Exploring Home Of The Peranakans: Joo Chiat and Katong

Why of course there are more to Joo Chiat and Katong than these seven on the list. We visited 328 Katong Laksa for Laksa [at 218 East Coast Road], Soon Soon Huat Crispy Curry Puff for Durian Puffs[at 220 East Coast Road] and Glory Catering for Peranakan Kueh Kuehs [at 139 East Coast Road]. Just for the kids, we paid An Acai Affair [at 101 East Coast Road] a visit too. They are all within walking distance from Hotel Indigo Katong and we needn't drive out for our food.

Best of all, I felt as if we were really on a vacation even though we hadn't left the country. Not much of an East side dweller so exploring this part of Singapore seemed rather holidayish to me. I always had Google Map in hand and navigated our way around as if we were tourists. 

Our four-day-three-night accommodation with Hotel Indigo Katong was a memorable one. I safely declare, there isn't another hotel in Singapore that is as nostalgic and charming as Hotel Indigo Katong. Housed in the former Joo Chiat Police Station, the neighbourhood and vibes returned a very laid-back lifestyle which I appreciated. You've got to read it to believe it [review]. 

I couldn't find much information about these homes and there weren't many people doing shout-outs for this part of Katong. Again, the pictures from Wacky Duo's blog made my heart flutter. I whipped my phone out and showed Ariel, reception at Hotel Indigo Katong, "Is this somewhere near here?"

She replied, "Oh yes! It is. We went on a walking tour to find these gems too. Do you know these houses are elevated because it was located by the beach in the past?"

I was given directions and found these beautifully restored beach houses quite easily. It was only a five minutes walk from the hotel!

The other lady in the pictures is the kids' aunt by the way. Their biggest fan. *haha*

I picked up information of Koon Seng Road's Peranakan Houses from Wacky Duo's blog and we made a quick visit before checking into the hotel. 

It was not difficult to find and there are ample parallel parking lots along the side roads [Tembeling Road] if one drives.   

Sharing a little bit of history from all that I gather from National Library Board. Isn't this great? Going on a historical walk with the kids against picturesque three-storey shophouses and now learning so much about how Koon Seng Road came about. I wished I could draw. It will be so therapeutic to lean against a wall and start penciling in the details of the street. Pity. I am hopeless at art.

We strolled along the Joo Chiat Terraces in search of a Peranakan home we were going to visit. There were dogs barking ferociously for us to stay out but there were also welcoming Hellos and baby's coos that made us walk with a smile in stride.

My dream home. Some day. I promise. One of these historical homes in Singapore will be ours. Preferably not in the East though.

There is a Mah Mah Shop along the five-foot walkway too! Be sure to keep your eyes open for it.

We found it! Not a free tour but by appointment only at S$45 per person for a party of six. We paid Alvin, the owner of The Intan a visit and had a glimpse of the yesteryear as his guests in his home! Yes he lives there. I knew about The Intan because of "The Peranakan Museum" at Kidzania Singapore when I went with my dad for the Back-To-Skool version. Everything there is sponsored by The Intan.

Our private tour at The Real Intan ended with an afternoon tea session with Nyonya Kuehs. Although I would love lunch, I don't think the children can last two hours there. They have two guided options:

1. The Intan Tea Tour [approx 1 hour]
2. The Intan Lunch/Dinner Tour [approx 2 hours]

Oh please do gather a party of six because it gets pricier as your party gets smaller! Enquire here.

Is the tour worthwhile? Personally, I think the Peranakan houses in Malacca are more impressive. If you've got a chance to head to Malacca for the tour, I'd rather you put your money there.

Just around the corner from The Intan, you will find Ernest Zacharevic's Jousting Painters. We had intended to find this mural for the longest time but Joo Chiat isn't exactly near our home. Thankfully, we stumbled upon the mural while finding our way to The Intan!

This is just meant to be. It features two young boys on their doodled horses gearing to clean someone's house. It sure looks like that with their glum faces! *haha*

The children weren't as excited as I was obvsiouly. But what got them jumping with joy is this playground they spotted just in front of the mural! So parents, if you are a sucker for murals, bring your kids. They've got a playground to entertain themselves in after your photoshoot!

I am still missing the Nyonya Dumplings we had in Malacca. Those delicious dumplings with blue dye to make it distinctively Nyonya. I was looking forward to trying out these dumping from Kim Choo because it is famous isn't it?

Alas. No blue streaked dye on that sticky triangular dessert. How did it taste? I think it's really rather regular. Just another Bah Chang to me! Then again, something everyone should try when they are in the vicinity because it is famous!

There are three outlets in the area:

- Main Outlet: 60/62 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427784/427785 | Tel: +65 6344 0830
- East Coast Retail Outlet: 09 East Coast Road, Singapore 428800 | Tel: +65 6741 2125
- Boutique Gallery: 111 East Coast Road, Singapore 428801 | Tel: +65 6741 2125

We've been here a couple of times but never quite shared this gem of a restaurant before. Why do I call it a gem? Well, because it caters for families. How hard have parents googled for Family-Friendly Cafes to find an eatery which includes some kind of playground to babysit the children while they savour their food? VERY HARD.

Quentin's don't always show up in the search engine and so, I shall do them [and you especially] a favour this time to share its location.

The food is Eurasian. Now what's Eurasian cuisine? It is a glorious mix of Asian and European flavours. Think fiery hot chilli-mustard-vinegar flavoured curry to tamarind and  and cinnamon. Well of course there are dishes catered for children who take non-spicy food as well. 

Check out their Menu!

Parking is sheltered, free but limited. So if you are not so lucky to get a lot, there is an open-air carpark next to it and of course it's chargeable.

Don't forget to sanitise your kids before you enter the playroom! We really encourage responsibility wherever there is an indoor playground. Ditto?

Eurasian Community House
139 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429744

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