For insider knowledge on neighbourhoods in Singapore this month, we talk to NEHA LADHA about living in Tanjong Rhu. She’s from Mumbai and works in FinTech by day, and is a baker by night (Insta: @pizzasandvisas)!
What’s the name of your street? Tanjong Rhu.
If it’s in another language, what does it mean? “Tanjong” means “point” in Malay while “Rhu” refers to the casuarina trees dotting the shoreline here, after which the street takes its name.
What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? That it’s far away, but I can get to the CBD in under 10 minutes and to Orchard Road in 20.
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Pebble Bay, Tanjong Rhu Road, please.”
Closest MRT station? Stadium MRT (Circle Line), which is a ten-minute walk. The Tanjong Rhu MRT (ThomsonEast Coast Line) should be ready in a couple of years – it will be right outside the door.
How long have you lived here? We moved here in January 2021, when we relocated from Hong Kong after living there for 12 years. We chose this area primarily because we have a lot of our friends around already, which made settling in super easy. Also, the spacious apartments were a big lure, especially when coming from Hong Kong where we lived in exorbitantly priced matchboxes!
Name of condo: Pebble Bay
Facilities: Swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, kids’ play areas, gym
Size: 500+ units
New or old: Old
Closest supermarket: Ten-minute walk to Kallang Wave and Leisure Park malls
Community vibe: Laid back and peaceful
When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? Lots of greenery and condos galore; it’s primarily a residential area, dotted by the new MRT construction sites.
What’s the closest store to your front door? The Mini Mart, which is inside our condo, and the Kallang Wave Mall which is a ten-minute walk away.
If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? The Muppets Take Manhattan.
We’re sure your neighbours are great, but is there anything you wouldn’t mind a little less of? Hmm… not that I can think of. The community spirit is great here, making it a home away from home.
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street? Yoga pants, AirPods and bikes.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? Monitor lizards lounging around. We were quite taken aback the first couple of times but have now gotten used to them. My daughter is always on the lookout to spot them on our walks!
What are your three favourite places to eat or drink in the neighbourhood?
Brewerkz and Yarana at the Stadium are great outdoor places – good vibes, lots of open space for kids to run around, good food and beer, a perfect way to spend a lazy evening.
Mala Flavours at the Parkway Parade Food Court for Sichuan – great food and they pack in the right amount of heat.
For coffee, Joe & Dough at Leisure Park and Kallang Wave, and Common Man in Joo Chiat are my go-tos. We also tend to order in frequently from this small Pakistani restaurant called Kebab & Karahi – great food!
What are the best places to shop at in the neighbourhood?
Between the two nearby malls, we have most of the essentials covered: FairPrice and Cold Storage for groceries, Daiso and Lim’s for any home stuff.
Parkway Parade has Marks & Spencer, Toys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond, Scoop (recently opened!) and lots of local clothing boutiques and stuff. There’s a Popular bookstore outlet too.
For anything fancy and high-end, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Suntec are a quick taxi ride away.
What are some fun or interesting things to do in the neighbourhood?
It’s perfect for walks, runs, biking and skating along the waterfront, and taking in the sunrises and sunsets against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline. Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay and ECP beaches are all within walking and cycling distance so there are good picnic spots too.
There’s also a movie theatre, bowling centre and ice-skating rink at Leisure Park nearby so we have options for indoor fun too.
What’s one thing you’d never change? The greenery and the open spaces; it’s the biggest draw for me to live here.
How about one thing you would change? I wish they’d clean up the grassy fields around by trimming and maintaining the grass regularly. It looks like an insect or snake breeding ground!
If the city gave you a million dollars to soup up your street, how would you use it? Set up a couple of good cafés and restaurants around the waterfront so people can sip a good cup of joe or glass of wine while people watching, Also, probably have an open theatre for a “movie under the stars” experience at the grass fields around here, and a setup to watch the stars!
The open areas would make for great carnival spots too, in the post-COVID world – something like the AIA Christmas Carnival in Hong Kong each winter!
Beyond the Neighbourhood
What are your favourite Singapore spots for taking out-of-town guests? We have been playing tourists ourselves for the past few months since our move here, and our favourites would definitely be Gardens by the Bay, a stroll through Chinatown followed by a meal at a hawker centre, Sentosa beaches, MacRitchie trails, the Botanic Gardens, Haji Lane and Boat Quay. My seven-year-old’s favourites are the treehouse at The Pantry, the Museum of Ice Cream and The Luge at Sentosa. We also enjoy drinks with a view at Gin Parlour or at Atlas Bar, and for food, House of Qi, Jim Thompson and No Menu, and the almond croissants from Tiong Bahru Bakery.
When you’re in need of a dose of culture, where do you go? Joo Chiat – walking around those beautiful colourful Peranakan houses makes me feel like I’ve stepped back in time!
If you’re missing home, what do you do? I usually go to a good Indian restaurant and stuff myself with food and sweets!
Some interesting trivia on Tanjong Rhu that involves a 400-year-old map!
Manuel Godinho de Erédia was a Malay-Portuguese cartographer born in Malacca in the 16th century. One of his maps was among the first to show Singapore as an island, and among a small handful of recognisable place names that can be seen on the map is “Tanjon Rû” – today’s Tanjong Rhu.
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This article first appeared in the January 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
Then take a look around these other neighbourhoods in Singapore.