A Poh Kitchen
Set in a sleepy quarter of Clementi Avenue 2, A Poh Kitchen is anything but quiet. This Halal-certified restaurant has held fort here since 2009 and draws a crowd in with their sizeable menu of zichar favourites and Thai-Chinese dishes. With signatures such as claypot golden chicken, crab meat vermicelli and fish heads cooked up with assam, curry or black bean and bittergourd sauces, the flavour profile here tends towards the sweet and sour – rather than going big on spice – so it's easy to see why this has become a firm family-friendly favourite.
Ah Hoe Mee Pok
Clementi's two well-loved meepok stalls famed for their umami-packed bowls of minced meat noodles with prawns, abalone and a satisfying clam soup, Ah Hoe and Ah Li, have a bit of shared history. The former was started by Mr Eric Chian, who has been in the noodle business for more than three decades. His stall was taken over by his apprentice in 2017, but he went on to open another stall on West Coast Drive. A few bouts of name shuffling later, Chian currently owns the trademark to the Ah Hoe name ('the one and only,' says its website, while offering a bit of a backstory).
Ah Li Mee Pok
Japanese expat Mr Naoji Kuribara took over Ah Hoe Mee Pok in 2017 after apprenticing under Mr Eric Chian for six months. Today, he operates under the Ah Li Mee Pok banner and served up bowls with a touch of Japanese influence. Here, he adds miso, shoyu and chashu atop flat noodle strands to differentiate his offerings from that of his former teacher. Whatever transpired between the two though, has eventually worked out for the best as Clementi now has two awesome meepok stalls to call its own.
Aquariums at Blk 328 Clementi Ave 2
This row of HDB shophouses at Block 328, known simply as "Clementi Fish Shop” by those in the know, is where fish owners across the island congregate. While LFS Aquarium, Polyart Aquarium, Clementi Florist & Aquarium (C328 in local fish lover parlance), and Arowana Avenue are well-known fish aquarium shop names from the block, many consider the Florist and Aquarium the o-fish-al genesis of the area’s reputation. In business since 1984, the Toh family began retailing flowers and bird cages, before diversifying the product line to include tropical fishes, thus catching the attention of local aquarists. These days, the densely packed store is the domain of its lady boss. Ask and you shall receive as she can instantly find anything you need among the extensive stock of fish and aquarium equipment on the shelves.
The Atipico brand began as a private dining experience put on by architect and structural engineer Matteo Pertoldi, who then turned his passion for good taste into an F&B venture. "Atipico is not a shop, nor is it a factory," it explains on its glass shop windows, and when you step in, it's easy to see what they mean. Most of the floor space in their NEWest unit is taken up by their kitchen, which is a hive of activity of bakers working with dough or decorating treats such as their pavlovas and berries tarts. You're advised to place your orders by 3pm the day before, on its website, you'll find a listing of ten cakes on offer, and a legend of different rustic Italian breads offered every day of the week, some of which are the best we've had this side of the island.
This grand dame of the neighbourhood has been in business since 1965 (as its signboard so proudly proclaims), though Balmoral only moved to Sunset Way in 1984. Look past the SafeEntry QR code plastered on its glass front door though, and it's like time has stood still in the bakery. On one row of display shelves, slices of butter cake and fruit cake sit alongside confections like creamed horns and coconut tarts. In the back refrigerators, swirls of towel rolls (what they call Swiss rolls) and bright pink frosting on decadently iced butter cakes spark happy memories of birthdays long gone. If you do drop by, make sure to bring home something for your mum – she will appreciate the memories those cakes will bring back, never mind the extra calories.
Ban Soon Sewing Machine
This is for the crafty ones: Ban Soon, one of the most popular shops for sewing equipment in Singapore. Mr Ong Ban Soon was a door-to-door salesman of sewing machines since 1976 and finally picked Clementi to lay down his roots. The unassuming store stocks an extensive range of sewing machines, and conducts classes for novice hobbyists who purchase from them. The real charm of the store though, lies in the community of sewers it has nurtured. If you ever need advice for any project you are currently working on, or simply tips on how to perfect your craft, pop by and you might find the answers you need.
The newest addition to the Sunset Way neighbourhood, Burnt Cones is a monochromatic and minimalist HDB shophouse space where options on the menu include pats of gelato served on waffles, cones and in cups, as well as coffee to balance the sweetness. Unique flavours on offer one churned with the smokey, pear-shaped Italian cheese Scamorza, and the Fior di Latte with creamy mozzarella mixed in. With all the sweetness on offer here, it seems like the team here never needs to sleep. Burnt Cones opens bright and early at 7am in case you're the type to have ice-cream for breakfast, and those seeking a sugar high ahead of a sleepless night can drop in before midnight, or whenever the pangs hit. Just for the Jalanjalan.me community, they are offering a blanket 5% discount on all purchases, no minimum spend required. Simply scan the Jalanjalan.me QR code at their store to enjoy this privilege!
Chin Huat Live Seafood
Before Sunset Way was a hive of hip ice-cream shops and cafes, there was Chin Huat. Children of the 90s might remember its TV ad's bold catchphrase: "Chin Huat has lobsters bigger than a little girl." The space that is more restaurant than zichar joint (you might even forget you're below a block of HDB flats) is now under the purview of its young second-generation owner, Ms Amy Low. Besides its impressive selection of seafood such as lobsters, Alaskan king crabs and bamboo clams on offer, signatures like the crispy hor fun, claypot Hokkien noodles and seared Angus beef ensures that their spot is one of the busiest in the neighbourhood.
Further down the road from the main Sunset Way hive of activity is Clementi Arcade, a small mall that houses an international school, cafes and Classic Cakes. Owner Charles Quek was a corporate guy who took his friends and family's urging to go pro with his home bakes, and opened tis bakery in 2005. The Black Forest and Best Ever Chocolate cakes are some signatures here. Besides western confections, Quek also turns out a trio of Chinese radish, yam, and pumpkin and yam cakes, each of them steamed on site using a recipe passed down from his grandmother. This is a one-stop shop to sate your craving for nostalgic flavours.