328 Katong Laksa
Well-patronised by the locals, 328 Katong Laksa is arguably one of the forerunners for this hearty noodle-in-thick spicy gravy dish. No chopsticks are required as the noodles have been shortened to eat with a Chinese soup spoon. The dish comes topped with fragrant laksa herbs and a sweet chili paste. Be prepared to wait for a table during peak times.
- Address: 216 East Coast Road
- Tel: +65 9732 8163
Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice
One of the top local favourites with several branches, Boon Tong Kee serves a marvelous chicken rice – tenderly poached white chicken placed on rice cooked in a chicken broth with ginger and garlic, and accompanied by cucumber slices, chili-lime sauce, pureed ginger and thick black soy sauce.
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 11:00 - 22:00 (last order 21:30)
- Address: 199 East Coast Road, Singapore 428902
- Tel: +65 6478 1462
Chilli Padi Nonya Restaurant
With an interior decorated with Nonya artefacts, the restaurant/shophouse has won accolades for its genuine cuisine. Among its popular dishes are sayoh lodeh (vegetable curry), Nonya assam curry fish and sambal sotong (squid cooked in spicy sauce).
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 - 14:30 and 17:30 - 22:00
- Address: 11 Joo Chiat Place #01-03, Singapore 486350
- Tel: +65 6275 1002
Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
For more than 60 years, this nostalgic local breakfast joint with ceiling fans and dated mosaic tiles have attracted hordes of residents and the congregation from the nearby church for its thick black coffee, kaya toast (egg-custard jam), old-fashioned cakes and pastries. Its Easter hot cross buns are a sell-out.
- Address: 204 East Coast Road, Singapore 428903
- Tel: +65 6345 0419
East Coast Lagoon Food Village
An extremely popular location by the beach, this food village is designed with a tropical feel with boardwalks and beach umbrella tables. It’s a fantastic place to chill out with a beer and watch the beach activities. Satay, laksa, rojak and oyster omelette are some of the popular dishes here.
- Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 21:00
- Address: 1220 East Coast Parkway, Singapore 468960
East Coast Seafood Centre
An enormous one-stop centre on the East Coast Parkway with several restaurants specializing in Singapore-style seafood by the beachfront. Must-try dishes are the Chili crab, Singapore’s unofficial ‘national dish’ – crabs cooked in a fiery chili-spiked sauce which is usually mopped up with Chinese buns and the black pepper crab. Open from 5 pm onwards.
Jumbo Seafood #01-07/08, 1206 East Coast Parkway Tel: +65 6442 3435
Long Beach Seafood #01-04, 1201 East Coast Parkway Tel: +65 6448 3636
No Signboard Seafood #01-02, 1202 East Coast Parkway Tel: +65 6448 9959
Red House Seafood #01-05, 1204 East Coast Parkway Tel: +65 6442 3112
Chin Wah Heng Seafood #01-01, East Coast Seafood Centre Tel: +65 6444 7967
Gold Coast Restaurant #01-03, East Coast Seafood Centre Tel: +65 6448 2020
Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant
A Peranakan landmark since 1953, Guan Hoe Soon is renowned for its authentic cuisine painstakingly preserved for generations. Savour its ngoh hiang (spiced meat rolls), babi pong tay (pork stewed in soy sauce and spices), udang sambal (prawn in spicy paste) and hee peow soup (fish maw soup) to name a few.
- Address: 38/40 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427762
- Tel: +65 6344 2761
Mel's Place Bar & Bistro
Akin to dining in a bucolic old residential bungalow complete with a pretty garden, Mel’s Place offers a mixed menu of western fare ranging from pasta, grills and sandwiches. Try the porcini chicken, aglio olio mare or the chef's burger. Sports programs play on the TV screens and there is live music on certain nights.
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 17:00 - 01:00, Sun 11:30 - 14:30 and 17:00 - 01:00
- Address: 2A Kuo Chuan Ave, Singapore 426897
- Tel: +65 6440 3573
Old Airport Road Food Centre
In stark comparison to Lau Pa Sat, the Old Airport Road Food Centre is not particularly pretty, a little outside the city centre and not that well-frequented by tourists. Yet, this 30-year-old food centre is widely considered by locals to be the best hawker centre in Singapore, both in terms of value, and more importantly: taste.
Specialities here include the satay noodles, char kway teow (noodle dish), and rojak (an Indonesian fruit/vegetable salad). Prices are consistent with the rest of Singapore’s hawker centres, with a basic noodle soup costing less than five dollars - although you can pay more like $S10 for larger meat-based dishes.
- Opening Hours: Around 08:00 and close at 23:00
- Address: Block 51, Old Airport Road, Geyland, Singapore
Home-style Nonya cooking is the hallmark here. Feast on ayam buah keluak (chicken cooked with nuts in a rich gravy), chap chye (braised mixed vegetables), babi pongteh (pork in fermented soya bean gravy), itek tim (duck and salted vegetable soup) and more.
- Address: 210 East Coast Road
- Tel: +65 6440 6195
Sin Heng Claypot Bak Koot
A 24-hour no frills restaurant whose specialty is pork ribs simmered for a long time in a peppery herbal broth in a claypot. Not to be missed also are the innards, pork leg and pig’s tail in a claypot. Non-pork favourites include sweet & sour sliced fish, claypot prawn with vermicelli, and chicken wings with prawn paste. Be prepared to wait for a table at peak times and at weekends.
- Address: 439 Joo Chiat Road
- Tel: +65 6345 8754