Another discreet region, Binjai Park is well known to local denizens for its array of food options. The Chinese art shops that line the road give testament to the history this place holds.
Ivins Peranakan Restaurant
21 Binjai Park
Standing resilient, this Peranakan restaurant opened its doors since the 1970s and has yet to change a thing, from furnishing right down to its tradition family recipes. Try Ivin’s own mix of sambal belachan in stuffed chilli selar (daily market price for fish), as well as the itek sioh ($6.40) for genuine Peranakan goodness. No service charge.
1 Binjai Park
Slightly burnt bits at the bottom only accentuates the claypot goodness that this stall provides in the local kopitiam. Their focus is on pork, served in various forms, from the claypot pig trotters ($5) to claypot pork liver and kidney ($5), and even claypot pig tail ($6).
Bar Bar Black Sheep
879 Bukit Timah Road
This tiny outlet serves as a bar in the local kopitiam, with draft beers available such as the Asahi black ($15 per pint), bottled Erdingers ($12) and Duvels ($12), as well as ciders and wines. www.bbbs.com.sg
Violet Oon Singapore
881 Bukit Timah Road
Let Singapore’s food ambassador bring you on a culinary adventure of Nyonya proportions in this exquisitely designed restaurant. Savour Peranakan culinary delights such as gado gado ($18), buah keluak ayam ($23) and chap chye ($15) before finishing off with some mini kueh salat ($10). www.violetoon.com/violet-oon-singapore-atbukit-timah/
Forture Seafood Restaurant
885 Bukit Timah Road
Before you gripe about the spelling error, the ’R’ was intentional by the restaurant owners, who heeded advice from a feng shui master to improve business. The salted egg crabs ($30/kg) and the signature assam curry fish head ($15) are the way to go.
893 Bukit Timah Road
A hop and a skip away from Cherry Avenue is a mini Santorini in the middle of Bukit Timah. The white and blue decor stands out as this Greek restaurant instantly impresses with their custom made olive oil, used in dishes such as horiatiki ($21.80), xtapodi shara ($29.80), and tzatziki ($14.80).
The sixth is the avenue that counts, being one of the priciest housing districts in the costly Bukit Timah area, just a stone’s throw away from Queen Astrid Park. Lying along this bustling avenue is the first Brazilian churrascaria opened in Singapore, aptly named Brazil Churrasco, where meat cravings are blasted away by their juicy barbecued goodness. Another one of the older tenants lies just adjacent to Sixth Avenue, Pasta Fresca da Salvatore, a classic for those who have heard its old TV jingle.
2 Sixth Avenue
If it’s a pub you seek, then Lazy Lizard is the one you need. The local watering hole where residents congregate at prides itself on their relaxed atmosphere as well as friendly staff and prices. Share some crispy pork belly ($10.80) and the sausage platter ($11.80), before hitting the mains like a cheese burger steak ($13.80), and washing it all down with a Hoegaarden or San Miguel. www.treelizard.com.sg
The Living Café
779 Bukit Timah Road
Taking vegan dining to new heights, The Living Café lives up to its namesake with their offerings of raw food. With low-heat or no cooking done so as to not decrease the digestibility, vitamin and mineral density of ingredients, this diet is said to improve nutrition while eliminating stress. Smoothies such as Chocolate Monkey ($8.50) contains cashew milk and medjool dates among other ingredients, and while salads might be what pops into mind at the thought of raw food, try their raw entrees such as the TLC ’cheese’ burger ($18.50) for a change. www.balancedlivingasia.com/the-living-cafe/
Good Good Eating House
24 Sixth Avenue
This kopitiam offers the usual suspects of chicken rice, bak kut teh and curry rice, but it’s the bowl of abalone noodles ($10) or pacific clams noodle ($6) at this original Jalan Tua Kong 132 stall that you should feast on.
THE OLD STABLES
A long hot walk or a quick drive to the old stables of the former Turf Club will be rewarded by a trip down memory lane as old and nostalgic items greet you in heaps and piles along the road. The stables are now shops filled to the brim with antiques and junk, ranging from Chinese guardian lions to park benches. The owner of one of the shops has been in the business for over 30 years. While there are cheap finds that go for as little as $4, major treasures over $300,000 are also available to those with a discerning eye. To get there on foot: Walk past Blue House Nursery & International Preschool (2 Turf Club Road) and follow the road in.
