What comes to mind when I hear the words “Serangoon Gardens”?
- Chomp Chomp Food Centre
- 24-hour Muslim R.K Eating House and the infamous troll ordering a “pork curry”
- The DBS branch I used to frequently deposit cheques for work at the old Serangoon Gardens Village
I have formed plenty of memories at Serangoon Gardens even though I have never lived there. For some reason I have such an affinity with that place from being based nearby for my first job to hanging out there with friends.
Taking a stroll at Maju Avenue
It is a nostalgic feeling to come back again and appreciate what it now has to offer. These days Serangoon Gardens is alive with a new kind of buzz. The bustling coffee shop where Astons Specialties was at has in its place, a Thai restaurant, Tom Yum Kungfu. I used to occasionally do lunch at this little western diner, Borshch Steakhouse and Pub, when I was working in the neighbourhood. It too is now closed and there’s a new Japanese restaurant called Nara at Maju Avenue.
However, one of the biggest changes is the bright yellow Serangoon Gardens Village building (formerly Paramount Theatre) giving way to a stylish new suburban mall, myVillage, complete with modern tinted all-glass windows, beautiful landscaping and a change in tenant mix.
Fountain feature on the myVillage grounds
The mall was no doubt conceptualised and given a complete overhaul from its predecessors to appeal to the changing preferences and shopping habits of the demographic it now serves at Serangoon Village.
While it does not have an extensive tenant offering we’ve seen in the likes of Nex or Junction 8 (both approximately 30 minutes away from Gardens by public transport), it is a cosy and comfortable hangout for lazy weekends.
Little Wimbly Lu’s outdoor seating
It’s a small mall but you could easily spend an afternoon just strolling around
The dining options are adequate with a nice mix of coffee joints, cafes, casual eateries and restaurants. There’s a handful of wellness tenants offering pampering full-body massages, spas, hair and nail services… even foot reflexology. And also the essential tenants which include banking services with DBS Treasures, a Fairprice Finest supermarket and a Guardian Health & Beauty drugstore.
Little spots to sit down and relax after a day of shopping are available
Staying true to it’s aim of being a place where memories can be made with a communal village style concept, you’ll find plenty of open spaces to meet with friends and family. There’s also sofas, benches, sitting ledges, and even a rooftop garden that offers a view of the eclectic mix of red zinc roofed private housing and shophouses.
Open space galore at the rooftop garden
Just taking it all in on a cloudy day
I hear that the management has its eye on transforming the rooftop into a creative space. The mall has previously organised a pop-up bar (Ah Sam’s Cold Drinks Stall) at the rooftop and they have announced Serangoon Garden’s first rooftop concert featuring global YouTube sensations, “Us The Duo” alongside local musicians, Gentle Bones and Shigga Shay. Sounds like things are really taking an interesting turn at myVillage.
Free charging stations – the mark of a truly modern mall
It is obvious that myVillage is intent on keeping with the times. So it doesn’t come as a surprise, that they have a free mobile charging station. I guess all the better too since most shoppers will probably want to spend an entire day just watching the world go by here.
The mall has become the de facto hangout for residents of Serangoon Gardens
So what are some things you can spend your day doing here at myVillage?
GET A RELAXING MASSAGE AT BEYOND BEAUTY
Beyond Beauty on Level 2
At myVillage, there’s Chen Kang Foot Reflexology, Gui Ren Tang which provides holistic botanical hair care services and Beyond Beauty.
If you’re feeling tired, its about time to indulge in a relaxing massage. Book yourself a morning appointment so that you can spend the rest of the afternoon eating and chatting away.
My appointment was at 10am, but Beyond Beauty was already booked solid. Apparently regulars form a bulk of the customers here and they return always because of how effective and truly rejuvenating the treatments are.
Treatment rooms at Beyond Beauty
I had the pleasure of enjoying a body scrub and an hour long Royal Swedish Massage. The spa also emphasises a lot on TCM concepts to create better well-being.
For example, I was told I was too heaty and to complement my massage I was given the option to be wrapped in a heat blanket to ensure that the toxins were drawn out of my body through my perspiration after an intense massage session.
HAVE LUNCH AT INSTAGRAM-WORTHY RELISH
Photogenic restaurant, Relish by Wild Rocket
There’s a decent array of dining options to choose from. There’s iSteaks (franchise owner of Aston’s Specialities gave up the franchise to open this steakhouse) if you’re looking for some good quality beef. There’s Wo Peng Cantonese Cuisine if you crave for dim sum and other specialities from Guangzhou. There’s even “fast food” like Wang Cafe, Toastbox and Subway for quick bites.
That’s said, my recommendation is going for a hearty delicious brunch at Relish Gardens. The original burger joint is at Cluny Court. The outlet at myVillage is their second and only other outlet so far and it brings all the menu items that work like a charm at Wild Rocket into the menu there. So you can expect the best-sellers.
Bigger groups will love the seating at Relish Gardens
Killer burgers will have you undecided – everything looks so good even just in writing
The beauty of Relish Gardens is in the gorgeous full-length windows which floods the restaurant with natural daylight. This makes for ridiculously beautiful Instagram-worthy shots of your food, alcoholic milkshakes and coffee. Let me illustrate.
