The Land We Called Home – A Heritage Trail of Marine Parade cum Follow that Rainbow (Remembering LKY)

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.

Background:

  • 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.

An artist sketching Koon Seng pre-war shophouses

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.

Background:

  • 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.

Background:

  • 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.

Background:

  • 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.

Photo Credit: Peranakan Museum Singapore

KIM CHOO’S KITCHEN LOCATIONS
[Main Factory]
60 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427784

[Private Gallery]
106 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427833

[Boutique Gallery]
109 East Coast Road, Singapore 428800
111 East Coast Road, Singapore 428801

[Metro@CentrePoint]
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.

Background:

  • 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
The Medieval Stained-Glass communicates scenes and episodes from the bible to people. Can you find it?

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!

LKY Remembrance

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.

Photo Credit: Marine Parade SG

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Disclosure: All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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18 thoughts on “The Land We Called Home – A Heritage Trail of Marine Parade cum Follow that Rainbow (Remembering LKY)

  1. Thanks for this post! The only thing I know about katong is the laksa and ampang yong tau fu, as well as parkway parade! I have been looking for outdoor places to bring my children and looks like a heritage tour is a good idea!! Am looking put for next available guided heritage tour to join in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, I realized community centres have many activities that might interest us. Very often we missed out as we felt “too local” to join the activities…only to know how much we have missed out!

      Like

  2. We always say Singapore is a small country but actually there are so many things to do, so many things to see. I loved this post. It is necessary that we always remember and make our kids acquainted with our roots, our heritage and respect our pioneers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. such a comprehensive heritage trail. I like the red house bakery. It’s been awhile since we last visit Katong and marine parade area. Maybe we should drop by for some good food

    Phoebe
    Bpdgtravels

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I Love Heritage trails! They showcase the “neighbourhood” in another light/angle/perspective.
    The addition of first hand account/stories never fail to intrigue visitors. Love your detail documentation 🙂

    cheers, Andy
    (SengkangBabies.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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