Holland Village, Singapore

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Holland Village
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese荷兰村
 • PinyinHéláncūn
 • MalayKampung Holland
 • Tamilஹோலந்த கிராமம்
Aerial view of the Bukit Timah portion of Holland Village
Aerial view of the Bukit Timah portion of Holland Village
CountrySingapore

Holland Village, often abbreviated as Holland V, is a neighbourhood located along the boundary between the planning areas of Bukit Timah and Queenstown in the Central Region of Singapore.[1]

Holland Village is a 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 area is served by its own MRT station, which opened in 2011.

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]

Holland Close is a large HDB estate located at the southern part of Chip Bee Gardens. Shuang Long Shan, also known as the Holland Close Cemetery, is a cemetery for the Hakka community since the 1960s.[2]

Food and beverage outlets[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 two-storey stalwart packs a crowd that ranges from students to yuppies with its laid back atmosphere and nightly live music.[3][4]

Holland Village has a reputation as an expatriate neighbourhood but nevertheless attracts a majority of locals to its 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.[5]

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.

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 variety of commercial amenities. There are two shopping centres in Holland Village: Holland Road Shopping Centre and Holland V Shopping Mall.

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.

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 Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) with its Member of Parliament being Minister of Trade & Industry Chan Chun Sing since 2011. The constituency was previously a SMC until it has been absorbed into Tanjong Pagar GRC in 1997, and then carved out to Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC from 2001 to 2006 and Holland-Bukit Timah GRC from 2006 to 2011 before returning to Tanjong Pagar in the 2011 elections.

In media[edit]

Holland V[edit]

In 2003, the neighbourhood of Holland Village was featured and filmed in a TV series by MediaCorp. The series titled Holland V was broadcast on MediaCorp Channel 8 and it broke records for garnering the most acting nominations awarded to a cast in a single year, and for becoming the first show to win all four acting categories at the Star Awards.

Holland Village bank robbery[edit]

On 8 July 2016, a robbery took place at the Standard Chartered Bank branch in Holland Village. Unarmed, a male Caucasian entered the bank at 11.25am and handed a paper slip to a female bank teller. Minutes later, he left with about $30,000 in cash on foot.[7]

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