Ahh, Tiong Bahru. This picturesque neighbourhood, complete with art deco buildings from the 1930s, was home to one of the first public housing programmes of the Singapore Improvement Trust (before the HDB came about). The famous Tiong Bahru Bird Corner and other landmarks like the Monkey God Temple remain significant to the area as it fast becomes one of the trendiest areas in Singapore. But Tiong Bahru still retains much of its history, which makes the area as charming as it is today.
Tiong Bahru means ‘new cemetery’ – until the 1920s it was home to a number of cemeteries, which at the time were new in comparison to those in Chinatown.
Tiong Bahru has been rapidly developing over the last few years. Some would say it all started with the addition of eclectic bookstore BooksActually on Yong Siak Street in 2011, which is a must-visit in the area for anyone interested in books, zines, vintage trinkets and more. Next door to BooksActually lies Strangelets, which specialises in homewares, gifts and accessories sourced from Singapore and around the world. Over the road you’ll find Forty Hands, started up by its Australian owner Harry Grover, and specialising in sustainably produced specialty coffee. There’s no shortage of places to eat in the Tiong Bahru Estate area, from the pizza selection at PS.Cafe Petit to the delectable pepper crab at Sin Hoi Sai on Tiong Bahru Road.
Elsewhere, the brand new Tiong Bahru Club Singapura gives a nod to the area’s history in its fusion menu and old-school décor, while the nearby Tiong Bahru Market & Hawker Centre remains one of the best on the island (don’t forget to try the chwee kueh that it’s famous for)!
Not far away, We Need A Hero have all you men’s grooming needs covered; Yes Natural organic store keeps the soy milk-drinking crowds happy; and Foodie Market Place provides Aussie and Kiwi meat to the masses.
By CheckOut Singapore
Story courtesy of ANZA – The Australian and New Zealand Association’s Guide to Suburbs in Singapore