Sunday, July 29, 2012

Loving my spot: Going down memory lane in Holland & Bukit Timah

My neighbourhood, where I spent most of my life until I got married. This space embodies every bit of my memory. I always love going back. It accompanied me through thick and thin, witnessed how I grew from a girl who crawled the drains with the boy next door, into a young lady who found love in a boy she knew for over twenty years. It will always be my home.

The neighbourhood I call home is not considered an old neighbourhood with great food, quaint cafes or laid back alcoves for relaxing. Smack in between of Holland and Bukit Timah, it is an extremely sought after neighbourhood, simply because of the branded schools nearby. Think of Nanyang Kindergarten, Nanyang Primary, Raffles Girls Primary, Chinese High, National Junior College and the like. You get what I mean. 

This journey, or mission if you would have it, is one of reliving memories of the places and the food that I love so much.

So let me start my trip down memory lane by introducing my favourite wet market/food centre. It is the only wet market/food centre I never tire of going - Empress Road Market. I love the smells and the familiar buzz that resonates there. I know every crack and corner, and which stall to get the best eggs and fruits. Most of all, I love the food there. From the chicken rice to the fish ball noodles, everything is the best there. I simply cannot resist the breads (chicken floss and red bean in particular) from Fresh Bread Shop (#01-77) and Ipoh horfun (plus four additional shui jiao) from Ah Wing's Wanton Mee (#01-106). And though I am living so far away now, I always like to visit the friendly Dr Yap of Yap Medicare (#01-03, at the block just next to the market) every time I'm sick, just so I can visit him and let him see how I am doing.


As long as I can remember, McDonald's has been around for as long as Serene Centre. The Tierney's supermarket was one of the few upmarket supermarkets then that stocked extremely fresh and hard-to-find produce. Serene Centre was also known for another popular culture icon - Comics Mart. Back when it was still in operation, my brother would head there almost every day. Now, besides Mcdonald's 7-Eleven and Island Creamery, I only know it for Bibinogs Preschool.


Adam Food Centre - my usual haunt for supper. These days, it is my wish-I-can-go-tonight haunt for supper. I simply love the ice kacang from Teck Kee Hot & Cold Desserts (#01-31). You know you are having good ice kacang when you take a bite of the red beans. They cannot be too mushy, but yet, they must be of the right crunch and not be harder than a peanut. The ice kacang here is the best I've ever had. Even the syrup is yummy!



I haven't been back for a long time so it felt good to savour it again. I know it has been a long time because the portly son of the founder, who now manages the stall, has white streaks in his hair. I hear he makes good cheng tng and tau suan too, just like his father.

Not only is Coronation Plaza a favourite of the many students here, the NTUC FairPrice is a long standing icon of the area too. It is another destination for photostating services, or just for hanging out, simply because it is the nearest thing to a shopping centre in the neighbourhood. A shop I used to frequent, Cherish Bookshop, is still there, and it was nostalgic to walk amidst the shelves of assessment books and ten-year series.


At the corner, there used to be a Shell station. That's gone now, replaced by Starbucks, Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe and Eat.


Opposite Coronation Plaza, at Coronation Arcade, are two yummy family eateries that are a must go - Thai Noodle House and Penang Kitchen. I especially like Thai Noodle House, as I feel I've gone to Thailand every time I'm eating there. The Thai owners cook really good Beef Noodle Soup and Pad Thai. Their Mango Sticky Rice is absolutely heavenly - the best I've ever eaten in Singapore!


Another reason I love my spot is its proximity to Holland Village.


It used to be family trips there for lunches or dinners followed by shopping at Cold Storage, or a walk through Holland Road Shopping Centre. Then during university days, it became a favourite haunt for supper and drinks, such as the lip-smacking good chicken rice and Ipoh horfun from Yi Bao (31 Lorong Liput). Katong Laksa just next door is also very popular. And who can forget about Wala Wala, Coffee Club or Crystal Jade, familiar landmarks that hold a million memories.

Further up the road is the Botanic Gardens, which is also accessible from the Bukit Timah side. I love going there for a walk to hear the the birds chirp, watch the swans glide across the water and admire the wide variety of plants and flowers.  I am most relaxed at moments like these, enjoying the beautiful yet simple nature around me. If you go there in the morning, you might just bump into the French ambassador and his wife.


Since becoming a mother, the Gardens has become even more popular with my family. We love it that   Jacob Ballas Children's Garden is just at the door step from my favourite neighbourhood.


It's a garden haven for all kids, and it's lots of fun. My darling Becky obviously agrees.


I now live in the east around the Marine Parade / Katong area. It's a cosy spot, with great food and a certain vibe that is full of unique character. Yet, in my heart, the neighbourhood where I grew up in  remains extra special, and I relish every opportunity to hang out there, even for a minute. It will always be my spot.


This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Sarah at The Playful Parents. Do hop over to check out  other wonderful spots in Singapore!



Loving My Spot SG edition


Coming up next!

Adeline is a SAHM and was recently inspired to blog about her roles as a mother, wife, daughter and friend. Apart from creating and selling handmade jewelries from home, she also enjoys taking photographs during her spare time.

And what better way for her to showcase her photos on 'Loving My Spot'! Join her as she shares an awesome place in the east that is great for the whole family!  

Adeline blogs at www.accidental-mom-blogger.blogspot.com

5 comments:

  1. Ah Adam Road Food Center! I miss the mee pok & nasi lemak there, we ate there nearly every week after church! Thanks for sharing, now you've made me very hungry! ;)

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  2. Love the carefree & relax atmosphere atHolland V, I remember going there to eat the wanton noodles, forgot the name though. I like to browse at the ah neh selling all magazines at the corner of the road.

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  3. They do have good food around that area! our family specially love the laid back casual eateries near coronation plaza :)

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  4. The Cheng Tng at the Adam Road Food Centre dessert stal is really good! Actually, all their desserts are nice. Thanks for sharing a bit about the neighbouhood with me! I'm going to go check out the food places at Coronation Arcade.

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  5. Wah I didn't know Empress Place food market has so much yummy food! Thanks for the recommendations!

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