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Ignite your taste buds at Maxwell Food Centre

1 Kadayanallur St

A visit to Chinatown is never complete without dropping by Maxwell Food Centre. Rated as one of the best hawker centres in Singapore, you have to try all the local delights on the cheap right here. One of the most nostalgic treats is Maxwell’s Fuzhou’s deep fried Oyster cake. The crunchy snack is always served piping hot, and it is packed with a hearty portion of juicy pork mince, prawns, oysters and Chinese celery. 

You can also easily get your dessert fixed at Woong Kee Traditional Dessert which is also one of the highlights. Every bowl of beancurd is scooped to order, so rest assured that you will get a freshly prepared beancurd. Made with black soybeans, Black Bean Curd with White Syrup is their signature beancurd and it is widely known to be smoother and softer than the original. No matter which beancurd you set your eyes on, you can always choose your preferred syrups and toppings from a variety of options to make it even more flavourful.

Indonesian delicacy served up at Aspirasi Chicken Stall is a must-try as well. Here, you get thickly battered fried chicken that comes with various sauces such as sambal, sweet & sour, lemon, and black pepper. Topped with crispy crumbs, every bite of this fried chicken is packed with flavour. What’s more, you can always top up your fried crumbs for free so there’s no need to scrimp and save the crumbs till the last bite. Other popular local delicacies that you should not miss would include Dim Sum and Prata!

Venture into the fictional world and let yourself be lost

Realty Centre, 15 Enggor Street, #12-01

This halal, non-alcoholic rooftop bar is definitely a gem right in the heart of the Financial District. 

Wanderlost’s dining space gives you a feeling of homeliness – sofas, rugs and potted plants. You can also find some of the classic story books in there as well. Its dining area extends to the alfresco rooftop area, where you can bask in the amazing views of neighbouring skyscrapers. It also has an instagram-worthy corner for your usual #ootd where you can strike a pose with a neon pink sign as your backdrop.

Photo courtesy of Wanderlost Lounge
Photo courtesy of Wanderlost Lounge

The bar’s concept revolves around childrens’ storybooks and classic novels. Its bespoke mocktails are carefully crafted with the drinkers’ wellness in mind. The ingredients used are healthy products like fruits, spices, juices, and herbs. Be wowed by their selection of drinks like The Ugly Duckling, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, and The Alchemist.

Enjoy your mocktails with a huge variety of food to taste. If you are health conscious, don’t worry about savouring every bite as their food is mainly grilled and oven-baked.

Photo courtesy of Wanderlost Lounge
Photo courtesy of Wanderlost Lounge

Limited seats are available at Wanderlost so be sure to make your reservations in order to not be disappointed!

Feast on hawker food like never before at Lau Pa Sat

18 Raffles Quay

Lau Pa Sat, or directly translated to Old Market, is the place to be for a quintessential hawker-centre-style dining experience. Let us give you a little history about the place first before we delve into the gastronomic aspect of it.

Lau Pa Sat was previously known as Telok Ayer Market, and it was first opened in 1823. However, upon its completion, the building was deemed as unsafe. The timber and attap structure was declared defective, and was later replaced by tiles on the roof. But the structure remained unsafe up to 1830. A new market building was then introduced on the same site in 1833. 

As the decades went by, the city experienced new changes and developments. Eventually, the area was planned to be redeveloped into a commercial and financial district in the early 1970s. This would mean that the wet market will become out of place among other commercial buildings. In 1972, the building stopped operating as a wet market and transformed into a hawker centre. It was also gazetted as a national monument in the same year.

A decade later, Telok Ayer Market was again converted into a festival market and was officially renamed Lau Pa Sat in 1989. Lau Pa Sat underwent one final refurbishment and reopened in 2014. The key feature that is still standing since the 1800s is the clock tower that has a clock face on every side and the bell still chimes every 15 minutes. 

Today, it remains a significant landmark nestled within the towering skyscrapers of the Central Business District. It is also a popular lunch venue for the office workers, and a hot dinner spot for tourists. 

