Hidden in the east of Singapore is a little concrete jungle called “Tai Seng” – a bustling industrial estate that is favoured by hundreds of SMEs due to its large units and warehouses that come at affordable prices. Look around you and you would soon be acquainted with heavy vehicles, sky-high cranes and the art of jaywalking a road dominated by heavy vehicles.
That’s right, YOLO is the motto you’d need to survive here. Despite this, we found calmness amongst the chaos when we found these little hidden gems that quickly changed our perception of Tai Seng! Here are some of Tai Seng’s best eateries and weekend hideaways that would make the unfamiliar journey worth it:
The BOILER: Louisiana Seafood and Beer
Photo: The Boiler’s Facebook
Tucked away in Howard Street, the award-winning restaurant is best known for their seafood boils like the “Bomb-Diggity” bag, which includes marinated seasonal crab, prawns, mussels, clams, sausages, sweet pearl corn and soft buns. Wash it all down with The Boiler’s signature Lemonade (which has a unique blend of Yakult in it) and or choose from their selection of beer. The restaurant is perfect for a quick seafood fix or a momentous occasion with your loved ones.
18 Howard Rd, #01-06, Novelty Bizcentre, Singapore 369585
Photo: Supermilk Facebook
Unfortunately, we didn’t become superheroes after dining here, but Supermilk is definitely a great spot for lunch with its affordable set meals and desserts. The café serves large portions of western grub that’s both shareable and wallet friendly, so it is perfect for students or those looking for a quick cuppa on a budget. Do try their latest creation “Top of the world”, which is essentially an over-the-top milkshake and give their Honey-Lavender ice-cream waffles a go too!
Commerze@irving, 1 Irving Place, #01-29
Photo: 23 Jumpin’ Facebook
Yet another café located in Irving Place, 23 Jumpin’ serves up simple, fuss-free brunch dishes from all-day breakfast items like the Eggs Benedict and Breakfast Platters to juicy and savoury appetisers like the popular Paprika Wings. Housed in a cosy, homey setting, it’s a good way to start your weekends on the right note with the rejuvenating aroma of coffee and a few of your closest buds. The café also gets a generous stream of light, so it perfect for Instagram too!
Swag Salad Wraps and Greens
Photo: Swag’s Facebook
If you happen to work at Tai Seng and are looking for healthier alternatives to Laksa and Kopi Peng, you might want to check out Swag’s salad bowls and wraps as a remedy for the midday slump. The green joint hopes to debunk the notion of salads always being too expensive by offering gourmet salads that are wallet-friendly and filling, offering flavours like Smoked Duck, Chicken Caesar and Shiok Tuna. Complete your healthy meal with some fresh Cold Pressed Juice and you’re ready to bounce back to work!
1 Irving Place, The Commerze #01-26
Photo: Flame Café Facebook
Walk too quickly and you might miss Flame Café, but it’s funky illuminating display might attract the curious ones in the evening. The spacious café is beautiful for brunch –high ceilings and full-glass windows are juxtaposed with wooden interiors and a modern, geometric ceiling fixture. Gorgeous interiors aside, Flame Café is best known for its Cheesy Hotpot & BBQ Pagoda – a delectable 3-tier steamboat that marries the thrill of grilling your own meat with the indulgence of dipping it into a molten cheese sauce!
73 upper paya lebar road, Centro Bianco
Kay Lee Roast Meat
One of Singapore’s most famous chain of Char Siew meats (barbecued pork), Kay Lee Roast Meat’s humble outlet (which sits along Upper Payar Lebar road) is still going strong with a hungry mob of fans queueing for its famed Char Siew and Sio Bak (roasted pork belly). Even though Kay Lee has branched out to 7 different outlets, this rustic joint is still our favourite for its charm, history and of course –the smokey, glazed chunks of barbecued meat it is known for.
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534838
Jie Bakery & Confectionery
If Singapore had a bread connoisseur, croissants and ciabattas would not stand a chance against the traditional, golden and fluffy loaves of bread sold in Jie Bakery & Confectionery. Located just next door from Kay Lee Roast Meat, the bakery is known for providing a slice of nostalgia by retaining Singapore’s rich heritage of old-school bakes. For the full experience, enjoy it with a generous spread of Nonya Kaya and you’ll be transported right back to the 90s!
123 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore 534838