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Your Ultimate Guide to Keong Saik Road

by Sehrish Khan
Keong Saik road Singapore
Keong Saik road Singapore

Your Ultimate Guide to

Keong Saik Road

The Keong Saik ‘hood is super happening right now, and we couldn’t be happier because the Urban Journey HQ is right in the midst of all the action. Over the past few months, we’ve seen tons of new cafes, restaurants and bars open up alongside old favourites that we go to time after time. The selection is now truly diverse with options ranging from specialty coffee to craft beers,  homey French fare, great local cuisine and so much more. If you’re looking to get your eat and drink on in this dynamic corner of Singapore, these are our insider picks for the best bites and bevvies in Keong Saik. 

Bar Cicheti

10 Jiak Chuan Road | p. +65 6789 9806

Fans of Cicheti, known for their Neopolitan pizzas, will love its sister restaurant Bar Cicheti. Styled like a cosy Italian trattoria, this welcoming dining and drinking den fills up fast with hungry patrons who come to indulge in artisan pastas and boutique wines. The pastas are made fresh in-house every day and include interesting options like the squid ink fusilli with sea urchin, basil and anchovy crumbs and the spaghetti with jalapeno pesto, ricotta, pistachios and pine nuts. If you enjoy dining at the bar, this is a great spot to do just that.

Butcher Boy

31 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6221 6833

Just a few doors down from Cure you’ll find Butcher Boy, another vibrant dining venue by Chef Andrew Walsh. Start with a sassy cocktail like the Holy Smokes with coffee-infused bourbon, chocolate bitters, Angostura and smoke. Follow that up with Asian-inspired bites like the Peking pork bao buns, hamachi sashimi with creme fraiche and ginger ponzu, and the grilled whole red snapper with Vietnamese dressing and a side of skinny fries with chili and togarashi salt. If you like music, you’ll enjoy tunes by a live DJ that comes in every so often.

Cure

21 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6221 2189

Brought to us by Chef Andrew Walsh, Cure is a cosy little spot that often makes it onto Singapore’s top restaurant lists. In fact, we’re surprised that they don’t have more awards because everything about the place is exceptional – from the warm service to the vibey space and the modern European dishes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients. The set lunches are particularly good value at $45++ for two courses or $55++ for three courses. They also recently started a Kombucha pairing which you can have along with your meals.

Esquina

16 Jiak Chuan Road | p. +65 6222 1616

The atmosphere is always buzzy at Esquina, a lively Spanish tapas spot where you can grab a stool and watch the chefs in action as they whip up scintillating snacks and shared plates. Barcelona-born chef Carlos Montobbio takes classic Catalan and Spanish dishes and puts creative spins on them that merge new flavours and textures. Take for example the sea urchin sandwich with burrata and black truffle or decadent uni and lobster paella. Prices are a little above average but the spot, vibe and experience is on point, especially if you dine at the bar.

Don Ho Social Kitchen & Bar

1 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6223 5001

Just like the name suggests, Don Ho Social Kitchen & Bar is a pretty sweet spot to do some socialising. The tropical decor brightens up the space and gives it a groovy kind of feel and the menu features fun cocktails and modern Australian plates. Brought to you by the guys behind Sunshine Nation (think Island Takeovers & Garden Beats Music Festival), it’s no wonder this place exudes a fun but chill and trendy vibe. Swing by for dinner and pass around dishes like the smoked sweet potato hummus and char siu pork cheek sliders. They also do a fab free-flow brunch on the weekends with free flow specials starting at 28++. They tend to bring in live DJs every now and then so be sure to have those dancing shoes on.

The Guild

55 Keong Saik Rd #01-01 | p. +65 9042 3900

If craft beers and comfort food are your jam, then The Guild is your spot. Saunter in and have a seat at the huge circular bar and chat up the bartender to find out what cold ones are on tap. The beers come from the Young Master brewery in Hong Kong, so choices include the 1842 Island IPA, Rye on Wood and Cha Chaan Teng Gose. They also have G&Ts on tap and a selection of natural wines. Soak up all that booze with enticing eats like the buffalo wings, hanger steak or our favourite – the mac n’ cheese. Pop in for lunch for their sandwiches sets starting at $16++ which includes coffee or tea.

