TIONG BAHRU & FOOD CENTRE (30 Seng Poh Road)
The first market to be built in a residential area in 1955, the former Seng Poh Market is now a modern three-storey building with a wet market on the ground floor and over 50 stalls on the second.
Jian Bo Shui Kueh (#02-05)
Fans travel from all over for this much-imitated steamed treat ($1.20/4 pieces). The rice cake is smooth, soft but not mushy, while the crunchy radish topping is sweet, savoury, nutty with sesame seeds and glistening with aromatic shallot oil. The spicy chilli is a star in its own right. Daily 6.30am-10pm
Tiong Bahru Lor Mee (#02-80)
With two famous lor mee stalls, fans generally fall into either the ’yellow bowl’ or ’green bowl’ (178 Lor Mee, #02-58) camp (both $3). This stall is the former, retaining a more traditional taste with homemade ngoh hiang, fish cake, braised duck, braised egg and fried dumpling in a deliciously thick and not watery gravy–perfect with a big scoop of raw garlic and swirl of vinegar. Tue-Sun 6am-9pm
Tiong Bahru Roast ed Pig Specialist (#02-38)
With a few branches, this 50-year-old Cantonese meat stall still draws queues and orders for its char siew, roast pork and roast duck. Insiders go straight for the crisp-as-advertised suckling pig ($188) that rivals many restaurants. Daily 7am-8pm. www.tiongbahruroastedpig.com.sg
Yong Seng Coffee Powder (#01-44)
Love your kopi over third wave coffee? Here’s the place to stock up on a variety of Robusta, Arabica and butterroasted beans from Malaysia.
Organic Vegetables (#01-182-183)
Don’t be surprised to see olive dips alongside organic Taiwanese carrots in a beautiful yellow hue. There’s no need to head to Cold Storage when this stall stocks a range of produce suited to western meals, from rocket leaves to beetroot.
ENG HOON STREET
The main commercial stretch is probably most famous for the bustling Tiong Bahru Bakery, which opened in 2012 (taking over an egg wholesaler store).
Kopitiam (#01-46, 56 Eng Hoon)
Aside from the famous yong tau foo, 10-month-old Ah Bong Italian stall is gaining traction. Ex-accountant Chris Ng parlayed a culinary diploma from at-Sunrice into a simple stall serving comfort al dente noodles the likes of mac n cheese ($6), and pasta with snail pomodoro ($8). Mon-Sat 10am-2.30pm. www.fb.com/abititalian. At night, the whole kopitiam transforms into Day & Night pizzeria and taproom, with a similar Western menu to its predecessor Two Face. Tue-Thu 5-11pm, Fri-Sat 5.30pm-12am, Sun 10am-10pm
House of Peranakan Petit (42 Eng Hoon)
Chef-owner Bob Seah of House of Peranakan Group has set up his third and most modern branch. The traditionals are still lip-smackingly comforting, but don’t miss new creations such as Bob’s braised pork buns ($10) and scallop lemak ($28), where the lemak rempah melds beautifully with juicy Japanese scallops. Wed-Mon 12-3pm, 6-10pm. Tel: 6222 1719
Foodie Market Place (225 Outram Road)
Tucked away is this gourmet store at heartland prices. Chilled beef and lamb, frozen groceries, assortment of pastas, cheeses and sauces, and various drinks and snacks often run out of stock due to their wildly affordable prices. Think: Australian 150-day grain fed Black Angus striploin at $4.30/100g. Be prepared to queue at the butcher’s section on weekends as families stock up on meats for roasts and steaks. Tue-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Tel: 6224 3290
Fassler Gourmet (#01-55, 55 Tiong Bahru Road)
Alongside Foodie, Fassler is the other gourmet goto. The store, which started as a pop-up, stocks an incredible array of sashimi-grade fish including its famous salmon and ikura (all of which are supplied to hotels and restaurants too). Newly stocked are ready-to-go meals such as sandwiches. Tue-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Tel: 6221 3055
Qi Tian Gong Temple (44 Eng Hoon)
Popularly referred to as the Monkey God Temple, the colourful house of worship houses more than 10 monkey god statues, the oldest dating almost a century old. Celebrations include Chinese street opera and lion and dragon dances. Daily 7am-5pm. www.qitiangong.com
The Tiong Bahru Club Singapura (#01-88, 57 Eng Hoon)
It’s an uphill task taking over a beloved kopitiam, but the new operators have done a sensitive restoration job. The same folks behind Chaiholics offer an all-day menu with chai drinks and beer. The food blends “Old Raj’ flavours with local favourites, such as satay, devil’s curry and nasi goreng. The recently launched Yum lunch bento ($7.50-9.50) offers Club Nasi Lemak and classic beef rendang. (As for Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice, it’s moved to 71 Seng Poh.) Mon-Thu 8.30am-11pm, Fri-Sun 8.30am-12am. Tel: 6438 0168. www.fb.com/thesingapuraclub
YONG SIAK STREET
Where the hipsters first moved in. Made famous by 40 Hands (2009) and BooksActually (2010), Yong Siak is the other commercial stretch with an ever-changing cast of characters.
Open Door Policy (19 Yong Siak)
One of the earliest diners to move in, OD P by the same group as 40 Hands and Tiong Bahru Bakery initially took over an old-school stationery store and retained those elements. The bistro has just been spruced up from its early rustic look, so expect plush chairs and a modern menu from head chef Daniele Sperindio. Liberal amounts of pine nuts adorn the lean, flavourful kangaroo fillet while guacamole risotto nearly steals the show with oozing egg yolk and crÃƒ ¨me fraiche topped with tortilla chips. Daily 12-3pm, 6-11pm. Tel: 6221 9307, www.odpsingapore.com
Plain Vanilla (1D Yong Siak)
Walk past the turquoise coloured bikes, potted herbs, artwork and shared bench seating, and step into a cupcake wonderland with real credentials. At $3.90 each or $22 for six, you might wonder if the meticulously handmade creations are worth the splurge–we say yes. All flavours, such as the carrot, dark chocolate ganache and seasonal specials like caramelised figs and raspberry rose, are made with French butter, Madagascar bourbon vanilla, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, and fresh fruit. Tue-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-6pm. Tel: 6465 5942
Super Farmers (1M Yong Siak)
Formerly housing the Crateful pop-up, the space is now temporarily home to urban farmer Cynthea Lam’s retail pop-up till September. The project helps people start their own home farming projects, whether for edibles or even decorative, in the quest to promote food awareness, health and sustainability. Daily 11am-6pm. www.fb.com/superfarmers
Hua Bee/Bincho (#01-19, 78 Moh Guan Terrace)
Longtime residents have a soft spot for Hua Bee mee pok stall, which has been around for over 70 years. The place is seemingly frozen in time, even enshrined in the 1995 movie Mee Pok Man by Eric Khoo. In 2013, conservation-minded entrepreneur Loh Lik Peng took over the space but decided to leave Hua Bee to operate in the front, while high-end yakitori grill Bincho operates at the back. It’s a winning combination for everyone. (Hua Bee) Tue-Sat, 7am-2pm. (Bincho) Tue-Sun 12-3pm, 6-11pm. Tel: 6438 4567, www.bincho.com.sg