It was a Sunday. The rain had just stopped and it was the perfect time to go for a walk.
Who would have thought that this neighborhood called Tiong Bahru, once part of a sprawling Chinese cemetery could become one of Singapore’s top charming heritage estates... With its famous wet market, food court, great eateries and cute little shops, all tucked in 1930’s and 1950's Art Deco buildings, Tiong Bahru embraces traditional and chic.
My PR maven friend Sandra nicknamed it “Marais Bahru” after the cool gentrified Parisian hood. Residents here are the first to make fun of its reputation. So call it Upscale, Hobo, Bobo, love it or hate it, but let’s face it, Tiong Bahru is above all a unique quaint neighbourhood.
Most of the time, in this tropical rainforest climate, it's just too hot to take a stroll. But that day, I got lost in seasons. It almost felt like spring. The rain washed the unbearable heat away and the city offered bright shades of green for my camera to capture.
Singapore's nature, I'm always fascinated by the lush greenery that takes over concrete. That stimulated my desire to become a florist. Flowers entered my life without notice. Like the nature here always wins.
Have you ever felt like you could walk for hours, just wondering. That day, I discovered details I've never noticed before. Was it the light that changed everything, or just taking the time... How many times must I have passed in front of the community garden without being aware of it. Too busy rushing to the post office or obsessed by getting as quick as possible to the MRT station. Those little herb plants made my heart melt!
Sometimes this place reminds me of the city I come from, Paris.
Not only thanks to Tiong Bahru Bakery 's great croissants and canelés or the French cheese you can find at my favorite hidden gem Secrets fine food. It's also those imperfect doorways, and this atmosphere of living in a real neighborhood, where people take the time to say Hi, where Uncles and Aunties watch channel 8 with their door open. It definitely has that "In the mood for love" feeling.
A mix between Asia and Europe that I just can't get enough of.
Mademoiselle Blossom recommends :
- Woods in the books, for picture books "for the young and the young at heart"
- Books actually, THE independent bookstore
- Galicier, for their traditional Nonya Kueh and the kueh dadar (pandan coconut crêpe)
- Secrets Fine foods, for their incredible burrata and French cheese
- Tiong Bahru Bakery, for their croissants and canelés (tastier then in Bordeaux!).
- Soon a new restaurant called MERCI MARCEL by the guys from O Batignolles will open right next to it
- Joo Chiat Beef food court stall in Tiong Bahru market, for their addictive fried dumplings
- Bincho, for Yakitori, and because they share premises with Hua bee, the kopitiam where the movie Mee Pok Man by Eric Khoo was shot
- Plain vanilla bakery, for the best cupcakes in town
- PS café petit, for all pizzas and everything sweet
Yes Mademoiselle Blossom loves to eat...