?Giddy up over to the former horse racing site and embrace the lush greenery and one million square feet lifestyle destination that is the Grandstand. Other than having one of the largest repositories of pre-owned cars right in its backyard, The Grandstand offers a selection of multi-cultural cuisines to tickle your taste buds. Shop and eat at the same time in the farmers market that is Pasarbella (#02-06), housing more than 30 unique stalls. Shop for craft beer (The Great Beer Experiment) and French produce (Quartier) while munching on Iberico pork (Bistro Botintin) and sipping a cuppa (Dutch Colony Coffee Co.). If that isn’t enough, head on down to the Dancing Crab (#01-20) for finger-licking countrystyle Cajun seafood which includes Boston lobsters and Dungeness crabs.
Nestled behind Raffles Girls Primary School lies the quiet enclave that is Greenwood Avenue. Donna Carmela, one of the old timers in the region sticks to tradition with crowd favourites like squid ink pasta, while Fratini La Trattoria mixes it up by not having a fixed menu and serving only the fresh produce of the day. One shop’s popularity draws Singaporeans from all corners of the region to this small area, and that is the chocolate cakes from Lana Cake Shop. With recent news of Violet Kwan’s intent of retiring and the cake shop being put on sale, we can only hope for a worthy successor to this household brand.
Baker & Cook
77 Hillcrest Road
The brainchild of Dean Brettschneider, known internationally as the global baker, is the artisan bakery and foodstore Baker & Cook. Using sourdough culture that is over 25 years old, the bakery products are all hand crafted, with their signature sourdough round loaves adorning countertops to windowsills. Have the eggs benedict ($17) for brunch and munch on their bread, pastries and cakes for tea time after. Just a stroll down the street is Brettschneider’s Baking & Cooking School (opening 11 April) at 1 Greendale Avenue. www.bakerandcook.biz
Greenwood Fish Market Bistro
34 Greenwood Avenue
To shop or to eat. That is the question. And that answer is always a resounding both at this fish market that has been open since 2001. With lobsters, oysters, squid and fish flown in, and using an imported cast iron smoker from Oklahoma, the produce here is of obvious quality. Having sold more than 300,000 servings of their famous fish and chips, it is still going for just $9.50 nett. Mondays see Boston lobsters go for $39.95 per quart (550-650g), and Tuesdays are for oyster lovers with freshly shucked goodness at $1.50 per pop. www.fishshop.com.sg
12 Greenwood Avenue
The most prominent restaurant in Greenwood, with its jazzy signage taking centrestage the moment the shophouses come into sight. Its elegant and bright interior accentuates the clean design, a worthy rival to the plethora of Italian restaurants in Greenwood. Tradition meets luxury in the menu, with classic Italian fare like the spaghetti carbonara ($13.90), and the more opulent dishes such as diver caught Hokkaido scallops ($35), and the Rubato classic”“daily air-flown ’live’ Maine lobster ($68).
KINGS, CROWNS AND DUKES
Aristocracy permeates between the lanes with King’s, Queen’s and Duke’s roads lined up side by side; named in recognition of various royalty in Britain. The old shophouses at Duke’s Road harbour tenants with the newest being Assembly Coffee’s latest venture, Atlas Coffeehouse. Brunch just got better with their butterscotch banana pancake. LeWu Café next door oozes more of a Bali vibe with their laidback alfresco dining, Thai food and cheap beers. Find Crown Bakery & Café (#01-03) nowhere else but at Crown Centre, adjacent to Queen’s Road. The wholesome loaves of sourdough are a result of a food collaboration between Far East Flora and Significant Signifie. Hidden in Kings Arcade lies Little Hiro (#01-01), the lesser known sister shop of Island Creamery, that grills up Hawaiian-Japanese food with their signature Sanzoku black pepper sauce.
Amidst the low rise landed properties and prestigious schools that surround the area, Coronation Shopping Plaza, built in 1979, still stands out in all of its antiquated glory. The Cosy Corner is a shop that fits right into this humble venue, with comfort food like popiah, mee siam, and kueh pie tee and Japanese dishes. The shophouses adjoining the side of the plaza have endured over the years, with old and new such as My Little Spanish Place with its array of tapas and paellas, as well as Choupinette offering French cuisine with their fresh bread.