The Ultimate Food Guide to Jalan Besar & Lavender – 35 Best Restaurants, Cafes & Hawker
Text & Images by Maureen & Mu Qin
The Lavender district covers areas such as the up-and-coming hipster Jalan Besar, all the way till the heritage and cultural roots of Indians at Little India. It’s a mix of traditional and modern, with Jalan Besar being an official conservation area which resulted in hawkers and restaurateurs being able to hone their craft without disruption for many decades. Its status as a foodie heaven draws tourists and locals alike to explore this interesting area on foot. Here’s 35 Best Restaurants, Cafes & Hawker in the district.
Good Chance Popiah
Address: New World Centre, 1 Jalan Berseh #01-15, Singapore 209037
Phone: 9622 9445
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 9.30pm daily
Good Chance Popiah is founded by Mr. Hou Shen Hu in 1977. Since then, it established a reputable brand for itself which is highly recommended by both local and overseas patrons. After his retirement, second generation Mr Boon Kaichun (also known as Ah Boy) began running Good Chance Popiah Eating House. The restaurant brings back the joy of wrapping Popiah yourself. With condiments such as including ribbons of omelette, beansprouts, lettuce, coriander, chopped peanuts, sweet soy sauce, and garlic and chilli paste, wrapping popiah in brings back much nostalgia. The traditional Hokkien Fish Head Yam Soup s simmered over slow fire to extract the natural essence. Fresh napa cabbage and sweet yam are added in as well, which is a comforting and hearty soup especially during rainy days.
Housed within the Vagabond Salon of the newly launched Hôtel Vagabond, 5th Quarter serves up a marvel of house-cured charcuterie and grill favourites. Leading the culinary direction at 5th Quarter is award-winning Executive Chef Drew Nocente, whose Italian-Australian background has greatly influenced the menu – as shown with his forte in his traditional curing methods fueled together with his passion for fire, coal and showcasing quality produce on the grill. The 5th Quarter Free Flow brunch will be kept to a simple, laidback and casual affair, allowing diners the chance to comfortably kick back and enjoy some satisfying dishes in the company of family and friends. Yes, you can order as many dishes as you want!
Lighthouse Bistro & Bar
Address: 75 Jellicoe Road, #01-00 Wavelink Building, Singapore 208738
Phone: +65 6390 1699
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 12pm – 10.30pm
Having served mainly members of the Singapore Maritime Officers Union since 2003, Lighthouse Bistro has gone through a near-complete overhaul with fresh faces, updated interior, and newly styled menu selections. A dish that speaks the most about the restaurant’s maritime identity is the Fishermen’s Board ($18), a seafood platter of Atlantic prawns, calamari, black mussels and deep-fried chunks of dory accompanied with a light-whipped Orange Mayonnaise and a House Salad. My favourite is Malaysian Angel Hair ($17). Done in the Malaysian style, the western angel hair pasta is stir-fried with tiger prawns, squid & black mussels and finished off with spicy sambal. There is a rich wok hei in the noodles and the spicy sambal brings a delicious umami flavour.
With the recent salted egg croissants and cheese tarts craze, we’re pretty sure everyone has familiarized themselves with Antoinette, especially this outlet at Penhas Road. You’ll be transported into a “world” of Parisian-inspired ambience. Imagine rose velvet and dark wood seats, marble tables with liberal splashes of gold while French music is playing in the background. There is a great selection of savories and sweets, as well as, all-day dining menu and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Wan He Lou
Address: 65 Maude Road, #01-01, Singapore 208347
Phone: 6294 8057
Opening Hours: 11am–2:30pm, 5pm–10:30pm daily
Helmed by Chef Lau who had won a gold award in a 2006 International Culinary Competition, Wan He Lou serves a wide range of dishes at wallet friendly prices. Lobster Porridge (招牌龙虾粥, $29.90 for 2 pax) is cooked in teochew style with very good soup stock that leaves an umami flavour. Fresh lobster is added in during the cooking process and the meat is cooked just right – firm and juicy. For a 2 pax bowl, you get two halves lobsters and the sea flavors of the lobster blended in well with the simple porridge.
