Editor and yearlong Bukit Timah resident, Joseph Jones, gives his views on living in this leafy but expensive suburb.
( At Bukit Timah, a lush rainforest is just within walking distance.)
iProperty: Why did you choose to live in this area?
Joseph Jones: My wife and I previously lived in Serangoon . We wanted to move to a condominium to enjoy the facilities. For our price range (around S$2,500 rental per month for a two-bedroom unit) Bukit Timah was the most affordable area we looked at. I guess we could have examined the East Coast, but neither of us really fancied it.
iP: Do you think you will live in this area when you decide to buy your own place, and why or why not?
JJ: No. It’s simply too expensive. We’ve bought a HDB unit in Sembawang instead.
iP: What are the pros and cons of living in this area?
JJ: It’s a great area for families. The condominium we live in – Springdale – is right in front of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. This means that you are within five minutes walking distance of amazing rainforest that simply teems with tropical flora and fauna. You sometimes even get troops of monkeys that come down and clamber along the condo’s fences.
Plus, there are good schools nearby, such as the Canadian International School. A bit further down the road there are schools on Bukit Timah road itself, like the Anglo-Chinese School, which are very well regarded.
The major ‘cons’ at the moment is the lack of nearby amenities. There’s a Cold Storage and Fair Price finest at the intersection of Bukit Timah and Jalan Anak Bukit, but it’s a bus ride or sweaty walk away. The other difficulty is the lack of an MRT station nearby for those without a car – as the traffic on Bukit Timah road can mean getting into town can take upwards of an hour.
iP: If there was one that would improve this area, what would you like to see?
JJ: The soon to be built MRT line that connects Bukit Timah to Newton MRT will make it much more convenient for people to get to town.
iP: Would you advise people to move to this area and why / or why not?
JJ: If you can afford it and are looking for a more pastoral lifestyle than the hub of the city or the crowded heartlands – then it’s very nice. However, it’s not for everyone and it probably wouldn’t appeal to young singles or those who need amenities and facilities on their doorstep.
iP: What is your favourite place for dinner in the area and why?
JJ: The row of shop house restaurants opposite Bukit Timah Plaza serves inexpensive, good food. I would recommend Al-Ameen for their North Indian naan bread and chicken tikka, while Al-Azhar does the best ‘beef steak’ – a somewhat confusingly named but delicious-tasting mix of mutton, potatoes, peas, onions and tomatoes – in Singapore.
iP: Do you have a local bar or pub and what’s good about it?
JJ: There are not many drinking options. Probably the best of the bunch is Baa Bar on Bukit Timah Road opposite the sports fields. It’s an expat hangout that does a very reasonable pint of Kronenbourg 1664 beer for S$8.
iP: Are there any special finds in the area?
JJ: I mentioned Bukit Timah Nature Reserve before, but another really pretty park is Bukit Batok. It’s up a little hill and is a very scenic place for a walk.