It’s hard to imagine that Keong Saik Road, an iconic tourist destination, once drew a vastly different kind of crowd. The district — now home to trendy restaurants, bars and boutique hotels — once was a red-light district and a hotbed of small-time crime. Today the only remnants of its provocative past are the multi-storey shophouses that flank the street.
Breakfast spots and coffee stops
Hit up these spots for a hearty breakfast, a midday caffeine boost or simply to lounge your afternoon away.
Tong Ah Eating House
Start the day right by breaking your fast like a local. A traditional eatery along Keong Saik Road. Tong Ah Eating House serves up the classic Singaporean breakfast, which comprises of kaya toast, soft boiled eggs and a strong cup of kopi.
Tong Ah Eating House.
35 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089142.
Tel: +65 6223 5083 Daily: 07:00-22:00
The Populus Coffee & Food Café
If you need a pick-me-up, follow the aroma of freshly brewed coffee beans into The Populus Coffee & Food Café. The specialty coffeehouse uses blends from local roaster Two Degrees North Coffee, so expect flavours such as natural Ethiopia Dumer filter coffee and Mörk Cold Chocolate. The café sells specialty coffee beans, too, so take a pack home if you’d like.
There’s no better dish to go with your cuppa than the signature The Populus Scramble. Creamy scrambled eggs, marinated feta cheese, bacon and herbs are stacked atop a toasted croissant—breakfast doesn’t get any more decadent than this.
The Populus Coffee & Food Café. 146 Neil Road, Singapore 088875 Tel: +65 6635 8420.
Mon: 09:00-19:00; Tue: 09:00-16:00; Wed-Fri: 09:00-22:30; Sat: 09:30-22:30; Sun: 09:30-19:00
The LoKal. 136 Neil Road, Singapore 088865 Tel: +65 6423 9918.
Mon & Tue: 08:00-16:00; Wed-Fri: 08:00-22:00; Sat: 09:00-22:00; Sun: 09:00-16:00
These lunch spots have earned a name for themselves, and are buzzing with hungry diners by midday.
Kok Sen Restaurant
Kok Sen Restaurant. 30-32 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089137
Tel:+65 6223 2005. Tue-Sun: 12:00-14:00, 17:00-23:00
Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant
At Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant, Singapore’s first unagi (freshwater eel) specialty restaurant, you’ll work up an appetite as you watch chefs lovingly baste and grill strips of the fish right in front of you. The daily queue speaks for itself—you’ll find a stream of diners at the entrance even before the restaurant, a Bib Gourmand winner in the Michelin Guide Singapore, opens for lunch.
Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant. 1 Keong Saik Road #01-01, Singapore 089109.
Tel:+65 6222 0678 Mon-Sat: 11:30-14:30, 18:00-22:00
Go big with dinner
Some of Singapore’s best restaurants can be found on this narrow stretch.
Meta 1 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089109 Tel:+65 6513 0898.
Mon, Tue & Sat: 18:00-23:00; Wed-Fri: 12:00-14:30, 18:00-23:00
Burnt Ends. 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391 Tel: +65 6224 3933.
Tue-Thu: 18:00-24:00; Fri & Sat: 11.45-14:00, 18:00-24:00