10 eateries in Katong and Joo Chiat to add to your must-eat list

By Nicholas Wong August 3, 2022
10 eateries in Katong and Joo Chiat to add to your must-eat list
Baked brie with bread. Photo: GRD CTRL Cafe/Facebook

Rich in heritage, Katong and Joo Chiat are known for their rows of colourful shophouses. Today, the area is dotted with trendy cafes, restaurants and hawker stalls. It’s a food paradise whether you’re a fast-food fiend or health nut.

To guide you while you eat your way through Katong and Joo Chiat, here are 10 eateries in the neighbourhood you should swing by.


1. Tea Villa Cafe

97 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (12pm to 10pm)

Tea Villa Cafe_Katong
Dishes at Tea Villa Cafe. Photo: Tea Villa Cafe/Facebook

Tea Villa Cafe is a unique vegetarian cafe that features Italian dishes prepared with Indian spices and ingredients. It also serves some Indian-Chinese dishes, such as schezwan noodles and dry chilli paneer (Indian cheese cooked with spices).

As its name suggests, it offers a wide selection of teas. These include black, green and herbal tea. The teas here are worth trying, with positive reviews of its extensive selection.

What to order: Vada pav — deep-fried potato dumpling with chilli, sandwiched in a bun (S$12 for two pieces), pav bhaji fondue — spicy vegetable curry served with bread (S$15), chilli paneer dry — Indian cheese cooked with spices (S$15)


2. Q-WA Bar and Yakitori

39 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT stations: Dakota and Eunos
Open: Monday to Friday (5pm to 11.45pm), Saturday and Sunday (11.30am to 2.30pm, 5pm to 11.45pm)

Q-WA Bar and Yakitori_Katong
Photo: Q-WA Bar and Yakitori/Facebook

Q-WA Bar and Yakitori offers high-quality Japanese grilled meats on skewers. As a small Japanese izakaya (Japanese bar) located along East Coast Road, it also has a good variety of sake and Japanese beer.

Based on customer reviews posted online, the grilled meats here carry a wonderful smoky char while remaining succulent.

What to order: Shime saba — seared mackerel marinated with vinegar (S$18.80), butabara miso — pork belly miso (S$3.20 a stick), gyu yaki shio — beef with salt and pepper (S$5.90 a stick)


3. Joo Chiat Caphe

263 Joo Chiat Road
Nearest MRT stations: Dakota and Eunos
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (9am to 5.45pm)

Joo Chiat Caphe_Katong
Vietnamese drip coffee. Photo: Joo Chiat Caphe/Facebook

Joo Chiat Caphe is no ordinary banh mi (Vietnamese baguette sandwich) place. For one, this place uses only halal ingredients.

It also dons an old-school coffee shop interior unlike the modern eateries in the area. Aside from banh mi, you’ll find common local breakfast items such as soft-boiled eggs and toast.

It offers unique banh mi variations using fried fish fillets and mackerel otah (fish mixed with spices and wrapped in leaves before being grilled), along with housemade Vietnamese mayonnaise and chicken pate.

You can also order Vietnamese drip coffee made with in-house ground Vietnamese coffee beans.

What to order: Iced drip Vietnamese coffee (S$4.80), grilled lemongrass beef patty with hoisin sauce banh mi (S$7), honey-glazed grilled chicken thigh with homemade chicken pate banh mi (S$7.50)


4. Rebelicious

125 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT stations: Dakota and Eunos
Open: Monday to Sunday (11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm)

R. classic wagyu cheeseburger. Photo: Rebelicious/Facebook

If you’re looking for a good burger place around Katong, look no further than Rebelicious.

Its mouthwatering burgers are made with high-quality ingredients such as wagyu beef and swordfish. The wagyu beef patty is juicy with slightly charred, crisp edges, and topped with cheese, bacon and egg.

In addition to burgers, Rebelicious serves pasta alongside appetisers such as wagyu meatballs and calamari with wasabi mayonnaise.

What to order: R. classic wagyu cheeseburger with fries (S$18), Rebelicious spicy chicken burger with fries (S$15)


5. GRD CTRL Cafe

Odeon Katong Shopping Complex, 01-06, 11 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Monday (4pm to 11pm), Tuesday to Friday (10am to 12am), Saturday and Sunday (8.30am to 12am)

GRD CTRL Cafe_Katong
Baked camembert. Photo: GRD CTRL Cafe/Facebook

GRD CTRL Cafe is an all-day eatery that serves coffee, wine, pastries, and pasta. It’s a hidden gem within Odeon Katong Shopping Complex.

Its name stands for “ground control” and the song “Space Oddity”, written by the late David Bowie, is the inspiration for the cafe’s theme. The homey and spacious interior makes it a relaxing place to unwind at.

