Given the wide variety of restaurants, hipster joints and hawker delights that pepper the streets of Katong/East Coast, it’s a bona fide foodie paradise. With the promise of delectable eats at every corner, you’ll need to know which ones are worth your time.
As an Eastie who lives in the area, trust me, you’re in excellent hands. You’ll know every nook and cranny of this eclectic neighbourhood. From German beer bars and floral-flavoured ice cream, to wanton noodles and old-school cakes, the Katong/East Coast is a treasure trove. Here is our pick of 31 must-try places along the Katong/East Coast stretch.
We’ll begin your romp in Katong with one of its most precious gems, Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice.
In the basement food court of Katong Shopping Centre lies one of Katong’s best-kept secrets. Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice is one of the better chicken rice in Singapore.
Their chicken rice comes in their trademark nuclear-yellow hue alongside their generous and hearty servings of steamed and roasted chicken.
I went ahead and ordered Roasted Chicken Rice (S$5), Steamed Chicken Rice (S$5), and a serving of Beansprouts (S$5/Small). As an added bonus, these sets from Delicious Boneless also come with a huge bowl of soup and free-flow achar.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
Delicious Boneless’ Roasted Chicken Rice came with a sprinkling of fried garlic, roughly chopped scallions and sprigs of coriander drizzled with a light soya sauce.
The chicken was unbelievably silky and smooth, while the skin still had a little texture to it. The sauce veered a little on the sweet side and complemented the roasted chicken skin quite well.
If not, the Steamed Chicken Rice will also leave you on cloud nine, with a layer of jellied fats above the meat.
865 Mountbatten Road, Katong Shopping Centre, #B1-85/87, Singapore 437844
+65 9789 60733
Tue to Sun: 10.30am – 8pm
Closed on Mon
2. Etna Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria
For something a little fancier for weekday dinners, Etna Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria serves authentic Italian cuisine, complete with a Silician touch.
The friendly Italian chef-owner Anna Borrasi greets diners with a wide smile, offering the whole, comprehensive Italian dining experience.
They have opened another outlet at Duxton, so Chef Anna might not always be on deck. With its homely setting, it is one of my favourite places to come for a hearty, traditional Italian meal at an affordable price.
3. Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant
I cannot recall the last time I had a true, authentic taste of Indonesian cuisine, and that’s partly the pandemic’s fault. But now, you won’t have to wait much longer because Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant is here to fulfill your (and my) sop buntut and daging bumbu Bali cravings.
Recently opened in Joo Chiat, the restaurant boasts a charming green-and-gold accent with modern terrazzo tables, which are all the rage now. Have a go at their Ketoprak (S$12.80) that’s teeming with vermicelli noodles, rice cakes, fried tofu, beansprouts, cucumber, and boiled egg, tossed in housemade garlic-peanut sauce and crackers. It works as a sharing plate before digging into their toothsome mains, or a light vegetarian meal for one.
If you’re looking for something bold and flavourful, the Ayam Bakar Betutu (S$29.80) also does wonders. The traditional aromatic genap paste of 16 Balinese spices will command your attention at first whiff, while the chicken is cooked sous vide in cassava leaves and grilled to perfection. While you’re at it, go ahead and order the Buntut Bakar Saus Kacang (S$16.80) that’s laden with housemade peanut-kecap manis sauce.
Be sure to ease that parched throat with a tall glass of Es Jeruk (S$5.80)—freshly squeezed Indonesian oranges that carry the familiar zing of orange, but with a touch of tang to cut through the weight of all that divine food. Finish off the meal with Pisang Goreng Coklat Keju (S$5.80), a street-side, deep-fried banana favourite, peppered with loads of chocolate rice, shredded cheese, and condensed milk in Indonesia that we simply can’t get enough of.
Come ready for an honest, scrumptious Indonesian meal here; it’s one that you’ll certainly be coming back for again and again. Make your reservation at Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant through Quandoo today!
