Widely known as the national cake of Singapore, Pandan chiffon cake is very much loved by the locals. However, it is also very difficult to find a bakery that specializes in Pandan Chiffon cake like Pure Pandan.
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Pure Pandan prides itself on sourcing all natural juice from real Pandan leaves, and staying true to its old-fashioned techniques to ensure the highest quality of its bakes. The texture of its Pandan cake has been acclaimed by many to be airy, soft and fluffy. Everything about this cake is delicate — from the pandan flavour and fragrance.
Now, you can even enjoy Pandan swiss rolls in addition to its signature chiffon cakes which are equally tasty. Although Pandan cake may sound like a simple recipe, you’ll be surprised by the flavourful, heavenly kick in every soft bite that a Pandan cake can deliver.
Fluffy and spongy, this aromatic cake can be eaten as an afternoon tea snack or saved for a dessert— if you’re looking for pandan alternatives, they also serve Pandan Durian and Pandan Cream Cheese. So, go give it a try!
Craving for a tasty unique snack while shopping in Chinatown? Fret not, simply head down to Tong Heng Egg Tart that is just around the corner to get your quick fix. This renowned bakery is best known for its traditional Chinese pastries in town, especially its classic egg tarts — crumbly and buttery pastries topped with smooth egg custard filling which melts in the mouth. While at it, do try other flavours or pastries like Chicken Curry Crisp, Wife Pastry, Red Bean Paste Pastry or even their Mini Mooncakes.
Don’t be fooled by their miniature sizes, they can be really addictive!
Lunchtime expedition doesn’t just stop at Maxwell Food Centre. In fact, Amoy Food Centre is another pitstop where foodies hang out not just for lunch but also for a hearty breakfast.
Coffee Break, situated at level 2, never fails to draw a huge crowd with its unique toast-and-coffee offerings every morning. This coffee business has been around since 1935, and now that it is in the hands of the third generation, you can certainly find modern interpretations of coffee flavours like Macadamia, Caramel Rum, Sea Salt Mint and more. Surprisingly, they are exceptionally delicious and quality ingredients like arabica beans and nanyan beans have been used to ensure that customers get the best value out of it.
If you have a sheer love for traditional hand-made Teochew kueh, then you have to patronise Cha Dian. Here, Cha Dian specialises in a whole range of savoury, vegetable-stuffed kueh that come either steamed or fried. The outer layer is never overly thick and the filings are generous. Topped with an extra dollop of dark sweet sauce, that’s simply perfect for a quick snack.
Fusion food is not a new concept but a dish that infuses noth Japanese elements and Indonesian flavours is rarely spotted. At Amoy, this is what makes Rayyan’s Waroeng Penyet stand out among the rest. Inspired by Japanese Don, the owners created a Balinese-Japanese fusion dish – Balinesé Gyudon served with Japanese rice, caramelized chicken chunks, a variety of spices and a poached egg. Every bite into the ingredients delivers a punchy flavor and terrific fragrance which to some, the flavor combination is simply gratifying. Amoy Food Centre is home to great eats. If you are still craving for more, you can try out other local or contemporary fusion delicacies at Thami’s, Kinobe, Wah Kee Noodles and Hakka Yong Tau Foo too!
If you are a fusion-food lover, you’re in luck. Without having to get on the next flight out to Japan, you get to indulge in a bowl of Wagyu beef donburi for just $10. Imagine the delicate slices of roasted wagyu dressed on top of a mound of Japanese short-grained rice coated in spicy rich sriracha sauce. Oh, and not forgetting the finishing touch — an onsen egg carefully topped off the mountain of treasure. Just $10? Yes, it’s definitely a steal!
