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Guide to Haig Road

By: Katie Roberts. Photography by Zoe Hasker

Eat, eat, eat: moving to the East Coast is all about finding the best food, according to this Haig Road resident…

Name: Jess Arrogante
From: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Full-time mum

Click through the gallery above for all the snaps from around Haig Road – plus see more neighbourhood guides here…

What street do you live on?
Haig Road.

Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
“Haig Road, please, Uncle – on Katong Shopping Centre side.”

What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
Tanjong Katong.

Closest MRT station?
Paya Lebar on the green line, or Dakota on the yellow line.

How long have you lived here?
One year.

Why here?
East Coast offers great value for money, fresh air and amazing food.

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
Another condo opposite.

The closest store to your front door is:
Singapore Post and the Peranakan Village Food Centre on Tanjong Katong Road.

The unofficial uniform of your street is:
School uniforms; there are students from high school, primary school, preschool and international schools all clustered in the vicinity.

If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
Amitabh Bachchan (if you know a bit about Indian movies).

When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Head to Joo Chiat for all sorts of food, or Paya Lebar for Malay flavours.

If you’re missing home, you:
Head to East Coast Park for the beach, picnics and cool, summery breezes. This is the closest I feel to Sydney, in terms of similarities (container ships aside).

A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:
Joo Chiat for food, or a picnic at East Coast Park.

You’d swap houses in a second with:
Independent House on Mugliston Road; I’m blown away by how big and beautiful it is.

A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
There’s no myth about the food; it’s good!

If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to:
A loud thunderstorm, with lighting that feels like it’s going to strike our windows. And my daughter ready for a feed.

A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
A private party at the condo opposite.

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood food joints are:
– 328 Katong Laksa: “simply the best” laksa.
– Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Joo Chiat: some of the best chicken rice.
– Rabbit Carrot Gun: good coffee and a homey feel.
Ayam penyet at City Plaza, Paya Lebar: simple but great Indonesian food.
– House of Seafood on Tanjong Katong Road: local-style crab dishes.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:
The man who stands on one side of the park next to condo and recites opera every morning!

We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
Joo Chiat Complex, Geylang Serai market and some hidden gems in Roxy Square.

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
Madeleine’s Original Portuguese Egg Tarts on Tanjong Katong Road, and Ritz Apple Strudel Pastries on East Coast Road.

One thing you’d never change is:
The local and welcoming feel of the neighbourhood.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
The pedestrian bridge crossing East Coast Road that connects to Roxy Square; make up your mind, is it an escalator or stairs?

The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street:
I would love more stroller-friendly paths plus a few more traffic lights along Tanjong Katong Road and Marine Parade.
What’s in a name?
Haig Road
connects Changi and Geylang Roads with East Coast Road. It’s named after Field Marshal Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the British expeditionary forces in France in World War I. In the early 19th century, the road was part of a large coconut plantation. Whitewashed government quarters, used by soldiers during the Japanese occupation, are a low-key feature of Haig Road, near Jalan Tembusu.

Around the 1950s it was known as Kampong Serani, a reference to the many Eurasians living in the village (the word Serani refers to Christians), and a landmark for taxi drivers and trishaw riders.


Check out our EL Video on the area

This article first featured in the October 2014 issue of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

We have a whole heap of Neighbourhood Guides to help you get to know your hood, or if you are thinking of moving! Or check out more about Living in Singapore.