4. Ninethirty by Awfully Chocolate
Just opposite i12 Katong, Ninethirty by Awfully Chocolate is well-loved by all, with its wide selection of an all-day breakfast menu, as well as their famous chocolate desserts to boot.
If you are a fan of breakfast, Ninethirty’s Brioche French Toast (S$16) is the perfect brunch item.
You can get them done in three ways: regular, skillet or soufflé. I suggest the soufflé for the ultimate level of fluffiness. They come with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and almond streusel along with maple syrup. Doesn’t that just sound yummy?
5. BERGS Gourmet Burgers
BERGS Gourmet Burgers will satisfy your lunchtime burger cravings, especially with its wide selection of juicy, flavourful burgers to choose from. Burgers are available in two sizes, to cater for either the incessantly hungry stomach or one that just needs a small snack.
Prepared entirely from scratch and made in-house, BERGS guarantees a whole new experience, with freshly marinated patties inspired by recipes all over Asia and Australia. My favourite would be the Alamack (S$16/Small, S$20/BERG), a lightly-crumbed fish burger topped off with vegetables, dill tartare, and aioli.
6. Rabbit Carrot Gun
Located at the extreme corner of a row of shophouses is this quaint and snug cafe with a tongue-in-cheek name. With its relaxed and casual ambience, there is nothing like enjoying a hot cuppa while admiring the architecture at Rabbit Carrot Gun.
Rabbit Carrot Gun serves up a variety of British and international dishes. With a focus on fresh and quality ingredients, the dishes here are unique and extraordinary.
One such item to look forward to would be the Dukkah Eggs (S$19) with merguez sausages, poached eggs, crumbled feta and of course, sprinkled with dukkah. For those unfamiliar, dukkah is an Egyptian spice mix consisting of sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, pepper, and salt.
Those exotic spices are a step above salt and pepper—eggs will never taste the same again.
I was surprised to discover that Rabbit Carrot Gun is more than just a restaurant; in fact, it also offers boutique accommodation. There are three types of suites for patrons to choose from. With the cafe and accommodation located within the premise of rich Peranakan culture and delectable eats, it’s time to book Rabbit Carrot Gun for your next trip to East Coast.
7. Ampang Niang Tou Fu
Come rain or shine, nothing hits the spot quite like yong tau foo, especially if it’s from Ampang Niang Yong Tou Fu. A simple, no-frills restaurant, you’re guaranteed a good time with every visit.
Each ingredient will set you back S$0.70. To make things easier for yourself, you can choose from Ampang Niang Tou Fu’s sets. Their items are mostly meat-based so all the better for the carnivores out there.
For ravenous lunch go-ers, add on rice for S$0.50. Expect a light-tasting soup that will not muddle your palate for Ampang’s other items.
225 East Coast Road, Singapore 428922
Thu to Tue: 11.30am – 8.30pm
Closed on Wed
Another yong tau foo stall that is sure to leave you entirely satisfied is Katong Yong Tau Foo, nestled in Katong Shopping Centre (which is also home to Delicious Boneless Chicken Rice.)
Our bowl of Laksa Yong Tau Foo consisted of 12 ingredients, noodles and laksa gravy, and costs S$7.30. A pretty good deal, if you ask me.
It was rich, savoury and creamy, and I could really taste the fragrant coconut milk. The addition of laksa leaves added a distinctly earthy and nutty aftertaste.
There were other unique ingredients like tomatoes stuffed with fish paste, handmade dumplings, boiled yam cubes, beancurd skins stuffed with handmade fish paste and carrot cubes, and more. So, if you ever get bored of Ampang Niang Yong Tou Fu, Katong Yong Tau Foo is a good bet.
865 Mountbatten Road, Katong Shopping Centre, #B1-85/6/7, Singapore 437845
Sat to Wed: 9.30am – 8pm (or until sold out)
Closed on Thu & Fri
9. Beach Road Prawn Noodle House
How can we leave out the famous Beach Road Prawn Noodle House? Here, we have the Jumbo Prawn Noodle (S$12) which comes with three large prawns that have been conveniently halved and de-veined.
