Eastsiders would be the first to admit that they’d never live elsewhere in S’pore. While there are several cool neighbourhoods in this part of the island, none have quite the same charm as the Joo Chiat district. With its many shophouses and cramped, crooked streets, it holds many treasures that any mama out there would guard jealously like secrets.
But because we’re so nice (and we love sharing a hidden treasure with you), here are our favourite haunts in Joo Chiat – may they become your favourites too, mama!
Looking for beautiful furniture for your little one’s room but not so keen on the stock standard IKEA stuff? We’ve got the perfect hook-up for you! Ni-night brings you beautifully designed furnishings, beddings and accessories (they even sell gorgeous clothes too!) that would make any mini-Martha Stewart wannabe proud. Furniture includes beds (both single and bunk), study tables, armoires and amongst others, all made out of solid timbre in a pretty white finish. The items are made in Vietnam and Cambodia, so you’d definitely be getting an artisanal piece for your investment. Bonus: Spend above $750 in one go and get free delivery for your pieces.
7 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427742
Tel: (+65) 6440 7567
Playground at Joo Chiat Terrace Park
A great stop for littlies in the neighbourhood, while it’s not the biggest playground in town, it’s certainly a cute spot to organise a quick scooter or bicycle play date with fellow mamas. It’s a fun, safe and quiet spot to enjoy your coffee while the kids expend some energy. It might even be the perfect way to encourage them to nap in their stroller afterwards, so you can continue on with a little bit of shopping in the neighbourhood! Just a heads up mama that there’s no shade in the area so you’ll want to have a brolly and a sunhat on stand-by.
Corner Joo Chiat Terrace and Everitt Road
Next time you have friends in town that are looking for somewhere to stay other than a city hotel, point them towards Ceylon House, it’s a home away from home. Located in a beautifully restored heritage shophouse, this inn spans 3200 square feet over four floors and comes with four bedrooms, all with ensuite baths! Also features a roof terrace, spacious kitchen and dining area, so it’s perfect for families with young ones and is only 10 minutes from the city by taxi.
4 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429600
Book through the website
For those who love all things vintage, Sinpopo Brand is a must see. The name of this eatery is an inside joke which often only those living on the East Coast immediately get – it’s the moniker of a notorious sleazy nightspot from back in the day! Now the restaurant has adopted the name for ironic purposes and turned its reputation on its head. Serving classic local dishes such as the well-loved Nasi Lemak and Chicken Curry Rice, as well as desserts like Durian Pengat (a type of hot, liquid custard using the famous thorny fruit), the place summons up the slow, easy living of yesteryears, where families once gathered round the treasured TV set (incidentally there’s an original retro 70s one holding court at the entrance of Sinpopo) to be together.
We recommend: Nasi Lemak with lashings of sambal chilli.
458 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671
Tel: (+65) 6345 5034
Closed on Mondays
Award-winning (Voted Singapore Tatler’s Best for Portrait and Family Photography this year) and located in Joo Chiat, Kate is a classically trained photographer and a Mum of three, who specializes in pregnancy and family photography. You can expect a fun and enjoyable session with stylish images to boot. You can even customise the framing to suit the décor of your house! Sessions are by appointment only to ensure complete privacy for her clients during their shoot.
7 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427742
Tel: (+65) 6440 7567
If you were considering a local school your little girl (and you happen to live in the East), you might want to take a look at Haig Girls Primary School. With an active arts programme, the school shows a strong standing in these types of enrichment programmes, fostering a love of fine art, theatre and modern dance. Although the majority of students are local Singaporeans, there are a fair few international faces here as well. The campus is spacious and fairly new and the school has a long and proud heritage, dating back to 1951, not to mention the uniform is a cute yellow pinafore!
51 Koon Seng Road, Singapore 427072
Tel: (+65) 6344 0293
Eng Seng Restaurant
We’ve all heard of terrible service but sometimes getting abused by the chef or Maître D (or the Soup Nazi for those who are familiar) is kind of part of the experience! Eng Seng provides it all, long queues, rude staff and a famously succulent black pepper crab. To get the best out of a meal here, come early and leave quickly – and plan for an early dinner, like at 4pm! Eng Seng is not open for lunch.
We recommend: Signature Black pepper Crabs and wanton noodles (from a different stall but same venue).
247 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427935
Tel: (+65) 6440 5560
It’s your turn now mamas! Anyone live near Joo Chiat and keen to share their favourite haunts? Share the love and leave a comment below.
A full-time copywriter by day, Ana morphs into a free-spirited travel writer on a regular basis, taking long trips and short getaways with her husband and two sprogs almost every month. She tends to prefer UNESCO heritage sites to the nearest family Club Med but is always game for Disneyland in any given city. Other passions include swing dancing (that’s how Ana met her soulmate!), vintage fashion and scoping out street food and good coffee joints in every neighbourhood she visits. You can follow Ana’s adventures here.