Once a plantation estate, Holland Village is now a bustling go-to with many international eats tailored for the global citizen.
Prior to becoming the nexus for everything food and drink, Holland Village – formerly known named “Hugh Holland”, after an architect and amateur actor who first resided there – was once a plantation field serving the Dutch community back in the 1900s. By the 1950s, the place was developed into an estate of military housing for the British; it was renamed to “Chip Bee Gardens”. Subsequently, many of the amenities and shops in the area was tailored to suit the needs of foreign families – Holland Village soon became an enclave for Western expatriates (though many Singaporeans and Asian nationals lived there, too).
Over time, bungalows and other detached private homes were built to meet the needs of global citizens residing in Singapore. With the array of international and local eats alike, the zeitgeist of its globally influenced past still lives and breathes to this day.
Which is why Holland Village still remains a popular foodie stop to this day. Not sure where to begin? Here’s everything there is to do at this must-visit nabe.
*Disclaimer: At the time of publication, in view of the Phase 2 Heightened Alert measures, dining in is prohibited at all eating establishments until 18 August 2021. Take outs, however, are still allowed. We’re doing our best to be accurate, but please double check with the restaurants before you visit. It goes without saying, the safety of everyone remains the top priority.
Things to do around Holland Village
1. Browse print magazines at Thambi Magazine Store
You ever miss this newsstand when you’re in Holland Village. Known as Holland V’s trademark, this place has every magazine you could possibly want from around the world, as well as major newspapers. There are currently over 3000 tittles of magazines distribute throughout the year.
Thambi Magazine Store
Address: 211 Holland Avenue, #01-K4, Holland Road Shopping Centre, 278967
Tel: 6462 5031
Opening hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Daily)
2. Go for a massage at Natureland
Especially known for its late-night massage services pre-Covid, Natureland is a popular go-to spot for foot reflexology. This massage parlour comes equipped with oversized recliners, charging ports and iPads. Want a private session? Ask for its dedicated foot reflexology rooms upstairs.
Address: 29/29A Lor Liput, 277740 (For other locations, see website)
Tel: 6467 6780
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Daily)
3. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Southeast Asian art at TAKSU
Established in 1989, TAKSU is a leading Southeast Asian contemporary art gallery and specialist. It curates and “represents a wide selection of contemporary art with a distinctly urban edge in the international art form”, providing platforms for established and emerging artists alike to showcase their works to the masses.
Intending to purchase art pieces? With an inventory of over 2000 artworks, peruse through a bourgeoning artwork selection. Its art curators will aid you in finding the perfect piece befitting of your design appeals and budget.
Address: 43 Jalan Merah Saga #01-72, 278115
Tel: 6476 4788
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Tue. to Sat.), 12 to 6 p.m. (Sun.); Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays.
4. Get in a sweat sesh at Virgin Active
Armed with a throng of followers for its wide variety of group workout sessions, this gym boasts not just one, but seven “world-class” hot-spot locations around the island. From Yoga, Pilates, Body Combat, Boxing, Cycle and Les Mills are just some of the wide variety of workout classes it offers at its centres.
Address: Raffles Holland V Mall, 118 Holland Avenue, #03-05, 278997
Tel: 6911 0300
Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.), 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
Where to eat and drink
1. 2am: dessertbar
While dessert cafes are aplenty, this dessert bar is one of the first of its kinds to blend sweet pastry indulgence and late-night tipples all-in-one. Established in 2007, 2am: dessertbar is the brainchild of Singapore-born and now international celebrity chef, Janet Wong. Its ever-evolving menu is unique to its identity, with chef Janet being at the centre of its creative process, researching and creating dishes that appeal to the palate and the heart. Perched at the second floor, its 60-seat interior – featuring a pair of wooden bar table tops extending from front to end – set the mood for a cosy-yet-luxurious dining experience.
Address: 21A Lor Liput, 277733
Tel: 6291 9727
Opening hours: 1 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Tue. to Sat.); Closed on Mondays.
2. 363 Katong Laksa
Home to one of best laksas in Singapore, many locals and visitors sing its praise for its flavourful spiciness and authenticity to the local cuisine. Crowds are common during lunch and dinner hours, so you might want to visit early to skip the waiting line. Tip: Enjoy it with the Otah (spicy ground fish meat wrapped in banana leaf) for the full lip-licking experience.
