Holland Village, Singapore

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Holland Village
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 荷兰村
 • Pinyin Héláncūn
 • Malay Kampung Holland
 • Tamil ஹோலந்த கிராமம்
Holland Village, Singapore
Holland Village, Singapore
Country Singapore

Holland Village is a neighbourhood in Singapore. It is popular shopping and dining destination for younger Singaporeans and expatriates, it is dominated by and often visited solely for its eateries and watering holes, along with some specialist shops. The place is sometimes referred as "Holland V". Holland Village finally got its own MRT station in 2011 with the same name. There are movable barricades in the street as an anti-terrorism measure that are open during the day and closed at night.[1]

Etymology[edit]

Holland Village was named after Holland Road which in turn was named after Hugh Holland in 1907. Hugh Holland, who was an architect and an amateur actor, was an early resident. The roads 'Holland Avenue', 'Holland Close' and 'Holland Drive' were officially named after the principal road in 1972. Holland Road is known as hue hng au in Hokkien, meaning "behind the flower garden". The "flower garden" refers to the Botanic Gardens.

Neighborhoods within the Holland Village area[edit]

Several areas are considered to be in the Holland Village area.

Holland Village proper[edit]

Holland Village is a crescent-shaped area of shophouses and small malls set around Lorong Liput and Lorong Mambong, surrounded by Holland Road and Holland Avenue.

Chip Bee Gardens[edit]

On the other side of Holland Avenue is a neighbourhood that was formerly developed as British military housing in the 1950s, but is now owned by the Singapore government and rented to private individuals and, on Jalan Merah Saga, businesses. Chip Bee Gardens has a reputation for being an enclave of Western expatriates, although many Singaporeans and other Asians reside there too.

Holland Close[edit]

South of Chip Bee Gardens, Holland Close is a large HDB estate.

Food and drink[edit]

Many food chains in Singapore, such as Crystal Jade, BreadTalk, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Sushi Tei, Subway, and Häagen-Dazs, are in Holland Village. A 24-hour kopitiam, a market and a food court are also present with food stalls selling local and western dishes. Other eating places include Swensen's, Thai Express and several dessert, Western cuisine and Japanese cuisine outlets. The gentrification of the Holland V area is characterised by the more up-market dining options such as the ethnic restaurants as well as franchises such as Tapas Bar. Other prominent bars include Tango's, Baden and Harry's Bar. However, Wala Wala remains the grand dame of the bars along the Lorong Mambong stretch. This decade-old two-storey stalwart packs a crowd that ranges from students to yuppies with its laid back atmosphere and nightly live music.[2][3]

Holland Village has a reputation as an expatriate neighbourhood but nevertheless attracts a majority of locals to it pubs and restaurants.

The Village has been a cradle for a number of lifestyle trends in Singapore. In the 1980s, Palm's Wine Bar along Lorong Mambong started the trend for wine bars. During that period, other cafes like Batter Batter (famous for its butterscotch and other pancakes) and Milano Pizza (which became a successful chain in the 80s) also sprang up in Holland V.

In the 90s the restaurant Original Sin started a wave of upscale vegetarian dining when its Australian-Italian owner introduced Singapore to her first Mediterranean vegetarian dining experience in Chip Bee Gardens. Original Sin's menu was created by co-owner and culinary director, Marisa Bertocchi. From Adelaide in Australia, Marisa worked in many of that city's restaurants and hotels before heading to Singapore where she quickly earned praise for her vegetarian creations at Michelangelo's.[4]

Coffee Club, Singapore's first gourmet coffee shop, opened its first outlet in Holland Village in 1991. This was before the arrival of Starbucks, Coffee Bean and TCC years later, while Wala Wala asserted its presence among the rest with a customer base as wide as its range of imported beers and its nightly band performances.

