Enjoy healthy vegan ice cream, acai bowls, chicken rice, traditional pastries, scrummy brunch item, and artisanal ice cream. Plus, there’s even an organic supermarket hidden within a mall!

This Peranakan and Eurasian enclave used to be a seafront neighbourhood before the East Coast land reclamation scheme in the late 1960s. Home of the gentry up till the mid- 20th century, the road is dotted with quaint shophouses and heritage bungalows, many of which were once holiday villas and mansions. Today, the streets are busy again with boutique hotels, shopping malls and hip eateries taking over the historic structures of yesteryear.

 

I12 Katong

Taking over the spot of now defunct Katong Mall and Katong People’s Complex, I12 Katong is considered to be the first real modern mall to be opened along East Coast Road—surrounding malls mainly feature hair salons, enrichment centres and eateries. Attractions include delicious eats like Canton Paradise (#B1- 15) and Fu Lin Yong Tau Foo (#04-01); kicky shops like Naiise (#01-31/32), as well as the world’s first Peranakan-inspired cinema (#04-09).

The Chop House (#01-13)
Tuck into a selection of hearty, western dishes like grilled meat, juicy burgers as well as scrummy pasta. Great for sharing with your other half is the mixed grilled platter, which comes with Australian grass-fed beef tenderloin, dorper lamb cutlets, and kurobuta pork and lamb sausages at just $68. Tel: 6443 1011

GastroSmiths (#03-06)
Located within furniture store, HomesToLife, this bistro serves up a decadent spread of innovative Japanese-western delights. Fuel up on hearty dishes like halibut katsu sandwich ($18) or Hokubee ribeye don V2 ($29) featuring black truffle, succulent beef, green tapenade rice and sous-vide egg. They have an extensive array of vegetarian options too, including a cauliflower penne pomodoro ($16) and mushroom ‘escargots’ ($6). Tel: 6443 0658

Katong Shopping Centre (865 Mountbatten Road)

This iconic blue and yellow building has been around since 1973 and is the first air-conditioned mall in Singapore. Lately, the 90,000 square foot shopping centre has been in the press, as it goes on collective sale—many are eager to know what will happen to this landmark, which houses great eats, maid agencies, tuition centres, trusted tailors and more.

Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice (#B1-85/87)
Big eaters will love this hidden gem. On top of their generous serving of chicken, they also offer free-flowing achar and delicious cabbage chicken soup to go along with your meal ($5). If you find the accompanying yellow rice a little dry, it’s because you have to douse the rice with the addictive sesame oil that comes with the chicken.

Dona Manis Cake Shop (#B1-93)
Visit this old school bakery before it is gone. Everything here is handmade with love and taste as delicious as they do eons ago. They are best known for their creamy banana pie ($2.50) and chocolate tarts ($4), and it’s highly recommend you head there before lunch time to snag a piece. Tel: 6440 7688

Birds of Paradise (#01-05, 63 East Coast Road)
The mouth-watering aroma of thyme-herbed cones that’s cooking on the griddle lures you into this hip space. Inspired by botany, Birds of Paradise scoops up guilt-free treats ($4.70/single; $7.70/double) that are less sweet and oozing in floral flavours. Crowd favourites include the delicate white chrysanthemum with cocoa bits and the invigorating strawberry basil. Tel: 9678 6092

Brownrice Ice Cream (53 East Coast Road)
This vegan-friendly ice cream parlour uses organic brown rice in place of milk and eggs. Don’t let that turn you off though; the ice cream is super tasty and comes in delicious flavours like gula melaka, pistachio and Nutella ($3.50/single). Best part? It’s low in fat and boasts about 30 percent lesser calories than the usual icy treat. Tel: 6348 2295

An Acai Affair (101 East Coast Road)
Eastsiders no longer have to travel far for their fix of the famed Brazilian super food. Look forward to refreshing bites like the acai chia parfait (from $6.30), where layers of acai and chia pudding are topped with fresh fruits, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, and other healthy garnishes. Tel: 9792 0837