Cakes and pastries here are all Halal-certified and recipes have been adapted from the owner’s grandmother. Butter Studio has a good variety of bakes with one of the signatures being the Ispahan (Lychee Rose Cake). The cake is tender and moist, complemented by sweetness of lychee, with a lingering aroma of rose. Their salted Gula Melaka cupcake is also very popular among locals as it consists of a pandan cupcake stuffed with Gula Melaka filling and infused with salted Gula Melaka cream cheese. Other items which are available are the Nutella Tart and Speculoos Cookie Butter Tart just to name a few. Butter Studio also does amazing dessert tables for weddings and events.
Address: 66 Horne Road, Singapore 209073
Phone: 9388 2973
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 9am to 7pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Sat&Sun 8am to 8pm.
It’s very easy to miss this café, given its unattractive exterior. However, the interior of The Bravery Café is so sparsely furnished with uneven surface of walls, tables, strings of bulbs extended from the ceiling and their centerpiece – a golden horse. The menu offers an array of brunch favourites, ranging from toasts, sandwiches, to poached eggs and pancakes. They also serve up some really unique flavours of drinks and coffee such as their Lavender Latte – a cuppa latte with hints of floral notes. Great place to pass time with great company of friends.
Located in a private residential building off Jalan Besar, Ollella is a brand new café-bakery that offers seven choux – vanilla, apple cinnamon, raspberry, lemon meringue, matcha azuki, dark chocolate and tiramisu – all reasonably priced between $4 and $5 each. For the undecided (like us), go for the mini choux platter ($21) which serves up all seven flavours. The choux pastries are light and has a little crunch, and the flavours are well balanced. I loved each of the little surprises that was presented as we went down the line, from vanilla all the way to tiramisu (in the order above). You can also top up a few dollars to enjoy the platter with a choice of two blended teas by A.Muse Projects ($27), or with two Ethiopia Tchembe N2 Mixed Heirloom coffees ($34) by The Pourover Bar. Ollella also carries a range of their Ethiopian and Panama flavoured coffees on their beverage menu.
This café features a roastery, an island coffee bar, a coffee school and a private coffee tasting room. Upon entering into the café, coffee bean smell lingers around. The interior is dimly lit and exudes a warm feeling, perfect for lounging around with friends over a cuppa good hot coffee. The barista on duty that day will determine the quality of the coffee you have. Generally, coffee here is strong and fragrant. It enters the throat with a punch and a slight bitterness. If you’re looking for something to cool under the heat, try their cold brew coffee, served with milk and syrup on the side for you to doctor it to your taste. This iced coffee is uniquely presented in a medicine bottle. This café serves food items too but their coffee is the highlight.
This is not for the light-eaters and dieters! If you’re a meat lover and a huge fan of superheroes, this is the perfect place for you! Upon entering the café, be prepared to be wow-ed by hundreds of superhero memorabilia, print, sculptures and collectibles. It’s best to dine here with a big group so you get to feast on their Hungry Heroes Platters. For a group of 3-4 pax, you can opt for their Nice to Meat You Platter ($62) which consists of half rack pork ribs, 200g sirloin, 250g de-boned chicken leg, pulled pork, served with choice of roasted potatoes or fries. For a larger group, you can select the Steak-out Platter ($118) which includes 200g ribeye, full rack pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage trio, 250g de-boned chicken leg, beef stew, veal osso bucco, served with choice of roasted potatoes or fries. Besides meats, they also have a huge selection of craft beers and a well-stocked bar for anything else.
Inspired by indie cafés in Japan, L’etoile Café is a lifestyle shop cum café with Japanese-French influences. The interior is furnished with an eclectic mix of clean modern furniture and vintage pieces. This café roasts its own coffee bean and makes decent coffee. That’s nothing impressive to shout-out about their food but they do serve wonderful chiffon cakes which are so light, soft and moist. If you don’t know what to do on a lazy afternoon, you might probably want to drop by this lovely place to snuggle with a cup of coffee while watching the world go by.
