We have been awaiting for an opportunity to blog more about Katong, Joo Chiat and Marine Parade to our readers. Afterall, our blog was named as Katong Kids Inc because we felt a close affinity to Katong district. The charm of this place, coupled with the historic values of Peranakan are something that all of us should know.
This time, we embark on an adventure in Marine Parade with heritage trail and also visited the community gallery to catch a glimpse of the land that we all called home – Singapore.
Koon Seng Road Pre-War Shop Houses
Koon Seng Road is a two-way road at begins at the junction of Pennefather Road and Joo Chiat Road and ends at the junction of Lorong J and Still Road. Named in 1934 after Cheong Koon Seng, a businessman, this road is popular for some beautiful residences along it.
- The road was named after Mr. Cheong Koon Seng
- A former site of three schools
- A fusion of Eastern and Western influences
- Shophouses form the majority of conservation buildings
Did you know?
- The shophouses are often narrow but very deep due to the lack of timber during pre-war years
- A party wall separates one shophouse from another and rise above the walls and roofs to prevent the spread of fire
- The swinging doors infront of the shophouse are called Pintu Pagar
These pre-war shophouses are spacious yet very narrow at the front. They are very long, measuring about 5m by 30m! It was said that during the colonial times, property tax was based on the width of the facade of the house. So people worked around it by building longer houses.
The charm of Koon Seng Road never fails to attract visitors all over Singapore.
Duman Food Centre
Do you know that Dunman Food Centre is one of the smallest hawker centres in Singapore with less than 30 stalls? However, this food centre has continuously drawn customers due to its reputation for notable hawker stalls. It is said that half of its stalls open from the morning to the afternoon and the other half from the evening until late at night.
We particularly like coming here for dinner at times. Reason being that this hawker is very well maintained and clean.
This is one of our favourite stall which sells prawn mee soup.
Are you a prawn mee noodle lover as well?
Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple
This is one of Singapore’s oldest Indian Temples.
- The temple has been named a historic site by the National Heritage Board in 2003
- It has more than 150 years of history till date
- The temple underwent repair after World War II but the main shrine remains intact
Did you know?
- The temple is one of the tallest Indian temples in Singapore due to its 21m high Rajagopuram. Rajagopuram-(Raja meaning king, Gopuram meaning, the edifice) literally as the very name implies means the “grand entrance tower of the temple.” The Rajagopuram is a tall pyramidal tower built at the entrance to a Hindu temple. It generally serves as the main entrance to the Hindu temple.
- The Rajagopuram is made up of 5 tiers and is 68 feet high
- There are 4 main granite pillars which house 8 sulptures each
- The Hindu “bible” is called Veda. It means wisdom
Red House Bakery
The Red House Bakery has underwent major re-furnishing and is due to open by the second quarter of this year. We can expect to see new halal bakery and heritage gallery, showcasing artifacts from the old bakery which was in operation from 1925 to 2003.
- It was known as the Katong Bakery & Confectionery
- The building was originally built as a private residence facing the sea
- The bakery operated for over 80 years from 1925 to 2003
The bakery was located in a shophouse that is a wakaf property put in trust to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore by Sherrifa Zain Alsharoff Mohamed Alsogoff, the great granddaughter of Hajjah Fatimah who built the famous Hajjah Fatimah Mosque at Beach Road. As such, the building has a bit of influence from the Islamic architecture, normally seen at mosques.
Did you know?
- Swiss rolls and curry puffs were popular breakfast choices
- This was the first bakery to baker three-tier western style wedding cakes in the 1920s
- The bakery was initially started by a Jewish man, Mr Jim Baker
Kim Choo’s Kitchen
Kim Choo’s Kitchen is a showcase of our Peranakan Heritage.
- The kitchen was established in 1945
- It aims to preserve the Peranakan culture through handicraft and culinary skills
- Peranakans are found mainly in the South East Asian Region
Kim Choo’s Kitchen do not distribute their rice-dumplings to other outlets in Singapore. If you are hoping to find their rice dumplings in major supermarkets you may be disappointed.
Did you know?
- A Peranankan is a native-born person of mixed local and foreign ancestry
- ‘Peranakan’ came from the word “anak” or child
- Baba means “Sir” and Nonya means lady
If you would like to know more about Singapore’s vibrant Peranakan community and history at this top-notch museum, filled with fine artefacts and fun exhibits, there is a Peranakan Museum you can visit.
KIM CHOO’S KITCHEN LOCATIONS
60 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427784
106 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427833
109 East Coast Road, Singapore 428800
111 East Coast Road, Singapore 428801
176 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238843
(Selected items from our boutique shop only)
Church of the Holy Family
The Church of the Holy Family, on Chapel Road in Katong, was built in 1932 and became the centre of activity for the Catholic community in East Coast.
- This was the first Roman Catholic Church that was built along the eastern coastline of Singapore
- Its origin dates back to 1902 and the Church was built in 1923
Did you know?
- This Church is the sole Catholic Church in Singapore that celebrates Peranakan masses due to the influence of the Peranakan Community
- The first Christmas mass in Joo Chiat / Katong area took place here
We can see Katong has so much more to offer for visitors. Whether you are a tourist or local looking for staycation, there are many hotels in Katong you can consider. Download HotelsCombined app today and check out the best hotel deals!
The heritage trail ended off with a special dedication event to uphold the legacy and fighting spirit demonstrated by our founding PM, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
Guest of Honour ESM Goh Chok Tong, adviser to Marine Parade GRC GROs and Ms Tin Pei Ling, adviser to Macpherson GROs joined the participants to complete the canvas installation themed “My Family Portrait”.
This is our home, truly. A day that everyone will remember.
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