Fascinating Spots in Bukit Merah Every Singaporean Should Visit

By EdgeProp Singapore
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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There are parts of Singapore where you need to really scratch beneath the surface and explore the highways and byways to discover what they have to offer. That is certainly not the case with Bukit Merah, which has a wealth of options when it comes to wining, dining and relaxing as well as outdoor pursuits. What makes the area particularly fascinating is that there are several distinctive parts, each with their own individual character and attractions.
Bukit Merah, which is Malay for “red hill”, is named after the iron-rich hill that overlooked the area. The hill has become smaller over the years as it made way for the development of Redhill Close and subsequently Henderson Secondary School.

Tiong Bahru

BUKIT MERAH - The distinctive Tiong Bahru Market
The distinctive Tiong Bahru Market. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
This estate has become synonymous with hipster bakeries and cafes over recent years, but it has a lot more to offer than that, if sipping caramel lattes while munching artisanal teacakes isn’t your thing. The distinctive art deco-styled market forms a natural hub for the area. The first floor is comprised of a very popular wet market, as well as a fruit, vegetable and flower market. The second floor is where you will find the recently renovated food court. With a layout that sets the stalls and tables around a natural opening onto the green space below, it makes for a pleasantly airy place to dine.
BUKIT MERAH - The Tiong Bahru Club Singapura, a dream for curry lovers
The Tiong Bahru Club Singapura, a dream for curry lovers and people watchers alike. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
Opposite the market is the Tiong Bahru Club Singapura. Not only is it a fantastic place to cool down with a cold beer, people-watch and take in the endless comings and goings in this vibrant area, it also serves up some of the best Indian cuisine on the island. A little further down, on Seng Poh Road, is the Bakalaki Greek taverna. This recently opened addition to the area provides superb Greek dishes and prides itself for its very good and attentive service.
BUKIT MERAH - The charming Flock Café in the Horse-Shoe Block
The charming Flock Café in the Horse-Shoe Block. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
I could write a whole article on the cafes and bakeries in the area, and it seems unfair to choose one, two or half a dozen over the rest, but Whisk Café, Tiong Bahru Bakery, 40 Hands and Flock are definitely worth trying for brunch or a caffeine hit. Around the corner, along Kim Tian Road, there is another row of diverse eateries, including the Coq & Balls bistro and bar.
BUKIT MERAH - The charmingly named Coq & Balls bistro and bar
The charmingly named Coq & Balls bistro and bar. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
Finally, just to show that Tiong Bahru is not all about gastronomy, there is the Tan Boon Liat Building. This 14-storey industrial block may not look like much from the outside, but it houses some of the most exciting and creative furniture stores in Singapore.
BUKIT MERAH - The Tan Boon Liat Building in Tiong Bahru
The Tan Boon Liat Building in Tiong Bahru. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
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There is more to Alexandra than an IKEA and car showrooms. On the top floor of the Park Hotel Alexandra you will find a scenic rooftop bar: Aqualuna’s 360-degree circular bar is one of the island’s hidden gems. There is also a decent restaurant on the same floor. A two-minute stroll away are the ABC Brickworks and the Alexandra Village food centres.
BUKIT MERAH - Aqualuna on Park Hotel Alexandra
Aqualuna on Park Hotel Alexandra. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore

Gillman Barracks

This former British army barracks provides a wonderful venue to while away an afternoon and/or evening. It is home to several art galleries and institutions, regularly displaying exhibitions and work from world-renowned artists from home and abroad.
The barracks also caters for your gastronomic needs. Handlebar is an excellent place for a couple of beers; Creamier Handcrafted serves up delightful handmade ice cream; while Masons and The Naked Finn cater for those with slightly more upmarket tastes. The latter has an ethos of preparing simple seafood dishes made from the best, freshest ingredients.

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The best of the rest

Wending its way across the southern part of the region like a green lung is the eastern half of the Southern Ridges, namely Telok Blangah Hill Park and Mount Faber Park. They make an ideal place for a walk – a place to enjoy the lush greenery and the views out to Sentosa and beyond. On top of Mount Faber there is a bar and restaurant that enjoys wonderful views and almost constant refreshing sea breezes. Connecting the two parks is the stunning Henderson Waves.
BUKIT MERAH - The wonderfully designed Henderson Waves
The wonderfully designed Henderson Waves. Credit: EdgeProp Singapore
At the southwestern tip of the region, Labrador Nature Reserve sits quietly overlooking the sea. It is one of the lesser visited parks and nature reserves on the island, and as a result has a delightful tranquil atmosphere. There is a boardwalk from the nature reserve that takes you all the way to the bridge that connects to Keppel Island. The island itself has a couple of higher-end restaurants overlooking the marina and its boats.
Just off Sentosa Gateway is the beautiful and iconic St James Power Station. It has recently closed its doors, drawing to a close its time as one of the go-to nightlife destinations in Singapore. It is yet to be announced what will become of the building. Watch this space.
Finally, VivoCity. With its waterfront location, it is Singapore’s largest retail and lifestyle destination. It is also one of the most pleasurable to walk around, and when you have had your fill of browsing and shopping, there are, of course, a plethora of cafes, restaurants and bars.

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