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Balmoral Road, Singapore: Guide to living, eating and shopping in this Bukit Timah neighbourhood

Name: Kirsten Murphy

From: Sydney, Australia

Occupation: Teacher’s aide… re-skilling into teaching after doing time as a sales and business development manager in fashion, recruitment and publishing.

The Specifics:

What street do you live on?

Balmoral Road


Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?

Balmoral Road, please…BALMORAL…B.A.L.M.O.R.A.L…yes – Bar molal (sigh) Do you know Stevens Road? Yes? Great, at Raffles Girls’ School turn right onto Bar molal.

What’s the name of your neighbourhood?

Bukit Timah – District 10.

Closest MRT station?

It’s a lovely ten-minute stroll past construction sites and new luxury condos to Newton MRT.

Why here?

We fell in love with the apartment’s high ceilings, generous sized rooms and great location. Most importantly, it was in our price range because of the bloomin’ construction next door!

How long have you lived here?

Twenty-two months.

The Scene:

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:

A Maserati, Ferrari, Bentley, Porsche, Mercedes or Audi attempting to exit the condo and being blocked by a cement mixer.

The closest store to your front door is: 

Balmoral Plaza, where you’ll find Spizza, The Straits Wine Company, 7- Eleven, two dentists, The Big Bird, Waffletown, Smiths Fish and Chips, Bojangles, Traditional Balinese Massage, Presto Expat Motoring, English and maths cram schools – there’s something for everyone, really.


Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of:

A Village People music video.

Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less:

Obsessing about the fish in the condo pond.

The unofficial uniform of your street is:

Construction hat, reflective jacket and a Stop/Go lollipop sign.


When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:

Take my kids, Max and Mia, on a tadpole-spotting mission down at the murky condo fishpond where we await the arrival of our vigilant Singaporean neighbour. He worries we may be stealing his fish – it makes me laugh!

A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:

Kenko Fish Spa on Tanglin Road, followed by a two-hour heritage walk around Chinatown or Little India and a visit to The Screening Room – a cool yet unpretentious rooftop bar on Ann Siang Road.

You’d swap houses in a second with:

The lucky duckies living in a stunning black-and-white house that we can see from our living room. They even have a pool!

A common myth about your neighbourhood is:

That it is really pricey. All the construction has lowered rents in our humble domain.

If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:

Midnight construction! Can you believe it?

The Superlatives:

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:

Spizza, with the kids – they make us feel special by knowing the kids’ names, remembering our order and serving us quickly. For a tipple, we go to our local bottleshop, The Straits Wine Company – we sit outside and watch the rest of the world pass us by, as we taste something new from their extensive list. When we are hung over, we head to Smiths Fish and Chips – we love the vinegar on their chips.


You won’t find better local food than at: 

Newton Circus. It’s pricier than traditional hawker markets, but a cold Tiger and some chilli crab always go down a treat there!

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:

Sloane Court Hotel. Man, what was going on in the minds of the developers of that property? It’s a bit like the Star Wars bar, but set in Tudor England, replete with blunderbusses hanging on the walls. It really is the pub that time forgot.


We love a good bargain. The best deal in your neighbourhood is:

The kids’ deal at Spizza – it’s only $8 for pizza or pasta, a drink and dessert.

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:

Being within walking distance of the Botanic Gardens and Orchard Road.

The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:

Convert Sloane Court Hotel into a lush, tropical, shaded and kid-friendly beer garden. Is that too much to ask?