A recent addition to the mix is Three Crowns Booze & Grub (formerly known as Sabroso Tapas bar which gained great reviews on its food), this small outlet is fast gaining a foothold in the area for its personalised service and bringing in the first Mookata (Thai BBQ Steamboat originated from Changmai) to Holland Village. Every year during Christmas, Halloween and New Year, the popularity of this small outlet can be seen, hundreds of party-goers have an open air rave party on the streets right in front of Three Crowns Booze & Grub as its the only outlet that has a DJ playing, most of the other outlets in Holland Village is more into live music. The photos of these huge parties can be found in their Facebook page[5]

Today, the rows of shops along Lorong Mambong and Jalan Merah Saga house some of Singapore’s most famous and characteristic pubs and restaurants, many of which are fully booked during weekends.[6]

Shops and services[edit]

The Holland V Shopping Mall, a landmark in Holland Village with its distinctive windmill at the top of the building.

Holland Village has a great variety of commercial amenities ranging from a Cold Storage supermarket branch (part of The Dairy Farm Group), to antique shops. Other commercial amenities include banking services, Guardian Pharmacy, 7-Eleven and a photo processing shop called 'Photo Finish'. There are two shopping centres in Holland Village: Holland Road Shopping Centre and Holland V Shopping Mall.

Holland Village is known for being Singapore's "Bohemian" enclave because of its variety of art and craft shops, art galleries, art framing specialists, street cobblers, gift shops, novelty shops, gourmet takeaway outlets, wine cellars, organic food outlets, custom-made shoes shop, imported kitchenware store, body waxing specialists, international school uniform tailors, master tailors, theme party clothing store, tarot card readers, ethnic home decor articles, fine dining restaurants and many other interesting shops.

These outlets serve the residents of the surrounding middle-class estates. Expatriates spend their day here having breakfast, running errands, meeting up friends for lunch and enjoying a nail spa before shopping for groceries and heading home.

Retail establishments are located along four streets and two shopping buildings. These streets are Jalan Merah Saga, Holland Avenue, Lorong Liput and Lorong Mambong. The shopping buildings are Holland Road Shopping Centre, which is along Holland Avenue, and Holland V Shopping Mall, along Lorong Liput. These two buildings are often casually referred to by sales assistants as Holland Village Shopping Centre, which is a non-existent building.

An entire directory of all the retail establishments on each of the four streets and within the two shopping buildings can be found at www.holland-village-singapore.com.

Parking[edit]

Holland Village consists of the village's two well-known lanes, Lorong Mambong and Lorong Liput; a section of Holland Avenue, which includes Holland Road Shopping Centre; and the lane, Jalan Merah Saga, within Chip Bee Gardens, which is across Holland Ave and the two above lanes.[7]

Finding car parks in and around Holland Village used to be a problem, especially within peak hours. However, with a new multi-storey carpark completed at nearby Block 18, there is an additional 400 parking spaces available. In fact, there are at least ten car parks in and around Holland Village. The Holland-Village-Singapore website gives detailed information on car park locations, car parking rates and payment types. The website also provides extensive visitor's information, including how to reach the village by bus, taxi and train.

Transport[edit]

Within Singapore's transport system, Holland Village is usually reached from other parts of Singapore either by bus or taxi, and is linked to Orchard Road via Holland Road. Holland Village MRT Station, CC21 on the Circle MRT Line, provides Mass Rapid Transit rail access to the area when it opened on 8 October 2011. The Circle Line links Holland Village to Farrer Road, the northern end of the Botanic Gardens and Bishan. In the other direction the line will pass by One-North, which is an area dedicated to R&D activities, and HarbourFront, with its VivoCity shopping complex and ferry terminal.

Politics[edit]

Holland Village is within the Buona Vista division of Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency with its Member of Parliament being Minister (Prime Minister's Office) Lim Swee Say since 1997. The constituency belonged to Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency from 1997 to 2001 and Holland-Bukit Panjang Group Representation Constituency from 2001 to 2006. Before 1997, the division was a Single Member Constituency.

TV shows about Holland Village[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2003), Toponymics – A Study of Singapore Street Names, Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 981-210-205-1