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Little India, Singapore: A resident’s guide to living, eating and shopping


Nick Barnes and Stacey Cross (UK)

Why did you choose to live in Little India?

We’re both new to Singapore and wanted to live centrally so we could easily explore the city. We looked at another place in Bishan – a condominium with all the facilities, but it was a lot further out. Getting around would have involved using the shuttle bus frequently. Little India is centrally located in an affordable location and we have two MRT stations on our doorstep, so travelling is easy.

Best thing about living in this neighbourhood?

It’s very easy to shop for anything you want and Mustafa Centre is only a few minutes’ walk away. There are grocers along Serangoon Road and most of the back streets, including Buffalo Road and Kerbau Road. We have no particular favourite, but we like to shop around to stock up on fruit and vegetables instead of carrying them back in one go from the supermarket.

What’s missing from your local area that you would like to have?

The choice of restaurants here is limited – this is Little India, after all. But if you love Indian food then this is the place to be! The Gayatri restaurant on Racecourse Road, according to locals, sells the best fish-head curry in town. However, if you’re looking for a different style of cuisine – say, Chinese or Italian – you will have to do some walking.

Any drawbacks to living in this area?

On weekends it tends to get extremely busy, especially on Sundays! When we first moved to the area, it took a little while to get used to, trying to get home through the crowds of people. Now we see the funny side, because you don’t come across anything else like it in Singapore.

Why this specific home?

We have a wonderful, spacious two-bedroom apartment, located above a restaurant. There are two balconies where we often relax with a drink. For the price we pay, it’s worth every penny.

What facilities are important to you?

Location is important; we like to be able to easily get into the CBD for work and socialising. We think we will look to moving to another area after a year, but this is a great base for getting to know your way around Singapore.

Where do you go for sport?

Farrer Park provides decent leisure facilities such as a large playing field, tennis courts and a swimming pool. We often go jogging there during the week.

Preferred local shopping centre?

Shengsiong Supermarket provides great value for money for big-name brands and is often cheaper than the other shops. The fish counter has an extensive range of fresh seafood.

Any special finds?

You can pretty much find anything you want here if you look hard enough. On Serangoon Road you’ll find traders who sell anything from wallets, belts and shoes to obscure aftershaves (like one we saw called “Hugo Boos”). The Mustafa Centre, on the other hand, is a shopper’s paradise. There are five to six floors, each specialising in a different department: electronics, DVDs, kitchen and bathroom items and more.
Favourite restaurant for a special night out?

We would recommend the Banana Leaf Apolo on Race Course Road. The restaurant is usually full seven days a week, so try and book before you go or you may not get a seat. The chicken dishes here are our favourites, but you can find a variety of interesting appetisers, too.
Favourite “cheap and cheerful” restaurant?

Head to the local Tekka Market where you’ll find a number of stalls offering dishes such as chicken briyani for around $4. The food here is great value for money.

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