Tatler Tours: Jamus Lim Takes You Around Anchorvale, Sengkang | The Best Food, Activities and Spots
To make rediscovering our city a more enthralling event, the Tatler Singapore team has launched our very own initiative: Tatler Tours, where we invite local personalities and tastemakers to introduce their neighbourhoods to you, our readers, to live and rediscover this tiny red dot—that's right, all 721.5 km² of it.
In our first episode, Singaporean economist and newly elected Member of Parliament Jamus Lim brings us around the cosy neighbourhood of Anchorvale, the division that he's in charge of within Sengkang GRC, and shows us the five places to explore.
Watch the video below:
1/5 Sengkang Riverside Park
Sengkang Riverside Park is a major recreation spot that is situated along Punggol River, one of two rivers that border the town of Sengkang. Unique to this landmark is the Fruit Tree Trail that runs along the parameters of the wetlands and plays host to 16 different fruit species, among many other routes for visitors to cycle or exercise. The park itself is also connected to the 26km North Eastern Riverine Loop via Singapore's park connector network, which extends further to Punggol Park, Punggol Point Park and Punggol Waterway Park.
"Many of the residents who live in Sengkang are actually long-time residents of the North-East, for many generations," Lim shared.
"Sengkang Riverside Park includes a floating wetland and is Singapore's largest manmade wetland; and this wetland, of course, heralds back to the time when the coastal regions of Singapore had mangrove swamps as well as flora and fauna."
(Related: National Day 2020: Singapore's Industry Insiders Share What They Love Most About Our Country)
2/5 Anchorvale Cove
Tucked away along the border of the neighbourhood is the idyllic residential area of Anchorvale Cove, home to young families living in four- and five-room flats.
"The common area nestled within these blocks is beautiful and idyllic, and a great example of integrated community space," Lim mentioned, in reference to the gazebos, children's playground and community garden—the latter being an underappreciated concept in our concrete jungle.
"When I was growing up, we used to have sandboxes that kids would play in," Lim said. "But that isn't the model for modern playgrounds these days. Nevertheless, kids find a lot of expression in the playgrounds in this area."
(Related: National Day 2020: Tastemakers Share Their Favourite Local Food in Singapore and Where They Get it)
Singapore's first vending machine cafe is conveniently situated at the void deck of Block 320C, right next to Nan Chiau Primary School. It offers an array of Western dishes such as spaghetti bolognese and local food such as nasi lemak and seafood hor fun.
"What's nice about this cafe is that it is a hint of the future," Lim said. It is open for 24 hours daily and offers a variety of hot food, light bites and drinks such as freshly-squeezed orange juice and coffee.
For curious readers, our travel guide's snacks of choice were chocolate Pocky biscuits, Calbee prawn crackers, and a refreshing cup of OJ to beat the sweltering heat.
(Related: Where Do The Top 20 Chefs In Singapore Go For Their Hawker Fix?)
4/5 Anchorvale CC
Singapore is a concrete jungle, you say? Well, not so much, if you consider it to be an island city surrounded by plenty of water bodies. Thanks to this, there are plenty of water sports activities available here.
For those based around the neighbourhood of Anchorvale, the option to pedal boat or kayak is located right at the neighbourhood's Community Club (CC).
"We have access to community club facilities that include water sports, which is quite unusual for CCs in general," Lim said. "In addition, being collocated by the Sengkang Sports Centre, we also have the benefit of excellent sports facilities that are used to host the Southeast Asian Games."
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5/5 Armenian Street Char Kuay Teow
"You can always tell who is Singaporean by the fact that they have a common love for food," Lim quipped.
And we fully agree. Ask any local, and they'll tell you a good plate of char kuay teow—characterised by a unique wok hei taste, generous amounts of dried Chinese sausage and crispy pork lard bits—is hard to turn down. The second-generation hawkers of Armenian Street Char Kuay Teow took over the business, which started in 1949, with the aim of continuing their tradition of serving up their signature fried noodles that keep loyal fans coming back for more.
The stall, now located at 303 Anchorvale Link, is a familiar hawker hangout for residents and foodies alike.
"Coffee shops like this are a community space," Lim added. "After a long evening of house visits, my team and I would come by and tuck into some really good local food."
(Related: Where to Eat in Singapore for National Day 2020: Cé La Vi, Kin, National Kitchen by Violet Oon Singapore, Cut by Wolfgang Puck And More)
Other areas to take note of, as shared by Jamus Lim:
Sengkang General Hospital (SKH): "In a time of Covid-19, we are reminded of the important role that our healthcare providers play in keeping us all safe and healthy. SKH and its collocated facility, Sengkang Community Hospital, are important jewels in Sengkang town, and it is a true privilege to have access to a world-class medical facility right at the doorsteps of Anchorvale. Both hospitals are important landmarks in Sengkang town, and it is a true privilege to have access to such medical facilities right at the doorsteps of Anchorvale."
Lepak One Corner by Yassin Kampung: "Lepak One Corner is an independently-owned restaurant, and we like to support small local businesses. It serves great ayam penyet, and is one of the limited numbers of coffee shops and community spaces in the neighbourhood."
Block 350: "This is a predominantly rental block in Sengkang. Living in modern Singapore, we seldom appreciate that there remain a number of individuals who continue to struggle. On August 8, we will be distributing some food to residents in this block, and while I’m not encouraging poverty tourism, I think it is important for Singaporeans who have been more fortunate to recognise that such pockets of society still exist in our midst."