Popular menu items include baked camembert and baked brie, which are perfect bites to go with a glass of wine (or two).

What to order: Baked camembert — a soft and creamy type of French cheese (S$14), maple waffles (S$12), baked brie — with maple and honey, topped with walnuts and pecan (S$14)


6. Burrata Joy & Gustavo Lapasta

Katong V, 01-12/13, 30 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Monday to Sunday (11.30am to 10pm)

Burrata Joy & Gustavo Lapasta_Katong
Biella burrata bowl. Photo: Burrata Joy & Gustavo Lapasta/Facebook

Featuring an array of authentic Italian flavours, Burrata Joy & Gustavo Lapasta hits the spot for anyone looking around Katong for a plate of pasta. This restaurant is an offshoot of Italian restaurant ​​Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar.

The pasta here is cooked al dente (to a firm texture) and you have the option of adding a plain burrata (Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream), smoked burrata or a truffle burrata to your pasta dish. If you’re unsure of what to pick, there are recommendations on which type of burrata pairs best with your pasta.

What to order: Aglio olio seafood pasta (S$24), basil and rocket pesto pasta with smoked burrata (S$31), crab in pink sauce pasta (S$25)


7. Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant

467 Joo Chiat Road
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Monday to Thursday (11am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm), Friday to Sunday (11am to 10pm)

Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant_Katong
Signature dishes at Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant. Photo: Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant/Facebook

Surrounded by trendy cafes and eateries, Tok Tok Indonesian Restaurant is sticking to its roots of serving authentic Indonesian cuisine. Customers have pointed to how the restaurant exudes homely vibes, creating a comfortable dining atmosphere.

Among the variety of Indonesian dishes, the ayam bakar betutu (grilled young chicken) is a popular pick. The tender, moist chicken is flavourful as is, but if you’re looking to take the spice level up a notch, order the chilli for a fiery punch.

What to order: Soto betawi — Jakarta-style beef broth cooked with Javanese spices and milk, and served with potatoes, tomatoes and bitternut crackers (S$13.80), ayam bakar betutu — grilled young chicken marinated with Balinese spices, and served with spiced cassava leaf and lemongrass chilli (S$29.80)


8. Wang’s Noodle & Dumpling House

80 Marine Parade Central, 01-770
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Monday, and Wednesday to Sunday (10.30am to 3pm, 5pm to 9.30pm)

Wang's Noodle & Dumpling House_Katong
Minced pork bean paste la mian. Photo: Wang's Noodle & Dumpling House

The man behind Wang’s Noodle & Dumpling House is chef Wang Yi Guang. He’s worked at various Chinese restaurants and has set out to forge his own path, starting a new hawker stall with his parents.

The stall specialises in northern Chinese cuisine featuring handmade dumplings and noodles prepared using family recipes. While the recipes have been altered to suit local taste buds, the dumplings here are filled with generous amounts of meat.

The main highlight, however, is la mian — Chinese hand-pulled noodles. There are more than 10 varieties available, but the minced pork bean paste la mian is one of the most popular.

What to order: Red chilli dumpling la mian (S$5), minced pork bean paste la mian (S$5)


9. Curry Yi Wan

Roxy Square 1, 50 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT station: Dakota
Open: Tuesday to Saturday (11.30am to 7.30pm), Sunday (11am to 3pm)

Curry Yi Wan_Katong
Chicken thigh curry. Photo: Curry Yi Wan

Chef Jacq Lim, who worked at Tanjong Beach Club, is the proud owner of Curry Yi Wan. Its menu is lean and simple, but it’s the curry that has won over spice lovers.

We recommend adding a bowl of jasmine rice with egg or toasted bread at just S$1.50 to mop up every last drop of curry. The stall also offers its own rendition of Taiwanese lu rou fan — braised pork rice — if you prefer something non-spicy.

What to order: Chicken thigh curry (S$6.50), pork curry (S$7)


10. Meet 4 Meat

228 East Coast Road
Nearest MRT stations: Dakota and Eunos
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (12pm to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9pm)

Meet 4 Meat
Beef wellington. Photo: Meet4Meat.sg

Armed with a vision to make gourmet meat dishes more affordable and accessible to all, chefs Jimmy Teo and Gerald Lau worked to create Meet 4 Meat. At this hawker stall, you’ll find dishes such as beef Wellington prepared using Australian tenderloin meat; pork tomahawk made from US sakura pork; and grass-fed black Angus beef from Argentina.

While the prices here are much higher than regular hawker fare, Meet 4 Meat says that it offers Singapore’s most affordable beef Wellington.

What to order: Beef Wellington with foie gras (S$33.50), pork tomahawk (S$30.50)


All the places on this list, except Curry Yi Wan, are on the GrabFood delivery service. You can also book a ride to these places.

Nicholas Wong


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