With its flavourful, robust and thick broth, you’ll be licking the bowl clean. The soup was a lot sweeter than most prawn noodles but still equally slurpable. Plus, the ngoh hiang next door is worth a visit as well.
370 East Coast Road, Singapore 428981
Wed to Mon: 7am – 4pm
Closed on Tue
10. Baker’s Well
Tracing back to its humble beginnings in the year 2004, Baker’s Well started as a labour of love that produced homemade goods from their ovens for everyone to enjoy. Ten years down the road, the owner’s niece and partner have joined their efforts in putting their design and technical skills to help rebrand and refurbish Baker’s Well.
What we see today is a beautiful shopfront and an artistic concept that encompasses the interior of the bakery cafe. Baker’s Well serves an array of delicious artisan bakes ranging from bread, cookies, muffins, pastries to cakes.
We tried the Almond Croissant (S$3.50) during my visit to the bakery cafe. It’s a lot less flaky than your usual croissant and with a thicker starchier consistency that had a similar texture to the bread. Fragrant with the scent of almonds, each bite was sweet and delicate.
All I needed was a steaming cappuccino, and we could call it a day.
11. Al Forno
I have been frequenting Al Forno for as long as I can remember (since I was a little kid), and it never fails to impress each time. One of the best Italian restaurants around, Al Forno is not a restaurant you should miss out on, especially since you’re able to witness the whole pizza-making process there.
From kneading the dough to shoving the pizzas into the pizza oven, the whole experience is one to remember. Of course, their food is a notch above the rest.
My all-time favourites including the Pizza Primavera (S$27), topped off with wild rocket and parma ham, Spaghetti Cartoccio (Seafood Spaghetti) (S$60 for two pax), Spaghetti Al Nero (Squid Ink Pasta) (S$25). Or even just a simple Pizza Margherita (S$22) will do wonders for your tastebuds.
12. Zaffron Kitchen
A place for authentic North and South Indian cuisine, Zaffron Kitchen‘s always-crowded premises is a testament to their praise-worthy Indian cuisine. Having won many accolades, Zaffron Kitchen is the place to go if you’re craving good old-fashioned favourites from the tandoor and zesty curries, complete with a plethora of spices to match.
With all the vibrant shophouses and Peranakan-tiled floors that the Katong/Joo Chiat is known for, it would be remiss if I didn’t include a selection of Peranakan restaurants in the list.
Baba Chews Bar And Eatery is a modern Peranakan restaurant that aims to infuse their local dishes into well-known Western favourites.
One such dish has to be the Chicken Rendang Lasagne (S$18). A beautiful mess on a plate, cutting into it reveals multiple layers of pasta sheets and minced chicken. The combination of aromatic rendang and savoury cheese works well, and the cheese helped to mellow the heat from the rendang.
If you are still feeling peckish, the Otah You Tiao (S$12) is a moreish little dish. A slab of otah is sandwiched between two pieces of charcoal you tiao. The otah is homemade with chunks of fish instead of the paste-like texture one usually finds.
Baba Chew Bar And Eatery is approachable for those unfamiliar with Peranakan dishes or those who love a good mix of fusion dishes.
A little further from Baba Chew’s is Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen. A more traditional establishment, this is for those who tend to be more of a purist when it comes to Peranakan cuisine.
Situated amongst a stretch of Peranakan shophouses along Joo Chiat Road, Old Bibik’s is helmed by Mr Adrian who is also Peranakan himself. Many of the recipes used in the restaurant are passed down from Mr Adrian’s late grandmother.
While Mr Adrian has faithfully followed his grandmother’s recipes, he has also added some twists to keep up with the times.
