It's been said that Siglap is a hotspot for pontianak sightings. Legend has it that its name is derived from the Malay phrase ‘si gelap’ – which means ‘the dark one’ – given to it by a Sumatran prince who arrived during an eclipse. It was also a massacre site during the Japanese Occupation. But beyond its morbid past, this quaint and tranquil ’hood is home to a plethora of restaurants, cafés and pubs where easties rock up for afternoon brunch, late-night supper or a yoga sesh without the crazy crowd.
Eat and drink
The strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee is the ideal antidote to lazy mornings. Whether your first order of the day is a flat white, red eye or cold brew, the coffee connoisseurs here make your Java the way you like it. And if you’re hooked, you can find a selection of single origin coffee beans sitting on its shelves ready for you to bag home.
This pizzaria sees Baker & Cook’s Dean Brettschneider flexing his dough-making muscle to dish out thin-crust, sourdough pizzas. The wild yeast dough ferments for up to 18 hours before toppings like tomato, eggplant, mozzarella and chorizo, or smoked salmon, sour cream, dill, prawns and capers are tossed on and baked in a brick oven.
Straight out of Glodok (aka Jakarta’s Chinatown), this retro-inspired restaurant serves Chinese-Indonesian cuisine till the 3am – all you supper- seekers take note. Try its signature nasi campur babi, a bowl of assorted pork bits served with fragrant chicken rice. Feeling crabby? Cheer up with the kepiting saus padang complete with Sri Lankan crab smothered in Kota 88’s special spicy sauce.
See and do
Feel the fresh breeze through your hair as you whizz through the park connector, which forms the gateway to the Eastern Coastal Loop. The path leads you towards the Tampines and Bedok Park Connectors if you want to pay these bigger ’hoods a visit. Make a pitstop at East Coast Park or Telok Kurau Park to rent a bicycle or rollerblades if you don’t have your own set of wheels.
Meet the freshest and finest cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken at this east-side butcher. Besides the usual suspects, it also offers marinated meats and Aussie beef sausages, as well as a range of seafood products. It doesn’t stop there either – quality wines from South Australian wine regions like Wrattonbully and the Limestone Coast also line its shelves.
Score the perfect two-wheeler at this industrial-chic store. It carries a range of quality bikes including the sleek Coastliner designed by ex-national cyclist Jansen Tan, which allows you to navigate through the city with ease. The store also doubles as a workshop where you can bring your bikes for a tune-up or to pimp your ride.
Find your zen at this minimalist boutique yoga studio that runs over 60 classes in various styles, from Ashtanga Mysore to classic Hatha. After your satisfying stretches, pick up some artisanal products from homegrown brands such as Homemade Handmade and The Mala Company from its shelves.
2B or not 2B? Sharpen those pencils and get your creative juices flowing at Little Artists Art Studio. Not just for kids, the studio believes that you’re never too old to learn the works of sketching, painting, clay-making, printmaking, photography and digital art.