Whether you’re already living in Singapore and looking to move to a new neighbourhood or moving here from overseas, nothing beats hearing from the residents themselves! We speak to Pip Harry from Australia, about the ins and outs of living on Meyer Road.
Where do you live? Meyer Road.
If it’s in another language, what does it mean? Meyer Road was named after Jewish businessman and philanthropist Sir Reuben Manasseh Meyer (1846–1930), who built the Chesed-El Synagogue and owned the old Sea View Hotel facing the road.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Meyer Road, Tanjong Katong Road South end, please.”
What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Katong.
The closest MRT station? Dakota MRT.
How long have you lived here? 18 months.
Why here? We love the East Coast for its cool sea breezes, fabulous food options and local feel, plus our daughter’s school (Canadian International School at Tanjong Katong) is down the road and the location is really handy for my husband’s commute to work at Suntec City.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: A huge, constantly buzzing construction site for the Tanjong Katong MRT station, underneath the intersection of Tanjong Katong Road South and Meyer Road. It’s part of the Thompson-East Coast line. Sometimes we see the construction workers doing their morning stretches!
The closest store to your front door is: Song Lang, a lovely garden centre at 378 Tanjong Katong Road. It sells exotic potted flowers, plants and small trees.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: Bob the Builder!
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Drilling and construction noise. It’s relentless and 24/7!
The unofficial uniform of your street is: Hard hats and construction boots, or flip flops with shorts or summer dresses.
Which celebrity would be most likely to move in next door, and why? Our neighbour is an Academy Award nominated visual effects artist, so any number of Hollywood stars could be paying him a visit!
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Wander around the Joo Chiat and Katong neighbourhoods, which are rich in Peranakan culture. You can check out well-preserved heritage shophouses and quaint stores, and try Nyonya cuisine. Take a tour of Katong Antique House and owner-curator Peter Wee will open a door to the past with his collection of antiques, heirlooms and traditional furniture. He doesn’t mind a yarn, either!
If you’re missing home, you: Take a five-minute bus ride to nearby Café Melba at the Goodman Arts Centre, which serves great coffee, wines and Australian classics like chicken Parmigiana. It also offers free-flow Prosecco with every main meal on Wednesday nights, which is a fun (but also dangerous!) girls’ night out.
A mandatory stop for out-of town guests is: Chin Mee Chin Confectionery at 204 East Coast Road, a coffee house straight out of the 1950s with marble-topped tables and aunties serving traditional set breakfasts of kopi, runny eggs and kaya toast, plus fresh baked goods like donuts, custard tarts and cupcakes. There’s always a line, so go early.
You’d swap houses in a second with: Any of the renovated colonial bungalows on Mountbatten Estate. The one where Grace Ban, MD of Estée Lauder cosmetics, lives is absolutely stunning.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is: That it’s just a long boring stretch of condos – in fact, a short walk into Katong uncovers a vibrant local community.
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to: Lightning storms or drilling.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be: A condo party at the communal barbecues.
Your favourite neighbourhood joints are:
• Scoop Therapy for small-batch ice cream that’s possibly better and certainly cheaper than actual therapy – try interesting flavours like butter beer or maple bacon.
• Carry On café. Escape the heat in this hip little café with delicious sweet treats and Lego for the kids.
• Our local Marine Parade Library is fantastic, with a top-notch children’s section.
• Parkway Parade – an East Coast shopping mecca with loads of good stores and the Food Republic downstairs for refuelling.
You won’t find better local food than at: Eng’s Noodles House (287 Tanjong Katong Road) for Singapore’s best wanton noodles – watch out for the fiery chilli sauce.
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: The pampered dogs that are ferried about in baby strollers!
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are: The $15 orchids at Song Lang.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: The edible 24-carat Gold Brownie from Chalk Farm in Parkway Parade. So rich, literally.
One thing you’d never change is: The friendly locals; I once went out to breakfast and had my meal paid for by a total stranger I shared a table with!
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: The MRT construction sites and the smelly green bins that line the streets.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Reinstate the closed hawker centre next to CIS and make it a cool food precinct.
Name of condo: Aalto
Facilities? Pool, gym, tennis court, function room, kids’ playground
Size: 196 units
Age: Built in 2010
Is it within walking distance of a supermarket, shops or restaurants? Yes, shopping is around a kilometre away at 112 Katong, Parkway Parade and Katong V, and plenty of restaurants are in walking distance. A taxi ride is handy for big shopping trips or complaining children.
What’s the community vibe? Aalto is known for its incredible community spirit. It has a parents’ WhatsApp group and holds Halloween, Christmas and CNY parties, as well as an epic Easter egg hunt and regular gatherings around the pool.
What are the facilities like for children? There’s a good softball playground with a climbing wall and a shallow kids’ pool. Kids can scoot and play ball games freely, but there’s not much grass!
What’s the word on your street?
Whether they’re newcomers or “old hands”, we’d love our readers to get to know your neighbourhood. Help us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in to touch!
Like this? Read more at our neighbourhood guides section.
This article first appeared in the August 2017 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!