One such dish is their Buah Keluak Tofu (S$15), consisting of fried pieces of tofu with a creamy and smooth buah keluak sauce. A play on textures and deep complex flavours, this was a refreshing change to the usual ayam buah keluak.
15. Madeleine’s Original Portuguese Egg Tart
With a striking yellow signboard that proclaimed the stall to offer ‘Original Portuguese Egg Tart’, I knew I had to get myself a piece at Madeleine’s Original Portuguese Egg Tart.
With charred golden tops, these Portuguese Egg Tarts (S$10.80 for six pieces) weren’t anything less than a pretty picture. These flaky rounds did not disappoint.
The delightful caramelised flavour paired well with the tart’s warm and smooth custard filling, and I was already reaching for my next one.
198 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 436997
+65 6247 9363
Daily: 8am – 6.15pm
Don’t be fooled by the somewhat dingy exterior of Dona Manis Cake Shop, because their banana pie sells, well, like hotcakes.
This delicate slice of Banana Pie (S$2.50 per slice, S$25 for a whole pie) was skillfully layered and packed with caramelised banana slices, then sprinkled with chopped nuts.
Dona Manis Cake Shop not only sells Banana Pies, but they also have other pastries like Cream Puffs (S$3.50 for a box of five), and another one of their fans’ favourite: Chocolate Tarts (S$4.50 for a box of five).
This old-school bakery is sure to win your stomach as well as your heart.
865 Mountbatten Road, Katong Shopping Centre, #B1-93, Singapore 437844
+65 6440 7688
Tue to Sat: 10am – 4.30pm
Closed on Sun & Mon
17. Ponggol Nasi Lemak
No stranger to long snaking queues, Ponggol Nasi Lemak’s reputation speaks for itself. Known for their amazing, juicy and crispy fried chicken, as well as other nasi padang dishes, Ponggol Nasi Lemak is not a place you visit just once.
With a tried and tested recipe for Nasi Lemak, it’s no wonder why Ponggol Nasi Lemak is a favourite haunt amongst Easties.
Just like their Botanic Gardens outlet, Micro Bakery & Kitchen (Red House) focuses on high-quality, naturally leavened homemade sourdough. The Red House outlet is more spacious than Micro Bakery’s Botanic Gardens, so big groups are welcome on weekends.
Besides their beautiful smorgasbord of sourdough loaves, brownies, muffins, their brunch menu is pretty much the same with the likes of the well-loved Grilled 3 Cheese Sandwich (S$12) gracing the menu.
After that entire debacle of Eng v.s Eng has finally cooled down, we can finally have some wanton mee in peace. After comparing both wanton mee from ENG’s Wantan Noodle and ENG’s Char Siew Wantan Mee, we preferred the latter Eng’s.
ENG’s Char Siew Wantan Mee’s signature Wanton Mee (S$4.80/S$5.50)was more fragrant and springier than Eng’s Wantan Noodle. With a more nuanced chilli sauce than ENG’s Wantan Noodle, this is where I’ll be heading for seconds.
248 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437036
+65 8798 6088
Tue to Sun: 10.30am – 8.30pm
Closed on Mon
For somewhere a little less wrought with family feuds, Bei-Ing Wanton Noodles (美樱云吞面) is a good bet. This 35-year-old wanton noodle shop promises good ol’ wanton noodles but with a modern twist.
You’ll notice right off the bat that Bei-ing serves Malaysia-style wanton mee, which comes with egg noodles in black sauce, giving it a rich umami flavour. Their Wanton Noodle 云吞面 (S$4/S$5/S$6) comes with thick glistening slices of barbecued pork alongside fried and steamed wantons.
The noodles were perfectly springy, breaking apart easily with every bite. Despite their thickness, they were still able to soak up the sweet and savoury black sauce and its flavours. We loved the char on the char siew which gave them an irresistible smoky flavour.
