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Guide to Toh Tuck Road in Bukit Timah

Looking to move to a new neighbourhood? Nothing would be better than to hear from the residents themselves. We speak to Ayse Davies about the ins and outs of living at Toh Tuck Road, Bukit Timah.

Name: Ayse Davies
From: UK and Turkey
Occupation: Business Development and Kids’ Chauffeur

Check out the gallery above for all of the sights around Upper Bukit Timah, plus head here for heaps more guides on places to live around Singapore.

What street do you live on?
Toh Tuck Road.

What does it mean?
It’s Malay, but I’ve no idea what it means.

Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home?
Toh Tuck!

What’s the name of your neighbourhood?
Toh Tuck at Upper Bukit Timah.

Closest MRT station?
Clementi. Beauty World MRT on the Downtown Line is currently being built and will be ready “soon”. If you call the end of 2015 soon!

How long have you lived in Toh Tuck?
Five years.

Why here?
We fancied the idea of our kids walking to school. Their previous school was a five-minute walk away, which was ideal, but now we’ve moved them to a school 20 minutes’ drive away. We also really liked the condo as it is very spacious and green, and the ground floor maisonette that we bought feels like a house, but has all the perks of a condo.

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is:
Two new condo developments in various stages of being torn down and being built directly opposite us.

The closest store to your front door is:
Kenny Grocery. NTUC Finest in Bukit Timah Plaza is a five-minute walk away.

Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less:
My neighbours are great! Seriously. If I had to choose, I guess a little more privacy would be nice, but that’s part and parcel of condo living.

The unofficial uniform of your street is:
Hard hats – lots of construction at the moment.

If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be:
Someone hiding out from the paparazzi, as I can’t imagine anyone looking for a celebrity in our condo. Saying that, we do have a very cool and well-known bag designer living in our condo!

When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you:
Go to the local hawker centre or wet market.

If you’re missing home, you:
Which home? I was born in Turkey, grew up in London, we’ve been living here 14 years and my husband is a New Zealander.

A mandatory stop for out-of-town guests is:
Spa Vintage at Eng Kong, which does excellent massages – a good way to unwind after a long flight. And a visit to the local hawker centre for authentic food.

You’d swap houses in a second with:
No one. I’m happy where I am, despite it being a construction zone!

A common myth about your neighbourhood is:
That it’s far away from town. But really, it’s no more than 15 to 20 minutes to Orchard.

A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to be:
A barbecue. Or a dinner party at my house.

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are:
New Garo Japanese
, a very small, family-style restaurant within walking distance. Udder Delight, because they serve delicious ice cream and the kids love going there – not just to eat ice cream but also because they can draw on the mirrors (they’re not vandalising them, it’s allowed!). Carpenter and Cook, for good coffee and a cool ambience.

You won’t find better local food than at:
I think you can find better local food, but the row of restaurants at Beauty World is good and the Bukit Timah Food Centre is too.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is:
Procession after procession of lion dance trucks during Chinese New Year.

We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are:
You can go to the wet market and get decent clothes alterations for as little as $3!

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is:
The desserts at Carpenter and Cook. They’re all good.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is:
The construction.

The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to:
Put speed humps or a zebra crossing further up the road to make it easier for the local primary school kids to cross the road. I also wouldn’t mind using the money to move Prime Gym, where my daughter takes gymnastics, down the road, so I don’t have to spend two hours cooling my heels at Toa Payoh every week.

One thing you’d never change is:
Our condo.

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

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