Foodies are in for a treat at these top places to eat in the north-east of Singapore.
Whether you are new to the area and want to get your bearings, or a long-time resident in search of inspiration for your next food adventure, here is a guide to the north-east’s gastronomic gems.
As the residential heart of north-east Singapore, it is no surprise that Sengkang offers a wide variety of affordable eats.
10 Sengkang Square, Singapore 544829
Located just beside Sengkang MRT station and Compass One shopping mall, Kopitiam Square is massive — one of the largest food courts in Singapore. With a whopping 60 food stalls, dining here can get overwhelming. Follow the queues to sniff out the best stalls. Finicky eaters will be pleased at the wide variety of cuisines here, from Korean to Vietnamese to Western pasta.
33 Sengkang West Ave, Singapore 797653
Another resident favourite is the sprawling Seletar Mall, a one-stop shop filled with great dining options and a more upscale atmosphere. Dig into comfort food at Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, enjoy a casual meal at Sushi Express or Nene Chicken, or go for the famous xiao long bao at Din Tai Fung.
303 Anchorvale Link, Singapore 540303
Tucked away in a coffee shop near Renjong LRT station (near Nan Chiau High School), this is a famous food stall that moved to Sengkang after its original premises in the city centre closed down. Survive the queue and be rewarded with a sizzling plate of char kway teow redolent with fragrant wok hei.
50 Anchorvale Street, #01-02, Sengkang Riverside Park, Singapore 544834
Enjoy a meal with a magnificent view at Mushroom Cafe, located within one of Sengkang’s key attractions, Sengkang Riverside Park. The breezy, open-air café serves coffee, tea and light refreshments like French fries. For stomachs growling after a bicycle ride or a run in the park, it also serves simple local dishes like nasi lemak and mee goreng.
320C Anchorvale Drive, Singapore 543320
And now for something completely different: Singapore’s first vending machine “café”. When this quirky eating spot first opened, it caused quite a stir (and long queues). VendCafe may not be haute cuisine, but its rotating variety of halal local and Western dishes means that you can tuck into a piping hot meal any time of the day or night.
Longtime foodie haunt Jalan Kayu, which is just on the periphery of Sengkang, is an obvious place to visit for cult favourites.
239 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799463
Home to the roti prata that put Jalan Kayu on the map, Thasevi Food is a must-visit if you are visiting Jalan Kayu for the first time. The stalwart prata shop has been around since the 60s, when they dished up stacks of prata (from 10 cents apiece back then) to ravenous national servicemen from Seletar camp.
277 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799505
Apart from prata, you can find an eclectic mix of good eats in Jalan Kayu. One standout is Jerry’s BBQ & Grill, an all-American barbecue joint serving up smoky baby back ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, buffalo wings and more. Its Jalan Kayu flagship proved so popular that Jerry’s also has another outlet on Club Street.
246 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799470
Another Western food option in Jalan Kayu is halal restaurant Savoury, where you can tuck into dishes like prettily-plated steak and fresh pasta. Save some room for dessert as they also serve excellent gelato, waffles and lava cakes.
With clusters of snazzy new cafés to explore, the neighbouring Punggol is where residents spend the weekend café-hopping and Instagramming. Here are two of its hot spots:
3 Punggol Point Road, Singapore 828694
You might associate seafront dining with East Coast Park or Sentosa, but Punggol has its own waterfront dining enclave too. Take your pick from the several seafood zi char restaurants for a family dinner, while the modern Thai restaurant, Japanese izakaya and picturesque bars are ideal for date night. There is even a bike rental shop here so you can explore Punggol park connector and the nearby Coney Island.
10 Tebing Lane, Singapore 828836
This riverside locale is Punggol’s other hip dining enclave, anchored by cafés like the kid-friendly Whisk & Paddle, the resort-like Frienzie Bar & Bistro and the cha chaan teng-style Ah Dong Teh House.
The newest arrival on the Tebing Lane scene is a Punggol East Container Park, an adorable collection of brightly-coloured shipping containers housing takeaway Western bistros and bars, with plenty of communal seating with waterfront views.