We've called the charming heritage neighbourhood of Joo Chiat, 'Home', for the last couple years and have assimilated into the nooks and crannies of the area - as we scoured out beautifully painted walls for photoshoots, turned fellow neighbours into friends, and ate our way through the various joints nestled here. Home to some of the most amazing concept stores (if we may say so ourselves) with imbues this sleepy rustic neighbourhood with an eclectic flair and endearing charm - Joo Chiat is very much our favourite little Singaporean retreat.
Beyond the iconic candy-coloured Peranakan shophouses littered across Koon Seng Road or the glossy Katong I12 mall packed with shopping and dining delights, Joo Chiat also boasts some smaller local eateries that have attracted waves of Singaporeans from all over our little island. In this post, we share with you (slightly begrudgingly!) our best kept secrets from the people who've spent way too many long days and occasional nights working within 331 Joo Chiat Road to bring you nothing but the best from Choo Yilin.
It is a foodie's dream come true
When you mention Joo Chiat and food in the same sentence, several household names are bound to arise such as Chin Mee Chin, for a Singaporean breakfast fit for kings, as well as Fei Fei Wanton Mee, the quintessential midnight supper snack. Mr and Mrs Mohgan's Super Crispy Roti Prata is another crowd favourite, serving up what is arguably Singapore's best prata - you can't go wrong with their famous crisp bites, fluffy centres, and flavourful dough. Our little pro tip? Skip the egg prata and go for the plain to experience their signature crisp exterior!
Our Best Kept Secret: A humble hawker centre on the corner of Koon Seng and Joo Chiat Road. The large signboard at its forefront states Tin Yeang Restaurant, but Teck Ee Rice & Porridge is what draws the crowds. Their Teochew porridge coupled with the delectable home-made chili is a killer combination. Slightly less famous is their Fish Soup store located inside the hawker joint which is honestly our comfort food. Call us creatures of habit but the Choo Yilin team is pretty much permanent fixtures there every Monday for our fish soup fix.
You won't walk away empty handed
It's not exactly your stereotypical shopping heaven, but if you harbour a taste for thoughtful designs and truly original pieces - it's time to make your way to the East. Joo Chiat is home to numerous stores which peddles everything from rattan chairs, to traditional Chinese medicine, and lighting fixtures! It's a treasure trove with knick knacks of all shapes and sizes, in fact, we challenge you to spend a whole day in this enchanting neighbourhood and walk away empty handed. Tried and tested, it's almost impossible. Some of our frequent haunts include The Bloom Room, who imparts a whimsical rustic touch their floral arrangements, as well as Rumah Bebe, for their expansive and incredibly stunning Peranakan collection ranging from ceramics to the Nyonya beaded slippers.
Our Best Kept Secret: The Barkery, for wholesome home-made dog treats without the use of any preservatives or artificial flavouring. Think all-natural cakes, bak kwa, and healthy treats for the furry member of your family. Cat Socrates, which contrary to it's name does not sell products for the feline friends, is teeming with quirky art and home decoration pieces with a strong local theme. Think Soon Keuh pouches and woven Ang Ku Keuh pins!
Joo Chiat offers an authentic, local buzz unique to Singapore, with the neighbourhood's vibe in contrast with the sleek sophistication of Orchard Road or Marina Bay Sands. For us at Choo Yilin, Joo Chiat is a symbol for the soul of our brand – it withholds the significance of our South-East Asian heritage and conservation, is a celebration of multiple generations of Love, and undoubtedly has an incredibly close place to our hearts. In the coming years, we hope that our 331 Joo Chiat boutique will grow to hold many more important stories of love, conservation, and heritage spanning across all personalities and generations.
As we grow to accommodate our dreams and visions, it was undeniable that our space had to develop along with us too. For 2017, we want to create a space at our Joo Chiat boutique that is open, honest, and collaborative - a place where we can celebrate love. After all, that's what home is.
As we prepare to unveil a new space, we're saying Thank You with a bang. From the 20th to 22nd of January, come by 331 Joo Chiat Road for an exclusive sale with up to 70% off selected items. Sign up for our mailing list to get the password for entry at the door today. Each person is entitled to purchase a maximum of 5 sale items.
Mentioned in this article:
Fei Fei Wanton Mee
62 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427785
Mr and Mrs Moghan's Super Crispy Prata
7 Crane Road, Singapore 429356
Chin Mee Chin Confectionary
204 East Coast Road, Singapore 428903
Tin Yeang Restaurant
300 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427551
113 East Coast Road, Singapore 428803
The Bloom Room
315 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427566
326 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427583
448 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427661