Exploring Central Singapore – Chinatown

Starting from Hotel Parkroyal on Pickering (nearest MRT – Clarke Quay or Chinatown), we walked into the Chinese New Year (CNY) Chinatown bustle of those preparing, buying festive goodies and decorations.

The smell of bakwa (roast pork) fills the air with the charcoal fragrance from the slices of succulent meats! Long queues snake outside bakwa shops and many queue for more than 2hrs just to get some bakwa. At some shops, their sliced pieces of goodness were even sold out before 6pm! That is how popular bakwa is during Chinese Lunar New Year period.

We brought our friends from Australia to soak in the atmosphere. Tried to buy some bakwa at Kim Peng Hiang (Pearls Centre, Eu Tong Sen Street) but most flavors were sold out and the minimum wait was 3hrs! So we left without getting any. I actually packed my 2 slices of reserved KPH’s chili royal (which were thick cut sliced meat coated with chili) collected recently for them to try. They enjoyed it. Some people may favor other brands but to me KPH probably make the best bakwa in Singapore.

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From KPH, we walked to through Keong Saik to Craig Road where old shophouses were revamped to boutique hotels, cafes, restaurants and pubs. We then headed into Duxton Road just off Craig Road for some cold pressed juices at Juice Junkie. They categorize their raw, organic juice blends into greens, citrus, roots and nutmilks. They also do a 6 pack and 3 or 5 days juice cleanses. We tried 2 varieties from the citrus group.
01 – Apple, grapefruit, kale, mint
02 – orange, pineapple, lemon, celery
Indeed, they tasted really refreshing and yummy!

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Juice Junkie

For dinner, we had Peranakan/ Thai fusion food at Whole Earth Vegetarian Restaurant (76 Peck Seah Street). This popular restaurant was almost full on a weekday. We ordered 4 dishes to share.

Sambal battered oyster mushroom 6/10 – batter was abit too thick, not much sambal taste.

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Thai mango and tamarind fish 8/10 – my all time favorite dish and a must order every time I come. The sauce contains torch ginger flower (bunga kantan) used in Rojak, slightly sweet and sour and goes very well with the mock fish.

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Oatmeal tofu with curry leaves 8/10 – another of my all time favorite. Crispy oatmeal (or nestum) and tofu, delicious and can’t stop!

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Sambal long beans with tempeh 8/10 – this was also very good. I love tempeh (Indonesian fermented soybean cake) prepared anyway. The tempeh in this dish was marinated and fried to perfection. The long beans were crisp.

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Whole Earth menu

For dessert, we headed to Tong Heng Confectionery at 285 South Bridge Road. The shop was packed at about 8.30pm with patrons buying their famous chinese pastries and CNY goodies like nian gao (sticky rice cake 2nd photo below. We got some green bean flaky pastry, century egg ones and egg cake.

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Tong Heng

A few doors down the same stretch was a Cafe Insa-dong. A Korean themed cafe selling. They have Korean sweet potato latte, patbingsu (shaved ice dessert) and toasts. We just had some green tea latte and yuzu honey tea which were quite sweet and average.

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Then it’s Clarke Quay for a quick tour of the night scene. The whole walk/ tour of Chinatown was at least 4.3km.

See other walks we took/ explored
Exploring Central Singapore
Food & nature in Changi
Southern ridges trail
Exploring Changi
One of the Museums series

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