Address: 383 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209001
Phone: 6298 8962
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Mon, Wed&Thu 7.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 10.30pm. Tue 7.30am to 3pm. Fri 7.30am to 3pm and 6pm to 12am. Sat 7.30am to 4pm and 6pm to 12am. Sun 7.30am to 4pm and 6pm to 10.30pm.
This is a cozy little café in boutique establishment Kam Leng Hotel, serving up American fare. Well well, it’s tough to look for a really sinful yet scrumptious burger in Singapore but the Suprette burger (from $19) manages to hit all the right spots. The hand-chopped patty was done to medium well, which was flavourful and juicy, with bits of fats for texture. There were generous portions of mushrooms, crisp bacon strips and a layer of gruyere cheese stacked between two buttery, crisp buns. This is simply the ultimate burger indulgence! Don’t forget the mountain of crisp shoestring fries – it’s free flow if you visit during dinner time but trust us, a single serving is more than enough. They also serve side dishes and offer a comprehensive drinks list to wash your food down.
Address: 111 King George’s Avenue, Singapore 208559
Phone: 6291 2698
Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 11am to 10pm. Fri 11am to 11pm. Sat 10am to 11pm. Sun 10am to 9pm.
Do you remember learning alphabets and vowels when you were young? Aligning their theme to these vowels, A.E.I.O.U, this café is returning to the basics, emphasizing in a lifestyle of green conscious living. The café has a rustic feel and it offers plenty of delectable food on its menu. Their specialty is serving drinks in Vodka bottles that are reshaped into drinking glasses. We highly recommend their Avocado Coffee ($8). Sounds weird? Fret not! It was surprisingly a match-made in heaven between the sweetness of the avocado and the bitterness of the espresso. Dessert-goers can go for their Brioche French Toast ($14.90) which includes fresh bananas, strawberries, crème patisserie and drizzled with salted caramel sauce. You have the option of adding a scoop of ice cream for $3.50.
The Bao Makaers boasts a minimalist design, with a touch of industrial. As the name suggests, the specialties here are their fusion “bao” concepts revolving around Mantou buns with various fillings. There are a total of six flavours offered here, which are the Classic (pork belly), Bulgogi (pork), Salted Egg Shrimp, Chili Crab, Teriyaki Chicken and Roasted Veggie. Each of these buns comes in sets of two. However, you are able to get a Bao Platter ($28), consisting of Classic, Bulgogi, Chili Crab and Teriyaki if you want to savour different flavours. There are two types of bao – the steamed and the fried. We prefer the latter as the former was a tad too dry for our liking. As for the fillings, although it seemed sufficient, we wouldn’t mind having more!
Address: 115 King George’s Avenue, Singapore 208561
Phone: 6293 1204
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays. Tue-Thu 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 12am. Fri 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 1am. Sat 11am to 4pm and 6pm to 1am. Sun 11am to 4pm.
Being a hipster Japanese yakitori beer bar is what makes this café stands out. The Refinery is a part casual dining restaurant, part mixology bar and part designer workspace. With an interior boasting high ceilings and white walls, this café seems very inviting and is definitely ideal for large groups to wind down after your hectic work day. The menu has a decent selection of skewers, light bites and small bowls, evidently adopting the tapas-style dining culture. Big eaters take note – dining here will leave you burning a huge hole in your pockets. So, it’s more ideal to head here for a couple of drinks and chillax after work.
Tiramisu Hero’s mascot, Sir Antonio, is a hit among café-goers and instagrammers. With a lovely and brightly-lit interior, it makes you want to spend your entire afternoon just relaxing in the café and thinking of nothing. Besides their signature tiramisu, there are savoury offerings on their menu too. Tiramisu Hero serves decent coffee, wraps, baked rice and sweet desserts such as their waffles.
