East Coast Road (Katong Stretch) | Home Tourist Photo Essay 11

East Coast Road, Singapore
East Coast Road, Singapore

The delightful Katong stretch of East Coast Road remains one of Singapore’s most exotic streets.

Since young, I love going to this historical part of Singapore.

During my primary school days, my extended family frequently had dinner at Mei Yuen Restaurant, a venerable roast meat eatery currently still operating at the start of the stretch.

Those excursions stopped in the final years of the 80s. But thereafter, I still regularly head to Katong Shopping Centre for … ahem, never mind, I’ll elaborate on this later.

As a working adult, I didn’t have much time or opportunities to visit. But whenever I could, I would never fail to have a bowl of Laksa at Mary’s Corner. Oh wait, there used to be a Waraku outlet here too; one of the franchise’s first outlets. My parents and I ate there several times.

Yeah … the whole area holds many yummy and playful memories for me.

And so I was really looking forward to this revisit. I’m thrilled to say the area is as vibrant, as alive, as ever. You would seriously be spoilt for choice over what to feast on or chill with when here.

East Coast Road: Singapore’s Most Exotic Food Street?

First off, East Coast Road is one of the longer roads in Singapore. In other words, I didn’t “cover” its entirety. When I wrote “Katong Stretch” above, I refer to the stretch from the Still Road junction to Mountbatten Road.

Also, I got a little carried away with photos. So this post will contain more photos than usual. Be warned!

East Coast Road Chinese Food
A selection of the Chinese eateries I passed by. I’m happy, in a nostalgic way, to see Mei Yuen is still around. Over the years, I’ve dined at some of the other eateries too.
Katong Shophouses
Katong shophouses! These rejuvenated masterpieces not only infuse the area with colourful ethnic identity, they rank among our greatest architectural gems too. (Do you know few Singaporean shophouses are alike on the inside?)
Church of the Holy Family, Singapore
The Church of the Holy Family at the junction with Chapel Road. My two closest NS friends got married here.
112 Katong
112 Katong. I didn’t know it’s closed for a “makeover.” Sorry to say too that all I remember about this mall is that it never did well commercially. (I’ve never checked out the GV Gold Class here too)
Mandalay Gallery
Mandalay Gallery, at the junction with Cheow Keng Road. (Cheow Keng, what a name…) I don’t particularly remember this furnishing store, but I have the feeling it’s been here for a long time.
East Coast Road Cafes
Chinese food is not the only cuisine available, of course. There are numerous other exotic choices.

On Rumah Bebe i.e. the top right restaurant in the above picture, I’ve ever only eaten there once. What I remember from that visit was, oh gosh, the interior is like a miniature Peranakan museum. I should seriously revisit and do one of my geeky restaurant posts on it someday.

And speaking of Peranakan …

Katong’s Peranakan Heritage

The area, and neighbouring Joo Chiat, have long been associated with the Peranakans. Many wealthy Straits-born families used to live here.

Thus, many of the eateries and shops retain distinctively Peranakan designs in their decorations, most commonly in the form of tiles. For example, the façade of Zaffron Kitchen (above picture again) features large swathes of mesmerising orange Peranakan patterns.

And elsewhere:

#medleyalley Singapore
Medley Alley. Created by artists Nicia Lam, Valerie Neo, Novena Angela, and Yillish Lam, this tiny alley in between cafes is akin to a butterfly with wings made of Peranakan tiles.
Kim Choo Kueh Chang.
Kim Choo Kueh Chang. I believe many Singaporeans consider their rice dumplings among the best, if not the best Nyonya Chang in the country. They sell a vast variety of other Nyonya kuehs i.e. snacks too.

Continuing on …

The Red House, Singapore.
The famous Katong Red House. It was closed by the time I reached, but from online write-ups, I discovered the interior is now a lifestyle café.
Xpidemix Board Game Shop.
A board game shop? An interesting stand-out among all the eateries and heritage shops.
Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Singapore
The stunning Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple at Ceylon Road; about a minute’s walk from the main road. Recently repainted, this gorgeous shrine to Lord Ganesh has truly life-like sculptures of Lord Shiva adorning its façade. (Shiva is Ganesh’s dad, FYI)
Katong Apartments
Across the road from where I was: a swanky new apartment looms.
328 Katong Laksa
How can any write-up about East Coast Road not include a shot of the famous 328 Katong Laksa shop? Laksa is one of the must-eat street food of Singapore, and to me, Katong Laksa is the king of Laksa.
East Coast Road Restaurants
Lots of vibrant international eateries at the Katong Shopping Centre end of the road.

Katong Shopping Centre

Last but not least …

Katong Shopping Centre
Katong Shopping Centre! Opened in 1971 and the first air-conditioned mall in Singapore, this mall is still one of the most architecturally unique complexes in Singapore. All those hole-holes!
Katong Shopping Centre Shops
Some of the shops inside the mall. There’s definitely an older generation flavour! (Which I love, to be clear. I am in my late 40s)

Now, I mentioned the mall in my introduction, didn’t I? Well, this used to be one of my must-visits every other week, because there were previously some PC game shops here.

As in, those sort of PC game shops.

The mall wasn’t as famous as, say, Sim Lim Square, for those sort of things. (Double Ahem) But for me, I always preferred the ones here. There always felt to be more choices.

… …

Also … my BMT mates and I use to pop by right after Saturday morning book-outs from Tekong. Oh no, we didn’t come in sweaty and smelly No. 4. Please … We changed and had those stuffed into our field packs.

And after buying, we headed home to game away the night. Yes, game, instead of partying like any self-respecting BMT recruit would on a Saturday night.

Such … obsessive indulgence. And delightful memories for me too. I couldn’t stop grinning outside the mall, as I reminisced about those Saturdays.

All photos taken with my LG V40.

Read my other Home Tourist photo essays.

East Coast Road (Katong Stretch) | Home Tourist Photo Essay 11
Article Name
East Coast Road (Katong Stretch) | Home Tourist Photo Essay 11
Evening walk at the Katong stretch of East Coast Road. This was and still is, one of Singapore’s most colourful food streets.

Thanks for commenting!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.