If you are looking to try some of Singapore’s popular hawker foods, Lau Pa Sat has plenty to offer – such as chicken rice, satay and seafood. There are a few stalls offering similar dishes so be sure to look at the different menus before you order. Lau Pa Sat also has Halal options available for our Muslim friends. The hawker centre becomes more bustling at night when Boon Tat St is closed and the hawkers set up their tables and chairs on the road. Relish the smells, sights and sounds of Singapore’s favourite hawker centre. Here’s the best part, it is only a 5 minute walk from Heritage Collection on Cecil.

The new tallest building in Singapore!

1 Wallich St

Standing at a height of 290 metres, Guoco Tower is a mixed-use development skyscraper and it is also Singapore’s tallest building! Yes, it’s the building that’s piercing towards the sky.

Guoco Tower is an integrated development, where you can find a good mix of commercial, office, retail and residential spaces within the 64-storey building. The construction of the tower forms part of the effort to rejuvenate and revitalise the Tanjong Pagar district. The towering skyscraper also adds a hint of modernity amongst the heritage shophouses you can find in the area. Guoco Tower has also received international recognition for its design, architecture as well as its commitment to environmental sustainability. Its eco-friendly features include energy-efficient lighting and water systems and glass facade to minimise solar heat gain. 

Guoco Tower has a range of options for dining and socialising with co-workers, friends and family. Immerse yourself and be spoilt for choice within its 100,000 square foot of retail and dining options that spans across 6 storeys. For our foodies, they have a dynamic mix of food options to choose from, and you can find most of them in the basement floor of the building, which is also conveniently connected to Tanjong Pagar MRT Station. 

Kick off your shoes, relax and unwind at its 150,000 square foot Urban Park. It has a green lawn, rooftop gardens, and a wide open space sheltered by a glass canopy for recreational and lifestyle events such as pop-up stores, Zumba classes or just enjoy their lunchtime pop-up shows. Stay updated with their latest happenings by following their Facebook or Instagram accounts so as to not miss anything that peaks your interest!

Be embraced by the familiar sweet, musky smell of books

20 Duxton Rd

Tucked within yet another heritage shophouse is this little gem known as Littered With Books. Located just 3 minutes away from Heritage Collection on Tanjong Pagar, this independent bookstore is home to a wide genre of books – from literary, non-fiction, and sci-fi to travel narratives and children’s books.

Book-lovers, this place is your haven! As you step into the store, you will be embraced by the familiar sweet, musky smell that drifts into your nose. This smell lingers as you browse through the neatly organised books, and lose yourself in your little happy place. 

You may feel a little lost when you first visit the store but don’t worry – their friendly owners will be happy to show you around and give you the best recommendations. We suggest reading their blog or follow them on Facebook to get on the latest updates on the store.

Learn a little bit more about our Peranakan friends

157 Neil Road

Photo from NUS Baba House’s Facebook page – go check them out!

Heard of the term Peranakan? Peranakans often fall in between the cracks of our traditional notions of race in Southeast Asia. It was historically used as a term to refer to the various ethnic and cultural groups that were scattered across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. One of the most prominent Peranakan groups in Singapore is none other than the Peranakan-Chinese. Bet some of you didn’t know that our first Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was also a Peranankan descendent, right?

Visiting the 3-storey townhouse with more than 160 years of history will help you better understand the Peranakan culture and heritage. As a past ancestral home to a Peranakan Chinese, you will get to explore the history of the Straits Chinese through the lens of the Wee family who descended from shipping merchant Wee Bin. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the collections of exquisite Peranakan artefacts and historical records of the Straits Chinese that may sometimes leave you in awe. 

However, you should note that visits to the House are strictly by appointment and visitors are required to sign up in advance for a heritage tour. So, remember to do your research and book in advance!

Rickshaws used to roam our streets

1 Neil Rd

Jinrikisha is a Japanese word that translates to “man-powered carriage”. It is also known as the rickshaw –  a small cart with large wheels that is pulled by a single man. When it was first introduced on the island in 1869, rickshaws replaced horse-drawn carriages as the primary mode of transportation for the general public due to their affordability. The rapidly increasing demand for rickshaws saw its numbers doubled in 1902 from 2,000 in 1883.

The building was built in 1903 and opened in the following year to serve as the main depot for rickshaws. The shape of the building site gave rise to the unique design of the station, a “V”-shaped structure featuring a curved corner facade topped with a square tower with an octagonal cupola. The station was a centre for the registration of new rickshaws and the inspection of the serviceability of those plying the streets until the start of WWII.

