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Joo Chiat Community Events : If you wish to share anything new or happening in Joo Chiat, please write to us at .

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Campaign Against Dengue
Read NEA's Campaign Against Dengue website.
Learn Tips to Prevent the Spread of Dengue


URA Parking Offences
For enforcement action, contact Certis CISCO Security - 24-hour Hotline 1800-5471923


Live Music @ Eurasian Community House
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (starting 23rd of October 2008) Quentins will be open till midnight. The "Silhouettes" featuring Larry Fenton and Andrew de Silva will perform 3 sets each night. Dinner will only be served till 10.30pm but snacks will be available.


Revised Operation Hours at Public Carparks off Joo Chiat Road
Applicable from 1 July 2008, revisions to kerbside parking on Joo Chiat Road and in carpark next to Kuan Im Tng Temple. Carpark charges (50 cents per half hour) are applicable everyday (including Sunday/ Public Holiday) from 8.30am- 10.00pm.


Grand Opening the Peranakan Museum
The Peranakan Museum was launched on 25 April 2008. Located on the site of the former Asian Civilisation Museum II, this museum serves to educate on all things Peranakan.


Mediacorp Radio Singapore International - Leisure Tour of the Lion City - Leisure Tour of Joo Chiat. First aired on 29 May 2007, 9.05pm.

Over the past six weeks, Mediacorp Radio International featured the wholesome nightlife of Joo Chiat on FM95.8. It was very well received by listeners not only in Singapore but also as far afield as PRC China. Listen to these radio internet broadcasts (in mandarin) at your leisure.

Episode 1- Introduction to Joo Chiat
Episode 2- Joo Chiat Architecture & Eurasian Community House
Episode 3- Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
Episode 4- Understanding Peranakan Culture in Joo Chiat district Part 1
Episode 5- Understanding Peranakan Culture in Joo Chiat district Part 2



The Eurasian Association's Last Sunday Lunch Specials
Every last Sunday of the month the Eurasian Association (EA) invites one of its many Eurasian chefs to cook a storm for its members and the community. It's their chance to show off home-cooked Eurasian cuisine at its best. At $12 per head, it is value for money. On July 30, for instance, it recalled well-known chef Richard Pereira to cook Fish Molie ( a very mild coconut fish curry with vinegar), Beef Smore ( a brown stew with vinegar), Shepherd's pie, mutton curry Eurasian style (not spicy hot), and stir-fried broccoli and carrots. Dessert was a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate brownie trifle and a deliciously moist sugee cake. There were also stalls selling home-made jewellery, home arts and craft, snacks and condiments. Early reservations are recommended. Call Joyce of EA at 64471578. Lunch is from 12.30pm and mid afternoon. And do catch EA's own little Eurasian Museum with its wealth of history and heritage while you are there. The Eurasian Association is at Ceylon Road, just off Dunman Road.

Eurasian Association  Building Ceylon Road



Joo Chiat Community Website - Welcome to MyJooChiat.com

A fresh-faced Peranakan bistro has come to town!

A stroll around Joo Chiat’s ever-changing neighbourhood will reveal surprising new developments.

Among the many new eateries to spring up in Joo Chiat is probably its fifth Peranakan restaurant – this time right in the heart of Singapore’s first Heritage Town.

betel box bistro peranakan ikan sumbat nonya nanas yong tau hu

Helmed by award-winning master Peranakan chef, Uncle Ben, himself a true blue Baba, Betel Box Bistro promises to colour Singapore’s increasingly adventurous and diverse food scene with some of its very own specialties such as Laksa Goreng, Sambut Ikan and Nanas Yong Tau Foo. These are but a few of Uncle Ben’s ingenious improvisations on traditional Peranakan recipes, but he carries it off with panache. Perhaps because of his 30 years of cooking Peranakan food including preparations for a host of celebrities and dignitaries including the royal families of Brunei and Kuwait!

Baba Richard Seah, health writer, award winning photographer, and food nut said: ”Ben’s dishes are so different from all the others I have tried; but they are good, some even very good. I will come again.” Nyonya Linda Chee enthused: “ The nanas yong tau hu gravy is delightfully ambrosial, with the pineapple giving it a lovely yet gentle tang. And the veggies are filled with this delicious homemade paste of meat and prawn. The dish is an easy winner.”

