While its not a certified hotspot like Keong Saik and it doesn’t have the star power of the Central Business District, up-and-coming neighbourhood Alexandra – located by the Queenstown and Bukit Merah estates – does offer up some great eats worth your time. Offering a number of Chinese zi char spots, as well as a seafood grill and a dessert joint in the artsy Gillman Barracks, here are some places to check out in the underrated neighbourhood.
Keng Eng Kee Seafood
A stalwart of Chinese zi char restaurant, Keng Eng Kee Seafood has cooked up a storm of delectable Chinese dishes to a loyal following of customers since its days as a stall at Old Havelock Road Hawker Centre. Try their signature Mingzhu Roll (deep fried dried beancurd skin stuffed with salted egg yolk, ham, prawns, mushrooms, parsley) or the usual wok favourites such as Salted Egg Crab and Yam Basket when you head down – if you can beat the crowd, that is.
Jiakpalang Eating House
Feeling adventurous? Modern zi char is what’s up at Jiakpalang Eating House (see our review here), a pretty new addition to the Alexandra stretch. Taking familiar Singapore dishes (kopi C, anyone?) and creating their own amalgamations, make your lunch or dinner a journey for your tastebuds with dishes such as Charcoal Katarosu Pork Collar ($16; charcoal-smoked and seared pork, “Kopi C” sauce and soil, wok fried garlic chives) and “Ang Ji Kao” Stout-Braised Beef Cheek ($17; braised beef cheeks, peanut butter crunchy mash, Nashi Pear, roasted peanuts, spring onion, shaved radish).
Jiakpalang Eating House is located at 456 Alexandra Road, #01-04/ 06 Fragrance Empire Building, Singapore 119962, p. +65 6266 8511. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am – 10pm. Closed Sat-Sun.
Hong Kong Street Chun Kee
Another haunt for sharing Chinese zi char is the quieter Hong Kong Street Chun Kee, just a minute’s walk away from the AIA building on Alexandra Road. Eat your fill of comforting, familiar dishes fired up from the wok for lunch and dinner such as Fish Slice Beehoon Soup and Deep-fried Yam Basket with Prawns and Scallops, as well as their must-try Prawn-paste Chicken Wings with lime and chilli that has just the right amount of spice.
Hong Kong Street Chun Kee is located at 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-190, Singapore 150125, p. +65 6271 8484. Open 11am – 2.30pm, 5pm – 11.30pm daily.
Meat lovers don’t have to head into the crowded restaurant streets to have their fill anymore – get the very best meat selection at Park Hotel Alexandra’s The Carvery. An indulgent buffet of roasts await as cuts of beef, lamb, pork and chicken hang in a display, ready for chefs to slice into when ordered. The meats go great with sides and other special condiments including six different types of mustards and home-made butter, so don’t hesitate to go for seconds and thirds.
The Carvery is located at 323 Alexandra Rd, Level 7 Park Hotel Alexandra, Singapore 159972. Opens 6.30am – 10.30am, 12pm – 2.30pm (for buffet) or – 3pm (for a la carte), 6pm – 10pm daily.
For afterwork drinks in the area, take the lift up to Aqua Luna on the seventh floor of Park Hotel Alexandra. Situated by the infinity pool and overlooking the old estate of Queenstown, knock back a few unique mixes like Hot Melons (watermelon, chilli padi, dark rum, soursop sorbet) and Alexandra Sunset (rosemary-infused Grand Marnier, cherry liquer, white rum, fresh lime, lemon, pineapple, and dark rum) as you watch the sun sink below the surrounding treetops. See our full review here.
Aqua Luna is located at 323 Alexandra Rd, Level 7 Park Hotel Alexandra, Singapore 159972, p. +65 6828 8885. Opens Sun-Thu 12pm – 11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm – 1am.
Jin Ho Mia
Looking for a quick fuss-free lunch or filling heavy dinner? Jin Ho Mia’s got you covered with its vastly different day and night menus. The rice bowls are a great lunchtime option for the working crowd near Alexandra Retail Centre, with wholesome toppings for getting you through the day. For dinner, it’s hotpots galore for a sit down meal, as its Tok Kong Pot (Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns, flower clams) and Ah Boy Pot (roasted pork, bacon, luncheon meat, sausages, meatballs) steam its ingredients at your table in its broth.
Jin Ho Mia is located at 460 Alexandra Road, #02-20 Alexandra Retail Centre, Singapore 119963, p. +65 6352 7725. Opens Mon-Fri 11.30am – 3.30pm, 5.30pm – 10pm; Sat-Sun, public holidays 11.30am – 10pm.
Settle your dessert cravings with ice cream from Creamier, nestled within arts hub Gillman Barracks. With their extensive array of hand-churned flavours both regular and limited, savour the sweet-savoury tang of Sea Salt Gula Melaka, the thick milky Thai Milk Tea and the softly sour Mango Passionfruit Sorbet, flavours among the lot that will be sure to please your palate. Order them on waffles for a substantial and satisfying sweet treat.
Creamier is located at 5A Lock Rd, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108927, p. +65 6262 1087. Open Tue-Thu, Sun 12pm – 10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm – 11pm. Closed Mon.
The Naked Finn
Fresh catches from the ocean go straight to the grill at The Naked Finn, where they are cooked in just olive oil, sea salt and the occasional unsalted butter to bring out the best natural flavour. Feast on dishes such as Barramundi fillet ($20 per 150g) and Mozambique lobster risotto ($38) after you peruse the neighbouring galleries when you head down to Gillman Barracks.
The Naked Finn is located at 39 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109442, p. +65 6694 0807. Open Tue-Thu 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm; Fri-Sat 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 10.30pm. Closed Mon-Sun.
Alexandra Food Village
Craving traditional hawker fare while in the area? Alexandra Food Village will leave you spoiled for choice. Out of the many, our must-tries were the Dover Road Kai Kee Wanton Noodles (#01-09) for their eponymous dish, barbecued stingray from Star Yong Kwang BBQ Seafood (#01-04), as well as the signature dish of the Michelin Bib Gourmand awardee Zhen Shan Mei Depot Road Claypot Laksa (#01-75). Wash it all down with the famous avocado juice from the famous, long-standing Mr Avocado (#01-19) – the thick shake is one of the Food Village’s greatest draws.
Alexandra Food Village is located at 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1, Singapore 150120. Stall opening times vary.
You won’t find the usual kopitiam food at Salute. Located right by Alexandra Food Village, this coffeeshop features six stalls that dish out cuisines from all over the world. Prices range from $10 to $30, and you can feast on shakes and burgers from England at old-school burger stand Jack Ripper, beers on tap and pork knuckle at Stew Kuche, as well as curry dishes at Naan Wali.
Salute Coffeeshop is located at 119 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-40, Singapore 151119, p. +65 6884 6884. Opens Tue-Fri 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm; Sat-Sun 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm. Closed Mon.
Ah Shen Ah Mah Teochew Kuehs and Snacks
If you’re in the area but too busy for a sit down meal, drop by this quaint shop for takeaway Teochew kuehs. Famous for their Soon Kueh, Ah Shen Ah Mah Teochew Kuehs and Snacks make their offerings by hand fresh daily, and are often sold out near the Chinese festive seasons. Their kuehs come in a myriad of flavours such as green tea, coconut, peanut and durian, so you’re sure to be spoilt for choice when picking your favourites.
Ah Shen Ah Mah Teochew Kuehs and Snacks is located at 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-164, Singapore 150125, p. +65 6273 5875. Opens 8am – 7pm daily.
Cover image: “Ang Ji Kao” Stout Braised Beef Cheeks, from Jiakpalang Eating House