Get ready to explore every nook and cranny of this bustling area of the CBD - where to eat, hang out, shop and even work out!
Telok Ayer has been The Honeycombers’ hood for quite some time and, to be honest, we’ve come to dig it here. What’s there not to like? Food? Check! Shopping? Double check. Staying fit and healthy? Hell yeah, check! Since we totally love this vicinity, we thought we’d give you the low-down on what’s buzzing in our cool but busy neighbourhood. Check out our top five favourite spots in the area, in our video below, before carrying on to discover the rest of the amazing Telok Ayer, Singapore.
Joining the ranks of A Poké Theory and Aloha Poké in the Telok Ayer area is Pololi. Hailing from Hong Kong, the poké chain certainly doesn’t mess around when it comes to variety: it offers 20 different flavours (with five on rotation daily) ranging from yuzu salmon to sweet onion teriyaki swordfish, Thai spicy tuna, and even a locally-inspired sambal – definitely the ideal takeaway lunch bite that won’t leave you feeling guilty.
Pololi, 51 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048441. Open Mon-Tue 1130am-3pm, Wed-Thu 1130am-6pm, Fri 1130am-10pm.
Fat Saigon Boy
This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Vietnamese pho place. Fat Saigon Boy churns out steaming-hot Vietnamese cuisine with a contemporary twist. The result? Irresistible comfort food like the tender, juicy roast pork belly rice paper roll and hearty banh mi.
Fat Saigon Boy, #01-02, 51 Telok Ayer, Singapore 069694.
This lively modern smokehouse specialises in thrillingly-tender, juicy meats prepared on-site using smokers specially flown in from the States. Its beef brisket ($25) hits the spot with just enough charred and fatty bits, while the fried chicken ($22 for half, $40 for whole) is battered to perfection.
MeatSmith, 167 & 169 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068620, p. 6221 2262. Open daily 11.45am-2pm & 5.30pm-11pm.
If you’re a proud rice guzzler, then Warung Kampung is the place for you. Serving delicious plates of Indonesian nasi padang, this restaurant lets you choose from a bevy of gravy-drenched dishes to amp up your meal, like sambal sotong (squid cooked in a spicy sauce) and ayam rendang (chicken with a coconut and chilli gravy).
Warung Kampung, 51 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048441.
Fu Lin Bar & Kitchen
Who’d ever guess that you could fuse hipsters and Yong Tau Fu together? At this trendy Yong Tau Fu spot, they serve delicious crispy Yong Tofu, served with minced chicken and mushroom broth and springy noodles. And guess what? When the sun goes down, this place turns into a stylish tapas bar!
Fu Lin Bar & Kitchen, 127 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068596, p. 64230311. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat 10 am-3pm.
Moosehead Kitchen Bar
Nestled in a shop that’s endured since pre-war times, Moosehead Kitchen Bar features an array of palate-teasing Mediterranean food in a fun and laid-back ambience. The bar also offers a smorgasbord of fine beverages from new-world wines to boutique labels.
Moosehead Kitchen Bar, 10 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068579, p. 66368055. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-2.30pm & 6pm-10.30pm; Sat 6pm-10.30pm. Closed on Sun.
The Market Grill
This snazzy, industrial-chic restaurant has us salivating with its sizzling meats and naturally flavourful seafood. The buttery chargrilled lobster is a top choice, as is its sinful burgers – for a unique take, try the Bleu Cheese ($25 for 150g, $34 for 200g). The complex beef patty burger comes with bleu cheese, sweet burnt onion marmalade, and bacon sandwiched in a walnut raisin bun.
The Market Grill, 208 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068642, p. 6221 3323. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm & 6pm-10pm. Closed on Sun.
The impressive range of wine available at this underrated bar and French bistro should very well please vino lovers. Sampling the South European labels by the glass is easy on the wallet too, with $8, $12, $18 and premium options to taste.
Napoleon, 206 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068641, p. 6221 9282. Open Mon-Fri 11.45am-12pm; Sat 6pm-12pm. Closed on Sun.
Yes, the muffins here are terrific; perhaps it’s ’cos they’re handmade! But what’s a morning muffin without some coffee? This tiny store has created its own “Malabar blend” that uses beans from Brazil, Sumatra, and Guatemala.
The Muffinry, 112 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068581, p. 6509 6462. Open Mon 8am-6pm; Tue-Fri 8am-10pm; Sat 11am-4pm. Closed on public holidays.
One of the most affordable healthy options in the city, Sun Moon is a fruit shop that whips up nutritious,juices (think Apple, Beetroot and Carrot for $3.50) and fresh salads for a mere $5 (that’s no typo!). We frequently pop in for a juice as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up – a real winner in our books.
SunMoon, 167 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068618.
Free the Robot | Bitters & Love
This cutesy robot-themed café provides potent, coconut-infused coffee, as well as an array of scrumptious Western-style brunch food by day, before transforming into a buzzy alcove of specialty cocktails and bar snacks by night – our personal Honeycombers hangout!
Manna Korean Restaurant
We can’t possibly do a Telok Ayer round-up and forget our next-door neighbours! Manna serves up a fragrant and hearty ginseng chicken soup, as well as Korean cuisine staples like spicy tteokbokki (sliced rice cakes and vegetables in hot sauce), seafood pancakes and bibimbap.
Sizzle things up with a good ol’ Japanese BBQ boasting a wide selection of beef cuts, flown in from Japan. If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly lunch, then be sure to check out their lunch specials that start from $8. A new lunch spot contender, perhaps?
