What to do this weekend? We recently did a two-hour walkabout and food tour of Geylang to enjoy the laid back feel of Singapore and to try some nice food and drinks along the way. The entire walk is only about 1 km, but it is meant to be done in a leisurely manner, with many stops along the way.
We started at an old building – the former Singapore Badminton Hall at 100 Guillemard Road. This was where many badminton battles took place. It is now used as a gymnasium and rock climbing facility. We started our food tour of Geylang with brunch at Brawn & Brains cafe on the ground floor. We ate too much. We suggest just having the cappuccino and the curried chicken wrap ($12.50) which can be shared by two people. You can read about our visit to Brawn and Brains here.
주신정 Ju Shin Jung Guillemard Korean BBQ restaurant and Bing Go Korean Dessert House are in an adjacent building the same compound if you want something different; or bingsu may be a good refreshing option after the walking and food tour of Geylang.
After eating at Brawn & Brains cafe, we proceeded to the back of the building where we were amazed to see that such a large rock-climbing facility exists in Singapore. We were surprised to see so many climbing enthusiasts in Singapore. There are walls for different levels of climbers. From beginner walls to the tallest which was three storeys high. A gymnastics school is right next to it.
After watching our young ones sweat it out, we cross over to the other side of Guillemard Road into the Geylang area. Turn left into Geylang Lorong 24A to admire the well-preserved shophouses. Seek shelter from the Singapore sun by walking along the five-foot ways. Since we are a food blog, we will leave the architectural descriptions to the experts. See, for example, how to tell the different types of shophouses at this website.
In addition to the beautiful shophouses, what is also interesting about this lane is that many of them are occupied by diverse types of societies and associations – clans, trades, religions etc. Some have their doors open, which enabled us to admire their interiors as well.
At the end of Lorong 24A is the main Geylang Road. Yong He Eating House is a coffee shop at the junction. This is where we stop for some drinks and snacks. If you have children, they will be happy to know that there is a Pokemon Gym on this spot. They can play as you take in the food and the surroundings. The items we ordered here were the salty beancurd, you tiao (fried dough stick) and soy bean milk. You can read about our stop at Yong He here.
After the pit stop at Yong He, we exit the coffee shop and turn right, walking up Geylang Road. Interesting shops and eateries line the road at this stretch. There are many things to eat. After about 300m we arrive at the junction of Geylang Road and Lorong 36. Turn right onto Lorong 36. In about 50m there is a playground. The children can be let loose here. It is also the location of another Pokemon Gym. Continuing down Lorong 36, you will see Geylang River on the left. This river had been cleaned up recently. It is a pleasant place. According to a Straits Times story Homage to history at Geylang River, ” the British moved villages of Orang Laut (sea people) and Malays living at the mouth of the Singapore River inland, resettling them in clusters of kampung villages on the banks of the Geylang River.”
We proceeded to the end of Lorong 36 to our next stop on our food tour of Geylang – a pub known as The Tuckshop.
Here is a picture of the Tuckshop food menu. It was a hot day and what was of interest to us were the beers. Guinness on tap is the thing we look forward to here. They also have a selection of Archipelago fruity beers. We tried the Singapore Ale which was supposed to have the taste of calamansi and pandan leaves. We could not really detect these flavours. What we can confirm is that it was light, fruity and pleasant. Which was good enough for us.
From here, we start making our way back to the starting point and the end of our short walking tour of Geylang. We walk down Guillemard Road till the next lorong – Lorong 34 Geylang. At the street corner is Tanjong Rhu Pau. The char siew pau and various types of dumplings here are very good. There are no seats. So just buy to eat along the way or to bring home. We bought some chilled ones ones for takeaway. They will last longer and we will need to heat them up anyway later. The char siew paus are very small, about 60% of a regular CSP.
About 50m down Guillemard Road, we stopped at Munch Munch. It is a shop that sells old-fashioned food, retro toys and household objects. Drop in to buy something or just to browse and feel yesterday once more. We ended up munching on small round biscuits topped with coloured sugar bits.
This is the last stop. From here we continued walking down about 100m to get back to the starting point and the end of our walking food tour of Geylang.