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Haig Lane, Singapore: Guide to living, eating and shopping in the Katong neighbourhood

 

Name: Himani Swami

From: Los Angeles, US

Occupation: Scientist and researcher – still searching and researching for a “perfect life”; also an aspiring actress

The Specifics:

What street do you live on? Haig Lane.

How do locals pronounce it? Heg Len.

Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?

Haig Lane, please – it is off Haig Road, opposite Tanjong Katong Secondary School. If you take Mountbatten Road, then please get onto Haig Road and after the second speed breaker, please slow down and take a right turn before you get to Dunman Road.

What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Katong.

Closest MRT station? Dakota and Paya Lebar are both equidistant and about a 15- to 20-minute walk away.

How long have you lived here? Fifteen months, two weeks, and three days to be precise.

Why here? Oh, we ask ourselves that question everyday! Every time I have to run to the refrigerator from the third floor, I ask myself “why here?”

 

The Scene:

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

Tanjong Katong Secondary School

The closest store to your front door is: 

7-Eleven, across the street on Dunman Road.

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

Pretty Woman – walk around Joo Chiat at night, and you’ll understand.

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

Parallel parking in front of our gate!

The unofficial uniform of your street is:

White shirt, white pants and green skirts at 7am and 3pm as students walk back and forth from school.

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

Take a lazy stroll on Joo Chiat Road, admiring its Peranakan shophouses. You can satiate your gastronomic desires with a wide range of eateries, too. 

If you’re missing home, you:

Try to get cheap tickets on a budget airline to get away for a few days to a resort with a pool and beach access. An even cheaper option is to go to East Coast Park where the kids can build sandcastles while we sip a margarita and chill.

 

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

A visit to Chinatown, a walk on Orchard Road, a drink in Clarke Quay, plus sugarcane juice at East Coast Park and satay at Lau Pa Sat. Nightly at Lau Pa Sat, they shut down the street next to the sidewalk satay stands and fill it with tables.

A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:

When all the cats and dogs on our street get together for a late night musical. Tickets not available on Sistic!

The Superlatives:

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:

Smokey’s BBQ, Fatboy’s the Burger Bar, Chezcake Bistro, Tai Shek Hei House of Traditional Bamboo Noodles.

You won’t find better local food than at: 

328 Katong Laksa, located at 51 East Coast Road.

We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:

Near the HDBs on Haig Road. I find cheap clothing that is guaranteed to last more than one wash. During the Hari Raya market near Paya Lebar MRT, you get great bargains on items from cars to carpets.

One thing you’d never change is:

Our location!

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