By Singapore Tourism Board on July 20, 2020
With 5 years of guiding experience and 30 years working in the hospitality, food and beverage industry, Meet Food Explorer and Tourist Guide, Lionel Chee. In 2018, he was appointed as the Singapore ambassador by The World Food Travel Association. This Peranakan born, former restaurateur cum food tour guide, gives us an insight into the places to explore around Holland Village.
Start your day by meeting at Holland Village MRT station. Immediately once you head out at Exit A (Holland Avenue), head across the road to Chip Bee Gardens. There, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast at Tiong Bahru Café known for its French pastries and artisanal bread. Then take a walk down the street, and grab your quick coffee fix at the famous Kyoto coffee chain % Arabica.
After having your coffee, take a stroll around the neighbourhood and have a glimpse of where the British Forces used to reside and marvel at remains of historical buildings then head North to Holland Village and visit Khiam Teck. The shop has been around since the ’60s, and little has changed since. You will be transported back to your childhood as you scour through familiar toys that we used to play when we were young. Next, walk along Lorong Liput where you will find a Thambi newspaper stand. Fun fact, this roadside newspaper stand is one of the few remaining newsstands left in Singapore, and it has been around since the 1940s.
Walk along Lorong Mambong where you will arrive at Holland Village Market and Food Centre. This is where you will find cheap and scrumptious authentic Singapore delicacies. If you are not sure what to order, there is a handy signboard outside that gives the low-down on the most popular dishes. Settle into a café and chill as you observe the life and buzz that goes around the neighbourhood or sign up for a hands-on workshop at Bynd Artisan to create personalised gifts or learn some other useful skills from calligraphy to leather making.
Before the sun sets, wander to Holland Close and discover what Singapore life is about by talking and mixing around with the locals. Try going up the lift in one of the HDB public housing blocks and get a glimpse of what it feels like to go through the local’s everyday routine. Trust me, it is a different experience. Dine-in at Timber+ as it offers a wide range of food offerings together with nightly live local music acts.
Tips: Holland Village is divided into 3 parts: Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Village and Holland Close. If you are a fan of coffee, cakes and looking for places to connect with great company, Chip Bee Gardens is the place to visit. For those looking to immerse yourself in distinctive yet diverse entertainment, nightlight experience and shopping, Holland Village is your spot. Lastly, if you are looking to discover a truly local way of life, Holland Close is the place to explore down to earth heart-lander kind of stuff where you can uncover hidden gems at every turn.
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