Time for some coffee
Soft Shell Chilli Crab Burger with Squid Ink Bun ($19.80)
Bacon & Cheese Beef Burger ($19.90)
The burgers are clearly the stars of this casual restaurant. What I really liked was the creativity in offering burgers that would easily appeal to the locals’ tastebuds (a.k.a taste that was very Mod Sin).
The Soft Shell Chilli Crab Burger ($19.80) I ordered had just enough veggie to “patty” ratio. In this case, it wasn’t really a patty but a full deep-fried portion of soft shell crab. It was complemented with a choice of salad in oriental dressing or fries. I opted for the salad and was not disappointed. I ate that clean off my plate. My companions both ordered a Bacon & Cheese Beef Burger ($19.90) each and they attested to the juicy moist beef patty that so set this apart from other burgers.
Spam Fries with Kaffir Lime Mayo ($9.50)
Hand-cut Onion Rings with Curry Mayo ($9.90)
The sides are pretty common fare but what sets this apart from the rest was the really tasty and unique dips it came with. In particular, the Kaffir Lime Mayo that came with the Spam Fries made an otherwise common dish, zesty and interesting again.
I personally loved the ambience of Relish. I think it’s not difficult to spend an entire afternoon here and watch the world go by. It complements the vibe of myVillage which is a relaxed and laid-back.
ACCESSORY SHOP TILL YOU DROP AT U-DESIGN FASHION
Exquisite furniture are on sale alongside the accessories at U-Design
Done with lunch? myVillage has two style tenants, U-Design Fashion, selling little trinkets and accessories and Style Collection.
I was given a little “tour” of U-Design which is run by a brother and sister team. They source most of their accessories from Korea. The items here won’t be dirt cheap, but the quality is good and you can easily find lovely elegant pieces.
Young co-owner of U-Design Fashion
What’s really interesting is that they arranged for unique furniture pieces as seen in the photo above to showcase their products. The cool thing is that island drawer is actually on sale. When I was there, it was already sold!
Deciding on a pair of earrings
U-Design has everything from chunky statement necklaces to “finer” looking pearl and simple gold plated jewellery. They’ve also got a nice selection of pumps, stilettos and flats for ladies from different tastes (after all myVillage does serve the mature ladies and the younger crowd).
Nadia and I deliberating over a sweet pair of earrings she found from this “candy store”
Creatively displayed pin boards of earrings and necklaces
Something for everyone
We spent an hour just browsing through every little drawer and shelf deciding on which accessories to take home. This is a little black hole, I tell you! Get your wallets ready at U-Design Fashion!
GRAB A QUICK BITE AT YOGIYO CHICKEN
Sweet Soy and Spicy Korean drumlets and wings
For a quick bite, you might want to check out Yogiyo Chicken at the Basement. This Korean fried chicken has its origins in Hongdae, Seoul in Korea. The owners are Koreans themselves and they were keen to bring over the original taste of this famous fried chicken to Singapore.
Sweet and spicy boneless chicken pieces from Yogiyo Chicken
Yogiyo Chicken at myVillage is the first outlet in Singapore and it boasts a little booth store concept. Most of the existing customers usually order a takeaway, I was told. However, they have also set up a small little dining area with metal tables and chairs for those who wish to just have a quick meal.
They have five different flavours:
- Sweet Soy
- Hot Soy
- Fire Hot
The Fire Hot is really freaking spicy and not for weak stomachs. I most enjoyed the Sweet Soy and Hot Soy (moderately spicy) and of course, while the boneless variation may have been convenient, I still like chewing the meat off the bones of a chicken wing!
Prices at $5.50 for four pieces and $7.90 for six pieces.
INDULGE IN SO SINGAPOREAN ICE CREAM AT UDDERS
Everyone loves Udders!
I may not have a sweet tooth but I do enjoy an occasional ice cream indulgence! myVillage is a hotbed of cafes and dessert shops. There’s Little Wimbly Lu (a simplified basic version of the famed Wimbly Lu), Udders (for Singaporean flavours that just rock) and Bakerzin (for something a bit more “atas”).
On my visit to myVillage I went for an ice cream tasting of Udder’s most famous and most beloved flavours.
Creative sundae combinations and alcoholic ice creams
What makes Udders so special is the intense R&D that goes into flavour development. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed or heard about Udders prior to reading my post, but they have got some of the funniest and most local inspired flavours around.
They spend a lot of time and effort into perfecting flavours that will appeal to its fans.
Not sure which flavour? Have a taste!
Awesome flavours galore
I highly recommend the premium range Rum Rum RaisinTM which is a mad double dose of rum in ice cream. For something a little more Asian, you’ve probably heard of the Mao Shan Wang Durian and if you’ve not tried it yet, YOU MUST. I also particularly loved the Alphonso Mango Sorbet because it was so refreshing, especially after all the rich creamier ice cream flavours.
Sharing a delicious sundae with Nadia
1 Maju Avenue, Singapore 556679
Disclaimer: The treatments and dining featured were hosted for review purposes. All opinions shared are honest and my own based on my experience.