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Singapore Art Week ARTWALK 2023: The Ultimate 2D1N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary To Little India & Joo Chiat/Katong For Art Lovers

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Syahirah •  Jan 16, 2023

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Known for its spectacular skyscrapers and bustling shopping scene, Singapore is sure to take your breath away regardless of whether you’re a local or a tourist! As we celebrate Singapore Art Week, why not take the opportunity to be an explorer and rediscover Little India and Katong, two heritage neighbourhoods in Singapore that have played a part in building the city’s rich and diverse heritage and culture? 😄 As part of ARTWALK 2023, learn about these neighbourhoods all over again with this 2-day itinerary to Little India and Katong for art lovers and locals!Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://bit.ly/3LnFN1F

Explore Little India

Get breakfast at Beyond Pancakes

  • What’s a better way to start your day than by digging into a plate of warm and fluffy pancakes for breakfast? 
  • Located at City Square Mall, you won’t have a hard time finding this place because the mall is connected to Farrer Park MRT station (NE8). 
  • Beyond Pancakes is a quaint pancake house that serves a variety of pancakes from savoury to sweet regardless of what you’re craving! The Gourmet Flapjacks are a classic topped with scrambled eggs, baked beans, and hashbrowns - this is truly the ideal spot for big breakfast lovers. Or indulge in something sweet with their Strawberry Cream or Blueberry pancakes. 😄
  • If you're not a fan of pancakes don't worry. They have other mains like steak and pasta too! Not to mention, it opens early (9AM) so you can enjoy delicious speciality pancakes ahead of your day plans!
Halal status: Halal-certifiedAverage price: $14Opening hours: Open daily; 9AM - 10PMAddress: 180 Kitchener Rd, City Square Mall #02-35/36, Singapore 208539Contact: +65 6909 0799Website | Facebook | Instagram

Admire amazing street art and historic monuments

  • Never had the chance to explore the street art and historic buildings in Little India? Digest some of that breakfast by walking along the streets and taking in the art and historical sites! 
  • For a pop of colour in your photos, the House of Tan Teng Niah is a good place to start! Built by businessman Tan Teng Niah in 1900, the House of Tan Teng Niahis the last surviving Chinese villa in Little India and still manages to stand out today amongst the shophouses for its brightly-coloured rainbow walls. 😃
  • Its architecture has a mix of Southeast Asian and European influences too - like the Malay-inspired roof fixtures and contemporary Western-style long shutter windows. 
  • P.S. Be sure to plan your outfit to go along with the stunning backdrop! 
Address: 37 Kerbau Road, Singapore 219168Getting there: Take Exit E of Little India MRT station, and walk down Kerbau Road

Visit historic monuments in Little India

  • One of the historic monuments in the area that has withstood the test of time is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples and an important landmark for the local Hindu and Indian communities. 
  • While in Little India, don't just enjoy the street art and tasty treats, but discover the local Indian and Hindu heritage as well.
  • Fun fact: The temple and its deity statues have survived World War II! 😄
#HHWTip: Do note that you’ll have to dress modestly before entering the temple - your shoulders and knees need to be covered. Do avoid wearing any clothes that are too tight or too short. You’ll also need to remove your footwear outside the temple. Opening hours: Open daily; 5.30AM-12.15PM, 4PM-9.15PMAddress: 141 Serangoon Rd, Singapore 218042Getting there: Travel to Little India MRT station and take Exit D to Race Course Road. Walk down Race Course Road until you reach Kerbau Road. Turn right onto Kerbau Road and Chander Road, and keep walking until you see Belilios Road on the right. The temple is located at the junction of Serangoon Road and Belilios Road.