We were sampling some of Uncle Ben’s specialties: kacang botol, fresh kerang (cockles) sambal, assam pedas kerisi bali, ikan sumbat, babi pongteh, chicken rendang, and chincalok pork.

Of the two fish dishes, the assam pedas kerisi bali was very good. The fish – a red snapper this time - was extremely fresh, as usual, and the meat white and flaky and of the right texture. The sauce was tangy with the right hint of tamarine, counter-balanced by a little sweetness. The other fish dish, ikan sumbat, which needs to be ordered at least a day in advance, was easily the crown in the menu for the few of us who tried it over lunch. It is like a fish nyoh hiang and yet isn’t and escapes description! It is in the die die must try classification.

Uncle Ben’s starters kacang botol sambal and the fresh kerang sambal were refreshingly delicious. They were obviously lovingly put together and great to start our lunch with.

The other dishes had their own familial peculiarities. Uncle Ben’s recipes are all home-based, and as is often said among babas and nyonyas, one family’s ayam buah keluak will be different from another’s: so too Ben’s babi pongteh looked and tasted a little different from my mother-in-law’s version. His was darker in colour and in taste it seemed not to have a few spices that we would use in ours. But it was tasty.

The chincalok pork received rave reviews too. We suggested that perhaps a small dish of chincalok with lime be provided as a small side dish for those who really want a taste of chincalok. But, as we all know, chincalok is salty and one would have to be careful how we use it to complement the pork dish.

Don’t miss out. Take-outs and deliveries are also available. Call Victor Tony at 64405540 for reservations. The bistro is open daily from 12noon to 10pm but closed on Tuesdays. Easy parking at large Tembeling Road/Joo Chiat Place car park next to large Chinese temple.

Betel Box Bistro (www.betelbox.com/bistro)
200 Joo Chiat Road,
Singapore 427471
Tel: +65 64405540
Wed -Mon, 12noon to 10pm

[Read more in Joo Chiat Food Stories]


My Shiok Joo Chiat Makan

We are starting a foodie series called My Shiok Joo Chiat Makan for our Joo Chiat website. Please make sure you visit us regularly to find out what and where and join the fun. Joo Chiat is after all the place where you will find some of Singapore's best local fare. Please share your personal favourite makan place with us too to review. Write to us at

Mar 2013



Broadway in Joo Chiat?

We received an email from a young resident that inspired us that there is a deeper sense of community pride that will ultimately overcome some of the issues we currently face as a community. We like to share with you his vision and perhaps be inspired to act.


My name is Will, in my 20 years of age, I have spent 14 of them in Joo Chiat. While it pains me to witness Joo Chiat mired in alcohol, sleaze and the noise from the karaoke, I understand that there is only so much the government can do to help. I believe we, the residents, have to be part of the solution to rid our community of the vices that have plagued us for so long.

I have a dream, and I have once seen this dream in reality.

When I was at Times Square in 2008, I saw a bustling theatre district that has risen from its seedy past of crime and prostituition. It took crackdowns from the police, struggles with the gangs in New York and the greatest hardship of all, it took a long time for the change I saw to happen. Putting this in perspective, replacing a bar with a theatre can work in Joo Chiat too, it fits our theme as a cultural and lifestyle district. The food connosieurs would now have a destination to enjoy a theatrical performance after their dinner and probably stay for supper too.

True, our current social problems have bogged down the development of Joo Chiat's 'could have been's. But I am still upbeat, we have a bustling art scene in Joo Chiat not seen elsewhere in Singapore's local communities. We have people opening up new art galleries, inherited the beautiful shophouses and even a showcase of our area's heritage in the Peranakan Museum.

There will come a day when people from all walks flock here for, say, the world acclaimed 'Joo Chiat Film Awards' in a theatre, instead of 'Booze Snooze and Karaoke Champ' in I Love You Pub.

Imagine a day where Joo Chiat becomes a strip of little theatres and galleries where our budding local talents would showcase their works for the world to admire and where we would finally be free from the chores of cleaning up the revelers' alcohol overdose regurgitation every morning. This would be a better Joo Chiat, a better Joo Chiat for the young and old, present and future residents, art lovers and food lovers.



