Insider secrets to Joo Chiat and Katong: the WYLD guide
MUST-SEES IN JOO CHIAT & KATONG
The ‘painted ladies’ of Koon Seng Road
Koon Seng Road shophouses
One of our fave photographers and creator of amazing Singapore artwork Sandra Macheroux has captured these iconic shophouses in her works, and of course they’re even better in person. Stroll past Koon Seng Road on a sunny day to enjoy these ‘painted ladies’ in all their colourful glory. But heads up: you won’t be alone. There isn’t a day we walk by that you won’t find Instagrammers posing out the front, or photographers capturing all the vibrant details. The residents must have the patience of saints, and we’ve gotta thank them for that.
Another local icon is Rumah Bebe boutique. It’s next to Kim Choo, and you can’t miss it: just look for the red rickshaw out the front overflowing with plants. Inside, you’ll find Peranakan ceramics, beautiful kebayas and traditional beadwork to browse. There’s also a selection of homemade Nyonya dishes from curry puffs to delicious dry laksa.
113 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428803
Murals and street art
We’re loving all of the murals in the neighbourhood, from giant street cats to little laneways bursting with colourful abstract scenes and even a mini-mural by Ripple Root outside an East Coast Road shopfront, Joo Chiat and Katong have a veritable art trail going on!
Kim Choo Kueh Chang
Kim Choo on East Coast Road is an institution: home to Nyonya dumplings, colourful kueh and traditional treats that will make your head spin with choice during CNY season.
111 East Coast Road, 428800
Guan Di Gong Temple
Guan Di Gong Temple
This pretty temple – a heritage building on raised balusters with traditional louvred shutters – is rarely open, but invites a look. If you happen to wander by while the gates are open, pop in to see it up close.
205 Joo Chiat Road, 427476
WHERE TO SHOP IN JOO CHIAT
Joo Chiat and Katong have evolved into a unique shopping destination, with Joo Chiat Road now lined with independent boutiques offering homewares, fashion and furniture. Make sure you drop by to see us at The WYLD Shop on your Joo Chiat shopping spree!
Fashion and lifestyle
Badger & Fox
Tanglin Mall fave Badger & Fox is in the neighbourhood! You’ll find the East Coast outpost in Katong Point, above Little Farms, where you can explore exotic homewares, luxe fashion in linen and silk alongside unique accessories.
Katong Point, 451 Joo Chiat Road 427664
This multi-label boutique offers gorgeous rattan furniture by Elements for major tropical vibes, a great selection of homewares and beautiful resortwear. The wooden toys for little ones are particularly sweet.
420 Joo Chiat Rd, 427641
We love La Tienda for its epic range of homewares in rattan, wood and capiz shell. You’ll also find fab jewellery collections, leather sandals and Indian block-print dresses perfect for swishing around in.
370 Joo Chiat Rd, 427615
Badt and Co
For the most fabulous Spanish espadrilles and a curation of local fashion and jewellery from near and far, drop by Badt and Co’s flagship store. The boutique also hosts local artists, so if you’re lucky you might swing by while there’s an exhibit in the works!
290A Joo Chiat Rd, 427542
Retro treasures at A Vintage Tale
A Vintage Tale
No shopping trip to Joo Chiat is complete without a visit to A Vintage Tale and a chat with its most stylish founder, Azzurra. From the wallpaper to the window displays, this boutique is retro perfection.
277 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-01, 427531
We stock OASIS goodies at The WYLD Shop, but there’s even more vegan and solid skincare to explore at its flagship store and refillery further down Joo Chiat Road. Here you can create your own scented shower gel, refill your clay mask canisters and even drop off any packaging materials you’ve collected for the store to re-use in a bid to reduce waste.
280 Joo Chiat Road, 427534
What Women Want
New to the neighbourhood is another colourful collective: What Women Want. Drop by for dreamy homewares and accessories for tablescapes with wow factor, alongside jewellery and luxe fashion.
299 Joo Chiat Rd, 427550
Locals have been waiting for the return of this local mall after it closed for renovations pre-Covid, and it’s been worth the wait. Now home to the likes of Prive, PS. Cafe, Guzman Y Gomez and Ippudo, alongside Shopping at Tiffany’s, Therapy Market and Lululemon, it’s better than ever. The cinema is back, and zero-waste grocery store Scoop is also on its way – woop! Now if only we could convince i12 to bring back the rooftop water play park….
