Think of Serangoon Gardens and the first thing that comes to mind is Chomp Chomp – it’s probably everyone’s go-to Grab drop-off point. As much as the area is known for the iconic hawker centre, there are still many other things to do in Serangoon Gardens.
From art jamming to streets with “overseas suburbs” feels, Serangoon Gardens is a charming neighbourhood with many sides to its character. With low-key food haunts and hidden gems, here’s why this ‘hood is worth a visit.
Helmed by two friends, Chu & Co. is an artisan sourdough bakery that sells a whole range of savoury bakes and sweet viennoiseries – pretty solid fare if you’re craving for a sourdough done right.
Judging by the spread on the shelf, it’s not surprising that many customers leave with a box full of goods to bring home and share with their families. We recommend the Four Cheese Applewood Cheddar ($6) and Plum & Peach Danish ($6).
Apart from the baked goods, their grilled sandwiches are also a hit amongst customers. Favourites include the Mushroom Melt ($13) and Gorgonzola Bacon ($14).
If you’re dropping by in the evenings, there’s Chulato, a gelato bar just next door run by the same people. Open from Fridays – Sundays between 1PM and 10.30PM, this place can be your next go-to for late night ice cream, or if you’d just like to cool down from the afternoon heat.
Address: 15 Lichfield Road, Singapore 556835
Opening hours: Wed – Sun 8.30AM-4PM (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
Telephone: 8874 7615
You don’t have to subscribe to the caifan life in order to save money on daily meals. Nic & Tom Eatery is a laid-back restaurant selling comfort food such as Hakka Yong Tau Foo and Long Jiang Pig Leg Rice from a wallet-friendly price of $4.90.
As affordable as the dishes already are, the Tuckshop Rice ($1.90) stands out. While this may look like something even homecook noobs can whip up, Nic & Tom makes it a hundred times fancier with their own secret sauce, along with bits of crispy fried pork that really give this mini rice bowl the wow factor.
If you’re coming with the entire fam, this place also does sharing platters such as Pig Platter ($21.90), Tofu Pot ($14.90) and Seafood Pot ($19.90).
Address: 55 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555951
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6789 9696
Image credit: @vivrecreativedesign
CNY may be over for the year, but you can still enjoy the guilty pleasures of bak kwa and pineapple tarts from New Eastern Kim Tee. This store, a mainstay in our favourite pork jerky snack scene, expertly does the delicacy with zero gimmicks.
Image credit: New Eastern Kim Tee
The go-to best-seller is the Signature Bak Kwa ($31.20/600G), but if you’re looking for an extra spice kick, there’s Chilli Bak Kwa ($32.40/600G) and – of course – the Mala Bak Kwa ($36/600G). Each piece is substantially meaty, beautifully charred and rather addictive, even if it leads to a tad increase in our waistlines.
Address: 22 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556695
Opening hours: Mon – Sat 10AM-8PM | Sun 10AM-6PM
Telephone: 6655 6665
La Petite Boutique is an authentic mini grocery that brings a taste of France to Singapore with French products such as fancy wines and cheese cuts, perfect for your next atas dinner party with friends.
Coeur Blanc ($18.90/180G) & Tiong Bahru Bakery selections
While checking out, you can also grab a few things from their selection of bakes supplied by Tiong Bahru Bakery, which also has an outlet around the corner at Maju Avenue.
While you’re here, be sure to check their newly opened upstairs area with a wine cellar and items such as assorted chutneys and confits to accompany your cheese platters, starting from $8.90.
Address: 4 Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557256
Opening hours: Tue – Thu 10AM-7PM | Fri – Sat 9AM-8PM | Sun 9AM-6PM (Closed on Mondays)
Telephone: 6717 1849
We’ve heard of many who have travelled across SG and queued for 45 minutes for the famous Seng Kee Bak Chor Mee at Serangoon Gardens Market nearby, but only a few have discovered the hidden gem that is Orh-Kee Noodles. Besides being a personal favourite of mine, this stall at the coffee shop right outside the neighbourhood’s main bus stop is an understated spot that deserves the hype.
Abalone slices and scallops are included
We ordered the Signature Mee Sua ($6.30), except that I switched the noodles to my preferred mee pok. It also comes with a bowl of soup with meatballs and assorted pork cuts.
Address: 53 Serangoon Garden Way, Ming Garden, Singapore 555949
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Telephone: 6214 9791
Other than savouring a scoop of ice-cream or sharing a beer tower, you and your friends can have your post-dinner chill out at Dessert Bowl, a quirky nook of an upstairs unit known for their Hong Kong desserts.
Cute figurines of delicacy stalls in Hong Kong
The popular dessert place is decorated with lots of pictures, vintage paraphernalia and little floor plan figurines of various food stalls in Hong Kong, adding a little childish playfulness to the whole concept.