Neon Pigeon

1A Keong Saik Road #01-03 | p. +65 6222 3623

This edgy izakaya is always happening with tons of people congregating at the cool little bar and the tables surrounded by graffiti-covered walls. Cocktails are a must as they make some intriguing concoctions like the Jap Ice Tea with gin, vodka, rum, Cointreau, yuzu beer and coke. Ask for a sake throwback and a waiter will come pour sake into your mouth. Innovative eats include the shrimp karaage po boy and duck tonkatsu. Our current favourite dish is their edamame hummus topped with furikake.  

Olivia Restaurant & Lounge

55 Keong Saik Road #01-03 | p. +65 6221 0522

Located in the hip new KēSa House complex, Olivia offers up rustic Barcelona vibes and bites. The dining room is easy on the eyes with whitewashed brick walls, bright blue cushions and artworks and an open kitchen where you can see the culinary team in action. We suggest going with a group and ordering a bunch of dishes to share like the mushroom and truffle croquettes, roasted meat canalon with cheese, and the black rice with grilled calamari.

Thevar

9 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6904 0838

Contemporary Indian cuisine is trending right now and Thevar is just the spot to find out what all the hype is about. Step inside and you have your choice of tables along the wall or a seat at the bar where you can chat with chef Mano Thevar and his culinary team. Each plate comes out looking like a piece of art and boasting big, bold flavours. Try the dosai with mackerel in a zingy tomato chutney and the tandoor baby lamb with chickpea curry and green chutney. Price for these plates can add up, but you’ll be sure to enjoy every bite. 

Burnt Ends

20 Teck Lim Road | p. +65 6224 3933

Burnt Ends currently rings in at number 10 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list and for good reason. It hails a coveted one-Michelin star and in our opinion it’s pretty easy to see why. Step inside and you find an open-concept kitchen where David Pynt and his team work with custom-built wood-burning grills to put out delicious smoky treats like succulent king crab with garlic butter, perfectly grilled steaks, melt-in-your-mouth beef marmalade, and leeks with hazelnut and brown butter. Seats are in high demand, with only one early seating available for reservations – so plan to hang out in the ‘hood after putting your name down. 

Meta Restaurant

1 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6513 0898

Need to impress some clients? Meta is a Michelin-starred spot that puts out innovative plates of French cuisine with Asian flavours and nuances. Chef Sun Kim previously worked under Tetsuya Wakuda, so he knows a thing or two about thinking outside the box. The set menus change with the seasons and feature fresh ingredients from the land and sea. For example, the spring menu showcases Hokkaido scallops with spring peas and asparagus, as well as wagyu short ribs with bamboo shoots.

Potato Head Singapore

36 Keong Saik Rd | p. +65 6327 1939

There’s no better way to end a long day than with sundowner cocktails at a rooftop bar. The Potato Head rooftop is one of our favourite drinking spots in the Keong Saik hood because it’s packed with loads of leafy tropical plants and hanging fairy lights so you feel like you’re in a little garden oasis in the middle of the city. The drinks range from classic cocktails to tiki-style concoctions and straight-up scotches and spirits.

Gaston

25 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6909 8120

If you’re looking for a comfy spot to sip a vino or two with friends or a date, Gaston is a lovely all-day bistro that pays homage to the owner’s native home of Burgundy, France. If the weather is good, you can grab a seat on the street-facing patio or head inside to one of the wooden tables. The walk-in wine cellar has over 350 labels to choose from and you can pair your wine with rustic eats like cheese, charcuterie and boeuf bourguignon.

The Old Man Singapore

55 Keong Saik Road #01-04 | p. +65 6909 5505

Hidden behind a discrete door in KeSA House is The Old Man Singapore, a sister venue to the award-winning, Hemingway-inspired cocktail bar from Hong Kong. The flagship snagged a spot on the Asia’s 50 Best Bars and World’s 50 Best Bars lists, and you can expect the same caliber of drinks at the Singapore locale. We highly suggest The Sun Also Rises with copra fat-washed applejack, curry leaf infused gin, sweet vermouth, sous-vide pandan leaves and kaffir lime.

