Tiong Bahru has become a trendy hotspot these days – nothing like the area I visited growing up. My aunt and uncle, both teachers used to live in the neighbourhood and back in the days it was very much a blue collar worker kind of residence, nothing like the hipster vibe it gives out today.
Anyhow, if you’re in the area after stuffing your face at Tiong Bahru market and had your fill of the famous chwee kueh, wander over to Yong Siak street. Pick up some awesome local Singapore literature at Books Actually and then sit down to enjoy them over a good brew of specialty coffee at Forty Hands. Service is brisk and quick, it’s usually buzzing, there are two tables outside if you want to sit al fresco in the terrifying humidity, baring fear of frizzy bad hair days.
You can read all about what’s behind the name here, and I’m still curious about the cake display filled with surfer dudes in those plastic green soldiers colour we grew up playing with, amidst a plastic animal zoo complete with rhinos and hippos. Fun.
Tiong Bahru is a strange place that’s somewhat far and close to my heart at once and I am often washed with a heavy sense of nostalgia.
Anyhow, for some good literature, friend and ex classmate Pooja’s collection of poems “Love is an empty barstool” and local playwright Tan Tarn How’s collection of plays is a fantastic read.
78 Yong Siak Street#01-12