"King of Katong" - The Chew Joo Chiat Story

Philip Chew is the great grandson of Chew Joo Chiat whom our district is named after has ardently archived interesting morsels of information into a blog http://mychewjoochiat.blogspot.com/. Join Mr Philip as he shares his personal journey of discovery about his great grandfather Chew Joo Chiat's life and times in Singapore. Roads to Chew Joo Chiat Part 1, Roads to Chew Joo Chiat Part 2


Joo Chiat Inspirations

Morning was rising and I decided to take a drive around leafy Joo Chiat neighbourhood. Just for the heck of it. You know, one of those bleary-eyed mornings when on a spur of the moment you reach out for something, anything, to do.

Glad I did too because it suddenly dawned on me that the neighbourhood appeared to have undergone and continues to be undergoing some pleasant changes - architecturally, over the past twelve months at least - without me realising it. The changes had slipped unnoticed into my subconscious.

The kind of unseeing that you experience when signs everywhere beckon your attention but not succeeding.

Starting at the busy flat junction of Joo Chiat Place and Still Road, where the spicy sweet black pepper crabs of Eng Seng Eating House draw queues from seafood devotees every day of the week starting in the early evenings, as you turn left into Chiku Road, you come upon a recently updated row of single-storey terrace houses that have become homes to house-proud tenants. Where once these terraces were dilapidated and grey from years of untended grease, they now wear a newness and bohemian charm that are wholly unexpected - new roofs, stone walls, potted plants, plant hangings, interesting patio lights and art objects.

And at the junction of Chiku Road and Joo Chiat Place, the three-storey block of art deco apartment building, which once looked neglected in trailing dirt from monsoon rains and given to foreign workers from India and Bangladesh and whores from China and the Philippines, is suddenly seeing a revival as new owners buy up its apartments one by one and begin to spruce them up in ways quirky and creative. One proud owner has even proudly displayed a fashionable black chandelier in his balcony. I wonder what he has inside to top this.

Suddenly, the heritage second-storey apartment that is tucked into the corner of the block doesn't seem odd any more because it was where Zubin Said composed Singapore's national anthem Majullah Singapura. For a long while it stuck out like a haven in this Faustian setting of sleaze, sex, filth, noise and spit with its clean bamboo blinds and dragon jars of baby green palms. Never mind that it was bought over by a Singapore Malay judge (of Singapore's Subordinate Courts) who wanted to ensure this neglected piece of Singapore's history did not fall into grubby uncaring hands.

Then just across the road from this block has emerged a row of six beautiful nearly restored pre-war shop houses, newly painted in a mosaic of pastel Peranakan shades and redone plaster friezes. The asking price? Three million dollars a piece. Perhaps not too high a price to pay for those who love the neighbourhood's heritage and setting.

We've begun to see a lot more of these quaint properties being conserved. Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Board just last year gazetted over two hundred more buildings in the neighbourhood for conservation. This has turned Joo Chiat and Katong into perhaps Singapore's single largest Peranakan and Eurasian heritage neighbourhood with close to a thousand buildings under conservation.

New families and businesses are moving in. Weekend mornings, afternoons and evenings catch couples and families strolling Joo Chiat's streets and nooks and corners obviously looking out for places to lease or buy. New businesses like Egg3 at 260 Joo Chiat Road and Artoholic at 422 Joo Chiat Road are up and running, bring the neighbourhood one notch up the creative hub.

The neighbourhood is getting gentrified as a result, more and more. This despite the three small pockets of evening sleaze that took root only between 2003 and 2004 along the northern stretch of Joo Chiat Road between Dunman Road and Changi Road that have unfairly given the neighbourhood a bad rep.

Take the recently renovated all-white art deco residence at 122 Joo Chiat Place, at the corner of Joo Chiat Place and Mangis Road and just a few doors away from the former kampung home of Cultural Medallion Award winner sculptor Ng Eng Teng which is recognisable from its old wooden frames and huge floating mother and child bronze sculpture in the front yard. It was painstakingly long work but the result has been worth the wait. The restoration has kept practically intact all of the building's major facade, while the gutted interior, made larger, has been kept as close to the original as possible in terms of its structural accents.

Or the row of shop houses where well-known Singapore thespians have made their homes for many years. Singapore's creative types have always chosen the East to roost - attracted to its bohemian charms, aromas and colours. And Joo Chiat/Katong get more than their fair share of the pie, even in the evenings when the handful of pubs and coffee shops light up to a raucous show of flesh and lust.

