Friday 7 October 2011

My Little Neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru

Whenever people find out from us that we live in Tiong Bahru, the next thing some of them would ask is, "Oh, there's this (input name of shop or eatery) that is very good! Have you visited?" and I would say, "I've heard about / walked passed it but have not visited it yet."

You have to understand that if you lived in this neighbourhood as long as I have (10 years to be exact), all the magic of this beautiful old town may sometimes be lost over time.

Along one of the lanes in the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood

So last Friday evening I finally decided to take a leisurely evening stroll around my neighbourhood with baby girl in tow and check out the various shops and cafes that I've heard so much about.

#1: [Books Actually]

Located along Yong Siak Street..
..amidst a row of nice quaint shophouses, next to Strangelets..
..lies a little shop, Books Actually

Books Actually sells all sorts of cool books, stationery and even vintage toys such as old tricycles and PEZ sweets dispensers that we used to play with when we were kids! I also particularly love the beautiful polaroid cameras that were on display as well as cool pop-up books! =)

I didn't, however, manage to find baby books for baby girl like I had initially set out to get but it was still fun to look at all the pretty things that they have on sale.

In any case, it was still really hard to browse through the stuff when I have a baby in my arms and a tricycle on the sidewalk. I'll definitely be back, and perhaps without baby or the tricycle! =)

#2: [Centre Ps]
A quick walk down the street to the intersection of Guan Chuan Street and Seng Poh Road finds us at the entrance of a really nice cake shop, Centre Ps (which is supposed to sound like centrepiece). One of their specialities is customised cakes, which is like the closest thing to Cake Boss in Singapore. The pictures on their website looks really good. Am definitely thinking about getting a cake from this shop someday =)

White Canvas Gallery & Centre Ps

#3: [White Canvas Gallery]
Then I caught sight of this three storey art gallery situated next to the cake shop that features contemporary art from the Southeast Asian region.

I was curiously peeking into the gallery when I saw a sign on the outside that said something along the lines of "Come on in! It's better than peeking in!" and I was really tempted to but then I remembered that I was with a baby in a tricycle, which wouldn't actually be very convenient when looking at delicate art. So I decided to give it a miss and just take a picture from the outside instead.

#4: [Orange Thimble]
On the way home, I passed Orange Thimble, a cafe that combines food and art in the same place.

Orange Thimble

The decor on the outside caught my attention right away and I could tell this would be a really nice place to chill and hang out.

Beautiful view of nature and architecture

We should totally visit this place soon! (Are you reading this, Mr & Mrs P? *laughs*)

#5: [Drips Bakery & Cafe]
Just around the corner at the end of the street, next to the famous but overpriced seafood steamboat restaurant, opened a new bakery cum cafe along Tiong Poh Road.

Drips Bakery Cafe

My mum-in-law says the bread is exhorbitantly priced but I have yet to check it out so I don't know for sure. Seems like another nice eatery to check out!

#6: [Cafe Pralet]
Last but not least, this is one of my favourite cafes that was opened by Chef Judy Koh, who also happened to live in my building.

Cafe Pralet

My friends and I used to call this place our 'old meeting place' where we would gather and catch up with each other. I loved the cakes and the excellent service of the staff, who recognise us and make us feel so welcomed there.

If you're in the area, or live here like I do, you should totally check out these places and more. There is seriously no lack of great food when you live in the beautiful old town of Tiong Bahru =)
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