Wondering where to live in Singapore, which neighbourhoods other expats are living in and what they love about them? Our Neighbourhood Guides – Street Talk as we like to call them in the mag – will help you decide. Here we chat to Indian expat Suma Balakrishna. Suma is a singer, travel blogger, artist and brewer!
Taking its name from nearby Bukit Timah Hill (Singapore’s highest natural point, at 163 metres), Hillview was a key battleground in World War II, and considered to be of crucial strategic importance. Close to Hillview Avenue is the Ford Motor Factory, which, on 15 February 1942, witnessed the formal surrender of the Malayan Peninsula by the British Commanding Officer, Arthur Ernest Percival, to the Japanese.
What’s the name of your street and neighbourhood? Hillview Avenue, in Hillview.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Hello, uncle! Can go to Hillview Avenue, ah?”
Closest MRT station? Hillview (blue Downtown Line; 5 stops to Botanic Gardens, 8 stops to Little India).
How long have you lived here? Three years.
Why here? It’s the greenest area with amazing views of Bukit Timah Hill.
The closest store to your front door is: HillV2 mall, which has lots of eateries and grocery shopping options.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: A nice Korean romantic comedy!
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Actually, I wouldn’t mind more socialising and fun activities to get to know them a little better.
The unofficial uniform of your street is: Lots of jogger shorts.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Head either to Chinatown, Little India, Arab Street or Dempsey Hill, all of which have numerous restaurants with different cuisines to dine at. I think eating is the best way of getting a taste of any culture!
If you’re missing home, you: Cook my childhood comfort food so I can relive those days and feel nostalgic.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is: My neighbourhood! The nature parks are simply breathtaking.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: That only rich people live here.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: Jiak Modern Tzechar, iO Italian Osteria, Tandoori Culture and Cedele at HillV2, Springleaf Prata Place and more.
You won’t find better local food than at: The food court at Bukit Batok East Point (Bukit Batok East Ave 3).
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: All kinds of animals from a huge snail to a wild boar!
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are: All the shops along Bukit Batok East Ave 3, which is just down the road.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: I’ve got to say iO Italian Osteria, because their desserts are yum!
One thing you’d never change is: The green cover everywhere around.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The industrial buildings.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: I like the quiet, so nothing too glamorous to invite crowds. I’d probably opt for a zen garden, a picnic area and a dog park with a dogs-only pool!
Condo Fact File
Name of condo: The Lanai
Facilities: Pool, gym, tennis courts, barbecue pits and cabanas
Size: 214 units
Kid-friendly facilities: Yes
For more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.