Katong

Katong, also known as Tanjong Katong, is a residential neighbourhood in the eastern part of Singapore. Home to many affluent English, Portuguese, Anglo-French and Chinese settlers in the late 19th- to the mid-20th century, Katong once saw many seaside resorts and villas along its beachfront, beginning from Katong Park to the end of the East Coast. Although much land has been reclaimed all the way to the East Coast Park to provide land for housing, the rich cultural trademarks of its wealthy elite still stand.

Culture

One of the most popular destinations within Katong is Joo Chiat. A former seaside retreat, Joo Chiat was declared Singapore’s first Heritage Town in 2011. This beautiful town is well known for its Peranakan shophouses. Walking along Koon Seng Road in Joo Chiat, it is impossible to miss the rows of quaint, pastel-coloured Peranakan shophouses which are the hallmark of this estate. Their well-preserved ornate architecture, glazed ceramic tiles and unique framing of windows with columns and pilasters lend a vintage touch to the neighbourhood.

In a neighbourhood where most of the buildings are not more than five storeys, Joo Chiat manages to retain a laid-back vibe.

Peranakan shophouses in Joo Chiat. Image credit: Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Food

Mention the word ‘Katong’ and what comes to mind would be the famous Katong laksa, a popular local dish of noodles in coconut milk-based curry topped with fishcake, prawns and cockles. 328 Katong Laksa is one such stall that serves this dish. Enjoy endless culinary choices as you explore the quaint cafes serving unique Nyonya dishes – a hallmark of the Peranakan culture. These include kueh chang, a pyramidal glutinous rice dumpling wrapped in banana leaves.

With its rich cultural heritage and varied interesting food options, Katong is one of the best neighbourhoods you can explore on a lazy Saturday morning.