Then this Gallery Eighty and Studio K which are the studios of sculptor Kumari of the dried chilli fame - the creator of that lovely large obliquely round chilli pod that looks like a red Granny Smith apple in the Fort Canning Road backyard of Singapore's restored National Museum. The studio is now located in a newly furbished row of shop houses run by MUIS' wholly owned realtor Warees Investments which has successfully leased its refurbished shop houses to decent trades .

Not to mention Miao Zai Xuan at 44 Joo Chiat Place, just a few shops further down from the famous Fei Fei wanton noodle fame at the corner of Joo Chiat Place and Everitt Road where, it seems, all of Singapore converge for a bite of its soft chewy egg noodles and home-made chilli paste from early morning to past midnight. This Chinese Brush Painting art gallery is run by artist Lin Luzai from China who has made Singapore his home.


Songs of our town

There are many songs that are associated with our town- Joo Chiat. Two famous ones are Di Tanjong Katong and Geylang Si Paku Geylang.

There has been a number of discussions of the origins of Katong and Joo Chiat districts, and perhaps of their chronological histories. Further, technical terms "Place Identity" has also been used to give focus to the sentiments attached to a district.

Joo Chiat is the name used for many streets in our district while there is only one road with the name Katong. However, Katong is a name used for many buildings and also businesses in our area. By precedence, certainly Katong was a name used earlier than Joo Chiat to describe a district, however, that seemed to have lost momentum in the early 1900s. The feelings of what is the "Katong area" seems to extend to a wide area, some would say even wider than the Joo Chiat constituency. Moreover, Geylang, in particular Geylang Serai, being adjacent to Joo Chiat area, also bears strong association.

The songs translated here are folksongs, which may not even be of the districts Geylang or Katong of Singapore. Further, logic in lyrics may be at times sacraficed for rhyming... However, its without a doubt that these songs are still popular tunes taught in the schools and sang during national festivals and so, perhaps it is good idea to get an idea of its meanings.


Di Tanjong Katong (Malay Language)

Di Tanjong Katong, airnya biru
Di situ tempatnya dara jelita
Duduk sekampung, lagikan rindu
Kononlah pula nun jauh di mata

Pulau Pandan jauh ke tengah
Gunung Daik bercabang tiga
Hancur badan di kandung tanah
Budi yang baik di kenang jua

( Repeat Chorus )

Kalau ada jarum patah
Jangan simpan di dalam peti
Kalau ada silap sepatah
Jangan disimpan di dalam hati

( Repeat Chorus )

(Malay folksong of unknown origin, lyrics source)

Di Tanjong Katong (English translation)

Di Tanjong Katong, the water is blue
That is where you'll find pretty ladies
Missing ( you ),eventhough in one community
What more, if you're far from sight

Pandan Island far into the middle (of the sea)
Mountain Daik broken into three..
The body decays with the merging of the Earth
Good deeds will nevertheless still be remembered.

( Repeat Chorus )

If there is any broken needle,
Do not keep inside the chest
If there is any mistakes,
Do not keep inside the heart

A popular Malay love song presented in traditional "pantun style"



Geylang sipaku Geylang,
Geylang si rama rama,
Pulang, marilah pulang, marilah pulang bersama-sama (2x)

Jangan memegang arang,
Letak di dalam raga.
Jangan mengata orang,
Diri sendiri baik dijaga.

Jangan masuk ke kota,
Jikalau membawa pandan.
Jangan suka mengata,
Akibat nanti binasa badan.

Mari pergi menjala,
Jala di tengah kuala.
Tikus maharajalela,
Melihat kucing pening kepala.

(Malay folksong. Thirty-six Best Loved Songs of Malaysia & Singapore - Aisha Akbar. )

GEYLANG SI PAKU GEYLANG (English Translation)

Geylang full of ferns,
Geylang full of butterflies,
Come let's go home, let's go home together (2x)

Do not carry the charcoal,
Just put it in a basket.
Do not be quick to criticize others,
Better to watch your own behavior.

Do not go into town,
If you are carrying pandan.
Do not be gossipy,
Lest you damage yourself.

Let us go fishing,
In the middle of the river mouth.
The mouse went crazy,
Sees the cat and gets a headache.

(Translation by Lai Ah Eng based on lyrics of Thirty-six Best Loved Songs of Malaysia & Singapore - Aisha Akbar.)