21. Dragoncity Claypot House 龙城砂锅田鸡粥
Who doesn’t like a good frog leg porridge for supper? Dragoncity Claypot House 龙城砂锅田鸡粥 in Joo Chiat is open till the wee hours of the morning, so if you’re feeling peckish after a late-night movie, you’ll know where to go.
Besides the longtime favourite of Dried Chilli Frog (S$11/S$17/ S$23/S$28), Dragoncity Claypot House also has more premium options such as Herbal Lobster (S$8/100g) for nights when you need a little pick-me-up.
180 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427451
+65 9446 4666
Daily: 4.30pm – 2am
22. Five Star Kampung Chicken Rice
As its name suggests, this chicken rice is top-notch and worth every star bestowed upon them. Five Star Kampung Chicken Rice is no stranger to long queues and garners a huge crowd come dinner time.
The chicken is nice and lean while the rice is fragrant without being overly greasy. It’s always contentious to dub any place as the best chicken rice, so the jury is still out on that one and you’ll have to head down to check it out yourself.
23. 328 Katong Laksa
Highly raved about by laksa lovers all over Singapore, this particular 328 Katong Laksa stall is believed to be the original Katong Laksa. Still, if you are real Katong-nite you’ll know that’s not entirely true.
With a light and flavourful broth, each bowl of Laksa (S$7.50 for a big bowl) does have an extremely well-balanced flavour profile. The broth easily hit savoury and salty notes from the inclusion of dried shrimp.
A little commercialised but 328 Katong Laksa still serves up a pretty decent bowl of laksa that’s well-loved by many.
24. Janggut Laksa (The Original Katong Laksa) 正宗加东叻沙
A little further down from 328 Katong Laksa, is the highly underrated Janggut Laksa (The Original Katong Laksa) 正宗加东叻沙. With a history as rich as their laksa broth, it’s hard to resist a bowl.
The Janggut Laksa (S$5/regular, S$7/large) is certainly different from other laksas that I’ve been eating. The most significant change is the gravy—instead of the usual thick gravy, the one served here is more of a soup; light and very easy to drink.
Similar to 328 Katong Laksa, these noodles are cut short as well for easier slurping—a brownie point for sure.
In addition to the signature laksa, the new store also offers Crayfish Laksa (S$9.50/regular, S$11.50/large). Sweet and delicate, this was a step up from the usual bowl of laksa we were used to.
50 East Coast Road, Roxy Square, Singapore 428769
+65 9622 1045
Daily: 9am – 4.30pm
25. Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant
A homegrown brand conceived in 2006, Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant aims to introduce authentic German cuisine and world-famous German beer in a chic and contemporary setting.
Brotzeit is a leading German casual dining restaurant, currently operating four outlets in Singapore. One of the Brotzeit outlets is housed in a row of conservation shophouses in the heart of Katong.
It’s a great place to dine and have a hearty round of food and drinks tucked away in their cosy restaurant.
26. The Humble Scoop
After making your rounds through the Katong/East Coast estate and stuffing your face silly, you’ll need some sweet treats to round out your time in Katong.
The Humble Scoop in Katong Shopping Centre is another gem you can’t miss. Started by Yvonne, who previously worked as a cabin crew with Singapore Airlines, Yvonne decided to pursue her dream of opening an ice cream store right after leaving the crew life.
The ice cream here is pretty affordably-priced—their Basic Flavours go at S$3.90 for one scoop, S$6.90 for two scoops, and S$8.90 for three scoops. Premium Flavours are priced at S$4.90 for one scoop, S$8.90 for two scoops, and S$11.90 for three scoops.
Besides an assortment of sorbets, The Humble Scoop also has unique flavours that are sure to suit the most palates. Cereal Killer is a flavour that’ll remind you of weekend mornings eating cereal and watching cartoons. It’s made with caramelised cereal infused into the milk overnight, and with cereal bits atop the scoop.
