Madeline Barbeito (Puerto Rico) and Trey Hickey (US)
Where did you live when you first came to Singapore?
We have only been in Singapore for about three or four months. While apartment-hunting, we stayed at the Sheraton Hotel on Scotts Road, and then moved to our current apartment in Marina Bay at the end of November 2009.
What were your main reasons for moving to this area?
Location, location, location and building amenities. The shophouses we looked at in Joo Chiat, although beautiful and unique, were too far removed from the city centre. We liked the convenience of Orchard, but found it too crowded. Having the Raffles Place MRT station across the street from our place makes life so easy. We can get to Raffles City, Clarke Quay, VivoCity and Chinatown in just minutes. We can walk to the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay and Suntec City.
Best thing about living in this neighbourhood?
It offers all the conveniences of living in the city while retaining a residential feel. It has the best of both worlds. During the week all the shops and restaurants are open, allowing us to go out to dinner and buy what we need without having to go too far. Then the weekends are quiet and relaxing with most shops and offices closed. We enjoy that.
What’s missing from your local area that you would like to have?
We would love to have a big Cold Storage grocery store within walking distance. We normally go to Jason’s Marketplace in Raffles City, which is great, but one that we could walk to would be even better.
Any drawbacks to living in this area?
Most people would think all the construction in the area would be an annoyance and at times it is, but not enough for us to consider it a drawback or for it to have played a role in our decision-making. We see all the construction as a positive thing as it will make the area even better once it is all done.
Why this specific home?
We looked at four apartments in our complex and we knew our unit was “the one” the moment we walked in with the real estate agent. The others had irregular-shaped rooms and rather odd distributions which made them feel boxy and awkward. Our apartment is open, feels airy and has the best view.
Which facilities were important to you?
We really wanted a pool and a gym. We enjoy and use them a great deal. We also have tennis courts and an aqua-gym pool. There is also a concierge desk and the staff is always very helpful and pleasant. Aside from restaurants, which make delivery and take-outs super-easy, there is a hair salon, a convenience store and a laundromat in the basement of the building.
Preferred local leisure area?
We love Clarke Quay. It is fun to walk around and take in the energy and the lights before choosing a place to have a great dinner. We also like taking the train to Chinatown for a more local food experience.
Preferred local shopping centre?
We like Raffles City because is close and easy to get to, just one train stop away. We also go to VivoCity although is a bit farther. We find Raffles City a little easier to navigate and their food outlets are really good. We kind of take turns between the two, depending on what we are looking for.
Yamakawa at The Central Mall is a small market with a great variety of Japanese snacks and foods. They sell great cookies with chocolate centres and an almond on top. The savoury version of this yummy snack is a small rice cake with cheese instead of chocolate. As we love brownies, we were thrilled to find a Brownie Factory stand in the Raffles Place mall – the underground area between Raffles Place MRT station and the Fullerton Hotel.
Favourite restaurant for a special night out?
Madame Butterfly at Clarke Quay. The food was excellent and so was the service. It is on the second storey of a beautifully decorated building. The ground floor is a night club, which looks like a lot of fun. We went to Madame Butterfly to celebrate the day we got the keys to the apartment and are looking forward to going there again.
Favourite “cheap and cheerful” restaurant?
Din Tai Fung, a casual and inexpensive Taiwanese restaurant in Raffles City. We go there for their soup dumplings, which are like little pieces of heaven. The spinach sautéed with garlic is also great.
• Din Tai Fung
+65 6336 6369
#B1-08 Raffles City Shopping Centre
• Jason’s Marketplace
#B1-01 Raffles City Shopping Centre
• Madame Butterfly
+65 6557 6266
#01-02 Merchant’s Court
• Sheraton Hotel
39 Scotts Road
• The Brownie Factory
+65 6835 9579
1 HarbourFront Walk
• Yamakawa Super
+65 6534 9518
#B1-28B The Central