The Girl From Katong

She was the girl from Katong
Magical Marine Parade
I wanna sing you this song
Disappearing in a fade

She caught me looking at her
From the corner of her eye

Run over me, over you
She said run over you over me..

And in a blinding flash
We ended in a crash
I got her to her feet and then she smiled at me

Composition and lyrics by Serenaide


Kisah Geylang Serai (Malay Language)

di waktu petang di Geylang Serai/ terang benderang sungguhlah ramai
tua dan muda miskin atau kaya/ semuanya ada terdapat di sana

begitu banyak orang jualan/ sehingga sesak sampai ke jalan
bermacam barang terdapat di situ/ kasut dan baju 'macam model baru

kalau penat carilah bai serbat/ di dekat Panggung Taj di situ tempat
kalau nak buah di situ memang murah/ kalau nak kuih tak susah pilih

berbagai bangsa yang lalu lalang/ sungguhlah puas mata memandang
itulah kisah Geylang waktu petang/ sungguh cukup ramai di Geylang Serai

Music and lyrics by Ahmad Jaffar. Youtube music video


Kisah Geylang Serai (English translation)

Geylang Serai in the evenings
Is brightly lit and always crowded
The young and old, the rich and poor
They can all be found mingling there

There's so many people selling their goods
The place becomes congested and pours to the streets
Everything can be found there
Shoes and clothes of the latest trend

If exhausted look for the sarabat man
In front of the Taj Theatre, not too far
If you want fruits, they are cheap
If you want cakes, just make your choice

Various races pass that area
Making eyes wander in satisfaction
T hat's the story of Geylang in the evening
Geylang Serai is always crowded



Travellers Tales - Joo Chiat Backpackers Hostels

Tourists especially backpackers and travellers are beginning to flock into our district to enjoy the special blend of Katong hospitality that we as locals already appreciate.

Just who are these backpackers? Backpackers are independent tourists that do not normally travel with a tour group. They may not have a fixed travel itinerary but rather prefer to decide as they go along how long to stay in a locality or what to see and do. The core of backpackers are between 18-25 years of age and may spend up to 1 year travelling on a "round-the-world" air ticket. Most are university graduates, culturally sensitive and keen to interact with locals to experience something heartfelt and authentic. Due to the long duration on the road, backpackers may travel on a budget but are willing to splurge on specials like exotic foods and must-do activities.

Backpackers are a different breed of tourists and backpackers hostels need to be a different breed of accommodation provider.

[Read more about Joo Chiat Tourists Accommodation- Hotels, Hostels, Guesthouses]


A Cat’s Tale

By Dr Tan Chek Wee

I am the doctor half of a palliative home care team that provides support to a person who wishes to die at home. The other equally important half of the team is a staff nurse.

On 14th of June, T and I visited a patient in Joo Chiat. We had a late lunch at the Chong Pang Nasi Lemak stall. I chose the vegetable ingredients of the nasi lemak as I am vegetarian.

As we were settling down to eat, I saw this lovely ticked tabby cat with an uncommon long straight tail. Most cats in Singapore have tails that are uniquely knotted.

She must be a regular visitor to this coffee shop as I saw friendly pats from customers and stallholders.

A few minutes later, two well-dressed ladies walked by. One of them called out to the cat which responded and was rewarded with some nibbles.

I pointed out the left ear of the cat to my colleague, T. The ear was tipped, i.e. it was surgically snipped during her sterilisation surgery. This symbol of a neutered cat is used in many parts of the USA and it is increasingly recognised by people in Singapore too.

The presence of a tipped ear cat in Joo Chiat means there are residents here who are aware that the care of community cats must go beyond just feeding them. The rapid reproduction capability of cats can result in numbers too big for some residents to tolerate, with some residents trapping cats in their gardens. The cats thus trapped are put to sleep at the AVA. Trap-Neuter-Release-and-Manage is an evidence-based effective and humane method of curbing the proliferation of cats.

The relationship of human and cats stretches back to almost 10,000 years.

They are part and parcel of our community but they need our help to reduce the conflicts between human and cats, i.e. by using humane population control methods.

In case you are wondering if a "fat good looking" cat will be too lazy to catch rodents, Roger Tabor, British naturalist and biologist and a world-renowned expert on felines, in a survey, found the house cat to be a "significant predator". As a vegetarian, I wish cats are vegetarians too!