After the war in 1945, trishaws took over as the popular mode of transportation. There were also concerns and criticisms on rickshaws as a mode of transportation that insulted human dignity and infringed upon human rights. The colonial government then enacted a ban on rickshaws in 1947. Rickshaw pullers became trishaw riders, and the station became obsolete. It was eventually reused as a family-planning clinic, and maternal and child care centre before it was gazetted in 1987 as part of the Tanjong Pagar conservation area. 

In 1989, the national monument was slated for commercial redevelopment, where the building was converted into a shopping and recreation centre. In December 2007, celebrity Jackie Chan bought the building at the price of S$11 million. 

The building is located just minutes from Maxwell food center. So drop by after lunch and see marvel at this historical landmark.

It’s a small world of musical boxes

168 Telok Ayer St

Whenever we hear ‘musical box’ the soothing melodies of Für Elise starts playing in our head. Musical boxes were a popular and important symbol of European culture back in the 19th and 20th Centuries. During the colonial era, Singapore played a major role in the progress and development of musical boxes in Southeast Asia.

The museum officially opened on 14 January 2016, and it is still fairly new. It is housed in the Chong Wen Ge building. Translated to the “Institute for the Veneration of Literature”, it was the first educational institute set up in 1849 by the Chinese community in Singapore. In 1915, it became Singapore’s first Hokkien girls’ school, Chong Hock Girls’ School. 

Come visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum where you get to discover how musical boxes gain traction, how they made their way to our shores in the 19th Century, and be enchanted by antique musical boxes!

Tallest public residential building in Singapore!

1G Cantonment Rd

Have you ever come across photos of these towers, and have always wondered what they were? Towering over the Tanjong Pagar shophouses are actually the world’s tallest public residential buildings. Standing at 50 storeys or 163m high, these public housing developments are atypical of Singapore’s Housing Development Board’s (HDB) public housing projects. The Pinnacle @ Duxton emerged as a winner at the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Annual Awards Programme 2019. The success of the building inspired the development of other high-rise public housing projects like SkyVille and SkyTerrace at Dawson located in the Queenstown neighbourhood.

Completed in 2009, The Pinnacle @ Duxton is home to 1,848 families in seven high-rise residential blocks. These blocks are linked by a series of sky bridges and sky gardens located on the 26th and 50th floors. Each of these sky gardens are 500m long, and forms the world’s two longest sky gardens. The heart of the city is not only home to the world’s tallest public housing buildings, but also the world’s longest sky bridges, and that is amazing! 

On the 26th storey sky bridge, you can find facilities such as a jogging track, fitness corner, outdoor gym and children’s playground. However, these facilities are only exclusive to residents. The general public can access only the 50th storey sky bridge, where you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the city at no cost at all! Do note that for safety reasons, only 1,000 people are allowed on each skybridge, at any one time. So, if you want to see Singapore from a higher vantage point, head on down to the Pinnacle @ Duxton when you’re here – just a ten minute walk Heritage Collection.

Seek the greatest treasures of the old within the new

Tanjong Pagar lies in the heart of the Business District. It is home to towering skyscrapers and also other hidden gems located within the Heritage shophouses in the area. In Malay, Tanjong Pagar means “cape of stakes” – reflecting its origins as a fishing village as the area had many kelongs (offshore fishing traps).

Tanjong Pagar has many streets that hold quirky tales. It is also within the Tanjong Pagar ward, where our late founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew stood for elections.  

Aerial view of crowds at junction of Wallich Street and Tras Street during Prime Minister Lee
Kuan Yew’s speech rally during his tour of Tanjong Pagar and Chinatown

On the junction of Cecil Street lies Boon Tat Street. It holds tremendous historical significance. The street takes its name after Ong Lee Boon Tat, a former municipal commissioner and businessman who owns New World Park –  an amusement park in Jalan Besar.

This was what Boon Tat Street looked like in the past!

Along Boon Tat Street today, you can find a variety of food options to choose from – perfect for our foodies!

Scroll down to find out what are some of the gems you can find in this neighbourhood. 

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