Frenchie Wine Bar

2 Teck Lim Road | p. +65 9798 9717

The space may be small, but this cosy wine bar makes up for it with an excellent wine list and tasty French and European eats. Let the staff guide you in finding the perfect wine to suit your tastes or a great bottle to complement your meal. On the menu there are light bites like duck rillettes and foie gras terrine as well as heartier plates like the lamb saddle, côte de boeuf and steak and fries.

Wine & Chef

7 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6221 9279

This easy-going restaurant is a great spot for a glass or three of vino because they have over 400 bottles, most of which are imported directly from small, family-owned boutique wine producers in Italy. This means that not only do you have a great selection of unique wines to choose from, but the prices are also very reasonable. For example, a glass of house wine goes for just $7++. They also have great happy hour specials nearly every day of the week.

The Affogato Lounge

55 Keong Saik Rd #01-02 | p. +65 9889 7005

The name tells you exactly what to expect at this chic cafe and dessert bar. Here you’ll find gourmet variations of affogato, a classic Italian dessert made with ice cream and espresso. Try  The Trilogy with 70% dark chocolate sorbet, white caramel and a double shot of espresso made with beans from Ozone Coffee Roasters in New Zealand. They also offer tasty bagel sandwiches and focaccia sandwiches. Also a part of the KēSa House complex – and doubling as their lobby, we predict this spot will quicly claim it’s place as a go-to Keong Saik meet up spot for those looking for daytime haunts. 

Kafe Utu

12 Jiak Chuan Road | p. +65 6996 3937

For killer coffees, cocktails and African cuisine, make your way to Kafe Utu on Jiak Chuan Road. Start the day with an easy-going espresso or the ‘Ibada Ritual’, a quadruple shot of ristretto served over chilled Hokkaido milk. Fuel up on brunch dishes like the ricotta hotcakes and curried avocado toast. Later in the day you can grab boozy milkshakes, glasses of wine, Kenyan beers and divine eats like the Caribbean goat curry and Liberian peanut chicken stew. Their interiors make you feel like you’ve stepped foot into a chic African oasis.  Be sure to wander upstairs and chill on their comfy leather sofas while you sip on that latte (or glass of wine). 

Loloku

1 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6223 5001

This poké bar and deli makes for a great spot for a coffee break or casual lunch. The coffee comes from Sarnies, so it’s quality all the way, and the food is fresh, healthy and flavourful. You can choose from signature salads or  build your own bowl or wrap with a base, protein, toppings and sauce during lunch. You’ll get to eat in the Don Ho space which is a nice tropical setting to disrupt that weekday rut. 

Bula Cafe & Bar

Pop by the latest addition to the ‘hood for a good cuppa amongst a bright and cozy atmosphere. The cafe is now serving up some wholesome plant-based comfort food like  the Beyond Bolognese and Chili ‘Crab’ Pasta but they’ll soon be launching their full menu. We also here they’ve got a tiki bar in the works which will soon open on the outdoor patio of The Working Capitol. Stay tuned for deets.

Bread & Hearth

18 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6534 7800

If you’re looking for a cosy spot to grab a cuppa and some comfort food, Bread & Hearth is a good bet. This artisan cafe specialises in handcrafted breads and pastries made fresh in house every day. Grab a croissant or cinnamon bun for a light bite or dig into heartier eats like the avocado toast, ham and cheese sandwich on baguette or the cottage pie with a side of garlic toast. You can also pick up gourmet breads and pastries to take home.

Kok Sen

30/32 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6223 2005

Kok Sen has been serving up homestyle Cze Char dishes for nearly 40 years and has recently been  awarded a Bib Gourmand. There are no fancy frills here, just delish dishes at wallet friendly prices. A favourite of locals and visitors alike, this classic has earn a solid reputation for excellent food – if you haven’t tried it, then add it to your list the next time you have people in town looking for some authentic Chinese food.  Must-tries include the big prawn bee hoon soup and the claypot creations.  Lineups can get quite long, so come early or reserve a table if you’re in a group of six or more. 

Wine Mansion

20 Keong Saik Road | p. +65 6225 4468

The name may allude to a grand drinking house, but Wine Mansion is actually an easy-going wine bar and bistro tucked into the ground floor of a charming shophouse. Swing by at lunch time for an affordable set lunch or post work for excellent free-flow deals on house wine and beer from 5pm to 9pm nearly every day of the week.

Main image sourced from Potato Head Singapore and all images sourced from respective venues.

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