House of food and wine connoisseurs on the market for $25.5 mil

By Cecilia Chow & Charlene Chin / EdgeProp | January 12, 2019 12:00 PM SGT
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The GCB on Swettenham Road was built more than 20 years ago (Credit: Albert Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
Melina Yong, an accomplished cook, and her husband, retired heart surgeon turned wine connoisseur Dr N K Yong, have made entertaining an art form. One could say they are veterans, as they have been doing this for more than three decades.
The couple is famous for their home parties, whose guests include Michelin-starred chefs and wine enthusiasts, as well as for hosting glitzy charity events at luxury hotels that consist of a gala dinner and wine auction and tasting over a weekend. The events are usually held in January to coincide with Dr Yong’s milestone birthdays — the most recent was his 90th in 2017.
The couple’s home for the past 21 years has been a double-storey Good Class Bungalow (GCB) that occupies a 16,000 sq ft freehold site on Swettenham Road. Today, the house is up for sale at $25.5 million. The couple purchased the property at the beginning of the Asian financial crisis in August 1997. Prior to that, they were living in a walk-up apartment located on Draycott Drive, just off Ardmore Park, that was sold en bloc. “I believe it was the last en bloc sale just before the Asian financial crisis struck,” recounts Melina.
When they were house-hunting at the time, they wanted a place in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens, as Dr Yong was still in private practice at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre and subsequently, Gleneagles Medical Centre. He retired in 2004. Dr Yong performed the first hole-in-heart surgery in Singapore in 1965.
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The long driveway can accommodate 10 cars (Credit: Albert Chua/ The Edge Singapore)
A home designed for entertaining
The GCB on Swettenham Road has a driveway that is wide enough for two cars to pass through, and long enough to park 10 cars. The previous owners had built the house but never lived in it. Instead, they lived next door and only used...