Visit Abdul Gafoor Mosque in Little India

Note: Gafoor Mosque is temporarily closed for renovations
  • Why not visit the beautiful Abdul Gafoor Mosque while in Little India?
  • The mosque was constructed in 1907, and a major restoration of the building was completed in 2003. The mosque is currently owned by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS). 
  • From the outside, you’ll see the beautiful blue and gold mosque glowing under the heat of the sun - it’s truly a sight to behold. 😍

Grab lunch at Bismillah Biryani Restaurant

  • You’ve probably worked up an appetite after all that walking! Why not rest your feet and take shelter from the sun by having lunch at Bismillah Biryani Restaurant? 😋
  • Ask for biryani recommendations in Singapore and Bismillah Biryani is probably one of the names that'll pop up. 😁
  • They've been a Michelin Bib Gourmand winner from 2016-2022 (that’s 6 times!). Of course, their Chicken Dum Biryani, Lamb Shank Biryani, and Young Mutton Biryani are the must-try dishes - and they all come in shared portions too so you can order a little bit of everything to truly find out what the hype is all about.
  • The friendly and welcoming atmosphere is sure to help you relax as you savour the various spices and flavours of their award-winning biryani!
Halal status: Muslim-ownedAverage price: $6-$20 (Biryani, various sizes)Opening hours: Open daily; 11.30AM - 9PMAddress: 50 Dunlop St, Singapore 209379Contact: +65 6935 1326Website | Facebook | Instagram

Shop at Mustafa Centre

  • Don’t let the food coma hit you just yet! 😂 Pretend like you’re a tourist by shopping at Mustafa Centre for snacks, clothes and local trinkets all in one (air-conditioned) place. There are so many floors and sections, you’ll be spending quite some time here!
  • This shopping complex sells clothing, tech and luxury goods, travel essentials, food (there’s a grocery store on the top floor) and much much more.
  • It’s the one-stop shop for all your needs from household essentials to souvenirs. 
  • Don’t forget to check out the Singapore-themed souvenirs like Merlion chocolates, batik-printed pouches, local tea brands and even home decor.
P.S. Need a guide on how to navigate Mustafa Centre like a true professional? Check out our ultimate shopping guide to Singapore’s iconic Mustafa Centre!Opening Hours: Open daily; 9:30AM-2AMAddress: 145 Syed Alwi Rd, Singapore 207704Nearest MRT Station: Farrer Park MRT station (NE8)

Take pictures with the newly installed murals

  • Further down the road along 68 Serangoon Road you’ll find a mural that shares about culture, legacy and the future — drawing inspiration from its immediate vicinity of Little India. The mural is known as Tapestry of Saree 2040 by Mural Lingo!
  • The piece is meant to encourage appreciation for olden-day fashion, specifically the saree. The traditional method of creating sarees is very interesting as it uses a tablet to create patterns. Dominating the mural is its centrepiece – a large-sized saree billowing in the breeze. 
Location: 68 Serangoon Road 

Take part in an evening tour - Celebrating the Harvest: Cultural Tour and Experience 

  • Cultural Tour and Experience by Kamini Ramachandran is an exciting experience that celebrates Pongal, the Festival of Harvest (from 15 to 18 January 2023). And you can take part in it once the sun goes down! 😊 
  • Celebrating the Harvest: Cultural Tour and Experience will take place on 7 and 14 January 2023 at 6:30PM and is organised by Kamini Ramachandran, the director of MoonShadow Stories. She is a pioneer in the field of storytelling in Asia.
  • Kamini also excels in performance storytelling for adult audiences in Singapore. 😄 She teaches her course The Storytelling Intensive at LASALLE College of the Arts and directs the annual student showcase Stories Through The Mind’s Eye.
  • During the tour, Kamini will share stories related to Pongal, as well as explore four to six different Pongal rice dishes that are traditionally prepared, as well as teach participants about Pongal's traditional practices! 
  • You can also enjoy Vegetarian and halal delicacies that will be served during the tour. So you don’t have to worry about dinner arrangements and simply focus on the experiences.
Date & time: 7 & 14 January, 6:30PM, SaturdayLocation: 67 Kerbau Road (Starting point) Precinct: Little India Book your slot here!