You’ll smell Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique before you see it. The inviting heady aroma of their thyme-flavoured cone wafts through the air and has proved to draw in crowds far and wide. Plus, there’s a pretty wall for all obligatory Instagram shots of your cone of the day.
Popular flavours include Strawberry Basil, Pandan, and White Chrysanthemum.
The Strawberry Basil was delightfully light and not as sweet as I thought it would be while Pandan would satisfy anyone craving something full-bodied and local. My favourite, though, had to be White Chrysanthemum. I mean, I haven’t even mentioned Mango Sorbet, Pistachio, Basil, and Lychee Raspberry.
Get a Single Scoop at S$4.70 and a Double at S$7.70 in more guilt-free ways than one—their cups are made from sugarcane pulp which is good news for the environment!
28. An Acai Affair
I can’t even begin to tell you about the craze that has been acai. In a hipster neighbourhood such as Katong, An Acai Affair fits right in with the cluster of yoga and barre studios nearby.
Spearheaded by SMU Business students Anna Ng and Isabel Lee, the franchise now has four branches, with the latest instalment in Changi Airport’s Jewel.
With items like Pitaya Punch (S$9.60), these healthy bowls are set to give your body a treat, as well as sweeten up those Instagram feeds. Locked in with an array of fresh fruits, passionfruit sorbet and a dollop of superfood acai, it’s the perfect bowl of goodness for any occasion.
Tucked away at the side of The Flow @ East Coast, Jin Yu Man Tang 金玉满堂 is where you can find good Cantonese desserts. As much as we love our acai and fancy ice cream, nothing warms the soul like a comforting bowl of traditional desserts.
From Jin Yu Man Tang’s Signature Ginger Milk Pudding (S$4), Double Layered Milk Pudding + Red Bean (S$3.80) to Peach Gum + Milk + Mango (S$5.50), it’s desserts galore.
We particularly relished the Ginger Milk Pudding, where special milk is poured into a ginger mixture and allowed to solidify. Every spoonful of the quivering pudding was silky-smooth bliss. It had a certain lightness to it, with a pleasant ginger fragrance that gradually built up, leaving me feeling all warm on the inside.
Neptune has all the works. It is situated in the very trendy streets of Katong, where açaí, cold brew, and sourdough abound. The little LA of Singapore, if you will. To add to that, the cafe was decked out in a calming sage green that is very in vogue with soft glowing orbs to make your pan for Instagram all the better.
As with any cafe, it’s always a hodge-podge of dishes that caters to the mercurial tastebuds of the Singaporean diner. Even so, there are always a few reliable dishes like the Burrata (S$14.90) that comes with hefty sourdough slices, blistered cherry tomatoes, and pickled onions. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’ll do.
Desserts are undoubtedly my favourite part of the meal; ask anyone, and they will tell you the same. Between the Sticky Date Pudding (S$14.90) and Yuzu Chocolate Tart (S$14.90), I would urge you to go for the Sticky Date Pudding.
It’s a warm, pillowy square that’s replete with deep caramelly notes swimming in a gooey toffee sauce and sprinkled liberally with chopped walnuts.
With that said, with the calibre of their sister restaurants, I do think Neptune, given their space and location, can do so much more and I shall be patiently waiting.
31. Chin Mee Chin Confectionery
It was to many people’s delight that Chin Mee Chin Confectionery returned to its IG home in Tanjong Katong in September 2021. The kitchen is helmed by executive chef and co-owner Maxine Ngooi, who also runs Tigerlily Patisserie.
One can expect the bakery’s signature white bread buns and kaya along with familiar favourites like their hot cross buns, custard tarts, cream puffs, cream horns, and luncheon meat buns.
There is no neighbourhood quite like the eclectic Katong/East Coast. From humble bowls of wanton mee, trendy mee pok carbonara to homely plates of Peranakan food, there’s an interesting and never-ending mosaic of different eats just waiting to be savoured.
This list is definitely not exhaustive, so let us know if there are any hidden gems we missed!
*This post contains branded content.
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