During our Singapore long weekend we not only stayed in Chinatown but spent a bit of time exploring its colourful streets, checking out the shops, and of course, sampling the food. The area seemed to consist of several parts – the touristy part hawking souvenirs seen all over Asia (and every Chinatown around the world), the local area with great kitchenware shops and bustling restaurants, and the boutiquey area around and including Ann Siang Road.
Ann Siang Road was loaded with character – from Chinese clan houses to ornate tiles on the exterior of the buildings, to its mix of fashion boutiques and quirkier shops.
One of my favourite shops on Ann Siang Road was Asylum
(at no. 22), selling magazines, travel books, lomo cameras and unique homewares. The other was a fantastic bookshop called Books Actually
(at no. 5). Along with a great selection of books, the shop housed retro accessories, some cool photography (more lomo action) and there was even a little ‘cat viewing gallery’ – glass windows looking out to a teeny courtyard home to one very pampered looking cat.
We ate dinner at a nearby food centre (like a hawker centre – but a small version) called Tion Shian Eating House. The seafood with crispy noodles we tried was delicious yet the sauce quickly turned the noodles from crispy to soupy. The highlight was a plate of chicken wings accompanied by a red hot chilli dipping sauce and a small lime to suck afterwards if the heat got too much (according to the vendor). The wings were some of the best I’d ever tasted – crispy on the outside with tender meat – and all for the sum of a few dollars.