It’s hard to find a café that does both its food and desserts really well. The three creative minds behind Two Bakers have succeeded! This café is casual and unpretentious, with a mixture of communal and long wooden tables. The comfortable setting allows you to enjoy your dining experience with friends and family. Desserts here are freshly baked and include éclairs, strawberry shortcake and mousse cakes. Sounds a little more “atas” than your usual café desserts right? The elegant bakes that boast intricate techniques are really worth trying. Sandwiches and pastas form part of their food offerings and you should have a go at it too.
Sungei Road Laksa
Address: Block 27, Jalan Berseh, #01-100, Jin Shui Kopitiam, Singapore 200027
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm daily. Closed on 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Sungei Road got its name because it runs along the banks of the Rochor River, hence its Malay name, ‘sungei’ means ‘river’. This road was also known as ‘kek sng kio’ in Hokkien dialet or ‘结霜桥’ in Chinese, which was made in reference to the Singapore Ice Works which used to exist in the precinct. Sungei Road Laksa is always crowded so don’t be surprised by its snaking queues, especially on weekends. There is a system where one lady is busy filling the bowls with ingredients, another one who’s busy taking orders while the last lady fills each bowl with the superb Laksa broth, fueled by a charcoal burner. Topped with generous amount of cockles and green Laksa leaves, this Laksa is light yet flavourful. It is sweet yet mild spicy and infused with coconut flavours and hae-bi in it. The crunchy bean sprouts add to the texture!
Heap Seng Leong
Address: Blk 10 North Bridge Road, #01-5109, Singapore 190010
Opening Hours: 4 am to 8 pm daily
Heap Seng Leong is one of my regular breakfast spot whenever my foreigner friends are in Singapore for a visit. Honestly, the kaya is not outstanding but having a cup of coffee with butter (kopi gu you) in a 1950s kopitiam setting is quite an interesting experience. Nothing much changes here since the 1950s. The signboard, the cabinets and the tiles remain, only the chairs are newcomer (well not that new too). You will get to see kopitiam uncles sipping a cup of coffee while reading their newspaper, or some of them will be taking a quick nap. It is interesting to see the boss wearing striped pajamas bottom and a white sleeveless shirt making kopi. Usually when I am here, I will request for kopi gu you. My friends didn’t quite like the sight of a piece of butter melting in her coffee, but it really makes the full-bodies coffee much more fragrant with caramelised note (like toffee) and all of them finished their cup of kopi clean!
This Claypot Chicken Rice arrived covered in black sauce and cabbages. It has abundant ingredients such as ‘lup cheong’ (Taiwanese sausages) and salted fish added in. After mixing it, you’ll get to experience a burst of textures and flavours in your mouth. The cabbage was fresh and crunchy while the lup cheong and salted fish gave the dish an overall fragrant and savoury taste. The star of this dish is its boneless chicken thigh meat which was very juicy, tender and boneless (hassle-free). We love the charred rice (usually at the sides and bottom of the claypot) but do try cutting down on your charred rice intake as it isn’t very healthy.
This is one of the rarest delicacies found in Jalan Besar. Used to be famous but now, it’s a vanishing dish of white shark meat. There is no reason to go for expensive shark fin soup when you can have shark meat at an affordable price here. The fresh white shark meat is boiled to perfection. The resulting meat is naturally sweet and tender but with a much firmer texture than the fish slices that you get in your regular bowl of fish soup. This meat is served with a sweet plum dip swimming with peanuts chunks, made from preserved plums by the old couple of the stall.
Moving on to another disappearing rare delicacy – Pork trotter jelly, served cold, is translucently brown and has an interestingly chewy texture brought about by the coagulation of gelatin and meat at low temperatures. A blend of tangy sourness and tongue-tingling spiciness makes it more appetizing. This dish is delightful and we would say, ‘an acquired taste’. You need to be adventurous and daring enough to try but we promise you a worthy experience.
