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Second Avenue, Singapore: Guide to living, eating and shopping in this neighbourhood off Bukit Timah Road

Having a mini-village like Sixth Avenue at your doorstep gives you an abundance of eateries, grocery shops, and a good video store all within walking distance. And Holland Village is just a stone’s throw away, too.


Sophie Robertson (16) – Australia

Where did you live when you first came to Singapore?

My family and I lived in a big bungalow in Cornwall Gardens (off Holland Road) when we arrived two-and-a-half years ago. Living at the end of a long, tree-lined street in a ridiculously large house was a big change for my family of four after the crowded conditions of Hong Kong. But we fell in love with the area and our quiet surroundings within walking distance from Holland Village, which became our favourite shopping and dining area. We moved to our current home six months ago. It’s a renovated house with a large garden and skinny lap pool on Second Avenue, just off Bukit Timah Road.

What were your reasons for moving to this area?

We wanted a more modern and entirely air-conditioned house. Cornwall Gardens was at the end of a suburban street, and we wanted to be closer to public transport and a main road. We are now a ten-minute walk from Sixth Avenue, yet the house is secluded and quiet. Orchard Road and the big shopping centres are 15 minutes away, plus taxi drivers and visitors have no problem finding Sixth Avenue.

What is the best thing about living in this neighbourhood?

Simply being close to restaurants, supermarkets and even hardware stores. The 7-11, Video Ezy, a Kodak photo shop, pubs and restaurants, a hawker centre and a Cold Storage supermarket are all close by. We appreciate the quietness when we have our Sunday barbecues, and the security of the vicinity lets us keep our front gate open – whether intentionally or not!

What is missing from this area that you would like to have?

There seems to be a shortage of ATMs. It doesn’t bother me personally – my parents are my ATMs, and they are always conveniently located. However, having a Standard Chartered ATM around Sixth Avenue would be useful.

Any drawbacks to living in this area?

The traffic on Bukit Timah Road can make the short drive to the British Club on a Saturday night a total nightmare!

Why this specific home?

We find it more comfortable and “liveable” than our previous house. The living room is light and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows looking directly over the front lawn. The second storey allows us to keep our distance from each other; we can watch TV upstairs and not disturb anyone downstairs. Our sizeable garden suits our large dog and provides space for backyard cricket and a bowling run-up, the ultimate highlight for my brother.

What facilities are important to you?

The pool and garden space. Our townhouse in Hong Kong had a small yard, but nothing compared to this. A pool was important to my mother, not just to find respite from the intense Singapore heat, but for exercise.

Preferred local leisure area?

Holland Village is a perfect spot to relax on a Sunday afternoon. The Holland Road Shopping Centre has a plethora of nail spas, coffee shops and restaurants, and endless shops selling amazing Asian-inspired jewellery. Its Cold Storage supermarket and a pet shop are convenient for us, and we find ourselves trying a new restaurant each weekend.

Preferred local shopping area?

Again, Holland Village, but my mother prefers Cold Storage at Jelita for groceries. It has an extensive range of imported and local groceries, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Special finds?

The Namly Animal Clinic gives us friendly service and reliable treatment for our much-loved dog. The convenience of being around the corner is essential, because our dog simply will not get in a car.

Favourite restaurant for a special night out?

We seem to have tried nearly every restaurant in the Holland Village and Sixth Avenue areas. It’s hard to pick one amazing restaurant, but a definite favourite is the Da Paolo Pizza Bar in Holland Village. This is not simply a pizza place; it serves a beautiful Italian menu, and the gourmet pizzas are incredible. The waiters are always friendly and the restaurant’s modern décor makes it a great dining experience.

Favourite cheap and cheerful restaurant?

The hawker stalls on Sixth Avenue are fantastic places to take visitors to for a taste of “real” Singaporean food. The Holland Village hawker centre also offers a wide variety of Singaporean and Asian cuisine. There is also a fruit juice shop that sells large, fresh juices; a great way to quench your thirst on a sweltering day.


Da Paolo Pizza Bar

Holland Road Shopping Centre

(Holland Village)

Cold Storage Jelita

The Namly Animal Clinic

Video Ezy

44 Jalan Merah Saga


211 Holland Avenue

293 Holland Road

74 Namly Place

4 Sixth Avenue


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