Adventures in: Joo Chiat and Katong
The first in our Little Island Explorers series was trendy and traditional Tiong Bahru. Next up for your adventures in Singapore: HoneyKids heads to the neighbourhood of Peranakan culture, good furniture, and yummilicious food (check out our review of the littlie-friendly Zaffron Kitchen) – Joo Chiat/Katong.
Before heading down to Joo Chiat, get schooled on Peranakan culture. Aside from Googling and visiting the Peranakan Museum (located across town), watch an episode or two (or the whole series) of locally produced soap opera, The Little Nonya, for a somewhat dramatised take on Peranakan culture with a tincture of historical accuracy.
Rabbit Carrot Gun
The Brunch Bunch
Have an early start at Rabbit Carrot Gun (49 East Coast Road) with their sublime Game Keepers Shooting Breakfast in your belly, while the kids are munch on soft boiled eggs with marmite soldiers. Alternatively, go local with a bowl of authentic Katong Laksa (51 East Coast Road) next door (especially if you’re hardly ever in these parts).
The Mall for Smalls
This isn’t the first time we’re talking 112 Katong’s rooftop playground, which guarantees a splashin’ good time with wet slides, swings, water showers, and tipping buckets, so remember those extra towels and clothing! The mall also offers kid-friendly shopping like Zero2Six (#03-45) for wooden toys, Camouflage Kids (#02-34) for cool kiddy apparel, and Baby Online (#B1-13) for loads of baby products.
All Things Peranakan
The littlies don’t run on fumes, so it might be wiser to get a midday snack to them before they ask for it. For the first encounter with Peranakan food, check out Glory Catering (139 East Coast Road) for their traditional nonya kueh (Peranakan cakes).
After wiping those sticky fingers clean, head over to Kim Choo (109 East Coast Road), which is kinda the only place that sells Nyonya treats we binge on during Chinese New Year, like Kueh Bangkit (tapioca biscuits) and Sugee Cookies (semolina cookies). They have a restaurant selling Peranakan food, but we were more interested in the newly refurbished boutique. A treasure trove of sarong kebayas, books on Peranakan culture, and knick-knacks, your kids will have a field day here!
You have probably heard us rave about Littleones Photography before, well know they have a studio in Joo Chiat in a divine shophouse, so you can pop in and meet Kate. True to their specialty, Littleones has been busy capturing tender moments between families – in the past year alone they’ve covered everything from the first bump, graduation photos, the big 21 celebrations, to Granny’s first photo with her grandchild.
Good (Furniture) Hunting
Chasing down good, sturdy furniture for the home? Take the kids with you – they’re more likely to sit down on a sofa or sleep in a bed they’ve picked out themselves. We’ve mentioned classic kids’ bedroom furniture retailer Ni-Night (7 Joo Chiat Place) more than a few times – ‘cause we love it! – but check out Teong Theng (369 Joo Chiat Road) for vintage rattan chairs (for you) and tiny stools (for the little ones) that’re perfect for our tropical climate.
Standing alone in a whitewashed colonial building is the dependable Scanteak (341 Joo Chiat Road), which offers durable and functional furniture that doesn’t compromise on style. You won’t find any harmful chemical finishes on the furniture here. Bangku Bangku at 317 Joo Chiat Road is like Aladdin’s cave – vintage style. Pick up a piece of old Singapore here (think typewriers, radios, and tiffin carriers), though they also have rustic wooden furniture imported directly from Indonesia as well.
Make an appointment to view the designer furniture at Jarrod Lim (324 Joo Chiat Road) up close if you’re a fan of his. We have to admit his Hi-Ho Rocking Horse or his Koi Chair will make quite the sophisticated addition to our home.