Next to the murals at Amoy Food Centre, you can easily find A Noodle Story, well recognized by Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide since 2016. Do not expect authentic ramen at A Noodle Story, rather be prepared to taste a premium rendition of wanton mee and prawn mee with a Japanese ramen twist. You can catch how our “hawkerpreneurs” cleverly take our local delicacies a step further by infusing Japanese cuisine into their creation right at their stall. They serve up springy, umami-laden noodles adorned with tender slices of 36-hour sous vide pork belly char siew, a crispy potato-wrapped prawn, large succulent wantons, an onsen egg that will make you salivate even before you start digging in.
Amidst the urban sprawl, Telok Ayer is one street that remains home to several earliest religious and communitarian institutions, and the Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre is one of them.
The Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre was fully completed in 1830 and was originally constructed as a shrine for Shahul Hamid Durgha from Nagore, India. Shahul Hamid was a saint from India who propagated Islam through his noble work and curing the sick. The shrine is a replica of the original shrine in India and does not house any bodily relic of the saint.
The building was gazetted as a national monument on 19 November 1974. It underwent major renovations in 2007 and remained closed to the public. It later reopened in May 2011 as Nagore Dargah Heritage Centre which showcases a mix of both the emotional journeys and valuable contributions made by our early Indian-Muslim settlers.
The two-storey building’s bright peach and white colours are easy to spot. So be sure, to step into the heritage centre to discover more about the culture, diaspora and heritage of the region’s Indian Muslim community through the various exhibits and artefacts.
Venturing deeper into Chinatown, you’re likely to find yourself standing in awe in front of the majestic Sri Mariamman Temple. Like every visitor, you simply cannot ignore the marvel of this elaborately carved 6-tiered tower over the temple gates. It is absolutely stunning!
The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It was constructed in 1827 for worship by immigrants from the Nagapattinam and Cuddalore districts of South India. It was first constructed out of wood and attap, and then converted into a brick-and-plaster temple in 1843. In 1973, Sri Mariamman Temple was declared a National Monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board. Back in the colonial days, the temple was once the Registry of Marriages for Hindus
If you’re looking to immerse yourself further in this culturally-rich experience, be sure to catch the age-old Hindu rituals performed by priests, worshippers and musicians in the early evenings at the temple. However, remember to adhere to the temple’s strict etiquette and dress codes before you enter. If you’re visiting between mid-October and mid-November, you are in luck! Make sure you take this opportunity to observe one of their main festival’s procession (Theemithi), commonly known as the Fire Walking ceremony that happens only once a year.
You’ll want to set aside at least 2 hours for this astounding Buddhist temple. Just a few minutes away from Heritage Collection on South Bridge, this temple has been captivating its visitors with its staggering opulence and lavish quantities of gold incorporated into its Tang Dynasty-inspired architecture and artefacts.
Yes, the sight of this iconic temple with its red pillars and detailed sculptures is simply breathtaking and a masterpiece. Dedicated to the Maitreya devotees, this temple was built in the heart of Chinatown to house the holy relic that was discovered in a collapsed golden stupa in Myanmar in 1998.
The construction of the temple would not have been possible without the kind donations and sponsorship, which mainly consisted of donations of gold which were melted to construct the stupa for the tooth relic. All in all, the temple raised S$43 million from more than 60,000 donors. The construction of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum was completed in 2008, and a consecration ceremony was held on 17 May 2008.
What’s interesting about this temple is that it has 4 storeys, a basement level and a rooftop. On the rooftop, you can check out the Vairocana Buddha Prayer Wheel, Ten Thousand Buddhas Pagoda, and also a roof garden.
If you find that shopping at the street markets is not enough and you’ve not truly completed your retail therapy, head over to Chinatown Point – itis just around the corner. Chinatown Point is another one of Singapore’s mixed use developments which features a commercial zone in the lower-half of the building, and a 25-storey office facility in the upper half.
Chinatown Point opened in 1993, renovated in 2011 and reopened in 2013. It is one of the locals’ favourite hideouts when they crave for some authentic Chinese cuisines. Besides great food, the mall also has over 200 retail shops that sell a variety of souvenirs, clothes. shoes, bags and almost everything you can think of at bargain prices. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to explore Chinatown and shop til’ you drop!