But I really wish my fellow human beings will be kinder towards our feline neighbours and to stop killing cats at the rate of 13,000 every year for 25 years!

Sterilisation Saves Lives!


Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage (TNRM) is a programme to manage the community cat population.

Residents who live in the community can volunteer their time (and who are also called caregivers) to help trap the cats for sterilisation (neutering).

The neutered cats are then returned into the environment from where they came. The cats are then managed, which involves responsible feeding, care of the cats and handling of complaints from other residents who may have issues with the cats.

Trapping and killing have been practiced for more than 25 years in Singapore and it has been shown not to work. Removing cats from the area creates what is known as the vacuum effect - this means that new, unsterilised cats just move in to take over the area that has been created when the existing cats are taken away.

Sterilisation however controls the population because the sterilised cats become more territorial and drive newcomers away. They also stop cauterwauling (making mating noises), stop spraying and most importantly, stop breeding.

Residents who care for the cats also help to speak with other neighbours who may have issues with the cats and to solve their problems. This is a community based approach that involves neighbours working with their neighbours to work on issues facing the estate as a whole.

If you'd like to start a TNRM programme in your community, please contact for more information. For subsidised sterilisation slots for community cats, please write to or call 7000-CATSNIP. For any issues you may be facing with cats, please email



Joo Chiat Re-imagined!

We chanced across this project in a blog belonging to a young architectural NUS student who lives in the East Coast and whose heart is clearly with the Joo Chiat community. We asked his permission to reproduce this insightful project in our website and hope you will enjoy it too. There is much going for Joo Chiat. Yes, there is still sleaze – but it is now confined to a small section of Joo Chiat Road. Sleaze used to be found in the whole stretch of Joo Chiat Road until MP Chan Soo Sen, grassroots leaders, the authorities and residents worked towards cleaning up the neighbourhood. As MP Chan Soo Sen has said last year, Joo Chiat will be vibrant and sleaze-free by 2008. That’s the target, and imaginative effort and conviction by East Coasters and well wishers like Jeffrey can only help lead us to that. Jeff's main theme is that more community space and activities will need to be created to bring families back to the neighbourhood. If you are not already aware, the Joo Chiat CCC since the start of 2007 has been organising events at Joo Chiat Square for families every Saturday from 5.30pm to at least 7pm. Joo Chiat Square is at the junction of Joo Chiat Place and Joo Chiat Road. Residents and well-wishers are welcome to enjoy these community events and activities.

That Joo Chiat Place by Jeffrey Ang of National University of Singapore Architecture Department

As part of my architectural thesis work, I have decided to investigate into Joo Chiat as a possible area of design intervention, taking into consideration of garnering feedback from the existing community as far as humanly possible in conjuncture with the demands of my academic life.

The issues below are some of the inferred Critiques/Observations of Joo Chiat from readings, mapping n site visits:

Joo Chiat Girls 

Although Joo Chiat does have a very distinct feel n character (from the generally relaxed and laidback feel of people & place to the well established namesake of a food haven in Sg), residents has been steadily unhappy that it has been gradually and constantly threatened by factors such as rampant vice and the rowdy male clientele that is associated with it. It is also observed that some female residents have been choosing to walk the back lanes as they do not want to be subjected to the accusing and demeaning looks walking portions of the main street, especially at night.

The nature of the people who come for food within Joo Chiat are seemingly transient and the inherent market forces within have thus created a lack of gathering/activity space. Food has always been a strong 'pull' factor of Joo Chiat, be it the residents themselves who regularly frequent particular shops, Easterners who often come in due to proximity, to the rest of Singaporeans who generally drop by for an occasional meal. But as time n society changes, food is now also a stronger 'push' factor as insiders n outsiders alike who eat are also transient! Parking fees are back of the mind as most outsiders drive in to grab a meal n leave. Residents either eat quickly or takeaway as there is also no reason to linger around too

[Read more about That Joo Chiat Place]




Living Peranakan Culture

If you ever need to know anything about the Peranakans in Singapore, you go no further than Peter Wee. Born Peter Wee Ban Kheng, the 54-year old Baba is Singapore's leading authority on Peranakan culture. [Read more about Living Peranakan Culture]


