak, also known as Otah Otah. The little packages are a mix of fish paste and minced fish wrapped in banana leaves and charcoal grilled. You can take them away at Nam San to enjoy at home, they heat up really well, the banana leaves keeping the fish cakes fresh. Nam San Mackerel Otah
261 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore, 427515
open 24 hours
A 6 minute walk from Phoenix Hill
Whilst you’re hanging in Joo Chiat take some time out to look around and appreciate the interesting architecture. The shophouses have great character as does the whole area. I did this exact route and it took me 4 hours, that includes taking time for a lot of photos and a chat with Julie and Steven.
If you’re looking for other ideas for self guided tours you can check out my guide available on buggl.