(Updated January 2016)

Sandwiched between Lavender MRT station and bustling Little India, the relatively quiet Jalan Besar neighbourhood has since seen a surge in hip cafes, galleries, and other stylish establishments. We picked out seven places to drop by to embrace a mix of new trends and old Singapore heritage.

chye seng huat hardware, cafe, singapore, jalan besar, dining
(Image: Chye Seng Huat Hardware)

Signature brews and brunch options at Chye Seng Huat Hardwarehave been raved about countless times before, but it's the shophouse decor that we fell in love with. Chye Seng Huat Hardware pays homage to the old hardware stores of Jalan Besar not just by name, but by retaining its old Art Deco facade as well. Inside, we adore the coffee island bar that anchors the high-ceiling space, while allowing us to appreciate the baristas at work. While you're admiring the decor, their cold brew coffee with milk on the side is satisfying refreshment.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware is at 150 Tyrwhitt Road.


(Image: Tyrwhitt General Co)

Located just above the hip Chye Seng Huat Hardware cafe, Tyrwhitt General Co is not a store to be missed. Known for their curation of artisanal products, the shop stocks trendy fashion apparel like backpacks and sunglasses, as well as, a good mix of household items including collector's metal tin boxes. Aside from the retail, their neat workshops are definitely worth your time. Basic leathercraft workshops (from $79) are quick to get booked up, but also check out clay making ($90), and traditional box making ($60) by book binding community The Thistle Bindery.

Tyrwhitt General Company is at 150A Tyrwhitt Road.


(Image: Antoinette)

Even if you haven't gone wary of the conventional industrial-style cafes, why not try giving brunch a miss and have high tea instead? The shabby chic interior of Antoinette makes it a delight to dine in, and the does does not disappoint. While enjoying the ambience of the Parisian patisserie, try their traditional French-style thick pancakes and indulge in their selection of exquisite cakes and tea. 

Antoinette is at 30 Penhas Road.


(Image: I-S Asia)

Don't let the old shophouse exterior of At Room fool you, the independent gallery keeps its collection. Showcasing painting and photographs by local artists, gallery manager, Alan Tan, proudly displays his works as well, and will soon be adding new pieces to his oil paintings collection.

At Room Gallery is at #01-06 Lavender Place, 161 Lavender Street.

moni gallery, hostel, art, singapore, jalan besar
(Image: Moni Gallery)

Now operating as a hostel, the Moni art gallery has become part of its reception and lobby, displaying an array of contemporary oil paintings and sculptures. The backpacker hostel makes a fun place to spend the night, with its bright red shophouse front, equally vibrant coloured interiors, and open-aire al fresco pantry in the backyard. Prices range from $22-$28 for a single bed in a dormitory. For more artworks, consider walking to Artistry, an interesting albeit small gallery cafe in the Kampong Glam neighbourhood.

Moni Gallery is at 263 Lavender Street.


tiramisu hero, singapore, cafe, tiramisu, dining, jalan besar, tyrwhitt road
Image: The Tiramisu Hero

This cafe has been making its rounds on Instagram and food blogs, thanks to its cute yet simple cafe decor, and their decadent tiramisu selection. But besides satisfying your sweet tooth, the Tiramisu Hero also sells a range of their cute merchandise!

The Tiramisu Hero is at 121 Tyrwhitt Road, tel: 6292-5271.


aeiou, cafe, singapore, vintage, jalan besar, king george
Image: Danielfooddiary

The eclectic design of this cafe serves as a way to bring its patrons back to their roots. The team behind A.E.I.O.U sourced for vintage treasures to repurpose for their cafe, such as the mix of old chairs, lamps and more. The cafe even retained the original shop front of the space!

A.E.I.O.U is at 111 King George’s Avenue, tel: 6291-2698.



(Image: Kam Leng Hotel)

For a less budget-conscious staycation, experience the rustic charm of Kam Leng Hotel. The popular boutique hotel exudes a 20's retro style with accents of Peranakan influences, having been designed to retain its original look since it was established in 1927. At the hotel lobby, you can find Suprette, a cosy cafe and bar, decorated with a similar raw look. Hotel guests are entitled to complimentary breakfast for two at the cafe, while prices for one night range from about $90 for a cabin room to $110 for a superior queen room, depending on the reservation period.

Kam Leng Hotel is at 383 Jalan Besar.

[Text & Coordination by Thrina Tham]