363 Katong Laksa
Address: 1 Lor Mambong, #01-15, 277700
Tel: 6464 9303
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Mon., Tue., Thur. to Sun.); Closed on Wednesdays.
3. Black Marble by Otto
Black Marble plates no-frills, delicious and simple char-grilled cuisines inspired by one of the “Godfathers” of the SG food industry – Otto Weibel. Chef Otto Weibel is one of Singapore’s most well-respected culinary professional in the F&B industry, having served as President of the Singapore Chefs’ Association (SCA) since 1990 and now serving as the Honorary President Mentor.
Black Marble is now helmed by Head Chef Jay Siaw, who learned under the tutelage of Chef Otto. For first-timers, get a bite of everything with its Surf and Turf angus beef and lobster tail special ($58) or the Wagyu Beef Burger with Foie Gras ($38).
Black Marble by Otto
Address: 118 Holland Ave, #02-01 Raffles Holland V Mall, 278997
Tel: 9641 6913
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Daily)
Reserve on Chope here.
4. CHA CHA CHA Mexican Restaurant
Having been around since 1990, Cha Cha Cha Mexican restaurant has been serving authentic, fuss-free Mexican fares to the local masses. Since its inception, its famous Tacos (from $14 for 3 pieces) have also grown to accommodate nine flavours: Shredded Chicken, Pulled Pork, Shredded Beef, Ground Beef, Vegetarian, Beyond, Fish, Shrimp and Softshell Crab. If you’re a fan of all things crispy and fried, you can’t leave without biting into its Deep Fried Flautas ($16 for 2 pieces) and Chimichangas (from $16), too.
With Happy Hour ongoing till 9 p.m. daily, don’t miss its addictive flavoured Margaritas (Lime, Blueberry, Kiwi, Mango, Pink Guava, Peach and Strawberry). We say get them in a jug to share, just because of how delicious it is.
Cha Cha Cha
Address: 32 Lor Mambong, 277690
Tel: 6462 1650
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Daily)
5. Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
Two words: Brunch haven. All-day breakfast, large portions, decadent and savoury waffle desserts – you can’t really get enough with the menu options at Craftsmen Specialty Coffee. For a real stomach-filler to start the day, try the Craftsmen Full Breakfast ($26), Smoked Salmon Brioche ($19) or 3-Tier Brioche ($20). Other lunch items like pastas, burgers and cold cuts are available, too.
Other you must-tries? It’s Truffle Al Fungi hand-stretched pizza ($14 for 6-inch, $22 for 12-inch) and the Craftsmen Savoury Waffles ($22) with salsa, scrambled egg, signature sauce, hazelnut, complete with your with choice of (grilled bacon/smoked salmon/candied bacon). Top it off with a cup of joe (from $4) made with beans sourced from Brazil, Honduras, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sumatra, Costa Rica and Guatelama to complete the feasting affair.
Check out our other list of the best coffees around the island.
Craftsmen Specialty Coffee
Address: 275 Holland Ave., 278993 (See website for other locations)
Tel: 6463 1715
Opening hours: 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Daily)
6. Da Paolo Pizza Bar
With over 30 years of pizza-making experience, Da Paolo Pizza Bar sure knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk. First opened in 1989 by Paolo and Judie Scarpia, the humble trattoria (an Italian-style casual dining establishment) began serving authentic Italian cuisine – including its famous Da Paolo pizzas – to the local masses on this island.
Good pizzas start with good dough, which is why this place dedicates 24 hours for each pizza *base to rise before serving it along with fresh ingredients sourced directly from Italy. Try its Rossa Pizzas (tomato- and mozarella-based) or the Bianca Pizzas (white-based for cheese lovers) from $19 to make your own verdict. Or, peruse this list of the best pizza places in Singapore.
*Gluten-free pizza base options are also available.
Da Paolo Pizza Bar
Address: 44 Jalan Merah Saga, 278116
Tel: 6479 6059
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.); 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
Reserve on Chope here.