112 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428802
Just one colourful corner at The WYLD Shop
The WYLD Shop
Last but not least, there’s us! Look out for the little boutique bursting with colour – we’re pretty hard to miss. We love that people know us for our collection of bright and beautiful fashion – we specialise in fab dresses and epic accessories, from boho jewellery to bags and gorgeous sandals. And because we like to champion other small businesses and local talent, we love showcasing independent labels from Singapore brands alongside amazing fashion across Asia and Australia. Psst: we’re pretty big on curating gorgeous gifts and homewares that add bursts of joy around the home too.
412 Joo Chiat Rd, 427637
Home, decor and more
Tiger & Arcadia
Eclectic and in a class of its own, Tiger & Arcadia brings the exotic, the handmade and the luxurious to Joo Chiat. We love the carefully curated collection here, from ceramics that come all the way from Egypt to the decor inspired by oceanic life to the boho fashion and beautiful books, everything is a feast for the eyes.
317 Joo Chiat Rd, 427568
A newbie on the block, Brisa is a fabulous curated boutique with multiple brands all in one space. Look out for their Mediterranean-inspired furniture ware at their storefront cos’ we can’t get enough of their rattan chairs and teak coffee tables. You’ll also find a fantastic range of clothes, shoes, jewellery, and even hand-made bags from Spain and Portugal.
310 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427561
The locals know that you’ll find trendy, antique furniture at Tan Boon Liat Building but Chisel and Log has done us all a favour by opening a second location down our street. If you’re looking for a statement piece for your home, this is where you’ll find it. Chisel and Log specialises in handcrafted vintage furniture, upcycled from Indian doors and windows. We can’t help but swoon over their cabinets, consoles and chests which all have a raw and rustic finish — a vintage dream!
303 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-01, Singapore 427554
Lim’s Holland Village
A long-time fave for Asian-inspired decor and source of colourful cabinets and mother-of-pearl inlay furniture, a good long browse at Lim’s Holland Village used to involve a visit to the original Holland Village or GWC outposts. Now we’ve got our own, thank goodness.
395 Joo Chiat Rd, 427627
Singapore Trading Post
It’s tropical vibes all the way at Singapore Trading Post: think furniture for lounging on your balcony, enjoying a Singapore Sling, pineapple-shaped Christmas decorations and candy jars and enormous ice buckets for hosting your very own free-flow brunch.
426 Joo Chiat Rd, 427644
It’s baskets, pretty plates and colourful vases galore at Crane Living – the lifestyle store attached to newcomer to the neighbourhood, Crane Club.
281 Joo Chiat Road, 427535
BEST JOO CHIAT CAFES
The Joo Chiat cafe scene has exploded over the past couple of years, with some serious barista action and brunch menus going on from East Coast Road and all along Joo Chiat Road. These are just a few of the spots in the neighbourhood we recommend, and where you’re most likely to bump into us outside of the boutique!
Homeground: For the best beans, hands-down. They’re roasted on-site.
Choice Cuts: For the addictive hot dawgs and New York-style deli concept. The tiramisu here is mind-blowing.
The Whole Kitchen: For a great gluten-free brunch menu that lets indulge in old faves like waffles and toasties.
Common Man: For the great coffee and brunch menu. The croque monsieur croissant will be the death of us.
Kohi Roastery & Coffee Bar: We’re already spoiled for choice when it comes to coffee in the Joo Chiat hood but we’re always happy to add another joint to the list! Kohi Roastery is a literal hole-in-the-wall that can’t be missed with its inviting bright yellow windows. As a coffee chain that’s birthed in Thailand, they serve up a pretty neat Asian-blend cuppa. While there's limited seating at this corner cafe, it’s still perfect for your to-go morning coffee.
Cafe Natsu: Sharing the same space with Kohi is Japanese-inspired cafe, Cafe Natsu. Natsu means summer in Japanese so you can expect warm and light interiors with shades of teal and coral. Cafe Natsu serves up a brunch and lunch menu but you can’t pay a visit without having a taste of their soft and airy Japanese souffle pancakes with a matcha on the side.
Hello Arigato: Hello Arigato opened their second outlet just a few doors down from us where you’ll spot their quintessentially minimalistic Muji-esque decor. If you haven’t heard of Japanese Sandos, this is your chance to try them out on our favourite street. Sandos are quite simply sandwiches, but they have a distinctly Japanese look with neatly wrapped ingredients between two soft toasts. We’re thankful for the Japanese’s devotion to aesthetics, especially with the Tamago Sando on the menu that has a nestled Ajitama egg in its centre. For a sweet ending, browse their bakery section and pick your guilty pleasure from sticky buns to miso brownies.
