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Forest Adventure
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The ultimate guide to Bedok

The fishing village has transformed into a buzzy 'hood full of hawker haunts, supper spots, and a famous reservoir

Cam Khalid
Written by
Sofiana Ramli
&
Cam Khalid
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There's no doubt that this matured residential town makes our hearts go "Bedok, Bedok." Cheesy lines aside, the name Bedok first made a mark in Manuel Godinho de Erédia's map of Singapore in 1604 to refer to Sungei Bedok.

Derived from the Malay word 'bedoh', Bedok translates to a massive drum used as a call to prayer or to sound the alarm back when loudspeakers were non-existent. However, it could also come from the Malay word 'biduk' which translates to a sampan-like fishing boat, which then explains the many fishing villages by the east coast.

Now, the fishing village has transformed into a buzzy neighbourhood brimming with hawker haunts, hip cafés, supper spots, obstacle courses and endless sporting activities. Zipline across the reservoir, tuck into scrumptious local delicacies and cool off at the estate’s lifestyle hub while you’re in Bedok.

RECOMMENDED: The ultimate guide to Siglap and the ultimate guide to Pasir Ris and Changi

Do

  • Things to do

Another alternative to East Coast Park for the Eastsiders is the sprawling Bedok Reservoir. Tranquil and quiet, a run around the park – one loop is four-kilometre – will definitely do wonders to clear your mind. There are a lot of picturesque spots in the park like the floating boardwalks and waterside platforms to cool down after a workout, as well for the full zen experience. 

  • Things to do
  • Bedok

This feature’s all about the heartlands – but here’s a Heartbeat. Beat our perpetual summer by taking a dip in the neighbourhood’s swimming complex at the all-new Heartbeat @ Bedok. The lifestyle hub (it integrates a polyclinic, senior care centre, public library and swimming complex under one roof) features an eight-lane swimming pool, a jacuzzi and a wet playground for tots that’s fitted with colourful slides and water jets. And swimming enthusiasts won’t have to worry about cloudy days, either – the hub’s indoor training pool’s got you covered, rain or shine.

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  • Kids
  • Bedok

Make like Tarzan as you swing across the lush foliage of Bedok Reservoir. Walk on a tightrope, balance on wobbly planks and zipline over water as you navigate your way through this treetop obstacle course which features three kid-friendly circuits. Big kids won’t miss out on the fun either. Those aged 10 and up can try the Grand Course ($50 an adult, $46 a student) where you have to tackle 44 different challenges six metres off the ground.

  • Sport and fitness
  • Climbing
  • Bedok

Let your little ones channel their inner Spider-Man with The Rock School's climbing gym in Bedok. The colourful space is specially tailored for kids between the ages of four and fourteen, with kid-friendly handholds and programme resources, as well as gentler wall profiles. Rain or shine, your mini Spidey can scale the indoor bouldering room and the four-lane sheltered top-rope wall in a safe and comfortable environment.

Eat

  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

For some seriously good heartlands grub, make for Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre. It houses famous shacks like Song Zhou Fried Carrot Cake’s stall (#01-37). Order the white version of the dish (from $3) – it’s fluffy, comes in a generous portion and has just enough chilli for a decent kick of spice. Hit up Inspirasi (#01-11) for a plate of mee rebus loaded with thick gravy, or Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee Hong Hai (Hong Lim) Curry Chicken Noodle's (#01-58) signature curry chicken bee hoon mee (from $4).

  • Restaurants
  • Hawker
  • Bedok

Mr Quek Sio Tee has been selling carrot cake since the 1950s. He began frying it back in the kampong with his brother before moving into a hawker centre at Bedok. There, he continues to dish out his signature black and white carrot cake ($4), but his old age and weak knees make it difficult for him to stand behind a stove all day. Luckily, he has a protégé. His daughter, Elenda Quek, left her job as a teacher to continue the family business. And together with her mother and cousins, the family now runs six different hawker stalls, all selling the same carrot cake that the elder Quek used to prepare. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

This humble family-run sweet shop churns out trays of traditional kuehs the old-school way: handmade and crafted with love. Lek Lim started out as a home kitchen in the 60s and has since become famous for its Peranakan delicacies like the ang ku kueh, which are $0.50 a piece. Sink your teeth into the kueh’s sticky, chewy skin that’s loaded with either a mung bean paste or peanut-filled centre.

  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Bedok
  • price 2 of 4

This Thai joint has outlets across the island, making it a favourite spot for the heartland crowd. Don't expect bells and whistles here – the restaurant interior is simple with its plastic chairs and lack of air conditioning. The menu is extensive and provides delicious dishes that start from $5. Some star dishes include the clear tom yum soup ($6), pad thai ($5), basil chicken rice ($6), and red ruby ($3).