Swee Choon Dim Sum
Address: 187/191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882
Phone: 6294 5292
Opening Hours: 6pm to 6am daily. Closed on Tuesdays.
This has become a favourite supper-spot for night owls. Swee Choon is well-known for delicacies such as their ‘liu sha bao’, ‘xiao long bao’, Shanghai and Hong Kong dim sum. There are hits and misses so here’s five favourites of ours we would like to recommend. The famous Swee Choon Mee-Suah Kueh is a deep-fried vermicelli cake with brown and crispy skin and its interior filled with soft mee-suah packed together. The Swee Choon Big Pau has a thick yet fluffy skin and was generously filled with juicy ingredients such as minced pork, a piece of chicken, eggs and half a shitake mushroom. We also like their steamed salted egg yolk custard buns with super flowy custard oozing out non-stop, as well as, their xiao long bao with a moderately thick skin. The soup inside was definitely the highlight! Last but not least, we really enjoyed their century egg porridge. It’s such a comforting bowl, especially on raining days.
This is one of the pioneers of Scissors Cut Curry Rice in Singapore. We promise it tastes better than it looks. It’s hard to miss this coffee shop as there’s bound to be queues of people, especially during dinner and supper time. The orangey-brown colour of the rice comes from the combination of Hainanese curry and braised dark sauce, concocted with over 20 secret ingredients. This sweet-and-spicy curry makes the drenched rice good enough to be eaten on its own. If you’re wondering what dishes to select to complement your curry rice, we suggest their braised pork, fried cabbage, crispy pork chop and prawn roll. Of course, you can also pick and choose your desired items according to your food preference.
Founder Bak Kut Teh
Address: Address: 500 Jalan Sultan #01-09 Singapore 199020
Phone: +65 6816 2582
Opening Hours: 11 am to 5 am daily
What drew us to return to Founder’s Bak Kut Teh is its air-conditioning. Our weather is hot enough and no one wants to perspire while savouring their piping hot bowl of Bak Kut Teh soup right? This restaurant has numerous photographs of singers, actors and famous personalities plastered all over its walls. The clear piping hot bowl of spare ribs soup was moderately peppery and balanced with garlic to give it more body. Using only fresh pork that brings a natural sweetness to the broth, each spare rib comes with thick chunky piece of meat wrapped around each bone. Don’t forget to soak your you tiao into the delicious broth! Besides Bak Kut Teh, the restaurant also offers many other cooked dishes such as pig trotters, braised innards, salted vegetables and many other dishes.
Authentic Mun Chee Kee King of Pig's Organ Soup
Address: 207 Jalan Besar Road, Singapore 208893
Phone: 8678 0207
This is our favourite place to go to whenever there’s a heavy downpour. We love slurping their savoury soup while watching the rain falls. The soup, brewed from large intestines and kiam chye (salted mustard vegetables), is the Teochew-style clear broth. You can taste a gentle tanginess from the kiam chye. The pig liver’s soup fared better as it is tastier. A portion is packed with an abundance of ingredients such as kiam chye, slices of liver, lean pork, stomach, intestines, pork belly and two meat balls. The pig’s stomach here is cut in smaller strips and don’t have the overcooked, rubbery texture unlike other stalls.
Ye Zi Mei Handmade Dim Sum
Address: 208 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208894
Opening Hours: Tue to Sun, open for 24 hours
Hong Kong actress Amy Yip has always been known for her busty figure. And we often create jokes out of it, including this Ye Zhi Mei Handmade Dim Sum (叶子楣手工包点) at Jalan Besar. This jumbo-sized pau became popular in Malaysia during the 1990s and it has attracted many fans (especially the male ones haha). We went there for supper with the foodies after a delicious plate of fried oyster at Jalan Besar Food Centre. Supper was eating such a huge pau? There goes my diet plan again.