Yakiniku-Oh, 122 Telok Ayer, Singapore 068591.
If you are yearning for an Australian hipster café fix, this is your place. Sarnies was one of the first decent coffee shops to open in the Singapore business area, and has become our go-to for coffee and lunch fare. They have also introduced a range of healthy options like the fabulous vegan soft-serve, Cocowhip – very on-trend, we say.
Sarnies, 36 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068601.
It’s safe to say that Korean BBQ lovers have plenty of options to choose from along Telok Ayer. A popular hangout spot for big groups, this Korean BBQ restaurant serves everything from flavourful beef cuts to dolsot bibimbap (bibimbap served in a hot stone bowl).
Magal BBQ, 123 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068592.
Bumbu is an ideal spot for spice-loving folks looking to dig into scrumptious Thai-Indonesian cuisine. Some key dishes include tom yum seafood soup and pandan leaf chicken – perfect for sharing.
Bumbu, 125 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068594.
My Awesome Cafe
With its edgy vibe, Chinese medicinal store façade, and charming industrial interior, My Awesome Café is absolutely endearing. It’s an awesome addition to healthy lunch options with a great range of salads; we can’t go past the My Awesome Salad, a generous portion of mesclun with smoked salmon, herbed chicken breast, duck rillettes, avocado and tomatoes ($15).
My Awesome Café, 202 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068639.
If you’re in need for an affordable Indonesian feast that doesn’t skimp on flavour, then hop down to Nusantara Cuisine. This laid-back nasi padang eatery has a pretty straightforward menu of Indonesian classics like nasi goreng cabe hijau (green chilli fried rice) and beef noodles.
Nusantara Cuisine, 171 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068621.
Gold Ocean Curry Fish Head
The go-to place for those with a hankering for authentic fish head curry, this seafood restaurant has stood the test of time and continues to draw in the crowds with its winning recipe and quality ingredients.
Gold Ocean Curry Fish Head, 181 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068629.
Offering freshly baked croissants, Pantler does a rendition of the traditional French pastry that consistently wins us over. Beautifully crusted with buttery texture and a soft, fluffy consistency, Pantler’s croissants – priced at $3 – are definitely worth a try!
Pantler, 198 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068637, p. 6221 6223.
Chong Wen Ge Cafe
Nestled within Thian Hock Keng (Singapore’s oldest Chinese temple), Chong Wen Ge is a vibrant Peranakan cafe that serves heritage dishes with a modern approach, complete with beautiful decor of Peranakan tiles and a tempting spread of Nyonya kueh.
Chong Wen Ge Cafe, 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619, p. 8688 3028. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm; Sat-Sun 9am-8pm.
Want to dress to impress? Then Q Menswear is the way the go. The menswear label, which was founded just four years ago, offers ready-to-wear casual apparel, accessories, and grooming tools. But if you’re looking for something more unique, they do bespoke too.
Q Menswear, 116A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068585, p. 6636 6939. Open Mon-Fri 11am-730pm, Sat 11am-3pm.
Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre
Did you think Telok Ayer was gonna be all about food? Think again! This culturally-rich enclave also has a plethora of historic landmarks that would excite any culture vulture. Take a peek inside Nagore Dargah – arguably one of the more prominent landmarks in the area – and you’ll find a gallery that showcases Singapore’s Indian Muslim culture and heritage.
Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, 140 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068604.
Ying Fo Fui Kun
Another historic landmark to check off the list is Ying Fo Fui Kun. It’s the home to Singapore’s Hakka clan association – a smaller Chinese dialect group. And while centuries have passed since its construction, its heyday is far from over, with meetings and events still held there to this day.
Ying Fo Fui Kun, 98 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048474.
Thian Hock Keng
A visit to Telok Ayer is never complete without checking out this marvel of ancient Southern Chinese architecture! Singapore’s oldest Hokkien temple has been a familiar sight in this area since 1839, and is now a must-visit for tourists looking to explore Singapore’s rich and diverse history.
Thian Hock Keng, 158 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068613.
Beng Kong Ee Seah
Ever curious about acupuncture? Steel your nerves and book an appointment at acupuncture centre, Bee Kong Ee Seah. There, the resident acupuncturist will insert needles in specific chi paths, practising a healing art that is widely believed to have many health benefits.
Bee Kong Ee Seah, 210 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068643.
Sandwiched between shophouses, this low-key mosque is one of first few mosques ever to be built in Singapore. A place of worship among Tamil Muslims back in the 1850s, this mosque was later refurbished to accommodate 900 people, a whopping five times its original capacity.
Al-Abrar Mosque, 192 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068635.
Singapore Musical Box Museum
Venture within the ancient confines of Thian Hock Keng temple, and you might spot this museum that houses an extensive collection of musical boxes that date back centuries. Fun fact: these artefacts were left behind from European settlers back in the day.
Singapore Musical Box Museum, 168 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068619.
Aside from being a beautiful place to work out and its convenient location, Level keeps fitness interesting with a huge variety of original, high-end equipment that creates a different, dynamic and fresh routine every time you visit – there’s not a running machine in sight! Whether you’re looking for boxing, weight-lifting, toning, or cardio, you’ll find a bit of everything at Level.
The Yoga Mandala
Relax, recharge and rejuvenate at Telok Ayer’s only yoga studio. All it takes is a short climb up the stairs to find this hidden sanctuary of stress-free vibes in the midst of this buzzing street. Classes are available for drop-ins, beginners, and advanced yogis. Remember to bring a mat!
The Yoga Mandala, 134 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 068600.