Name: Louise Colbridge
Occupation: Operations Director of our ever-growing family
What street do you live on?
Pasir Panjang Road.
What does it mean?
In Malay, it means “long sand”, which refers to the long sandy shore that stretches along the West Coast (and that is so often overlooked in favour of the East Coast).
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
I have a car, so I much prefer to shout Hokkien swear words at bad drivers on my way home.
What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
Pasir Panjang or West Coast.
Closest MRT station?
Haw Par Villa.
How long have you lived here?
Almost one year.
Having a baby changed our priorities. Instead of being close to bars and restaurants, we wanted trees, space, fresh air and parks, while still being close to the city.
When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
Trees! I love and appreciate this, as it’s really rare in Singapore.
The closest store to your front door is:
Food Joy – the local convenience store on South Buona Vista Road where the aunty tells you which longan are good to eat and how best to cook your prawns.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Head to the hilarity that is Haw Par Villa. Words cannot describe this Chinese institution; it has to be seen to be believed.
If you’re missing home, you:
Cycle to West Coast Park for open space, fresh air and views of the sea.
A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:
Buona Vista Kitchen, or “99s” as the locals call it, for cereal prawns, coffee ribs and chilli beef.
You’d swap houses in a second with:
Nobody. My house is pretty cool actually!
A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
That it’s in the heartlands and far away from everything. But really, we’re 20 minutes – tops – from Orchard, MBS, the East Coast and Bukit Timah. Holland Village is on our doorstep.
If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
The silence. It takes a bit of getting used to when you first move here.
A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
The local kids. They go to bed later than we do!
Your favourite neighbourhood joints are:
West Coast Park; there’s loads for kids to do there. It’s right by the sea, has great cycle paths and is less crowded than East Coast Park. There’s always a great buzz on the weekends at West Coast Market – you can easily spend a whole morning wandering around the fruit, vegetable, flower and plant stalls, with a few stops for local snacks along the way. Climbing the steep hill at Kent Ridge Park is worth it for the amazing sea views, and it’s a fairly easy hike through the jungle to VivoCity via Henderson Waves. And we love an afternoon stroll at Labrador Park followed by dinner by the marina at Privé .
You won’t find better local food than at:
The famous (aren’t they all?) Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Eating House on South Buona Vista Road.
The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:
My Chinese neighbour regularly shaving in front of a mirror he has in his front garden.
We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
Anything at West Coast Market. The freshest bread is $1.20, and you can find amazing fruit and vegetables (where Aunty will label your mangoes according to which day you want to eat them), flowers, electronics and even fake Cath Kidston bags. Also, the toyshop at West Coast Plaza doesn’t break the bank.
The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
Egg custard tarts from West Coast Market.
One thing you’d never change is:
The village feel. There are no tower blocks, due to building height restrictions, so we can almost see the ocean from our bedroom window.
But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
Construction. Where in Singapore can you get away from it?
The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:
Revamp the shophouse bars and restaurants in Pasir Panjang Village, add cycle lanes and a couple of speed humps to slow down the fast-paced Singaporean traffic, and build a pool in my garden with a lazy river that connects to my friend’s house.