FOOD SAFARI AT GEYLANG

Soya Beancurd

GEYLANG

Geylang (pronounced "Gay Lung") is synonymous with glorious food and the red light district. The lorongs ("streets" in Malay) in Geylang are numbered 1 to 42 eastward, with the red light district in the teens and great food places found all over.

mrtmapTo get there, alight at Aljunied MRT Station and follow the map.

SIMS AVENUE & LORONG 17 - DESSERTS AND MORE SAVOURIES

Time for something sweet after all that fiery, savoury soup. Walk down Sims Avenue in the direction of Lorong 19. At No. 158 Sims Avenue, sandwiched between Lorong 21 and Lorong 19, is Rochor Beancurd. Smooth, white curds made from soya beans are served in a bowl with syrup. It's a popular dish for breakfast and as a dessert. Eat it cold or hot. Rochor Beancurd is open from noon to midnight. Although the beancurd here is good, there's a more popular one along Geylang Road which I will come to a few paragraphs down.

Along Lorong 17 is a stall called "Famous Mian Jian Kueh" in a coffeeshop. They sell another interesting local dessert called ondeh ondeh, round balls stuffed with gula melaka ("brown sugar" in Malay). They close when they're sold out, usually at about 8.00 p.m.

Along Sims Avenue, between Lorong 17 and Lorong 15 is a very popular 24-hour dim-sum stall at No. 126. Try thevarious types of dim-sum and also the century egg congee (pronounced in Cantonese as "pei dan zok") here. Don't be afraid, the preserved egg is not really a 100 years old!

Further down Sims Avenue, you'll see a whole row of roadside fruit stalls selling King of Fruits - durians, mangosteens, and all kinds of colourful, local fruits. The fruit stalls are interesting to visit. As a local, I just can't get enough of the rich, creamy, bitter-sweet lumps, but most foreigners find the taste of durians repulsive. Sometimes I wonder if foreigners dislike durians because the ones they try are of poor quality. Only good quality durians taste good, and choosing a good quality durian is a skill which even the locals have difficulty picking up. I notice that mangosteens (sweet, white flesh) are very well-liked by foreigners though. Be careful of the purplish red stains which come off the fruit when you eat it though. It's hard to wash off if it gets on your clothes!

If you can't bring yourself to buy and try an entire spiky green 'melon', then try a durian "chee cheong fun" (a smooth, white skin made from rice flour which is usually stuffed with shrimps or chicken and eaten with soya sauce) instead at Jia Ping Porridge House. This is indeed a very unusual dessert, with durian puree stuffed in rice flour skin, then coated with a layer of peanuts. The porridge house is tucked amongst the row of fruit stalls and is located at No. 81 Sims Avenue (opposite Lorong 11). It is open till 4.00 a.m. and the porridge house also serves a whole array of delectable savouries like chee cheong fun stuffed with you char kway (crispy dough fritters), fresh raw fish, and wanton noodles.

LORONG 9 & GEYLANG ROAD

After your pit-stop at Jia Ping Porride House, cross Sims Avenue and walk down Lorong 9. At the other end, Lorong 9 will meet Geylang Road. At that junction, there are 2 coffeeshops. The one on your left has a stall called Geylang Famous Beef Kway Teow (fried Chinese, flat, rice noodles served with tender slices of beef in black bean sauce), whilst the one of your right has a stall selling frog's leg porridge. If you intend to order something from both coffee shops, you can sit on either side of the road. The hawkers will cross the road to serve you the food. Just let them know where you're seated.

After you've had your fill, walk down Geylang Road in the direction of Lorong 11. Wedged between Lorong 9 and Lorong 11 is a coffeeshop called Yong He Eating House. This 24-hour coffeeshop too serves soya beancurd, and it is definitely more popular than Rochor Beancurd. Order yourself a bowl of soya beancurd in sweet syrup and some you char kway (crispy dough fritters) to go along.

RED LIGHT DISTRICT

Work off that bloat by taking a tour of the red light district. Cross Geylang Road and you'll find that the red light district is the entire area which starts from about Lorong 8 and ends at about Lorong 24.

The red light district is nothing like that in Amsterdam, where the girls sit behind glass windows at street level in plain view of all pedestrians. Here, the girls are housed in brothels, which are terrace houses with large numbers and sometimes with red lanterns hanging outside. Unless you walk into one of the brothels, you're likely to see only hundreds of men lurking around waiting for something. There may be a few girls walking back to the brothels after being dropped off by their clients though, and I did see quite a few Indian and Thai prostitutes along Lorong 15.

GEYLANG ROAD - BLACK PEPPER CRAB

After your walking tour of the red light district, it should be time for supper. At 414 Geylang Road, close to Lorong 24, is the famous No Signboard Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant is open from 3.00 p.m. to 2.00 a.m., and they're well-known for their black pepper crab. The restaurant is next to Lai Ming Hotel.

Aljunied MRT Station is just down Lorong 25, across Sims Avenue and then up Aljunied Road. If you cannot get to the MRT Station by 11.30 p.m., you will have to catch a cab back instead.


24-hour Dim Sum

Happy Hunting Ground for Durians

King of Fruits

Longans

Mangosteens

Durian Chee Cheong Fun

Raw Fish

Geylang Famous Beef Kway Teow (rice version)

Frog Porridge at Lorong 9

Inside of a Coffeeshop

Hot Plate Venison

Culinary Spectacle

And... the product

Yong He Eating House

Geylang Road

The Queue for Bak Kut Teh

Night Clubs

More Night Clubs
       

And Karaoke Bars
       

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