Jaclyn Lim, founder and florist at The Bloom Room, takes you on an insider’s tour of Joo Chiat.
Having a keen interest in flowers and floral arrangement is no longer a staid or old-fashioned hobby reserved for retirees. According to Jaclyn Lim, young and house-proud Singaporeans are also regularly buying flowers to display in their homes. Her cosy floral boutique located along Joo Chiat Road serves as a creative hotbed where she spins her magic on gorgeous blooms and is also a space for her to conduct floral arrangement workshops.
When she’s not arms-deep in flowers and ferns, Jaclyn enjoys taking a stroll around her colourful neighbourhood. Joo Chiat is a residential conservation area that is marked by its long row of shophouses. Here, you can find everything from old-school Traditional Chinese Medicine halls to an array of eateries serving up authentic Peranakan cuisine. So what are some of Jaclyn’s treasured spots?
1. Mr & Mrs Mohgan Super Crispy Roti Prata
“I always try to squeeze in a prata breakfast here every Saturday morning before I head to The Bloom Room. The prata here may be slightly smaller but it’s fresh and superbly crispy. You also have three different types of curry to choose from – viz Dhal, Mutton and Fish, or Sambal Ikan Bilis. The food here is definitely worth the 40-minute wait!”
Mr & Mrs Mohgan Super Crispy Roti Prata is at 7 Crane Road, Poh Ho Restaurant.
“This is my go-to hair salon. I love the rugged and spacious interior, as well as the fact that I get a comfy seat, warm towel, and a dollop of hand lotion the minute I settle down. Hairstylist Ivin not only dispenses lots of hair-care and styling tips, but her head massages are a great stress reliever!”
Bloc+ is at 462 Joo Chiat Road.
3. Joo Heng Restaurant
“Having grown up eating the humble Teochew fare from Joo Heng Restaurant, I have a soft spot for the food here. They only do a few dishes, but they do them extremely well. Hardly a month goes by without me popping in for dinner. Some of my family’s favourites include Prawn Paste Chicken and Sweet Potato Leaves.”
Joo Heng Restaurant is at 360 Joo Chiat Road.
4. Joie Makeup Bar
“Joie’s my go-to girl whenever I need professional make-up done. She is super friendly and has a great eye for colours and trends. She knows I prefer the natural, polished look and never fails to deliver. If you have a function to attend or simply want to try a new look, I highly recommend booking an appointment with Joie.”
Joie Makeup Bar is at 119A East Coast Road.
5. Joo Chiat Laksa
“With so much competition from the various Katong Laksa outlets, this newcomer tends to get overlooked but I reckon this is one of the best laksa I’ve had! The laksa here is of the Peranakan variety, so you can expect the broth to be rich and full of delicious lemak flavour. Super sedap!”
Joo Chiat Laksa is at 300 Joo Chiat Road.
The Insiders’ Guide Video
Check out this video for more cool places to check out around Jalan Besar, Chinatown and Joo Chiat, as recommended by the people who know these areas best.