MyTurf

Tiong Bahru: Estate where old folk and hipsters rub shoulders

Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant on the corner of Tiong Poh Road and its neighbour, Drips Bakery Cafe, are among businesses allowed to occupy ground-floor units in Tiong Bahru.
Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant on the corner of Tiong Poh Road and its neighbour, Drips Bakery Cafe, are among businesses allowed to occupy ground-floor units in Tiong Bahru.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Ting Heng Seafood Restaurant on the corner of Tiong Poh Road and its neighbour, Drips Bakery Cafe, are among businesses allowed to occupy ground-floor units in Tiong Bahru.
Tiong Bahru staple Por Kee Eating House (above) occupies one of the 28 units that were added on July 24 to the list of residential units in the estate rezoned for commercial use. A total of 120 units in Tiong Bahru are now zoned for commercial use, including Tiong Bahru Club.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Tiong Bahru staple Por Kee Eating House (left) occupies one of the 28 units that were added on July 24 to the list of residential units in the estate rezoned for commercial use. A total of 120 units in Tiong Bahru are now zoned for commercial use, in
Tiong Bahru staple Por Kee Eating House occupies one of the 28 units that were added on July 24 to the list of residential units in the estate rezoned for commercial use. A total of 120 units in Tiong Bahru are now zoned for commercial use, including Tiong Bahru Club (above).ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

My Turf is a fortnightly series that aims to share untold stories of our neighbourhoods. In this instalment, we take a look at Tiong Bahru and how in just three years the number of official shops there has jumped 50 per cent, with the historic estate becoming simultaneously known as a hipster enclave, filled with cafes and quirky shops, but also a residential neighbourhood.

Over the last 40 years, Mrs Polly Chong has watched her ground-floor neighbours move out and several shops take over their place.

The 72-year-old retiree lives with her husband in a 120 sq m pre-war apartment in Eng Hoon Street in Tiong Bahru.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2018, with the headline 'Estate where old folk and hipsters rub shoulders'. Print Edition | Subscribe