Plain Vanilla: As a cafe chain that’s mainly concentrated in the city (Tiong Bahru, Orchard, Telok Ayer), we’re delighted that Plain Vanilla has finally expanded to the East Coast. While they are famous for their delectable bakes, their Katong menu also offers brunch options including granola bowls and avocado toasts. The outlet boasts a decent-sized space for a morning drop-in (they open at 7:30AM!) with large sofa seats, skylight nooks, a pet-friendly alfresco lounge and even a kid’s play area for your little ones.
Nimbus: Originally known as the C Cafe, Nimbus rebranded with a new name, an upgraded interior space and an ultra delicious menu in August 2022. We're loving the new cosy industrial theme with darker tones of green (painted on their storefront as well!), rough cemented walls and dark wood accents. They’ve simplified their breakfast and lunch menus but we’re so relieved they kept their amazing avo toasts from their original menu — a WYLD crew favourite. Their lunch menu offers heartier options like lobster rolls and wagyu beef burgers. Let’s not forget the coffee! Nimbus serves up a darn good espresso with their Brazil and Ethiopian beans.
Gourmet goodies, groceries and more at Little Farms Katong Point
Little Farms is one dangerous addition to the neighbourhood – we’re spending almost all our spare time here picking up gourmet cheeses, amazing bread and bunches of blooms on the way home, and that’s if we’re not holding a meeting over a coffee at the Bistro.
451 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-01, 27664
You know Joo Chiat has come a long way when there's a natural wine specialist that pops up in the neighbourhood. Look for the intriguing set of stairs leading you to this little wine tasting mecca.
432A Joo Chiat Rd, 427647
This Italian grocer on Joo Chiat Road is our secret weapon for the nights we can’t be bothered cooking: the house-made ragu here is the business, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the team when they’ve had time to make their epic lasagne to totally cheat at dinner. The cheeses and cold cuts here are a real treat.
201 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-02, 427472
Of course we always dress like this to go to the butcher
We have to give a shoutout to our next door neighbour, Butcher Box, founded by Shaun Francis – who’s one of the nicest guys you could meet! Check out the house-made sausages, get to know when it's fresh fish day and ask for advice about how to best cook the selection of high-quality meats and wild-caught seafood sourced by Sean and team. Our tip? Put your name down on the list for the epic aged steak: trust us, it’s worth the wait.
414 Joo Chiat Rd, 427638
The Cheese Shop
This could be our personal heaven: rows and rows of gourmet cheeses hailing from Italy to Spain to Ireland, with all the tasty nibbles you could want to create one mother of a grazing platter. And did we mention there's wine?
267 Joo Chiat Road, #01-01, 427521
We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to bakeries in this neighbourhood. From artisanal sourdough at Micro bakery in the iconic red house on East Coast Road to Maison Kayser in Joo Chiat Place, to great gluten-free options at The Whole Kitchen Katong, there’s something for everyone. Petit Pain bakery commands queues down Joo Chiat Road from the minute it opens its doors to the time it sells out of bread – often not long after opening time, FYI.
For the prettiest pastries and more, check out the popular Tigerlily patisserie, and the sweet and savoury treats at Windowsill Pies. And for the best baklava and borek on the island, hit up the Yugoslavia Bakery & Cafe in Katong V. Now this is one multicultural neighbourhood!
JOO CHIAT RESTAURANTS
From super casual dining to special date nights, Joo Chiat and Katong have it going on in the dining department. Check out some of our faves:
Loving Hut’s vegan menu is a universal hit
Loving Hut: Ridiculously good vegan, which you’ll love no matter your dietary leanings.
Drunken Farmer: It’s Common Man by day; Drunken Farmer by night, serving sourdough pizza and more with a very drinkable selection of natural wines.
Asador: For upscale tapas that’s worth bringing out your best date night outfit.
Long Phung: Damn good pho and Vietnamese faves.
Little Farms Bistro: For when we're craving fantastic fish and chips.
La Bottega Enoteca: Perhaps the city’s most covetable pizza, as part of a six-course tasting menu.
Braseiro: For flame-grilled French steak with bottomless frites. Do you need ay more?
Now you know your way around Joo Chiat and Katong – drop our boutique by next time you’re in the neighbourhood and say hi! Got a fave hotspot you want to share with us? Get in touch and tell us about it!
WRITTEN BY SELINA ALTOMONTE