The boss, Martin, does one of the best sio bak in town! It’s a place that’s worth going back to multiple times. The skin of Martin’s Sio Bak is crispy brittle to the point that it is almost breaking. Listen attentively to the crackling sound when you bite the skin. It is dry and tastes like biscuit, with the first bite producing a noisy crunch from the skin before it gives way to the juicy layers of well-seasoned tender and moist meat under it. Check out the fatty layers of pork belly which gives out so much juice when you sink your teeth into them. The sio bak here is so good on its own that it doesn’t even need any sauce and it’s impossible to stop at one!
Kok Kee Wanton Mee
Address: 27 Foch Road, Lavender Food Hub, Singapore 209264
Opening Hours: 1pm till sold out
This plate of wantoon noodles, some people love it, some people don’t. But you will definitely see the crowd queueing during dinner. I guess the magic of Kok Kee wanton mee lies in the special soup that is poured on top of the cooked noodles. It complemented the noodles very well and is light and gives a sweet taste. If you are wondering, they don’t make their own noodles.
Lang Nuong Vietnam
Address: 18 Foch Road, Singapore 209260
Mobile: 9235 3548
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 11:30 am – 5pm; 5:30 pm – 11pm
There is a growing number of Vietnamese restaurants in Singapore. As the buzz increased, there are more new and interesting food concepts coming up. One of them is Vietnamese BBQ. Làng Nuöng Việt Nam is the first traditional Vietnamese BBQ restaurant located along Jalan Besar. You get to experience first-hand the famous Vietnamese “street-food” charcoal-barbequed gourmet meat that can only be found in Vietnam. The real magic happens when you cook the meat on the charcoal grill at your table. It’s the smoky hiss of charcoal and the tantalising aroma of slowly barbecuing prawns and chicken on the grill, giving passersby a bird’s eye view of all the action.
Besides their Signature Fried Porridge, there is a whole range of different zichar items offered at Royal J’s Seafood. Originated from Ipoh, owner-chef, John, Ng, brings multiple ingredients, styles and flavours together to their new menu. The fried porridge ($6 small, for 2 pax) has rice that is ‘fried’ with lots of savoury ingredients like yam cubes, pork lard fritters, dried cuttlefish, dried shrimps, chives and shredded crab. Using superior broth, Japanese pearl grains and his homemade brown sauce, the chef fries the rice with gruel such that it’s thicker and starchier. Two of the zichar items we recommend would be the Kam Heong Chicken ($12) and the Tasty Fried Pork ($22 large). The former is a dish with a fusion of Chinese, Malay and Indian flavours while the latter is well caramelized and coated with special sauce and has a really tender and tasty meat.
One Kueh At A Time
Address: #02-61 Berseh Food Centre, 166 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208877
Mobile: 9795 6119
Email Address: [email protected]
Opening Hours: Closed on Mondays. Tue-Sun 8am to 2pm.
Having quit his job as an insurance agent, Nick Soon decided to open a hawker stall “One Kueh at a Time” and he painstakingly makes Teochew kuehs filled with your choice of glutinous rice, chives, or sweet bean paste – all by hand. The recipes are from his old parents who have been making kuehs and sharing with friends and relatives, but have never set up their own stall. The selection of kuehs here is not huge because Nick does everything within his small little stall. He sells soon kueh and koo chye kueh on weekdays while on weekends, his parents will come and help him, hence, they will have png kueh and orh ku kueh as well. All of Nick’s kuehs are selling at $1 each except the koo chye (chives) version, which is at $1.20 each. If you are ordering in bulk, better call him up early to reserve.
Address: #02-43 Berseh Food Centre, 166 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208877
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 6.30am to 5pm. Sat&Sun 6.30am to 2pm.
The coffee here is one of the best around Singapore – very thick and the aroma of coffee beans was evident. Will you believe it if we told you that the owner of Coffee Hut was retrenched a few years back? So, he decided to pay $3,000 to a Hainan coffee master to learn how to make kopi. The kind of toast bread they serve is very similar to big names like Toast Box and Yakun but at a much cheaper price. They also make their own kaya and peanut butter spread that we love buying home. If you’re someone who loves starting your day with traditional breakfast of kopi, soft-boiled eggs and toasts, this is definitely a place to come!
