Before being crowned Singapore’s first Heritage Town in 2011, Katong and Joo Chiat were known for something else. Short for Tanjong Katong, Katong was named after an exotic species of sea turtle, now extinct. Joo Chiat, on the other hand, was named after philanthropist Chew Joo Chiat. Both areas were once a small village of seaside retreats for the wealthy.
Today, this Peranakan enclave in the east is synonymous with Peranakan cuisine, particularly a spicy Straits Chinese noodle soup called Katong Laksa. It has also gained traction over the years for its blend of attention-grabbing shophouses, diverse dining options, and indie retail stores.