Durian lovers can try the restaurant’s number one specialty – Durian Mousse ($5.50). It was a pretty solid treat that was sufficiently creamy and flavourful, and well-textured with fresh durian chunks.
If you prefer other fruits, you won’t feel left out with recommendations such as the Aiyu Mango ($4.50) and Mango Pomelo ($4.50).
Address: 80A Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555976
Opening hours: Tue – Fri 3PM-5.15PM, 6.15PM-10.30PM | Sat & Sun 2PM-5.15PM, 6.15PM-11.30PM (Closed on Mondays)
Telephone: 6214 9791
Cafe hopping and minimalism are what every SG millennial has a soft spot for. Offering both of these is Apollo Coffee, the neighbourhood’s go-to brunch spot if you’re in the area and craving for cafe grub and good vibes.
Like our Crate and Barrel dream house, the interior contains lots of muted colours and wooden furniture, adding a touch of Scandi vibes to the aesthetic.
Breakfast Burger ($17.70) & Honey ‘Prench’ Toast ($20.90)
Though the essentials such as truffle fries and pancakes are done well, we recommend their specialty Breakfast Burger ($17.70) with bacon and scrambled eggs. It comes with a touch of cheddar, spicy aioli and a side of mini hash browns that helps make it not too jelak.
If you’re in the mood to appease your sweet tooth, try the Honey “Prench” Toast ($20.90) – a spin to the French classic where you can enjoy the humble pear, with a side of its coulis, as well as a few slices of it that are tea-poached.
Address: 65 Serangoon Garden Way, Singapore 555961
Opening hours: Tue – Sat 9AM-10PM | Sun 9AM-7PM (Closed on Mondays)
Telephone: 6214 9791
Image credit: @artfullyyourssg
While we all love to see our kids get creative, having them do so at home can get quite messy. On the other hand, there’s Artfully Yours, a children’s art studio that offers Art Jamming ($48/3 hours) sessions to let your mini Monets come to life. These sessions include 15 minutes of coaching, with all materials provided.
Image credit: @artfullyyourssg
For parents who’d also like to pick up paintbrushes, Artfully Yours has the 1-to-1 Adult 3hrs Art Coaching ($180/session), where you’ll get to unleash your inner artist and bring home a painting of your favourite vacay destination.
Address: 10A Maju Avenue, Singapore 556688
Opening hours: Mon 2PM-8PM | Wed 10AM-7PM | Thu 12PM-7PM | Fri 9.30AM-8.30PM | Sat – Sun 9.30AM-6PM (Closed on Tuesdays)
Telephone: 9750 1985
Beautifully designed homes line the streets of the neighbourhood
If all of Serangoon Gardens’ good food is its yin, then its yang would be the “overseas suburbs” feels you get as you take a morning walk around the estate while admiring the view of all the homes’ architecture.
After a stroll along the streets, we’d recommend heading to the AMK-Serangoon underpass just along the outskirts of the estate, which connects to Teck Ghee Neighbourhood Park, which is part of Ang Mo Kio.
You can soak in both high SES and heartland vibes here – something only fellow S’goon Garden-ers would know.
Alternatively, if you’re not in the mood for a walk but you still want to spot some aesthetic private houses, hop onto the feeder bus 317, which goes around the estate.
Address: Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Teck Ghee Neighbourhood Park
Opening hours: 24/7, Daily
Massages are a self-care luxury, and we don’t have to wait for trips to Bali or Thailand to enjoy one. If you’re looking for some pampering to ease the toll of working life, there’s The Tamarind Spa, which offers body scrubs, massages and day spa packages.
Massage rooms are small and dimly-lit, creating the right atmosphere for you to unwind. Here, you can enjoy body massages like the Swedish massage and Balinese massage at $80/hour.
If you’re craving for a long soak but you don’t have a tub at home, you can sign up for The Tamarind Spa’s Day Spa Packages ($148/2 hours), which comprises a body scrub, a massage, and a choice between ear candling and jacuzzi services.
Address: 8A Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557260
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 12PM-9PM | Sat – Sun 10AM-7PM
Telephone: 6285 2696
We all talk about the #fitspo life, but there are ways to achieve that beyond hitting up Class Pass gyms. ActiveSG Burghley is a tennis and squash centre tucked into a corner of the residential area of Serangoon Gardens, where you can swing some rackets and work up a sweat.
Tennis courts are available from $3.50/hour during non-peak hours and $9.50/hour during peak hours.
Address: 43 Burghley Drive, Singapore 559020
Opening hours: 7AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 6283 1251
With its cosy spas and new eatery concepts, Serangoon Gardens is no doubt a neighbourhood that’s more than just your regular makan district. Even though I’ve lived here all my life, there are always exciting new things to look forward to while I can still enjoy the favourite nooks from my childhood.
Although the more popular places always satisfy, do treat yourself to something less familiar the next time you visit the area.
For more neighbourhood guides:
Photography by Loo Jie Ling.
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