Explore Katong (and Joo Chiat)

Grab breakfast at Joo Chiat Caphe

  • Did you know that besides traditional Peranakan cuisine, Katong and Joo Chiat also have a thriving cafe scene just waiting to be explored? 🤩
  • Grab a quick bite at Joo Chiat Caphe, a Muslim-friendly store that sells Vietnamese banh mi among other light bites.
  • Choose from the six different variations of banh mi available such as Honey-Glazed Grilled Chicken Thigh with Homemade Chicken Pat, Battered Crispy Fish Fillet with Honey Mustard Sauce and much more! But their bestseller is the Mackerel Otah Banh Mi made with fresh Mackerel.
Halal status: Uses halal-certified ingredientsAddress: 263 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427517 Phone: 6988 1900 Website: joochiatcaphe.comOpening hours: Tue-Sun; 9AM-7PM | Mon; ClosedFacebook

Take IG-worthy shots at the iconic Peranakan shophouses at Koon Seng Road

  • No visit to Katong and Joo Chiat would is complete without visiting the iconic Peranakan shophouses at Koon Seng Road! 
  • The road is lined on both sides with conserved shophouses in bright pastel colours, making it an Instagrammable spot for your travel photos. 😊 The shophouses were built in the 1920s and were once home to the Peranakans. 
  • Besides being a picture-perfect spot for travellers, take a closer look at the intricate details, motifs and tiles which adorn each home too and you might be able to spot some Chinese and Malay architectural influences!

Immerse yourself in Peranakan culture

  • It’s time to expand your knowledge! You might know the Peranakans as descendants of Chinese or Indian immigrants who married indigenous people from the Malay Archipelago in the 15th century. But when you’re at Joo Chiat and Katong, you have to do a bigger dive to learn about their rich history! 😉
  • Rumah Bebe is one of the places where you can learn about traditional Peranakan art and fashion. Housed in an almost 90-year-old Peranakan shophouse, Rumah Bebe still retains most of its original layout and structure. 
  • Take a look at the Nyonya Sarong Kebaya or admire its porcelain collection and kitchenware. To make your trip even more immersive, you can sign up for beading classes or a private tour of Rumah Bebe! 
  • During the private tour, you can try dressing up in Nyonya attire and witness the intricacies of Peranakan beading and embroidery. It’s the perfect photo opportunity that you can’t miss!
Address: 113 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428803Opening hours: Thu-Sun; 11:30AM-6:30PM | Mon-Wed; ClosedWebsite | Instagram

Visit Khalid Mosque

Note: Khalid Mosque is temporarily closed for renovations
  • Looking to visit a mosque while you're in Katong and Joo Chiat? Head over to Khalid Mosque! 
  • Originally built in 1917, the mosque is rich in history. The first Imam of the mosque was Almarhum Syeikh Osman bin Syaikh Omar AlGanus, an Arab from Palembang. He was also a famous Qadi (registrar of Muslim marriages) in Singapore at that time. 
  • Almarhum Syeikh Osman was also a great cook and the tradition of preparing food at the mosque still lives on today!

Grab lunch at Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen

  • As Katong and Joo Chiat are havens for all-things Peranakan, trying out halal Peranakan cuisine is a must! 
Credit: Old Bibik's Peranakan Kitchen & Gallery on FB
  • Old Bibik’s Peranakan Kitchen serves halal-certified Peranakan favourites like Ayam Buah Keluak, Nyonya Curry Chicken, Chinchalok Omelette and more. 
  • Pull out a seat and be transported into the past with their old-school decor and seating arrangements. We think it’s the perfect photo opportunity!
Halal status: Halal-certifiedOpening hours: Daily; 11.30AM-9.30PMAddress: 328 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-02, Singapore 427585Contact: +65 8450 7996Website | Facebook

Join a Stamp Carving Workshop by Artefakts

  • Take it easy on the second day of exploring the precinct by joining a Stamp Carving Workshop by Artefakts located at Goodman Arts Centre.
  • Stamp-making is a therapeutic craft that anyone can enjoy, no matter what their skill level is! In this workshop by Artefakts, you’ll get to learn the basic techniques of carving your very own stamp unique to you. 🤗
  • In line with ART WALK 2023, you’ll get to create special Peranakan-themed stamps based on the motifs you'd usually find on Peranakan tiles and architectural designs.
  • Artefakts is also a stand-alone craft studio too! So you know you’ll be in good hands.
  • Getting your creative juices flowing in a quaint art-jamming environment is a great way to relax.
  • You'll have the chance to interact with like-minded craft enthusiasts while also releasing stress and rediscovering your inner child artist.
  • If you’re exploring with a friend, you can enjoy some quality time stamp carving together or go alone to reflect on profound inner thoughts while carving your own stamp!
Date & time: 15 January 2023, 1:30PM & 5PM | SundayLocation: Goodman Arts Centre, Block O, #06-24, 90 Goodman Road Book your slots here!