7. El Patio
Walk along the streets of Holland Village and you’ll be able to spot this Mexican restaurant with its huge Lucha Libre (Mexican masked pro wrestlers) mural peeking from its inside walls. Established in 1985 and formerly known as “El Felipe’s Cantina”, it’s one of the longest-running Mexican restaurants around the island.
Have a go at its Quesadillas (from $12, available in Cheese, Mushroom and Spinach, Chicken, Beef and Prawn), or the El Patio’s Margarita ($12 for a 300ml jar) – self-touted as one of the best in town.
Address: 34 Lor Mambong, 277691
Tel: 6468 1520
Opening hours: 12 to 11 p.m. (Daily, except public holidays)
8. Fat Boy’s The Burger Bar
Bigger, bolder, better. Humongous, to-die-for burgers are what Fat Boy’s does best. And it holds nothing back when it comes to satisfying burger lovers who travel far and wide to sink their teeth into its two-bun specials. Of course, once you’re here, you can’t leave without trying one of its specialty burgers.
For one, we’re loving its cheeky names: Fat Basterd ($19.80) is a double beef chuck patties, chewy bacon, cheddar cheese, a fried egg and doused with generous homemade Fat Boy’s BBQ sauce. Tip: Its Specialty Burgers pack a large serving, so it might be something you’d want to share if you’re not too hungry. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with the Classic Cheese Burger ($12.50) or Bacon Cheese Burger ($14). Can’t decide between the two? Get the Bacon Bacon Cheese Cheese Burger ($16.50) – and no, this is not a typo.
Fat Boy’s The Burger Bar
Address: 29 Lorong Mambong, Holland Rd., 277689
Tel: 6463 2312
Opening hours: 12 to 10:30 p.m. (Daily)
10. Holland Village Market and Food Centre
Despite being a hub for international eats, Holland Village isn’t complete without its local food fares. Holland Village Market and Food Centre is home to some fan favourites: Qian Jiao Bai Wei Ma La Xiang Guo, De Sheng Handmade Noodles and Fish Soup, Xiang Ji Hainan Chicken Rice, 363 Holland Village Nasi Lemak and more!
Dishes at this hawker centre are priced affordably at less than $5 for most dishes. Talk about great food at even greater prices!
Holland Village Market and Food Centre
Address: 1 Lor Mambong. 277700
Tel: 6225 5632
Opening hours: 6 to 12 a.m. (Daily)
Launched by the JOMO Group only in late December 2020, this al fresco restaurant features its very own intimate, open-air bar space in level 1 and a dining area above it.
Whipping up a variety of modern Western-style cuisines, it sure does know how to keep customers coming back. Why? For starters, its vegan options are far from basic – we’re talking its KARANA Pulled Jackfruit Burger ($18), self-described as “pulled pork without the pork,” served with sea salt fries and coleslaw. Another menu item worth trying? The Kangaroo Burger ($18) and Home Turkey, Ham Pie and Chips ($18).
Address: 48 Lor Mambong, 277699
Tel: 9800 3787
Opening hours: 3 to 10:30 p.m. (Tue. to Sat.); Closed on Mondays and Sundays.
12. Martin Zwerts
Known for having “the number 1 best frites in the Netherlands for 8 years in a row,” Martin Zwerts is no stranger to making some of the best freshly fried potato cuts around. Founded in 1948 in Eindhoven, Netherlands, it has withstood the test of time making quality fries with premium Dutch potatoes and hormone-free ingredients.
Have the Regular Fries ($6.50, comes with one sauce) to discover this french fry goodness for yourself. With over 19 special dipping sauces to choose from, our only advice? Try not to hold up the line when ordering. (The MZ Special Sauce and Frite Sauce are uh-mazing. Even better with onions, if you’re a fan.)
Address: 3 Lorong Liput, #B1-07 Holland Piazza, 277725
Tel: 6463 4868
Opening hours: 12 to 10 p.m. (Mon. to Fri.), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.)
13. Nakhon Kitchen
If authentic Thai fare is what you’ve been craving for, Nakhon Kitchen is the closest you can get to real Thai cuisine. Known for its incredibly affordable dishes and swift service – expect to be served in just minutes shortly after you place your order. Must tries? Its Tom Yam Soup ($6) is THE bomb (for extra spice, get the clear version). The Honey Chicken ($6) is a popular fave, too. Wash it all down with the Red Ruby ($3), tapioca-covered Chestnuts in coconut ice shavings, for dessert.
