Food: subsistence for the body, balm for the soul, and the soil on which relationships take root. Coming together for a meal has been a practice since ancient times to strengthen relationships, forge new connections, share stories, and celebrate both the everyday as well as special occasions. Our local obsession with food isn’t entirely unfounded after all. It has become such a huge part of Singaporean culture that if the nation was to be boiled down to three words, it’ll probably be: efficiency, Singlish, and food. It may well be always a matter of dispute where the best laksa or chicken rice is but this much is clear: the future residents of the newly launched Gem Residences in Toa Payoh have it good. Despite being in such close proximity to the city district, there’s no reason to even venture out with the food options here. Whether it’s a craving for fragrant kopi-o, sipped to the seasoned clockwork sounds of hawkers, or a smooth latte topped with an embarrassingly adorable foam cat, there are considerable choices for you at any time. And you can still keep to wearing shorts and slippers.
How so many good eats can be found in a small town like Toa Payoh is anyone’s guess. A good number of Singapore’s top hawkers are well within walking distance — some only a few meters apart. This is where you can try two famed versions of hokkien mee before walking to beloved handcrafted ice-cream parlor Creamier for dessert. It’s also where you can choose to brunch hard on a Sunday morning with usual suspects like eggs benedict before going back to nostalgic land with ice kachang and red ruby.
Here’s where you can find all the mouth-watering food in Toa Payoh:
FRIED HOKKIEN PRAWN MEE (天天来炒福建虾面)
Address: 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #02-27
TEOCHEW HANDMADE PAU
Address: 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #02-02
CHEY SUA CARROT CAKE
Address: 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #02-30
FATTY CHEONG ABC CHAR SIEW RICE
190 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #01-528
HOUGANG 6 MILE MUAH CHEE
480 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 HDB Hub, #B1-01
SOON HENG SILVER STREAM ROJAK
480 Toa Payoh Lorong 6 HDB Hub, #B1-23
211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8, #01-11/15
Cafes are no novelty in Singapore. Demand and supply have never been higher, with cafe-hopping a favorite weekend activity. The quest to trawl through the list of new cafes is fueled by large numbers of entrants — with more than 200 in 2015 alone. A good percentage don’t stay, for gone are the days where a well-made brew is enough. Novelty on top of solid food offerings is required for any to stand out, along with the new benchmark of a cafe’s Instagrammable value — which means paying attention to gorgeous interiors, well-presented food and good lighting. Free Wi-Fi is of course another essential, for how else will these photographs make instant presence on social media? This artisanal cafe wave that swept Singapore five years ago is flooding even into heartlands where the coffee sock used to hold reign, making strolling to a cafe from home now a possibility. Even if it’s not your hood, it gives great reason to explore another estate. Curious results emerge as older generations start taking to these modern entrants, sometimes even choosing espresso over kopi-o. It may very well be time to relook the definition of the word “hipster” here.
Here’s where you can find all the Hip Cafes in Toa Payoh:
THE DAILY PRESS
126 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-561, Singapore 310126
FROZEN BY A THOUSAND BLESSINGS
126 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-551, Singapore 310126
THE LITTLE PRINCE CAFE
47 Toa Payoh Lorong 6, #01-134, Singapore 310047
128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-833, Singapore 310128
31 Ah Hood Road, #01-07 HomeTeamNS, Singapore 329979
94 Toa Payoh Lorong 4, #01-32, Singapore 310094
JQ CHEF CAFE
186 Toa Payoh Central, #01-428, Singapore 310186
THE DREAM CAFE
163 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-1016, Singapore 310163
Like all gems, these places draw people from all over the island and even overseas, whether for the magical carrot cake, pan-fried in patties by warm-hearted sisters, or the home baked pastries from Niche Savoureuse. Here is certainly where one can find the magic of food weaved deeply into its history and community — a town where chefs and customers stay friends from generations past to those yet to come.
All these savory good food, if you are too tired or feel like lazing around at home during the weekends, you can always call for food delivery service to send them right to your doorstep at Gem Residences!