Poem by Evelyn Chow

Joo Chiat in its splendour of today
Is no different from its 50’s heyday
Thanks to modern conservation
The buildings are still in pristine condition
The Red House especially
Brings back memories of freshly baked cakes & pastry
The coffee shop at junction of Joo Chiat & East Coast
Was famous for char kuay teow, char siew rice & kaya toast
Not to mention the ice balls during intervals in Roxy
Slurping and dripping as we tarry
In between kachang puteh and laksa curry
Those were the days when movies were 50 and 70 cents
Which do not cause our allowance to dent
We are proud to say that memories of bygone years
Are still alive today which we hold dear


Joo Chiat Nostalgia

by Colin Chee

As I tap away on my laptop, Joo Chiat's sea breeze wafts through the open door and windows. It brings with it the faint salty scent of the South China Sea.

This time of the year, the breeze is almost constant - cooling the tarmac, lifting the curtains and gently shaking the trees. There's no need for air-conditioning. No need for that for six months at least till past January. [Read more about Joo Chiat Geography & Weather]

I recall the sea smell was stronger once, long ago, before the sea got pushed out at least three kilometers. [Read more Joo Chiat Stories]



Cristene Chang - Printmaker, Mixed Media Artist

Among Joo Chiat's artists are some of Singapore's better known creative mavens.

Cristene Chang Hoei is a contemporary printmaker and mixed media artist who explores abstraction and nature motifs in her works. Her early art instruction included Chinese ink and finger painting under the late pioneer finger painter Wu Tsai Yen. [Read more about Cristene]

Poh Ju Yong, Terry - Sculptor, Mixed Media Artist

Poh Ju Yong is a painter and sculptor who employs various materials including stone, wood and metals (bronze, aluminium). Often adopting a minimalist aesthetic, his works are inspired by the natural environment as well as city urban imagery. He has also created installations, assemblages and mixed media works that integrate relief work & printmaking techniques on their surfaces. [Read more about Terry]


Heritage in Watercolour!

Jonathan is a young artist, songwriter and singer actively involved in the local music scene. He graduated from La Salle -RMIT with a Master of Fine Art (painting) degree in 2004 and has been working with young people groups. Jon is also a freelance artist and illustrator.

Between 2000 and 2002, after his National Service, Jon joined an international Christian rock band, "No Longer Music" which was based in new Zealand. They toured Latin America, Eastern Europe as well as Australia and New Zealand. In Auckland, Jon worked with marginalized city youths in-between tours.

Doodling ever since he was old enough to hold a pencil, Jon now enjoys experimenting in watercolours. His Kampong Arang sketches done in 2000 were put in a calendar by St Hilda's Church as well as the South-East CDC. Currently, he is doing a series of street scenes some of which are used on this website and some sold to private collectors.

Come visit our Gallery to acquire Jon’s original watercolours! [Read more Joo Chiat Gallery]


The Magic Cookery School

Tucked away in a little corner in Opera Estate is a small cookery school.

It is home-based cooking set in a lovely garden. It is as if you were in Bali. Or Hawaii. Or in some deserted green oasis, far from the madding crowd. [Read more about The Magic Cookery School]

Malay Bridal Services

Unknown to many, there has been a quiet shopping revolution of sorts in Joo Chiat's nooks and corners. At least eight Malay bridal shops have quietly opened in the area since not so long ago. [Read more about Malay Bridal Services]


About Us

Ours is a story of a community coming together with a vision: to rebuild a neighbourhood where residents can raise their families in a safe, secure and sleaze-free environment.

Joo Chiat has a vibrant Peranakan and Eurasian heritage, and in many intimate ways, it is also a multi-cultural and multi-religious hub. Known for its great street foods, it has also begun to see a more eclectic mix of East-West restaurants and 24-hour kopitiams. [Read more About Us]




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The Butterfly is the symbol of our community website. It is breaking free, fragile in its beauty, and strong in its determination to live. It is abundant in its wealth of heritage cultures, religions and ethnic groups - Peranakan, Eurasian, Chinese, Malay, Indian and, increasingly, Caucasian. Joo Chiat is all of these: a heady aromatic rempah of spices, smells and colours. This neighbourhood is unique to Singapore and unique to the world.

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So if you have anything to say, or you wish to share an opinion, or some observations, new insights, new discoveries, pictures, a passion, a poem, a song, a recipe, an artwork, a home, a hobby, a new business from home or shophouse or shopping centre, please write to us at













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