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

No list of supper haunts in town is completed without this popular alfresco resto. There’s every comfort food you can imagine on the menu that will keep you satisfied till the A.M. – from maggi goreng pattaya ($7.50) to burgers and fries (from $8.90) to Sriracha and honey-glazed chicken wings ($9.50). The Mama Mia Murtabak ($12.90) hits the spot as it oozes an unusual combination of keema, mushroom and cheese. 

  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

Located along Bedok Road is Badoque Café, a restaurant that serves up Asian fusion, Greek and Mediterranean fare. To try on its menu is the beef ribs ($36) that come in generous portions and are served with homemade barbecue sauce. Other dish highlights include the pan-fried salmon with mashed potatoes ($24) and spaghetti with chunks of salmon belly ($22).

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

Specialising in yakitoris, or grilled meat on skewers, The Burning Oak is a recent addition to Simpang Bedok. Classic skewers such as the Negima (chicken thigh with leeks, $2) and pork shoulder ($2), are claimed to be grilled using Japanese binchotan coals to cook their meats. They also offer specialties such as the curry risotto croquettes ($6.50), Wagyu beef rump cap MBS5 ($12) and Iberico pork cheeks ($12), as well as a rotational menu of premium skewers such as the slow-cooked pork belly ($6) and Wagyu beef short ribs ($6). The Burning Oak also offers lunch options with their bentos sets (from $8).

Fatcat Ice Cream Bar
  • Restaurants
  • Bedok

At Fatcat ice cream bar, all scoops are made from scratch through the use of modern techniques. Choose from its standard, premium and signature flavours like strawberry cheesecake, butterbeer, white peach sangria and watermelon soju. If you're slightly more daring, let the guys at Fatcat surprise you with a mysterious flavour. The menu also includes a selection of waffles, plated desserts and cakes.  

Drink

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bedok

Using Papa Palheta’s beans and Australian Grounded Pleasures’ chocolate syrup, Percolate opened to much less fanfare in the heartland of Bedok brewing coffees (from $3.80) mainly using the Terra Firma blend. But this low-key café is great for caffeine fix beyond kopi. And you don't have it alone. Pair your cuppa with the curry egg mayo croissant ($7) or salted caramel cake ($6) – cakes and pastries are supplied from Jalan Besar French bakery B.A.O (Bakery Artisan Original).

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Bedok
  • price 2 of 4

Whether it's an artisan coffee, tea, juice, or cider (we won't judge) you need to start your morning, this new café in Bedok Restaurant will sort you out. Couple your refreshing hand-crafted drink with uncomplicated fare such as savoury waffles ($13.90) and barbecued ribs ($14.90), all served in a light-filled, contemporary space.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bedok
  • price 1 of 4

If it's cheap bevs you're after, Burp's the place to go. The kitchen and bar has beers like Asahi and Kronenbourg Blanc (from $11) on tap, as well as bottled ones (from $6.50) ready to be cracked open. Wine lovers can unwind with a glass of vino (from $8), or a cocktail (from $9.50) for something fancier. And if you're feeling peckish, order up some bar grub like bangers and mash, pasta, and tacos (from $9). No doubt, a trip to this watering hole in the east will leave you burping.

  • Bars and pubs
  • Wine bars
  • Bedok

Sip on some bubbly under a blanket of foliage at this romantic bistro in the east. It doesn't have to be champagne either – One Bistro Wine Bar boasts an extensive boozy menu, ranging from red wine, white wine, house wine, and even promotional wine which sets you back $39 for a bottle of Pierre Jean Merlot or Pierre Jean Colombard Chardonnay. If you're not a vino lover, choose your poison from a selection of beers (from $7) and cocktails (from $14). 

Shop

Decathlon
  • Shopping
  • Bedok

Penny boards, camping gear, inflatable kayaks – with more than 95,000 sports products on display, you’re bound to find something at Decathlon that’ll cater to your fitness needs. The store even lets you test out the equipment. So have a go at swinging (read: gently) some golf clubs or practice your best Steph Curry b-ball moves. Got a bike that needs fixing? The outlet also has a bicycle repair workshop where you can get your two-wheelers sorted.

  • Shopping
  • Music and entertainment
  • Bedok

Crate-diggers, expand your vinyl collection with offerings from this hole-in-the-wall record store in Simpang Bedok. It's been deemed as a music paradise for avid vinyl collectors due to its extensive list of titles – old and new. If you're new to the game, the pros manning the till will help you select your first vintage turntable and throwback records to complete your starter pack. 

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  • Shopping
  • Bedok

Part shopping mall, part housing estate – there’s more to East Village than meets the eye, despite its minuscule scale. Apart from being a hotspot for Halal eateries such as takeaway dessert bar Chulop, this mall is also a goldmine for hijab-wearing fashionistas. It offers a range of trendy Muslimah fashionwear, including scarves, accessories and clothes from local blogshops like Cloud 9 Studio.

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