My City: Ho Nai Chuen
The perfect day in Singapore for the managing director of On Cheong Jewellery, one of Singapore’s oldest heritage jewelers.
What makes Singapore’s culture and heritage so unique?
Singapore is a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious cosmopolitan city. Not many countries in the world have this unique hybrid of cultures, arts and rich historical heritage.
What’s your fondest memory growing up in Singapore?
I spent my growing up years in Chinatown and I would spend my days strolling along the old street hawker stalls found along Smith Street, Pagoda Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street.
What are some of your favorite hangouts in Singapore?
I like Chinatown for its rich heritage and the fact that you can find a Buddhist temple, a Hindu temple, a church and a mosque all within 150 meters of each other. I also enjoy going to Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. It’s nice to take a stroll along the Singapore River where there are plenty of old warehouses that are now restaurants, or take in the city’s views on a water taxi with the Singapore River Cruise (Raffles Landing Site, 6336-6111, S(049213), MRT: Raffles Place).
What’s your favourite local dish and where do you get your fix? I like authentic Hainanese chicken rice. My favorite stall is Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken rice at Maxwell Food Centre (#01-10, 1 Kadayanallur St., S(069184), MRT: Tanjong Pagar). Their fragrant and tasty rice is cooked to perfection and I always eat it with the chili sauce and ginger mix. One portion only costs $3.50 and that’s really value for money.
My Perfect Day
8am - Enjoy a local breakfast.
Breakfast is either cup of traditional coffee and kaya toast at a local coffeeshop, or Cantonese fare at the authentic Red Star Restaurant (54 Chin Swee Rd., 6532-5266, S(160054). MRT: Chinatown).
12pm - Tuck into a hearty lunch.
I’d go to the The Banana Leaf Apolo at Little India (#01-32/02-13, 48 Serangoon Rd., 6297-1595, S(217959), MRT: Little India) and order the fish head curry.
3pm - Take a mid-day stroll.
After lunch, I’d head to Botanic Gardens (1 Cluny Rd., S(259569), 6471-7138, MRT: Botanic Gardens) for a relaxing afternoon walk. I like the greenery, fresh air and also the fact that it’s been around for more than 150 years.
7pm - Take in the sights along the Singapore River.
To end the day, I’d have dinner with some friends at Clarke Quay (3E River Valley Rd., 6337- 3292, MRT: Clarke Quay) followed by a stroll along the river appreciating the evening view of the financial district.