Katong was popular among the wealthy Straits Chinese, Europeans and Jews in the early part of the 1900s. Many of them built mansions, hotels and recreational clubs along the beach for weekend retreats.
Joo Chiat was named after Chew Joo Chiat (‘King of Katong’), a wealthy Chinese landowner in the early 20th century who acquired most of the land in the area.
Both Katong and Joo Chiat eventually became populated by the English-educated middle class, comprising mostly Peranakans and Eurasians.
Meeting up with our tour guide at the front entrance of Dunman Food Centre, the ‘Katong Kaleidoscope’ tour commences first with a hop over to nearby Koon Seng Road to admire and appreciate the beauty and heritage of the two picturesque rows of colorful Peranakan houses situated on either side of this short street. Affectionately regarded today as ‘Singapore’s most colorful street’, Koon Seng Road never fails to draw local and foreign ‘visitors’ hungry for Instagram-worthy shots.
Next, we proceed to the Eurasian Community House – home to the Eurasian Association – for a tour inside their Eurasian Heritage Gallery to gain engaging insights into the history, social contributions, notable personalities and culture of the Singapore Eurasians.
Thereafter, Katong Kaleidoscope continues with a leisurely stroll along Joo Chiat Road, passing through more examples of pre-war Peranakan shophouses with their ornate facades and helpfully shady five-foot ways and, if time permits, possibly pop into a shop offering interesting books and Singaporean-themed bric-a-brac and collectibles, before arriving at the strategic junction where Joo Chiat Road intersects with East Coast Road.
Take a walk back in time and envision what the scene was like for the Peranakans and Eurasians residing around this once coastal district.
A stone’s throw away stands The Church of the Holy Family, a pre-World War II parish church first established in 1902 by four Eurasian families and later expanding to welcome parishioners of other races especially the Peranakans living around the area.
Yong’s Teochew Kueh shop is worth a quick stop-by at, to ‘tar pao’ some delicious Teochew kueh favorites like soon kueh, orh kueh, koo chye kueh and png kueh. (optional)
Peranakan heritage and culture come alive and take centerstage next as we make our final stop at Rumah Kim Choo. Here, you will glimpse into the food & material culture of the Peranakans, and given the opportunity to try on traditional fashion apparels as well as to observe how traditional sarong kebaya and beaded shoes are made. Led by Rumah Kim Choo’s docent, the visit will also include a little sampling of nonya refreshments to tease the palate.
09.00AM – 13.00PM
Front entrance of Dunman Food Centre
Address: 271 Onan Rd, Singapore 424768
$50 adult | $45 child
Minimum of 5 pax
Subject to availability
Please get in touch with us to book the Katong Kaleidoscope day tour.