The Non-Tourist Trap Guide To Staying In Serangoon
In this instalment of the non-tourist trap guide, we will be looking into the busy neighbourhood of Serangoon.
Don’t be too quick to glance over this hour glass-shaped town on your map and run off to Orchard Road! Believe it or not, this busy town is full of good eats, good shopping and good people:
History of Serangoon
During the 1820s, the area became an industrial area for the brick kiln trade and cattle farming, which were carried out mostly by Indians. By 1826, thousands of Indians had come to Serangoon Road to work as construction workers and farmers. The majority of Indians who came to Singapore were either South Indian Muslims or middle caste Hindus.
The name Serangoon is likely to be derived from burong ranggoon, referring to a species of black and white stork that lives around Sungei Serangoon (formerly called Rangoon River). Satu, or one in Malay, was added to the name, thus becoming Saranggoon. This name was used for a long period of time before it eventually evolved to Serangoon.
At present, the busy town of Serangoon houses an estimated 69,000 HDB residents with approximately 22,000 flats.
Step out of Serangoon MRT station and you’ll find yourself at Nex shopping mall. This heartland mall is home to many brands such as H&M, Sephora and Isetan department store. So, take this opportunity to indulge in some eating and shopping in the largest mall situated in the North-East region of Singapore.
Walk out of Nex and visit some neighbourhood cafes. Treat yourself to some cakes, waffles and ice cream at Wimbly Lu Chocolates or Cottontail Creamery. You’ll need to do a bit of navigating amidst residential estates, but it’s worth the effort. A simple trick is to use your google map to help you navigate around should you fear getting lost.
Craving for supper? A favourite amongst residents is late night hotspot is the HongChang Frog Porridge and Fish. Popular for its signature frog porridge and seafood.
Alternatively, you can choose take a 5 minute drive down to Serangoon Gardens. This estate is known for its countless eateries and its buzzing night life, with Chomp Chomp hawker centre that’s been serving up excellent local fare since 1972. Be sure to try their famous chicken wings, hokkien mee and carrot cake. To end the night, grab a drink at contemporary food and wine bar, PLONK or sing your lungs out with a karaoke session at K-Garden Family KTV.
Our Favourite Eating Places To Visit
#1 Cottontail creamery
Where is it? #01-378, 326 Serangoon Avenue 3, Singapore 550326
This cafe offers a wide range of unique artisanal ice cream, waffles, crepes, specialty coffee and tea with an open concept food preparation area.
With a total of 18 flavours of ice cream available, interesting and uncommon flavours include Craft Beer IPA, Mont Blanc Chestnut, Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Blackcurrent and Fresh Pink Grapefruit sorbet.
Food here is affordable with ice cream available at $3.50 per single scoop and $6.50 for a double scoop. An additional $1 top-up is required for premium flavours. Pair your ice cream with $5 for waffles or $3.50 for a crepe, along with sweet toppings such as Nutella, Homemande Jam or Caramel crunchies, all priced at $1 each. Alternatively, go for some savoury options such as Tuna Mayo, Kurobuta Ham or Cherry Tomatoes ranging from $0.50 to $2.50 per topping.
#2 Hong Chang Frog Porridge and BBQ Fish
Where is it? 2 Braddell Rd, Singapore 359895
Hong Chang Frog Porridge and BBQ Fish. Popular for its signature frog porridge, sambal stingrays and sambal squid. Give the trip to Chomp Chomp at Serangoon Gardens a skip and try this instead!
An all time favourite late night hotspot for those craving seafood. It is sure not to disappoint.
#3 Wimbly Lu
Where is it? 15-2 Jalan Riang Singapore 358987
This quaint little cafe is a great place where families and friends can indulge a variety of delectable desserts in a cozy and warm ambience. A definite go-to for dates or a night out with your family and friends.
Heading over after a heavy dinner? No worry. Wimbly Lu serves half-portions for some of their desserts. Flourless cakes are available too for those that need a skip on that gluten.
Be sure to try some of their popular items like the molten lava cake, root beer cake, nutella cake, lemon meringue pie and their highly raved waffles and ice cream.
Pros of Serangoon
#1 Accessibility to public transport
Serangoon has an MRT station that connects directly to two other MRT lines, the North East (NE) and Circle (CC) Line. A bonus for all those who live nearby. For those travelling by bus, there are bus stops all around Serangoon including the air-conditioned Bus Interchange within Nex mall.
#2 Plenty of amenities
Head over to Nex mall. With a total of 340 shops, it is a favourite hangout for residents and visitors alike. Shop for groceries at the 24 hour NTUC Fairprice Xtra hypermarket or catch a movie at Shaw Theatres cineplex on Level 4.
Looking for a new sweater? Look to fashion giants Uniqlo and H&M or check out the Isetan department store that spreads across 3 levels. Need a gift for your girlfriend? Head to Sephora on Level 1 and get her some beauty goodies.
Wishing to spend some time with your young kids? Bring them to the rooftop water playground. If you have a dog, there’s a rooftop dog park for your little pup to run and play. Spend your afternoon doing some quiet reading at the Serangoon Public Library, the first public library to be built on a rooftop. Alternatively, grab your running shoes and head to Anytime Fitness on Level 4R.
Serangoon just seems to have everything and I mean almost everything.
Serangoon has a good mix of schools: five primary schools, four secondary schools and one junior college. Examples such as Yangzheng Primary School, St. Gabriel’s Primary School., Zhonghua Secondary School and Nanyang Junior College.
Cons of Serangoon
#1 Confusing mall layout
We should warn you first that many commented on the confusing layout of the mall.
The whole layout of the shopping mall is very confusing. You might find yourself walking in circles in trying locate the shop that you want to go to. Although Nex is big, there is always a huge crowd at any time of the day. This might be frustrating for some people.
Perhaps you might very well agree and think that the layout of nex is confusing, a terror to walk through and a crowded place to be in.
#2 Noise Pollution
One study has found that Serangoon, Clementi and Bukit Timah are among the noisiest neighbourhoods in Singapore. Thousands of residents live next to busy roads, MRT tracks, construction sites and shopping malls. Closing all the windows around one’s home is not even sufficient and sadly, many have become accustomed to living with noise over the years.
What do you think about Serangoon? Voice your thoughts in our comments section or on our Facebook community page.
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