Great local food, stunning shophouse architecture and its proximity to the beach make this historic Peranakan enclave a weekend favourite among locals.
Singapore’s answer to Williamsburg, where hipper-than-thou boutiques, cafés and bars sit amid photogenic public housing flats.
Katong isn't a typical tourist destination, but those seeking to dig deeper into the nation’s Eurasian and Peranakan culture and heritage will find cultural centres, well-curated museums and restaurants that make it worth spending the day here.
A well-curated boutique that brings together cult brands in Singapore and from abroad.
02-18, orchardgateway mall, 277 Orchard Rd (+65 9773 4542).
The Little Dröm Store
Skip the touristy souvenir shops and hit up this small boutique for its quirky objets d’art that reference local culture.
SOTA, School of the Arts, 1 Zubir Said Drive (+65 6884 4651).
The GoDown Store
The GoDown Store is good for one-of-a-kind, storied modern and vintage finds sourced by founder Audrey Lee from her travels all over the world. Also check out its online store, which offers new collections of homeware, accessories and decorative furnishing every month.
44 Zion Road (+65 6333 8966).
This Japanese casual luxury brand puts premium quality materials at the forefront, sourcing for them even before conceptualising designs to ensure customer comfort. It uses pre-war antique looms and traditional techniques such as hand-spinning cotton into yarn, hand-stitching and silkscreen printing for all products, making every piece of apparel unique.
#01-13/14 Capitol Piazza, 13 Stamford Road (+65 6702 3545).
La Petite Boutique
This French shop has enough wine, cheese and home-cooking provisions from back home to soothe a homesick expat. Among the goods on offer include a 36-month-old Gouda and truffle brie, as well as a selection of pastries like croissants, koign ammans and baguettes.
4 Kensington Park Road (+65 9326 0432).
Tiong Bahru Market
Eighty-three stalls dish out some of the finest hawker fare on the island. Pro tip: get the chwee kueh (rice flour cakes topped with preserved turnip) from Jian Bo Shui Kueh.
30 Seng Poh Rd.
Violet Oon Singapore
Peranakan cuisine is hearty, eclectic and not shy with flavours. This local institution does it with aplomb.
881 Bukit Timah Rd (+65 6468 5430).
Singaporean staples like claypot rice and satay get atas makeovers at this industrial-chic restaurant in Dempsey. Go for the unctuous oyster and uni claypot rice for a satisfying meal, or the mixed pork rice – which includes jowl, belly and intestines – if you're craving something simpler.
7 Dempsey Rd (+65 6250 7090).
With a history dating back 150 years, the Michelin-starred Restaurant Gaig is a stalwart of Catalan cooking. This Singaporean offshoot works hard at replicating Barcelona's vibrant cuisine to Stanley Street; among the dishes to try are the pluma ibérica and mushroom paella, squid ink fideua, and suckling pig ravioli with truffle sauce.
16 Stanley St (+65 6221 2134).
28 HongKong Street
28 HongKong Street
One of the first cocktail-serious speakeasies in Singapore, 28 came in tenth on the 2014 World’s 50 Best Bars list.
28 Hongkong St (+65 6533 2001).
Experimentation’s the name of the game at this underground cocktail bar. Ask for the omakase set, which includes six different cocktails paired with bar bites.
7 Ann Siang Hill (+65 6438 4057).
The local off-shoot of the New York cocktail institution – placed 37th on the World's 50 Best Bars 2017 – is the bar you come to when you want the classics done right. The Old Fashioneds, for instance, are made the traditional way with rye, sugar syrup and bitters ‘cos you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broke.
112 Amoy St (+65 6221 7357).
Corrine Chia and Lincoln Goh's other craft beer spot is a watering hole modelled after Mikkeller's Viktoriagade flagship in Copenhagen, and the selection of beer styles here is pretty damn gutsy. Extra points for the knowledgeable servers, too.
119 Tyrwhitt Rd (+65 6341 5967).
Little Island Brewing Co
Little Island occupies a warehouse-like space on the eastern reaches of Singapore, pouring out a range of ales, porters and stouts. The draft beer list – Little Island also serves craft cider – is on constant rotation, with the brewery frequently concocting new brews.
#01-01/02, 6 Changi Village Rd (+65 6543 9100).
THINGS TO DO
The Cathay Gallery
This hidden gem on the second floor of The Cathay Cineplex is a time capsule of movie memorabilia: think antique cinema chairs, cameras and film projectors. A walk through The Cathay Gallery will take you through the storied history of the Loke family, who were pioneers of the film industry in Singapore and founders of the Cathay Organisation.
#02-16 The Cathay 2 Handy Rd (+65 6732 7332).
Asia Pacific Breweries
Chart the origins of our national brew – Tiger Beer – when you set off on the brewery tour, which ends at the bottom of a pint glass. Seriously, there’s a 45-minute all-you-can-glug booze bonanza after the tour.
459 Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim (+65 6860 3005).
Singapore’s coolest cinema screens cult classics and retrospectives of acclaimed auteurs.
Level 5, Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Rd.
Red Point Record Warehouse
If you’re a crate-digger, you must make a detour to this 2,000 sq ft vinyl haven, which stocks vintage records of all genres. The selection of Asian LPs here is second to none.
06-11, Block B, Kapo Factory Building, 80 Playfair Rd (+65 6383 3966).
Your flight. We’re not kidding – Changi Airport’s got so many things happening, like a swimming pool and five gardens, you should keep a close eye on your watch.
See those packets of tissue paper on hawker centre tables? They’re not for you. Hungry workers leave those there to chope (‘reserve’) a spot while they queue for food.