The combination of a charming, walkable neighborhood with the city-state’s prettiest HDB apartments sporting curved balconies and spiral staircases has made this leafy enclave a hipster haven. Located close to Chinatown and the waterfront setting of Robertson Quay, the eclectic mix of eateries, affordable old-school tze char, which literally means “cook and fry” and coffee shops makes this locale a turnkey opportunity to live like a local but with some Western conveniences.
While coworking spaces like The Great Room and Gather Cowork require a short commute, there’s an abundance of Aussie-inspired cafes like Forty Hands and Flock Cafe that serves strong, good coffee and a menu of all-day breakfast-style grub. For the creatively inclined, being in the same neighborhood as Grey Projects is a massive bonus as its art library and gallery space offers hour-long open desk space for an impromptu sketch/brainstorm session. Need a good stretch session? Yoga Movement has Zen classes, Hot Core and Power Flow running all day long—and the full shower and hair amenities let you spruce yourself up after class. Have a few hours to kill in between meetings? Trawl the furniture mecca that is Tan Boon Liat Building and pick up an accent piece from Journey East or Bode.
Foodwise, you can't have a bad meal in this neighborhood thanks to the Tiong Bahru Market. A few fixtures that locals drive across the island for: Zhong Yu Yuan Wei Wanton Mee (#02-30) tender, crunchy egg noodles served with freshly-roasted barbecue pork and Tiong Bahru Fried Kway Teow (#02-11) where individual plates of noodles are fried with lashings of dried cured pork sausage, crisp bean sprouts, and tender fish cake. Come nighttime, popular tze char eateries like Por Kee Eating House and Sin Hoi Sai serve up plates of chili crab and other live seafood favorites. If you prefer a homecooked meal, stock up at Foodie Market Place known for affordable, high-quality cuts of air-flown New Zealand and Australian beef portioned out to your desired thickness, specialty cheeses, and almost any seasoning you can think of.
Charlene Fang is a freelance writer based in Hawaii. Originally from Singapore she covers travel, lifestyle, food, culture...
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