We chat to Canadian mum Lisa, household CEO and PA to a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old, for the scoop on living in Tanjong Katong on the East Coast, a suburb that’s just 10 to 15 minutes from both the CBD and Changi airport.
What street do you live on?
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
“East Coast, OK? Tanjong Katong off of Crescent.” Then I direct them depending on which expressway they take. It’s a one-way street, so I usually need to help them navigate to the right entry point.
What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
Closest MRT station?
How long have you lived here?
Almost three years.
It’s 10 to 15 minutes from the CBD, Changi Airport and the children’s school.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
A typical Singaporean multi-generation detached house.
The closest store (of any type) to your front door is:
Teo Hin Tyres and an SPC petrol station.
Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of:
The Layover with Anthony Bourdain: Singapore. He’s already done a great show on Singapore, but he could have accomplished the same without leaving our neighbourhood.
Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less:
Barking from the dog in the middle of the night.
The unofficial uniform of your street is:
Flip flops and a dog leash.
If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
Anthony Bourdain, for obvious reasons.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Head to the hawker centre on Old Airport Road. This place has many famous stalls that bring people from all over the island and abroad to enjoy the enormous selection of food. I hear the rojak is especially good, even if I’m not a fan.
If you’re missing home, you:
Hop on our bikes and enjoy a nice ride to Marina Barrage. It’s a great path for cycling that’s never too busy, and we can stop off at Satay by the Bay, a wonderful place to enjoy all the local delights while appreciating the amazing waterfront views.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:
East Coast Park for a nice walk and some black pepper crab and chilli crab.
You’d swap houses in a second with:
The one two houses down that’s new and modern and has a lift, a gym, a fully stocked bar and a man cave.
A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
That it’s located in Geylang.
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
The occasional private jet landing at nearby Paya Lebar Airbase.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
It used to be across the street at our dear old neighbours’ place, but sadly, they’ve now moved.
Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
Bruno’s for fantastic Italian; Smith’s for authentic UK fish and chips; Tianfu Steamboat for a great-value buffet that is relatively healthy; Ponggol Centre for nasi lemak; Keng Bee for the best value and tastiest char siew in town; Bar Bar Black Sheep for drinking a pint and watching a sporting event; Teck Heng Minimart for the urgently needed tonic or soda water that was left off the shopping list; Amped Trampoline Park to burn off the dreaded calories left over from eating and drinking at all the previously listed establishments.
You won’t find better local food than at:
Old Airport Road Food Centre.
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:
A car driving the wrong way down our one-way road. This actually happens all the time, and it’s even funnier when you see them do a three-point-turn to accomplish this feat.
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
At the tyre shop, it seems, because they are endlessly working on three or four cars parked at the top of our road.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
Getting a couple of takeaway pizzas from Pizza Hut on a Sunday night.
One thing you’d never change is:
The number of diverse eateries.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
The bad parking done so often just outside of our house to avoid the pay parking lot.
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:
Bring back and restore the old abandoned Peranakan-styled bungalow that has recently been demolished to build a huge, concrete, four-level home. It had so much character and history.
Why should your neighbourhood be featured in a guidebook?
It has a great mix of both expat and Singaporeans, which creates a great feeling. Also, it’s not overcrowded, and it’s very well located.