Chinatown Complex Closes For Renovations Till 31 May
There aren’t many places in Singapore that offer a wet market, sundry shops and food stores under one roof. Chinatown Complex not only offers all the above, it does so while still integrating aspects of the OG Chinatown that we know and love.
However, Chinatown Complex is currently closed for renovations as part of the National Environment Agency’s efforts to update ageing infrastructure.
Not to worry, Chinatown Complex will be opening its doors once again in 3 months. Here are 5 things we can look forward to when it reopens.
1. Michelin-worthy food for cheap
Singaporeans pride ourselves in having taste-buds like famous chefs.
You have probably heard your picky ‘foodie’ friends commenting “Wah this one nice leh!” only on atas cafe fare.
We think Chinatown Complex offers a myriad of affordable cuisine options for all kinds of palates.
From $4 Michelin-starred Liao Fan Soy Sauce Chicken Rice to $5 Xiao Long Baos — these delectable dishes don’t only fill your bellies, they also don’t empty your pockets at an alarming rate.
2. Craft beers from $10
Tired of the same old beer brands at your favourite bars? Hidden amongst the narrow winding corridors at Chinatown Complex is Smith Street Taps which offers exotic global beers on tap.
Our top picks are Brewlander for adventurous daredevils. Though it may look mild, it boasts a staggering 8.2% in alcohol content. For those who love sweet treats so much that HPB would be concerned, the fruity Fortunate Islands could be a great option for you — if you pay a visit during a chill night with friends.
Grabbing a pint with friends usually means having an unforgettable night out. Just remember to not end up on the street the next day.
3. Cheongsams for cheap
Cheongsams are the perfect balance of sophisticated and sexy. The only problem is the price-tag that comes with purchasing one.
However, owning a Cheongsam for less than $30 is no longer a dream.
The second level of Chinatown Complex offers a variety of seasonal and traditional clothes at reasonable prices. Yes, Cheongsams too! This is one of the few places left in Singapore that you can even try to bargain for a better deal.
Just don’t push your luck too far with the vendor — they are making a living too.
4. Gorgeous murals & immersive culture
Forget the plain white aesthetic or hypebeast sub-culture, Chinatown Complex is bursting at the seams with secret heritage spots, hidden in plain sight.
Even as the complex undergoes renovation, you can hunt for murals reminiscent of Georgetown, Penang around the area.
Telling you where all of them are will spoil the fun, but here’s a guide to Chinatown and its many murals & Insta-spots — spoiler alert.
5. New amenities
We expect to be pleasantly surprised by the new amenities once the extensive renovations are complete.
Gone are the days of wet slippery floors. The renovation aims to re-tile the floor to prevent disastrous falls especially for older patrons.
Clean and upgraded toilets will also be available for those that went for one too many helpings.
The cultural heart of Chinatown
As Singapore’s landscape changes to make way for newer buildings, there are fewer and fewer areas that continue to preserve Singapore’s culture.
So head down to Chinatown when it reopens 31 May for an unforgettable experience before it becomes one of the few areas left to time-travel back to the 1900s.
We hope that a balance is struck between preserving the culture and upgrading the infrastructure, so that we can continue to enjoy Chinatown Complex for generations to come.
Featured image from Google Maps.