Discover Katong and Joo Chiat's vibrant street art

  • You can find beautiful murals and street art all over Katong and Joo Chiat, making the neighbourhoods even more vibrant. 😄
  • While the sun is up and high, make sure to take a stroll along the artsy streets of Katong and Joo Chiat to see the student-made murals.
  • Here are some of the murals and installations you need to keep a look out for during your stroll.
  • Don’t miss Apocalyptic Murals by Joshua Yang while strolling along the streets. His art practice revolves around the investigation of time by using different types of media including painting and drawing.
  • You’ll find his mural of a dog with the quote 'If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise' will reinforce the need for a healthy lifestyle amidst all the good food one finds in the Joo Chiat area. 
Location: 241 Joo Chiat Road Date & time: Sat & Sun; 7-8 & 14-15 January, 11AM-7PM (Audience Interaction)
  • A Stroll Alongside Colour by Jamie Teo offers a colourful wall installation that you can simply walk by and enjoy.
  • The bright colours of the work forces viewers to break away from their day-to-day routines – to stop, slow down and enjoy the simple joys of looking. 😍
Location: Outdoor walkways at SPACES Singapore, 292 Joo Chiat
  • If you like abstract and vibrant art, you’ll love Anatomical Reverberation; Recollections of You from a distance by Soph O.
  • You’ll see colours and textures overlapping one another. The piece is inspired by the concept of memory and storytelling. Both the narrator and listener are often denied access to the true history as their memory is easily distorted. The artist's approach to painting tries to encapsulate these memories, however flawed they may be. 
Location: 471 Joo Chiat Road

  • Dekat di Mata, Jauh di Hati by ZERO is one of the murals along Joo Chiat Road! The mural is a reference to the way Joo Chiat Road has evolved throughout the years. Gone were the traditional businesses that echoed a bygone era of colonial Singapore, replaced by hip cafes and trendy businesses as part of ever-evolving redevelopment efforts. The artist was overwhelmed by the changes he saw to the area during his walkabout and decided to create the art piece with memories of the remnants of heritage and culture that created the identity of the district. 
Location: 290 Joo Chiat Road (Dekat di Mata, Jauh di Hati by ZERO)

Settle down for dinner at Yi Zun Noodle

  • End the day and adventure with some good food! 😋 Drop by Yi Zun Noodle’s Joo Chiat outlet for authentic Chinese cuisine. Fun fact: Yi Zun Noodle is Singapore’s first Muslim-owned eatery that specialises in hand-pulled noodles!
  • If you enjoy dishes that’ll remain hot for the entire meal, you must try their bestseller, the Signature Grilled Fish! It includes grilled fish cooked in various spices and in a spicy broth topped with coriander, peanuts and chilli peppers for a bit more zing. 🔥 
  • It’s the perfect dish to share with your friends and loved ones because of how big the portion is! Not to mention, it’s served on a hot plate ensuring that your meal is hot till the very last bite.
Halal status: Halal-certifiedAddress & opening hours: 60 Joo Chiat Rd, #01-08/09, Singapore 427726 | Open daily; 11AM-9:30PMContact: +65 6909 7710Website | Instagram | FacebookLittle India and Joo Chiat are home to plenty of hidden gems and attractions that you can enjoy even as a local! 😃 If you’re not making plans to travel this holiday season, why not give this itinerary a try? It’s a great way to appreciate and celebrate Singapore’s multicultural precincts and show your support for local artists.This article is brought to you by ARTWALK 2023.