The saying, “east side, best side,” may be a contestable one for many Singaporeans, but one can’t deny the fact that the east of our compact city is home to pockets where good food reigns. One such neighbourhood is Joo Chiat, a heritage hub parked near East Coast and Katong, which the Peranakans and Eurasians called home in the 20th century. The former coconut plantation may be a shadow of its former self, thanks to gentrification, but the shophouses that line that area still offer a feast for the eyes to explore.

The feasting isn’t merely visual, because Joo Chiat is a known foodie destination where a variety of cuisines can be unearthed amidst its narrow streets. From Michelin Guide-approved destinations to new-generation cafés, we whittle down some of our favourite dining haunts in this guide on where to eat in Joo Chiat.

Zaffron Kitchen

 

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This 96-seater Northern Indian restaurant is a popular destination for a number of reasons. It manages to serve authentically Indian cuisine while splicing its menu with some contemporary twists (chat masala fries, anyone?) and has an extensive selection of baked goods served piping hot from the tandoor oven. The cheese naan and butter rotis are a must if you visit.

Zaffron Kitchen, 137 East Coast Rd, 135, Singapore 428820, +65 64406786

Long Phung

 

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Known as one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Singapore, Long Phung transports you to the vibrant eateries of Ho Chi Minh with its humble, yet flavourful selection of classic Vietnamese eats. The pho tai is a winner for us, what with the broth being richly flavoured with beef, and the glassy noodles being exceptionally chewy. It’s comfort food done right.

Long Phung, 159 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427436,+65 6440 6959

Ninethirty

 

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Awfully Chocolate’s total domination of Singapore’s shopping malls betrays the fact that it is not just a chocolatier. The brand has its own café in Joo Chiat named Ninethirty, and it is everything you’d expect an Awfully Chocolate bistro to be. Staple café brunch fair accompanies pasta dishes, roasts and sandwiches for lunch and dinner, along with an ample dessert selection to finish your meal.

Ninethirty, 131 East Coast Road, Singapore 428816 +65 6345 2190

Hjh Maimunah

 

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Hjh Maimunah is a name that blankets some of the most famous nasi padang in Singapore, given its presence on the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list, and for good reason as well. Regionally-sourced ingredients amplify the localism of the eatery and give extra richness to its signature dishes, including the delightfully charred meats cooked on a charcoal grill.

Hjh Maimunah, 200 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427357, +65 6348 5457

Sinpopo Brand

 

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Sinpopo is a café determined to tickle nostalgia by blasting you with Singapore’s past, from its décor, accented with vintage props, to its menu, which boasts a medley of familiar hawker fare. The desserts are the true star of Sinpopo though, with its cakes, typically inspired by local desserts, being the ideal teatime treat on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Sinpopo Brand, 458 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427671, +65 6345 5034

Mr and Mrs Mohgan

 

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The pervasiveness of prata eateries in Singapore makes it difficult to crown our city’s best, but Mr and Mrs Moghan comes pretty close. Based in a coffee shop, Mr and Mrs Moghan have been honing their craft for more than 30 years now, and specialise in what they call a “super crispy prata”, cooked on the flat iron stovetop until the circle of dough achieves a crust that breaks into a buttery middle.

Mr and Mrs Moghan, 300 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 429346, +65 9794 3124

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.