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Exploring Tiong Bahru Singapore

So we went around quaint, rustic Tiong Bahru. Elyn had half her body stuck out of the car through the sunroof to film. 😀  Jess was pretty excited to go back there for a visit because it’s a place which brings back memories having lived there with her grandparents when she was a kid.

What makes Tiong Bahru stand out is the housing architecture. The buildings were constructed pre-war in the 1930s. The housing blocks are low-lying, built between just two to five stories high; HDB (Housing Development Board) flats today go as high as 30 floors up. The resident profile used to be older folks. Today young couples live in the area and most of the traditional kopitiams (coffee shops) have been replaced by modern cafés. The cafés can get pretty packed especially on weekends where people take their time on all-day breakfast meal and a coffee shot. The all-essential wet market and hawker centre which are central to almost every housing estate still stands despite the modern infusion.

Here’s our suggested half-day itinerary at Tiong Bahru:

8am: Have breakfast at Tiong Bahru Market hawker centre (30 Seng Poh Road – second floor)
Local fare for breakfast is great. Try some steamed pau (buns), chee cheong fun (rice flour rolls), porridge, nasi lemak, fried carrot cake (it’s savoury!) and the list goes on! gives you a picture (literally) of the Tiong Bahru Market hawker centre eats!

9.30am: Take a walk around the wet market (open in the mornings till about 12pm, closed on Mondays)
The wet market is located downstairs of the hawker centre. This is where the neighbourhood residents shop for produce and poultry!

10.30am: Stroll round the estate
Take photos with/of the architecture and enjoy the peace and quiet. The spiral stairs you see behind some buildings are also pretty interesting. You might find some back doors leading to the spiral stairs open so you can step in and try climbing up the extremely narrow winding steps. A picture with it would be great!

12pm: Lunch!
You can head back to the hawker centre for lunch because there’s just so much to choose from. Hokkien noodles, barbecued pork rice, you name it! If you prefer brunch food like sausages and eggs, then try one of the many cafĂ©s in the area where many serve all-day-breakfast. 

5. 1pm: Have a drink
There’s always room for coffee or dessert. Chill in one of the homely cafĂ©s. Some cafĂ©s in Tiong Bahru include Forty Hands, Whisk CafĂ©, P.S CafĂ© and Tiong Bahru Bakery, just to name a few.

How to get there: Take the MRT to Tiong Bahru station and walk following the map below. You may cut through the housing area to get to Tiong Bahru Market (30 Seng Poh Road) denoted by the green “A”.


If you time just to pop by Tiong Bahru in the evening, Sin Hoi Sai Seafood Restaurant, Por Kee Eating House (we absolutely love the pork ribs served here! Closed on Wednesdays) and Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant are on par to give you a true taste of tze char (a full menu of seafood, meat, vegetable local dishes). Something interesting would be Japanese cuisine and cocktails at Bincho. It’s nestled inside Hua Bee kopitiam (78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-19) with a cosy setting that leads to a back alley.

Other places to explore:

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2 thoughts on “Exploring Tiong Bahru Singapore

  1. Raventress : Just to be on the fair side, I don’t think Cheng’s Delicacy is a coffeeshop. I woudln’t sit there to drink. Nothing much there to drink anyway. If I’m doing chi char business, I would be worried too if my customers just come buy one drink and take up the seats for a long time. There’s a reason why at some chain cafes, even when they provide couch and sofa, they shine some warm light to make sure you’re not too comfortable there and hopefully leave on your own accord. I do agree with you that if that’s what happen to you, they’re being a bit too agressive. I would choose to explain politely. However, their food is quite good if you still decide to eat there.

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