The Beauty Of Jalan Besar In Singapore
There is not a dull moment while walking through this neighbourhood. You could be walking behind a monk after alighting from the train station at Lavender MRT, then navigating towards your destination, only to be surprised by backpackers sunbathing at the grass patch next to the traffic juncture while construction workers are having their lunch.
A neighbourhood for the ones that love the streets.
If you have the time, explore the alleys and shophouses. You will find that this neighbourhood is more than just gritty engineering workshops and hipster cafes. I love that i can walk through an alley during lunch and a hawker could be smiling at me while a stranger stares, life goes on and you hear the sound of temple bells ringing.
Some photos of my days spent at Jalan Besar
eating at an alley near maude road
one night at Druggist
this is the beef bowl i had at The Refinery
skate boarding in the alley
outside army market, he was pretty cool
During lunch, i could bump into my tattoo artist that named his shop after his daughter, say hi to the uncle that sells wine and owns a castle, then realise that the chef from the nearby restaurant frequently comes to the wine shop to top up his whiskey bottle. Familiarity is nice sometimes.
There are kopitiams where you can taste hawker food. These are the usual favourite places we go to for lunch within the Jalan Besar/Lavender radius:
• Scissor Cut Curry Rice (Sloppy sloppy curry. Order it with pork cutlet, egg, fatty pork and fishcake and ask them to slather the dark gravy with the curry) ✓✓✓✓
• Kok Kee Wanton Mee at Lavender Food Hub (the chicken wings from the nearby store is fantastic too) ✓✓✓✓✓
• Cheng Mun Chee Kee Pig Organ Soup opposite the Tibetan Temple (order the pork ball soup and rice if you’re aren’t into innards) ✓✓✓✓
• Hong Kong 88 Roast Meat Specialist at the Kopitiam next to the Tibetan Temple (order the Roast Pork Char Siew Rice! Delicious)✓✓✓✓✓
• Fried fish soup at Tai Sun Eating House (i once ate this for the entire week because it is THAT GOOD) ✓✓✓✓✓
• Punggol Nasi Lemak at Lavender Street (Its hawker food in an aircon setting, but authentic) ✓✓✓
• Lai Huat Seafood Restaurant for the Sambal Fish (the more people, the merrier! get more people to join for dinner and get to try more dishes. I personally LOVE the fried baby squids) ✓✓✓✓✓
Also, i drink alot. There are cafes and pubs and fancy restaurants within the vicinity. Walking from Lavender MRT towards Tyrwhitt Road you can take your pick of the trendiest cafes to rest ye weary feet.
Here is a full list of Pubs/Bars/Cafes in Jalan Besar:
• 12 inch Pizzas and Records (yes, that hoisin duck pizza is my favourite)
• Antoinette (all about that macaroons, and their brunch is delightful)
• Oberstrasse (for a quiet place with wifi) ✓✓✓
• Porn’s (take away thai food, also, come here for the #JalanBesarEyecandy!) ✓✓✓✓✓
• The Bravery Cafe (this place doesn’t have a signboard but their pancakes are ace!)
• AEIOU (reminds me of Talat Rot Fai in Bangkok. They sell beer too. )
• The Refinery (their beef bowl never fails to make me salivate, and they have poutine!!!!! And all that Asahi, come here for dinner and drinks) ✓✓✓✓✓
• The Coffee Shot (Nice place for some quiet on a noisy afternoon)
• Two Bakers (their cakes.. huuge variety)
• Bao Makers (love their mains) ✓✓✓
• Red Eye Smokehouse (large platters of meat and beer! price a little steep)
• Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee (not a big fan of coffee, but great atmosphere)
• Babette (that macha lava cake………oozing, just come here for dessert and all day happy hour) ✓✓✓
• Tiramisu Hero (their brunch serving here is generous)
• Druggist (23 beers on tap! one can frequently spot japanese men attempting to try all the taps. Come here for the novelty!) ✓✓✓✓✓
• 1 Tyrwhitt Bistro Bar Cafe (the pizza and pasta is really goood. Come here for lunch or drinks!) ✓✓✓✓
• The 1925 Microbrewery (haven’t been here, will do so soon)
• Suprette (just below Kam Leng Hotel, really neat setting)
• The Diner by the Traveling Cow (at CT Hub, Ramen burgers for the adventurous)
• De Burg (at CT Hub, all the burgers are wonderful, amazing, gorgeous, sexy. DO IT FOR THE BURGERS) ✓✓✓✓✓
And because of this neighbourhood’s proximity to Little India (lil india) and Golden Mile (lil thailand) and Arab Street (lil turkey), you get the best of everything. Some interesting places to visit:
• The Projector (A very secret cinema hidden in an old building. Does that pique your interest yet? I really recommend this ✓✓✓✓✓)
The interior of The Projector
The building The Projector is in.
The lift ceiling of The Projector’s building
• Army Market (sitting above Golden Mile Food Center, you can get all your camp supplies there for a bargain. Singapore Army boys get their supplies there before entering the army )
• Mustafa (In little India. For 24/7 shopping. They sell ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING)
• Heap Seng Leong Coffee Shop (An open secret, a traditional coffee shop that serves the sock coffee/ coffee with butter)
check out this cinemagraph video done by Aik Beng Chia of this coffee shop.
The beauty of this neighbourhood is its people. Because of the constant influx of tourists from all over the world and the people from different walks of life working in this neighbourhood, it is truly a fabulous place to spend your time there for the ultimate Singapore street experience. To me, this place is the heart of Singapore.
If you’ve read up to here, thank you and i hope you’ve enjoyed the article.
Feel free to ask any questions!
Jalan Besar is between Lavender MRT (green line) and Farrer MRT (purple line)