It is also connected to Chinatown MRT station, so you can continue your journey to the next neighbourhood.
Looking for some artsy street art for the ‘gram? Away from the CBD drag lies many good spots that feature Yew Chong’s popular murals. An accountant turned self-taught mural artist, Yew Chong first pursued this side interest of his when he was given the permission to paint some murals on a wall at Everton Road. The public appreciated his artwork that thematically underpinned Singapore’s rich historical heritage and cultural elements.
He eventually decided to pursue his passion full-time, with the aim of using wall murals to record historical sights and stories, mostly from his childhood memories. You can easily spot his masterpieces at Spottiswoode Park Road or along the side of the corridor as you step into 51 Waterloo Street. Where else? We are not spilling the beans, but here’s a hint. There’s a total of 14 hidden stories waiting for you to discover along the sidewalks of Chinatown, Telok Ayer and even Kampong Glam – 2 of them are on our buildings. So, be ready for this adventure!
Want more engagement? Go check out LocoMole, an experiential discovery mobile app that can bring the murals alive through Augmented Reality (AR). This is in partnership with the artist himself, so if you are lucky enough, you will get to listen to the stories behind these murals by Yew Chong himself while uncovering little surprises off these walls. One last thing! Remember to bring some props… and a friend along to take the perfect picture for you! Say cheese!
From rare antiques to traditional goodies like Bak Kwa, the bustling enclave of Chinatown is where you get to check off all your must-buy souvenirs before you head home. Some of these streets that you should never miss include Pagoda Street, Trengganu Street, Sago Lane, Smith Street and Temple Street.
As you browse through a myriad of locally-themed items at the stalls, remember to check out some of the best tacky postcards, tea towels, punny pouches and tote bags! Tea lovers may want to make a stop at Enjoy Tea along Sago Street which offers tea demonstrations and tasting sessions. While you’re at it, you can also purchase one of their tea sets if you fancy!
Head over to Peranakan Tiles Galleryand be awed by some of the most beautiful tiles you can find. These tiles are prominently displayed in most shophouses in Singapore. If you have fallen in love with the shophouses during your stay with us, why not bring a piece of the shophouse home as a souvenir?
What about traditional Chinese fabrics and herbs? Yue Hwa, another landmark building at Eu Tong Sen Road has some of the most reasonably-priced quality Chinese products. Sometimes, you can also expect seasonal promotions around the time of Lunar New Year, so our advice for you is to plan ahead for your trip! Along the street, you may also come across Bak Kwa (肉干) which is a type of sweet, smoky pork jerky that is absolutely loved by the local Chinese. Being an important festive snack, its popularity always peaks during Chinese New Year. You can easily try one of the samples at any of these shops, and if you like one, don’t hesitate to buy some back to snack on.
Outlining the neighbourhood is South Bridge Road, where you can find 3 prominent religious buildings – Sri Mariamman Temple, Jamae Mosque, and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. Each of these religious buildings has their own unique story to share.
Kreta Ayer translates to “Water Cart” in Malay. In the past, bullock water carts were used to transport water drawn from a well near Ann Siang Hill. Hence, the district name was established! Within the Kreta Ayer, neighbourhood, you can find a variety of things to explore. One of it is the Chinatown Food Street. Try and locate Yip Yew Chong’ magnificent Cantonese opera mural in the area and try imagine what life around the opera was like.
Club Street sits on part of a larger area known as Ann Siang Hill. The hill was initially known as Scott’s Hill, named after the owner Charles Scott who cultivated a nutmeg and clove estate on it. He sold it to John Gemmill who later christened it as Gemmill’s Hill. Finally, the hill became known as Ann Siang Hill after it came to be owned by Chia Ann Siang, a wealthy Chinese businessman who built his house and estate on the site. Read on to see some of the gems we’ve picked out for you to enjoy in this neighbourhood.