Being a mature estate combined with its rich history has made Hougang a treasure trove among food lovers. Some of Singapore’s favourite eating places can be found here. They include Sin Heng Kee Porridge and 5 Star Corner Western Food. As its name suggests, the former, located at 685 Hougang Street 61, is known for its thick and gooey porridge served with eye yolk. Customers can choose from fish, pork, century egg and frog legs porridge. Meanwhile, the latter, located at 805 Hougang Central, serves up good yet affordable Western cuisine in a coffeeshop setting. Known for its generous servings yet deliciously affordable, it is no wonder the outlet attracts a long snaking queue during peak hours. Some of its must-try dishes include Chicken Cutlet, Black Pepper Steak and Fish & Chips. Another not-to-be-missed foodie haunt is Ponggol Nasi Lemak Centre located at 965 Upper Serangoon Road. Serving up Chinese-style Nasi Lemak complete with fried eggs, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber and spicy sambal, you can choose from the fried fish, chicken wing and lady’s finger set.
Besides local favourites, residents of Hougang can look forward to international cuisine right at their doorstep. Heartland Mall, for instance, offers Japanese, Thai and Korean flavours at Sakae Sushi, Thai Express and Hansik Korean Restaurant respectively. Meanwhile, you can find Ichiban Sushi, Den Ajisen Ramen and Pizza Hut at Hougang Mall. The mall also serves up delectable delights for those with a sweet tooth at Dessert Story, Bengawan Solo and Nine Fresh Desserts.
Another eatery that is worth visiting is Arnold’s Fried Chicken. Located at Hougang Green Shopping Mall, this halal homegrown brand is renowned for its fresh, succulent and well-marinated chicken at value prices.
Hougang is a very mature township development and has a good mix of retailers. The shopping options offer a very diverse mix to cater to Hougang’s eclectic demographics. Hougang Mall, for instance, offers health and beauty centres such as Beauty Language, Apgujeong Hair Studio and Chiropractic First, while Heartland Mall offers kids’ enrichment classes at Kentridge Tutors or stationaries galore for the entire family at Popular Bookstore.
There’s also something for fashionistas at Cotton On, Goldlion and Miniso at Hougang Mall. Meanwhile, dads, handymen and IT geeks can head to Selffix DIY, Harvey Norman and Challenger. For the freshest produce, the entire family can head on down to NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage at Heartland Mall.
For something off the beaten track, Hougang 1 is worth exploring. This mall offers a mix of F&B, retail, health and beauty and enrichment choices. Located at Hougang Street 91, the mall is home to popular brands like Watson’s, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Cheers and FairPrice Xtra.
Search for properties for sale near Hougang Mall and Heartland Mall.
Health and Fitness
Despite its high-density residential developments, Hougang surprisingly offers plenty of wide open spaces and fitness facilities for residents to keep fit while enjoying nature. At the heart of it is Hougang Sports Centre where you can partake in various sporting activities at Hougang Stadium, Hougang Swimming Complex and Hougang Sports Centre. The sports hub boasts a gymnasium, swimming pool, football field, a 400-metre race track, badminton court and many more that enjoys a high utilisation rate among residents. All you need to do is to sign in via your Active SG app to enjoy the various facilities.
For those who prefer to workout at your own convenience, Anytime Fitness Hougang allows you to do so. Located at Ci Yuan Community Club, the fitness centre is open 24/7 and is especially ideal for busy working professionals. From private showers to fitness classes, get ready to shape up at their state-of-the-art facility which offers equipment for cardio, strength and functional training as well as training and coaching services.
Meanwhile, Punggol Park is ideal for the whole family to explore and get fit together. Developed with the theme “Family Leisure”, this 16-hectare park offers various facilities and activities such as jogging and cycling via The North Eastern Riverine Loop. For those who prefer a more relaxed option, you can opt for a leisurely stroll at the park, go for a picnic under the shady trees or take part in fishing at the 5-hectare pond. You may also book the Event Lawn and Pavilion for your get together sessions.
If you are not easily spooked, why not explore Japanese Cemetery Park? Known as the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, the cemetery is steeped in history. It was built in 1891 and serves as the burial ground of the early Japanese community. Measuring some 30,000 sq m, it is home to around 1,000 tombs and contains the ashes of Japanese soldiers who were killed during World War II as well as Japanese war criminals who were executed at Changi Prison. Despite its history, this well-manicured park is an oasis of calm and is till today maintained by the Japanese Association.
There is more good news for residents of Hougang with the opening of Ci Yuan Sports Park. Opened in 2016, the park formerly known as Ci Yuan Green Park was upgraded with a new children’s playground, fitness equipment, a jogging track, an IPPT corner and courts for street soccer, badminton, volleyball and many more.
For a little bit of Singapore’s mental health history, head on down to Woodbridge Museum Singapore at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). Here, you can trace the history of our mental health service at its former site at the old Woodbridge Hospital off Yio Chu Kang at Jalan Woodbridge. Now renamed by property developers as Gerald Drive, the museum will take you back to an earlier time where mental health was not widely understood. Established in 1928, you can see how far Singapore has progressed in treating mental disorders from using a straightjacket that was used to restrain patients to a one-to-one therapy session that IMH currently offers.
Get the Guru View
Being a mature estate has its plus points as Hougang has very well-established and well-utilised amenities to cater to everyone. From affordable yet well-known local food to fresh produce, Hougang is one of the few estates in Singapore that manages to blend both HDB and private housing seamlessly with its rich heritage areas, good schools and park connectors. Thus, it is no wonder parents do consider Hougang carefully for their school-going children.
In addition, the government has made concerted efforts to revitalise amenities to better serve residents here as the estate matures. From improvement works to beautifying the waterfront at Serangoon Reservoir, Sungei Pinang and Hougang Avenue 10 under PUB’s Active, Beautiful, Clean (ABC) Waters programme to investing in a new sports hub at Jalan Kayu, Hougang offers residents first-class amenities within the heartland.
However, one common gripe remains, which is the lack of accessibility via public transportation, particularly within the private housing enclave in Kovan. The opening of the Cross Island Line will resolve this as residents can look forward to a new integrated transport hub at Hougang MRT while Defu MRT station will serve residents living in Hougang’s outskirts. Meanwhile, further away towards Serangoon, residents who have complained of patchy connectivity will benefit from the opening of Tavistock MRT station. Defu and Tavistock MRT stations are also expected to have feeder bus services to better serve nearby residents and workers. This, together with the upcoming Defu Industrial Park and Lorong Halus Industrial Park, will make Hougang even more attractive for home buyers.