Lose yourselves in this quaint and dreamy neighbourhood that’s far away from Holland V’s party scene
We usually travel to Holland Village for a let-down-your-hair kinda night at one of the bars and restaurants but if you’re seeking something more chill, Chip Bee Gardens hits the spot. Known as a neighbourhood full of creatives, Chip Bee Gardens was the site of an epic block party/mass art installation earlier this year dubbed District Design Dialogue for Singapore Design Week. If you didn’t get to wander through some of the gorgeous mid-century bungalows then, we suggest your start making some friends in this neighbourhood, stat. In this little pocket of Holland V, which spans boutiques, cafes and an art gallery on Jalan Merah Saga, and old-school bungalows on Jalan Kelabu Asap, time seems to stand still. And we’re totally charmed.
Check out some of our fave hangs in the neighbourhood…
Our Second Nature
This multi-concept store is pure genius and scores a special place in our cafe list for aesthetics and freshly brewed coffee. Honing in on comfortable everyday wears, Our Second Nature’s collection comprises a splash of mustard, red, navy and purple palettes together with a distinct original print from a London-based designer. The menu at the cafe is as minimal as the decor but sufficient for a quick pick-me-up. Plus everything – right down to the ceramic coffee mugs – is locally created.
Our Second Nature, 43 Jln Merah Saga, #01-66, Singapore 278115
Le Salon by Ling Wu
We know Ling Wu is known for her gorgeous leather and hand-polished exotic skin handbags so it’s no surprise that her studio at Chip Bee Gardens is next level. Drop by this “apartmentique” (a play on the words, apartment and boutique) and you’ll know what the fuss is all about. A far cry from the standard boutique, this studio mirrors an apartment filled with vintage furniture and alluring finds from her travels. The studio also holds regular pop-ups and heroes under-the-radar designers and local finds.
Le Salon, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, # 02-78 Singapore 278115
A beacon of light for local design, Priscilla Shunmugam has set up her atelier on the Jalan Merah Saga strip, and if you’re seriously into style you can’t hit Chip Bee Gardens without stepping into Ong Shunmugam. The label is a nod to the designer’s multi-cultural heritage, fusing traditional cheongsams and sarees into her highly covetable ready-to-wear and custom pieces. We love how she’s seamlessly weaved traditional textile techniques, colours and Asian silhouettes into the modern wardrobe. Her latest Cruise Collection 2019 is a tribute to her favourite decade – the 80s – but with an Asian twist. See it in the flesh next time you’re in the neighbourhood (but do make an appointment first by emailing email@example.com).
Ong Shunmugam, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-76 Singapore 278115
Taksu Art Gallery
Wanna deck up your space with contemporary art? Taksu’s wide selection of fine art with a distinctly urban edge easily makes it one of Southeast Asian’s contemporary art galleries. We love the varied mix of young talents and critically acclaimed names to choose from. The gallery also holds many exhibitions at its cosy space (there’s an exhibition going on right now till the end of the month). Check out the website for more deets.
Taksu, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-72 Workloft @ Chip Bee, Singapore 278115
Tiong Bahru Bakery
This iconic bakery is one of our top spots for French pastries, serving up warm, buttery croissants (amongst viennoiseries, sandwiches and tarts) that will transport you to a pâtisserie in Paris. The new Chip Bee Gardens branch has the same neighbourhood cafe vibe of its Tiong Bahru sister, but has a totally different look – you can’t miss that three wise monkeys mural, and we’re loving the takeaway window. Got a sweet tooth? Try the Kouign-Amann for a sa-weet surprise. But back to those croissants: they’re baked fresh every damn day using French flour and butter, and we think they’re the best in town.
Tiong Bahru Bakery, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-74 Singapore 278115
A paradise for herbivores, Original Sin is one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city, serving up Mediterranean and Italian dishes. Must-try dishes are the lasagna, Pomodoro bread, Bosco Misto and cheesy baked portobello mushroom.
Original Sin, 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-62, Singapore 278115
Baker & Cook
If you live for carbs, Baker & Cook rolls out the fluffiest bread and it has the creds to back this up: the sourdough bread is one of the best we’ve had. Don’t just stop at a loaf, get your carb fix with sourdough pizzas and burgers.
Baker & Cook, 44 Jalan Merah Saga #01-56, Singapore 278116
This charming cafe wants you to enjoy a bit of Sunday, every day with some handcrafted sweets and a fresh cuppa. Well, we can’t say no to that. Order a plate of waffles with a sea salt gula melaka ice cream and lose yourself to the gorgeous decor.
Sunday Folks, 44 Jln Merah Saga, #01-52 Singapore 278116
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