SPH Content Studio
February 29, 2016
First it was Tiong Bahru, then Everton Park and most recently Jalan Besar.
Over the last few years in Singapore, older residential neighbourhoods have slowly but surely gained prominence as being the areas where the hippest in the city hang out. Thanks to image makeovers, usually led by an influx of cafes and new businesses opened by young entrepreneurs, these neighbourhoods are now perceived as being hip and exciting.
Sims Drive, surrounded by the neighourhoods of Aljunied, Paya Lebar and Kallang is slated not just to be the newest place where the cool kids hang out, but also to be a great place for families with members of all ages to live in, given the multiple amenities and good food places nearby.
Need a place to chill out and have a meal with friends, or simply to enjoy an afternoon with a good book and coffee in hand? You don’t need to wander too far from Sims Drive.
Within the Goodman Arts Centre premises, Café Melba offers a warm and friendly ambience, gourmet coffee and tasty fuss-free food with Australian and Asian influences. If you are coming with children, alfresco dining at the back of the restaurant looks out into a large grass field and on weekends, bouncy castles are set up and brunch is served.
In the back corner of the former Singapore Badminton Hall, Brawn & Brains is a small café that hand makes everything on its menu from scratch including the bread it uses for its sandwiches, pastries in its display case, and it even roasts its own coffee beans.
Want to avoid the crowds? Head to Backstage Cafe, a big airy café with high ceilings, tucked away in the Macpherson Industrial estate. Though you’ll need to drive to get here, they serve a slew of delicious mains, delectable desserts and all-day breakfast, with complimentary parking if you spend more than $20.
Great food is to be had in the area, which is home to some of the most unique restaurants in Singapore that serve up sumptuous fare.
Hankering for Thai food? Look no further than Spicy Thai Thai Café, which has more than 70 dishes for you to choose from. The owner, Ron Poh, has made it his mission to bring authentic Thai cuisine to Singapore and great care has been taken to get each dish right, from the charcoal used to maintain heat consistency for soup and steamed dishes, to importing tea leaves from Thailand for its signature Thai Iced Tea.
For a taste of Tuscany in Singapore, dine at La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar. House specialties here include the florentina steak and homemade pici pasta served with pork ragu. Not to be missed either is their salted cod salad with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and oregano.
Get your fix of KL-style ban mian at the local offshoot of the famous Kin Kin Pan Mee. Noodles with minced meat and meatballs are served dry and you add as much chilli flakes as you like. Break the poached egg that comes on top of your noodles and mix up the entire bowl to eat it the way the Malaysians do.
Names can be deceiving as in the case of The Tuckshop, which is actually a beer bar that serves five varieties of locally brewed craft beer, as well as bottled beers from around the world. If beers are not your thing, choose from the wide selection of Italian wines and whiskies on the menu.
Over at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, local microbrewery Brewerkz needs little introduction. Known for their traditionally brewed craft beers, with 13 different brews on tap at any point in time, they serve up American-style cuisine and an assortment of pub grub favourites.
If you’re on a mission to stay healthy, the area around Sims Drive offers various activities for you to do just that.
Bend, flex and relax at Yoga Inc, located at the former Singapore Badminton Hall, which has built up a strong local yoga community that welcomes yoga newbies warmly. There are more than 50 classes held per week, including one with Chinese instruction, so you can choose from the variety of hot and non-hot classes available.
Scale the massive rock climbing walls over at Onsight Climbing, Singapore’s biggest indoor climbing gym with 2,000 sq ft of bouldering surfaces and over 100 routes that are changed regularly. Classes are conducted regularly for those who want to up their climbing skills or get instructor certification.
Cyclists will be thrilled by the bicycle paths available on either side of Kallang River at Kallang Riverside Park that leads all the way to the Marina Bay area where you can get a good view of the Singapore Flyer. Dragon boat teams and canoeists also frequent the park on weekends.
If lessons and exercising as as group is what you prefer, Singapore Sports Hub offers many different fitness classes you can choose from such as Zumba, kickboxing and Pilates. A 30-day Fitness Class Pass gives you access to an unlimited number of classes for just $90 for local residents. Aquatic classes such as aqua aerobics and aqua tabata are also available. Alternatively, pick up a new sport like speedminton, lacrosse or kin ball, by signing up for the Learn-To-Play sessions at no cost. With so many options available, you are sure to find one that will meet your fitness needs.
With so much brewing in and around Sims Drive, you will want to be the first in on the action before the rest of Singapore finds out what this newly transformed gem has to offer. With great places to satisfy your cravings and hang out as well as amenities that let you stay active while having fun, this district is well on its way to being the next big thing in Singapore.