Address: 27A Lor Liput, 277738
Tel: 6469 6862
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Daily)
14. Sunday Folks
As the runner-up winner for the cafe with the Best Dessert in Singapore, Sunday Folks surely knows it way around waffles and ice cream. Founded in 2014 with a vision to make every day feel like Sunday, this cafe has amassed a loyal following of dessert lovers who flock to its store for freshly churned, natural ingredients-only treats. It’s really no wonder that queues are a regular sight, with its chic interior and cosy atmosphere.
Must-try: The Ice Cream with Belgian Waffle combo ($10 for single scoop, $18 for double), or its Freshly Churned Ice Cream ($8).
Address: 44 Jln Merah Saga, #01-52 Chip Bee Gardens, 278116
Tel: 6479 9166
Opening hours: 1 to 10 p.m. (Tue. to Fri.), 12 to 10 p.m. (Sat. + Sun.); Closed on Mondays.
Reserve on Chope here.
15. Two Men Bagel House
We’re not even going to hold back when we say these are probably the BEST bagels around town. Perfect for bunch or if you just feel like having a rewarding, I-can’t-eat-anymore meal. While each store’s menu is different, have a go at any option if you’re feeling hungry – the margin for disappoint will be fairly slim.
At its Holland Village store, the BEC ($15) is something you have to try. BEC is essentially bacon, egg and cheese. Love salmon? Loxanne ($16) is a popular choice, too. Want a vegetarian-friendly option that packs a flavourful punch? Try the Miso Kinoko ($17). Tip: Head there early, its bagels sell out real quick!
Two Men Bagel House
Address: 17D Lor Liput, 277731
Tel: 6235 5159
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Daily)
Where to shop
1. Atelier Ong Shunmugam
Ong Shumugam is Singapore’s most popular homegrown fashion labels. Teeming with beautiful ready-to-wear pieces speckled with Asian-inspired touches and traditional textile techniques, you can even get traditional wear with a twist of modern at this label.
Address: 43 Jln Merah Saga, #01-76, 278115
Tel: 6252 2612
Opening hours: 12 to 7 p.m. (Tue. to Sat.); Closed on Mondays and Sundays.
2. The Cinnamon Room
This cosy Holland Village home decor store is a repository for good design and great ideas, as owner Visha – one of The Finder’s #SGFave 2020 features – offers her own interior styling services. Tip: The artisan-crafted carpets and rugs here are absolute head-turners.
The Cinnamon Room
Address: #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga, Block 43, The Worklofts@Chipbee Holland Village, 278115
Tel: 9727 3051
Opening hours: Showroom-viewing is by appointment only. Contact for more information.
3. Shopping At Tiffany’s
Look decked out without having to splurge with this affordable-but-stylish resort wear fashion label. With a mix of bold prints, breezy linens, flowy summer dresses and jumpsuits in luxurious fabrics, Shopping At Tiffany’s carries an array of styles in sizes ranging from AU6 to AU14 – ensuring the brand caters to a variety of body shapes. Learn more about Founder Tiffany and her fashion brand here!
Shopping At Tiffany’s
Address: 163 Tanglin Rd., #02-03, 247933 (Tanglin Mall) / 118 Holland Ave., #02-04, 278997 (Raffles Holland V Mall)
Tel: 6887 4461 (Tanglin Mall) / 6694 5159 (Raffles Holland V Mall)
Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Daily, Tanglin Mall), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Daily, Raffles Holland V Mall)
3. Framing Angie Art Gallery
It’s all about the “Angie experience” at this unique store. Founded over 20 years ago, Framing Angie Art Gallery is a full-service frame boutique featuring custom-designed quality framing meant to last a long time. From artwork, prized possessions to small knick-knacks, Founder and Owner Angie knows how to frame it all.
Framing Angie Art Gallery
Address: 211 Holland Avenue Holland Road Shopping Centre, #03-02, 278967
Tel: 6466 0800
Opening hours: 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (Mon. to Sat.), 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sun.)
By Willaine G. Tan / Additional Reporting by K Praveena.