Eating Your Way Through Serangoon Gardens
Away from the skyscraper-dotted CBD of Singapore are the country’s suburban neighbourhoods, each with their own distinct character and flavour. One of the oldest housing estates in Singapore, Serangoon Road, was once used to house officers of the British state and army. These days, however, the bungalows and terrace houses are home to affluent locals and expatriates. Most notably, the area boasts one of Singapore’s most bustling food haunts.
Serangoon Gardens’ abundance of restaurants, quirky bars and hole-in-the-wall coffee shops attract not only its residents, but also foodies and tourists alike.
Chomp Chomp Food Centre is usually the first port of call for any self-respecting foodie. One of the most prominent hawker centres in Singapore, the space is almost always bustling with crowds. Almost all Singaporean street favourites are represented here, many in multiple guises.
Grilled fish served with a tangy chilli sauce is a local favourite, with stingray being the most popular. There are a number of stalls offering this dish, grilled atop charcoal, with the most well-received being Hai Wei Yuan Seafood Barbeque. Don’t forget to squeeze a bit of lime juice before consuming; the citrus zing complements the chilli and the firm flesh brilliantly.
Another local favourite is the oyster omelette – briny whole oysters tossed together in an egg batter then pan-fried to perfection. Ang Sa Lee Fried Oyster draws longs queues – little wonder, since its version of the dish is crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.
The duck rice at Ah Seng Duck Rice, the lesser-known version of chicken rice, is also worth a try. Desserts can be found at Botanic Gardens Dessert Corner, with ais kacang (red beans, assorted candied fruits and jelly topped with finely shaved ice and drenched in syrup) being the perfect way to cool down from the sun or a particularly spicy dish.
When the sun goes down and it is time for a drink or two, go to Bulldog Pub, which has a laidback atmosphere – as well as a boisterous karaoke crowd. Happy Daze is a bit less hectic and is probably the only dog-friendly bar in the neighbourhood. You also can’t go wrong with Sync Korean Tapas Bar, an inventive establishment that will offer you a Dak Gar-Bi (Chicken and Kimchi Paella) and Sogogi Beef Jowl with generous servings of Soju and Soju-based cocktails.
Serangoon Gardens is accessible by MRT or by bus. By MRT, alight at the Serangoon MRT Station on the Northeast and Circle Lines. By bus, refer to bus timetables at www.sbstransit.com.sg or www.smrt.com.sg .