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Ang Mo Kio
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The ultimate guide to Ang Mo Kio

Hawker haunts and alfresco eats make this densely populated ’hood one worth visiting

Fabian Loo
Written by
Fabian Loo
&
Charlene Fang
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With a name that directly translates to “red-haired man’s bridge” (Google the name John Turnball Thomson for the backstory), Ang Mo Kio was once an area covered in secondary forest and rubber plantations. It’s since been transformed into one of Singapore’s most densely-packed heartlands. While the nerve centre gravitates around the bustling Ang Mo Kio Hub, a few of its hidden gems are found closer to its other treasure – the sprawling 62-hectare Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park.

RECOMMENDED: Ultimate guide to Singapore's neighbourhoods 

DO

  • Things to do
  • Bishan

One of the largest parks in Singapore, Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park comprises two sections, separated by Marymount Road. Intersecting the length of the park is the starting portion of the Kallang River, which flows down from Lower Pierce Reservoir. The park's many eateries include Grub, Canopy Garden Dining and McDonald's. The park also has a spa – Aramsa Garden Spa. Other amenities include a dog run, a playground and water park. Occasionally, there will be star-gazing sessions held by Singapore Sidewalk Astronomy, at the area near McDonald's. 

  • Things to do
  • Ang Mo Kio

There are two gardens in Ang Mo Kio that are worth a visit – Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East and Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. The former sits behind the MRT station, while the latter is opposite the public library.

Built on what was once a former rubber estate, the tranquil Ang Mo Kio Town Garden East is home to rubber trees, as well as nutmeg and cinnamon. Ang Mo Kio Garden West, on the other hand, boasts an abundance of vibrant-hued flowers such as Dillenia and Vitex. Another curious sight: the Kebun Baru Birdsinging Club. Located at Block 159 near Ang Mo Kio Town Garden, Kebun Baru is where bird-singing hobbyists gather their songbirds for ad-hoc performances. Showcased in unique cages hoisted on poles, the songbirds’ melodies help make for a relaxing stroll around the area.

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  • Health and beauty
  • Bishan

What we love about this garden spa is that it actually is one. Each of the 17 treatment rooms comes with an individual garden courtyard or an outdoor shower or bath area shrouded with plenty of foilage. With a wide range of treatments, including a few specialised ones like the Huna Huna Massage, silicone cupping therapy and Elemis body and face treatments, Aramsa has your wellness needs covered. Plus, there’s the in-house Yoga Seeds Green Room, making a half-day yoga and spa retreat totally doable.

Ang Mo Kio Dragon Playground

Ang Mo Kio Dragon Playground

Built in 1978 and designed by Khor Ean Ghee, this terrazzo tile dragon with its spine made of steel rails and metal ladders is just as kid (and Instagram-friendly) as its more famous sister in Toa Payoh Lorong 1. Plus, instead of sand surrounding the dragon, it has rubberised mats that are a less messy alternative for the kids to muck around in.

EAT

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Bishan

This family-friendly restaurant has a few things going for it: it’s affordable, has a killer view of the park and has a decent selection of craft brews and ciders at pocket-friendly prices. The menu features classic brunch plates, served with an Asian twist, with items that include the har cheong gai chicken with waffles ($16), mentaiko fries ($6) and mashed potato with ikura ($9).

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Ang Mo Kio

This neighbourhood bakery has made it big. Once a hidden gem, it's since been featured in multiple news outlets and best-of lists. The joint is notable for its locally-inspired cakes like the pulut hitam ($29.50/whole), gula melaka attap chee ($29.50/whole) and Cat Mountain King durian ($53/whole). Other flavours like the lychee martini ($33.50/whole), coffee whisky caramel ($46/whole) and Kyoho grapes & white chocolate ($46/whole) are also veritable stars. Almost all its cakes are available in individual slices, so if you're undecided, enjoy a slice or two at the shop itself before making your decision. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Hawker
  • Ang Mo Kio

This humble but very popular stall in Ang Mo Kio Food Centre may keep the menu small but the food speaks for itself. The queue never really dies down at any time of the day for their signature dishes. There are four main dishes on the menu, mee rebus ($3), mee soto ($3), gado-gado ($3.50) and satay ($0.60/stick). There is also an extensive list of meats which can be ordered to jazz up any order. Try having a mee rebus with beef ribs ($6) and a begedil (potato patty). We warn you, it’s going to be a sloppy affair sloshing around the bowl of egg noodles in the thick savoury broth. 

  • Restaurants
  • Ang Mo Kio

Be transported back in time when you step into Plum Village, a small Hakka restaurant that’s been around for more than 30 years. Chinese lanterns hang from the walls and you’ll even find a modest library at the back. The food hasn’t changed since the restaurant opened, you’ll find classic Hakka dishes like fried yam balls ($9-$18) and stuffed beancurd ($6-$15). But the star dish here is definitely the salted vegetable with pork ($13.80-$27.60) that’s been stewed for hours ’til perfectly tender. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Ang Mo Kio

Serving up fish and chips at a hawker centre in Ang Mo Kio, Fish and Chicks became famous for its fish and chips. Notable options include one that comes with chips and two slabs of battered fish – one topped with salted yolk sauce and the other a ‘no-crab’ chilli crab sauce. Snap a photo if you must, then tuck in ASAP: the crisp, light batter yields to the sauces blanketing its golden body and gets soggy fast. 

DRINK

  • Restaurants
  • Bishan

Canopy Garden's a great hangout, especially on weekends and evenings, when you're looking to while your time away with friends and family. What's even better is that it's located in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio park, so you can run free with your pet before settling down for a dinner or pick-me-up. The joint has a wide outdoor patio that's great for pets, and serves up a range of draught beers, cocktails, and bar bites to.  

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ang Mo Kio

This charming, cosy café has been making waves ever since its debut on the local scene two years ago. Its blends are roasted in-house, with black, white and filter variations (from $3.50), but it's also known for its non-coffee drinks, like the ginger latte ($6.50), chai latte ($6.50) and matcha latte ($6). Food here is all about comfort. Think wagyu beef and mash ($29), chicken stew ($16) and cream curry udon ($17).  

SHOP

  • Shopping
  • Grocery stores
  • Ang Mo Kio

Singapore's first zero-waste grocery store sells a variety of bulk goods which run the gamut from olive oil and cane sugar to soapnuts and baked apple chips. All items sold in the store are packaged-free, meaning you've got to come prepared with your own containers or tubs, measure out the amount you want and pay according to weight – it's a green step forward towards a more sustainable lifestyle.  

  • Shopping
  • Street vendors
  • Ang Mo Kio

With a name like Dr Durian, you best believe this joint knows what it's doing when it comes to the King of fruits. It claims to only source the freshest durians for sale, and its modern outlook is boosted by delivery offers and corporate and private event services. It even packages its durian in air-tight sealed paper bags so its patrons have no need to worry about the fruit's pungent aroma clouding up their cars or public transport vehicles. 

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  • Shopping
  • Department stores
  • Ang Mo Kio

Located next to Ang Mo Kio MRT, AMK Hub caters to a wide selection of shopping needs. AMK Hub also contains NTUC Fairprice Xtra and an intergrated entertainment centre which houses a games arcade, Cathay Cineplex and NTUC Club.

 

Other neighbourhoods to explore

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