What’s in a Name: Liang Seah Street and Tan Quee Lan

If you work or study around Bugis area, you would probably be familiar Liang Seah Street and Tan Quee Lan Street. Have you ever wondered about the stories behind these street names, and what they might reveal about our little red dot? We’re organising an event for all you foodies in the Bugis area, and today we’re going to shine a spotlight on Liang Seah Street and Tan Quee Lan. After some digging, we found out that apart from the cafes and restaurants and bars (where you can now pay with EZi Wallet ?), the area actually holds a treasure trove of stories from Singapore’s past.


Let’s start with Liang Seah Street. A charming place that is now a designated car-free zone every Friday to Sunday from 7pm to 12am, this street is a perennial crowd favourite for good food and drinks (TGIF anybody?)

The street itself is named after a prominent Teochew millionaire, Seah Liang Seah. Born and bred in Singapore, Seah was a charitable man who donated generously to many causes throughout his life. It was documented that he gave 400 silver taels to a drought relief in central China in 1889, as well as the Prince of Wales War Relief Fund in 1914.

One year after he died in 1925, Liang Seah Street was constructed, a road that links North Bridge Road and Beach Road, which has now become an undeniable foodie paradise dotted with steamboats restaurants and dessert shops among the many eateries occupying the two rows of shophouses.


Just across the road from Bugis Junction is another food haven extremely popular with the office crowd. Korean food, BBQ, Thai, local kuehs, hipster cafes, Chinese, fusion, you name it. Tan Quee Lan has pretty much got it.

Compared to his fellow Tan counterparts (Tan Tock Seng, Tan Kah Kee, Tony Tan…), Mr Tan Quee Lan, a distinguished Hokkien merchant and landowner, is pretty obscure. He owned many fruit plantations along Bukit Timah as well as estates along Club Street.

The national archives has suprisingly little information about this man with a street named after him. Apart from the fact that he owned land and lots of money, we didn’t manage to uncover much else.

Never mind that though, the street he inspired is now undoubtably one of the tastiest streets in Bugis.

Come join us at Tan Quee Lan and Liang Seah tomorrow or Thursday and get your $10 EZi Wallet voucher!

Here are our participating merchants in and around Tan Quee Lan and Liang Seah:

Ah Loy Thai
9 Tan Quee Lan #01-04

Simply Sinless
103 Beach Road #01-03

Rabbit Owl Depot
470 North Bridge Road #01-06

Saute 470
North Bridge Road #02-08

Xin Hao Ramen
470 North Bridge Road #03-19

Xun Wei Hotpot
28 Liang Seah Street

Juju Coffee
5 Tan Quee Lan Street

470 North Bridge Road #01-02

Joo Bar
5 Tan Quee Lan Street

Chong Qing Grilled Fish
1 Liang Seah Street #01-05/06

470 North Bridge Road #01-03

Fat Bird
16 Liang Seah Street

30 Liang Seah Street

Kwang Hui Kopitiam
2 Tan Quee Lan Street

Maggie Thai
1 Liang Seah Street

Blanco Beef Noodles
510 North Bridge Road #01-01

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