Udipi Ganesh Vilas (10 Ceylon Road)
Located opposite the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar temple, this hole-ina- wall eatery is not known by many (even those living in the East), and serves up wholesome Indian vegetarian meals. Prices are kept low—you can get a satisfying poori set for just $2.30, which comes with a variety of side dishes. On the counter, you will find fried snacks for takeaway as well as Indian sweets. Tel: 6348 7708

Village Hotel Katong

Built in 1983 and later remodelled in 2011, this 12-storey hotel was designed to reflect the precinct’s Peranakan heritage, and is perfect for those seeking a culturally rich staycation.

Group Therapy Katong (#01-11)
Hidden on the first floor of the mall is Group Therapy’s east side branch. Their brunch menu impresses, and offers more than just your usual waffles and poached eggs (although they offer them too). Look forward to unique creations like their pumpkin pancake ($18) that’s topped with a perfect poached egg, Hollandaise sauce and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. Tel: 6440 4282

Two Sisters Pantry (#02-05 Roxy Square)
Tucked away on the second floor of Roxy Square is a mini grocery store featuring high quality certified organic products, mainly imported from Australia and New Zealand. Have fun at their Pick Your Own section, where you can fill up a paper bag (save the earth and bring your own container) with organic goodies like chia seeds, chocolates or nut mix, and pay according to weigh. Tel: 6440 5540

East Manhattan (#01-04) Go for their freshly baked multi-seed loaves ($5.80) and artisanal spinach rosemary loaf ($4.80), which stay moist even after a few days and are gluten free. Choice picks from creative baker-owner John Wee: charcoal apricot, turmeric rosemary and matcha tomato. A selection of tarts and cakes (from $5.80) such as the refreshing lemon meringue chiffon also sit pretty in the display fridge. Tel: 9639 4179

Kebabs & More (125 East Coast Road)
The latest tenant in kicky kopitiam AliBaBar, Kebabs & More dishes out authentic Turkish grub like baba ghanoush ($4.50) and beef kofta wrap ($7.90). Perfect over a pint of beer is their Kebabs Plate ($24.50) filled with tender pieces of lamb, chicken and beef cubes.

Food Champs (195 East Coast Road)
This newly-opened Hong Kong inspired eatery was previously based in a coffee shop at Jalan Besar. Serving handmade dim sums, we especially love their delicious yam fritter ($4.50), which comes packed with tender chunks of their roasted char siew. Popular among the lunch crowd is their platter of roast pork, char siew and duck (from $6.50) that’s served with springy noodles. Tel: 6297 1612

99 BBQ (99 East Coast Road)
Using only prime grade meat, diners can look forward to juicy cuts of LA galbi, beef and pork bulgogi and marinated pork belly at this Korean barbecue restaurant. The price is real affordable too, at $19.90 for lunch (12-3pm) and $32 for dinner (5-11pm). What a steal. Tel: 6440 0507

Lower East Side Taqueria (19 East Coast Road) Swing on by to this vibrant dinner venue if you’re hankering for Mexican nosh. A great dinner and drinks joint, shoot back shots of tequila as you chow down their delicious Chili con Carne Trio Tacos. Those with a penchant for spice; we dare you to douse your food in their spicy hot sauces—it left our mouths burning! For a more sumptuous treat, order the Pinchos De pollo; a skewer of grilled chicken, capsicums and pineapple, all marinated in a scrummy Mexican spice mix. Tel: 6348 1302

Carvers & Co (43 East Coast Road)
It’s all about the meat at this laidback bistro. Great with an ice cold beer is their fried beef tripe bits ($8), which is accompanied with fresh tomato dip to cut through the oiliness. For sharing, order the Carvers Plate ($30) that’s piled high with their signature cola pork ribs, smoky beef brisket and a bratwurst. Tel: 6348 0448