Wedged between Ang Mo Kio and Bishan, lies the delightful neighbourhood of Serangoon Gardens. Once home to British officers and their families in the ’50s this quaint estate is seeing a resurgence as more and more families move into the area to get some much needed space. And with a lively central hub in Serangoon Gardens Circus, we might even go as far to say we think this suburb will become the new Holland Village. Time to explore, mama!
Where to Eat
There’s two main hawker centres in Serangoon (they’re literally a stone’s throw away from each other) that’ll satisfy your craving for lip-smacking good Singaporean dishes. The bigger centre – and most well known – is Chomp Chomp Food Centre (20 Kensington Park Road). Head here to get your fill of BBQ stingray, chicken wings and Hokkein mee with the kids – just get in early as it gets quite busy and rowdy in the evenings!
The quieter cousin of Chomp Chomp, Serangoon Garden Market and Food Centre (267 Serangoon Ave 3) is bright and breezy and home to gems like Grazie, your go-to for fresh, MSG-free Western dishes, and Ah Seng Braised Duck Rice – only the juiciest duck we’ve ever tried.
If you wander up the hill from here (it’s about a 10 minute walk) there are a couple of hidden eating spots along Brighton Crescent that are worth having on your radar too mama. Start at pet-friendly Sun Ray Café (79 Brighton Crescent) for fusion Western cuisine in cosy surrounds before wandering two stores down to get your coffee and rainbow-cake fix at The Coffee Daily (75 Brighton Crescent). You’ll need to leave the stroller outside though as these charming eateries are a bit squeezy inside.
Along the main strip on Serangoon Garden Way is one of our faves – Arbite (66 Serangoon Garden Way). Serving good honest food in a relaxed, if not a touch noisy, atmosphere you’ll be able to chow down on classics like Grilled Moroccan Chicken or Seafood Pie.
When you’re craving tasty Thai but you don’t want to drag your kids to a fancy pants resto, Tom Yum Kungfu (56 Serangoon Garden Way) is a fun place in the area to get your fix. This lively spot is most well known for their steamboats – perfect for getting your kiddos involved in cooking their own meal!
The new myVillage shopping mall (the former Paramount theatre for long-termers) is also home to a number of delish dining spots. Located along Maju Avenue, meander over to Little Wimbly Lu (#01-09/10 myVillage) for toasty waffles, hot drinks, and ice cream, or if your kids prefer a big bowl of sweet goodness, send them next door to UDDERS (#01-11 myVillage) for an ice-cream sundae with the works. Those needing even more sugar can head downstairs and seek out Chinta Manis (#B1-K01 myVillage) for their small but reliable selection of Peranakan delights.
On the third floor of myVillage is Relish Gardens (#02-07 myVillage) – the Serangoon outlet of Cluny Court’s Relish. While not as spacious as its counterpart, it’s a great spot to tuck into a burger with the fam – get there early and you’ll probably have the whole place to yourself too!
Heading back onto Maju Avenue and you’ll find another three restos that’ll keep you coming back again and again. The first, Chillax Massage Café (28 Maju Avenue) is a breezy spot to dine with the family and features fusion dishes like Steak Towkay and Wagyu Beef Rosti (it’s also the predecessor to newbie resto, Babette). The second, Happy Daze (11 Maju Avenue) is a super ‘lax corner pub meets bistro (with live sports streaming on huge screens) that proclaims to be all about “Pets, Soccer, Family” — sounds good to us! And the third is PLONK (7 Maju Avenue), a gorgeous Australian eating-meets-drinking spot that has some of the friendliest wait staff we’ve ever met. Arrive on a Sunday before 6:30pm and the kids eat free (one child per adult who orders a main meal). Happy hour starts at 4pm so you can get the kids fed (and papa watered) nice and early too.
Where to Shop
There’s a few cute shopping stops in the neighbourhood too that are worth seeking out whilst you’re in the area. Le Petite Boutique (4 Kensington Park Road) is the first — this fine food store is crazy busy and rightfully so when it sells food goodies from big wigs like Tiong Bahru Bakery and Le Fromager. The second, Lemon Chiffon Boutique (12A Kensington Park Road) is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it store (it’s on the second floor, so keep an eye out for the door that leads you up) with a cute selection of Korean and Japanese imported women’s clothing, as well as a nice range of fine jewellery and accessories.
If an afternoon of exploring makes you thirsty but the kids want to go home, you can pick up a decent bottle of plonk from The Straits Wine Company (80 Serangoon Garden Way). As reliable as all their other outlets, this goodie has you covered for that once-the-kids-are-in-bed glass of wine.
Run down and need a bit of healing? The Chinese Medicine Shop at number 61 Serangoon Garden Way has resident TCM practitioners who can advise on the best treatments for whatever is ailing you.
Inside myVillage there’s also a few hidden gems that we enjoyed browsing through when we visited. Organic Basic (#01-06 myVillage) is a haven of… you guessed it — organic products! Brimming with eco-concious body and bath products, this delightful local brand has something for every member of the family. Across the way is Two Bros (#01-23 myVillage) who’ll sort you out for any manner of electronic and lifestyle gadgets, and it’s holed up next door to JQY (#01-24 myVillage), a charming little stall selling jade bracelets and accessories. If it’s been raining a lot and you need new flip flops, drop past the aptly named Flip Flop Shop (#01-08 myVillage) — they’ll get new shoes on your tootsies pronto.
What to Do
Given the area is pretty suburban, the biggest attraction here (besides the main hub of shops and restaurants) is Nex Shopping Mall (23 Serangoon Central). On the door step of the Serangoon MRT station, we love the huge free playground on the top level — with wet and dry play areas for kids of all ages!
If you’re hanging closer to the heartlands, seek out The Nail Boutique (2A Kensington Park Road) for your next mani-pedi, after which you can look to Chen Kang Foot Reflexology (#01-21/22 myVillage) for that no-frills foot massage that you so desperately need. Sassy Mama Tip: the top floor of myVillage is a free to access rooftop garden that you can let the kids romp around in for a bit if they have ants in their pants.
Mini artists can sign up for an art class at Art Speaks Studio (87A Serangoon Garden Way) — their classes start from 3 years of age — or if the kids just need to stomp through the grass, Serangoon Community Park (227 Serangoon Avenue) is the place to be.
And that’s a wrap mamas! If you know of any hidden gems that we’ve yet to discover, drop us a note at [email protected] and we’ll be sure to check it out!