Lai Huat Sambal Fish
Address: 72 Horne Road, Singapore 209075
Phone: 6299 3024
Opening Hours: open 5pm to 12midnight daily, except every alternate Tuesday
Regulars who frequent Lai Huat will certainly go for Sambal Belachan Pomfret ($28 to $42), Black Pepper Crayfish ($18 to $36) and Special Delicacy (aka Fish Maw Soup, $15, $20, $30). The Sambal Belachan Pomfret is deep fried to a crisp, hence dry and crispy on the outside but very tender on the inside. We love that it is topped with homemade dry sambal which is spicy and fragrant enough. The Pepper Crayfish on the other hand, is first fried and then stir-fried with pepper and salt. The meat is firm and sweet. Special Delicacy has generous portions of fish maw, scallops, mushrooms, miched crab meat and cauliflower. Having a zi char dinner here is pleasant and enjoyable and it’s somewhere we would want to return to.
The Beef House (Hakka Food)
Address: 217 Syed Alwi Road, Gar Lok Eating House, Singapore 207776
Mobile: 9665 4919
Opening Hours: 9am to 6pm daily. Closed on Fridays.
This stall is called the Beef House but the only beef they sell here are their ping-pong sized beef balls, which is served in a clear soup with thin bee hoon, kway teow or mee kia. The in-house made beef balls are really bouncy, juicy and have a nice beef flavour. Besides beef balls, they also serve other Hakka food such as Soon Kueh, Yong Tau Foo and Suan Pan Zi.
Lim’s Fried Oyster
Address: #01-32, Berseh Food Centre, 166 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208877
Mobile: 9386 0732
Opening Hours: 6pm to 12am daily. Impromptu off days.
Tucked in a corner of Besar Food Centre is this fried oyster stall that has been around for about 40 years. It’s started by Lim’s father, who used to open a roadside stall along Jalan Berseh. When Besar Food Centre was built, they moved in and it is now managed by the second-generation Lim, who makes the batter by himself. Simple ingredients such as eggs, flour, oil, oysters and fish sauce are used but the secret lies in the batter and the hawker’s control of the fire. Lim’s fried oysters is very well executed as each bite was made up of crispy, charred and fragrant skin encasing a morsel of moist and gooey combination. You get the perfect texture of chewy and crispy starchy bits. It’s a must to dip it into the thick and tangy chilli sauce for an ultimate shiok-ness!
THINGS TO DO
If you’re looking at local and international brands, you can pop by City Square Mall. If you’re more into the eccentric and unusual stuffs, you might probably want to check out the General Company Crafts above Chye Seng Huat Hardware, the Crafts Workshop above The Refinery or do some retro shopping at AEIOU Café. Late-night shoppers would be interested in the 24 hours Mustafa Centre that sells everything from electronics to food to clothing and more. There is plenty of hardware and lighting shops around Lavender.
Activities To Do
Take a jog around Jalan Besar Stadium, also known as the birthplace of football. Located within the same premises is Jalan Besar Swimming Complex. Given that Singapore is scorching hot all year round, this is a great place to cool off. It’s super affordable too, with admission prices at $1 on weekdays and $1.30 on weekends. Or visit the Thieves Market before it closes for good.
Feeling a little more adventurous? You might want to check out SG Darts Haven or Mystery Escape. Tourists who are curious about our ethnic culture and heritage can pop by Little India where there is the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and the Temple of 1,000 lights (Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya).
There are many backpackers’ hostels available within the Lavender district and the following five are recommended – Green Kiwi Backpackers’ Hostel, Mercur Backpackers’ Hostel, [email protected], Rucksack Inn and The Hive Singapore Hostel.
We’ve given you an entire list of foodie haunts and what to see and do in the vicinity of Lavender. Hope it’ll help your exploration!