Curious about things to do in Balestier and Novena? We’ve got you with this epic guide to two of our fave hoods.
The juxtaposition of Balestier and Novena is what makes Singapore unique. From swanky condominiums and posh hotels to heritage shophouses and old school eateries in the vicinity, you will get the best of both worlds. A stone’s throw away from Orchard, these two neighbourhoods offer iconic local eats, hidden cafes, chill bars and fuss-free restaurants. Dive in below.
Loy Kee Chicken Rice
Chicken rice is ubiquitous, and dare we say synonymous to Singapore, and Loy Kee has been serving this dish since 1953. One of the cornerstones of chicken rice has to be the fragrance, and that pretty much seals the deal for us. Add a dash of chilli and dark soy sauce to the roasted chicken and a spoonful of rice – you’ll know why when you try it.
Loy Kee Chicken Rice, 342 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329774
Founder Bak Kut Teh
Another local favourite has to be Bak Kut Teh. With 40 years of experience under their belt, Founder Bak Kut Teh delivers a mean bowl, even celebrities have frequented the place – check out the walls of the photo walls. The peppery bowl is replete with tender pork ribs and has the right amount of kick to it that will clear your sinuses.
Founder Bak Kut Teh, 347 Balestier Road, Singapore 329777
Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah
For the uninitiated, tau sar piah is a flaky, Chinese pastry that comes in two flavours, salty and sweet. And Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah has been serving them since 1948, so you know they ain’t messing around. It also offers butter cakes and cream puffs that will have you filled with nostalgia.
Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah, 639 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329922
The Clueless Goat
The Clueless Goat is a specialty coffee house serving up brews that will excite any coffee junkie – piccolo anyone? They also offer typical brunch fare the likes of poached eggs on toast and yogurt with granola.
The Cluless Goat,189 Thomson Rd, Singapore 307631
Tucked away in an unassuming location, on the eighth floor of a medical centre, this kitsch cafe is a hidden gem. With it’s cosy atmosphere and wooden interiors, it just makes you want to huddle up in one of the nooks with a hot cuppa and a good novel. Be sure to try their French toast and crab cakes.
La Ristrettos, Novena Medical Centre, 10 Sinaran Dr, #08-37, Singapore 307506
Perched on the 22nd floor of Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, Sky22 is a breath of fresh air with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows and picturesque views of the city. A weekly rotating semi-buffet menu on the weekdays and a full-on buffet on the weekends, expect local and international faves.
Sky22, Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, 99 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore 329568
Rochor Beancurd House
Rochor Beancurd needs no introduction and you don’t have to head to Geylang to get your fix. Be sure to dip (or break) the ivory white beancurd with the golden crispy dough fritters.
Rochor Beancurd House, 432 Balestier Road, #01-436 Public Mansions, Singapore 329813
Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant
Expect a smorgasbord of Chinese and Canto cuisine such as stir fried pork ribs, French bean with minced pork, prawn paste chicken and sliced fish bee hoon soup. Be sure to bring your friends and family along so you can try all of their popular dishes.
Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant, 273 Thomson Rd, #01-01, Singapore 307644
The Marmalade Pantry
Hidden away in the lobby of Oasia Hotel, The Marmalade Pantry offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of its flagship store in ION. On the menu are wholesome pasta, delicious cupcakes and desserts, great weekend brunches and tea accompaniments to fuel your body and soul.
The Marmalade Pantry, Oasia Hotel, 8 Sinaran Dr, #01-02/04, Singapore 307470
After a hearty dinner at Sky22, head up to Urbana on the 33rd floor for a nightcap. If you liked the view from Sky22, expect to be in awe with Urbana’s view of Singapore’s glitzy cityscape.
Urbana, Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, 99 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329568
Brauhaus Restaurant and Pub
In the basement of United Square, this pub is home to over 200 beers from around the globe, from Ukraine, Croatia, Mongolia to Holland and, of course, Singapore, explore the world, one beer at a time.
Brauhaus Restaurant and Pub, United Square Shopping Mall, 101 Thomson Rd, B1 – 13/14, Singapore 307591
Craft beer enthusiasts should add this beer joint to their list of breweries to check out. From over 15 beers on tap to choose from, pair it with their pizzas – the perfect combo, if you ask us.
Nickeldime Drafthouse, 275 Thomson Road, #01-01 Regency, Singapore 307645
Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
This museum provides insights into Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s work. Through the exhibition, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of his mission that led to the success of the Chinese Revolution. Also check out the veranda overlooking the serene garden entrance.
Sun Yat Sen Museum,12 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327874
Burmese Bhuddhist Temple
Just around the corner from Sun Yat Sen Museum is one of the oldest temples in Singapore. Gape at the 11-foot marble Bhuddha statue that was transported from Mandalay and on the second floor, you will see murals depicting bhuddhist folktales.
Burmese Bhuddhist Temple, 4 Tai Gin Rd, Singapore 327873
Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory
Coffee connoisseurs, be sure to check out their extensive collection of coffee beans from exotic locales such as South Africa and India. And if you don’t have a coffee grinder, they will do it for you on the spot.
Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory, 328 Balestier Rd, Singapore 329760
Jennifer’s Vintage & Antique
Some things are lovely only when they are new; others become lovelier when they are old. There’s a lot to dig through at Jennifer’s Vintage & Antique shop, but they aren’t refurbished or restored. Instead, what you see is what you get, and what you get is pre-loved, vintage pieces.
Jennifer’s Vintage & Antique, Blk 27 #01-306 Jalan Bahagia, Singapore 320027
Balestier Heritage Trail
Here at Honeycombers, we love heritage trails so, of course, it will be in the list of things to do. So be prepared to catch Art Deco shophouses and pre-war terrace houses and more on this rail. Learn more about the trail here.
More than just a cooking school, Cookyn Inc – started by the guys behind GRUB Burger Bistro and Fix Café – does amazing cooking corporate events and parties. They offer a wide range of programmes including a kitchen challenge that requires you to whip up a gourmet feast using unknown ingredients.
Cookyn Inc, HometeamNS-JOM Club, #01-04, 31 Ah Hood Road, Singapore 329979
Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena
If you plan to do all of the things listed above, a staycation is in order. Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena is conveniently located next to Velocity and all their rooms are on high floors, boasting either the city view or the lush nature reserve. Did we mention, their infinity pool is located right next to the highest bar in novena?
Courtyard by Marriott Singapore Novena, 99 Irrawaddy Rd, Singapore 329568
With four types of room to choose from – Club Room, Deluxe Room, Superior Room and Club Suite – unwind your body, soul and mind with the interior’s warm tones, swimming pool, and sauna. They also conduct yoga classes every Sunday!
Oasia Hotel, 8 Sinaran Dr, Singapore 307470