The crafty, industrial charm of Singapore’s historic neighborhood stays alive with the help of a unique mix of old and new businesses
Spanning three levels, this hip hangout houses a yakitori joint, a workspace that’s used for leather-making and other craft workshops, and a new cocktail bar called Little Bastard. The watering hole mixes innovative, Asian-inspired tipples, and cooks up flavor-packed Thai- and Cantonese-leaning bites.
Berseh Food Centre
Located on the main thoroughfare that runs through the Jalan Besar neighborhood, Berseh Food Centre is unmissable for foodies looking for affordable local eats. At this open-air hawker centre, One Kueh at a Time sells kueh (the Malay term for bite-sized snacks or desserts), Fu Zhou Poh Hwa does circular oyster cakes and Sungei Road Laksa offers potent laksa (rice noodles with a spicy, shrimp- and coconut-based broth).
Mud Rock Ceramics
From their ceramic art studio on Maude Road, Michelle Lim and Ng Sok Har produce beautiful items for the city’s restaurants and design studios. Notably, the pair created a Peranakan-accented tiffin tea set for Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday. Casual hobbyists and amateur potters can sign up for cozy, educational workshops with the artists, too.
The 1925 Brewing Co.
Launched in 2013, this family-run microbrewery and restaurant serves original brews that reflect its Singaporean sensibilities. Try the Blk 622, a dark ale named for the block number where the founders’ grandfather once lived. IPA fans should get the Small Monster, named after the brewmaster’s nickname. Guided tours of the facility are also available — call ahead to make reservations.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware
This inconspicuous café is the flagship outlet of Papa Pahleta, one of Singapore’s finest coffee roasters. Inside, watch baristas at work behind a 360-degree island coffee bar. The aromatic haunt also houses its own roastery, coffee school, tasting room and — wait for it — a craft beer bar called Incognito.
Wimbly Lu Tyrwhitt
What started as a small and humble outfit in the Serangoon area has confirmed its staying power with this new outlet in Jalan Besar. Wimbly Lu is famous for its chocolate desserts and ice cream, but don’t miss the light and fluffy waffles, served with ice cream in flavors like salted caramel, or their pies and flourless cakes.
This story first appeared in the September 2017 issue of Smile magazine.