6 exciting places to see in Rochor, Singapore

Encompassing some of Singapore’s most charismatic enclaves, Rochor is one of the island state’s key property investment hubs

While its cosmopolitan sprawl may lack the scenic dazzle of the island’s exclusive waterside areas, Rochor benefits from its proximity to the CBD. The HippoZoom/Shutterstock

Anyone seeking out Singapore’s multi-ethnic heartland will eventually gravitate towards Rochor. Aside from hosting community bases for Indians and Malays—the latter signposted by iconic mosque Masjid Sultan—it’s a beacon for architectural advancement, embodied by LaSalle College of the Arts’ loveably askew headquarters. Rochor also houses the National Library and a dazzling array of commercial hubs including the massive, 24-hour Mustafa Centre. While its cosmopolitan sprawl may lack the scenic dazzle of the island’s exclusive waterside areas, Rochor benefits from its proximity to the CBD. And though the area is not synonymous with swank, its latest condo offerings evince newfound leanings for luxury and forward-thinking design.

Midtown Bay

Slated for vibrant Beach Road, GuocoLand’s latest integrated project is a mixed-use, work-live-play concept modelled along the lines of nearby residences such as Duo Residence and South Beach Residence. The 33-storey tower’s 219 units range in size from one to three bedrooms and also incorporate 40 adaptable duplex units. Midtown Bay’s facilities include a clubhouse, indoor gym, function room, tennis court, gardens, rooftop pool, running track and children’s playground complemented by Midtown Hub, a social club with office suites, networking lounges and meeting facilities. It all lies within easy reach of Suntec City’s convention centre and retail haven, several malls, three MRT stations, the imposing School of the Arts, and a smattering of country clubs.

Masjid Sultan

A short walk from the once-infamous Bugis Street—immortalised in song by the late troubadour Leonard Cohen—stands this golden-domed gateway to the Kampong Glam enclave, which nowadays is a melting pot of Islamic cultures. The mosque was rebuilt in its current style in 1932 after it was built for Sultan Hussain Shah of Johor in the previous century, when a burgeoning Muslim population were migrating to “Singapura”, thus establishing Kampong Glam. Masjid Sultan has nonetheless remained largely unchanged since its inception and now acts both as a place of worship and an unmissable visual signifier of this buzzing area that—while foreign in conception—ironically now stands as a symbol of multicultural Singapore.

The M @ Middle Road

The M @ Middle Road by developer Wing Tai Asia is a mixed-use development on a strategic artery in Rochor slated for completion in 2024. Promoting a holistic living concept including plentiful work and recreation space, it features 522 residences across three 20-storey towers and a six-storey tower with ground-level retail stores. With units split between one to three-bedroom configurations, each living area is fitted with adaptable furniture to maximise space including sliding doors, moveable countertops, concealed storage space, and shifting partitions that can create an extra bedroom. Leisure options include a 50-metre pool, jacuzzi pool, rain garden, and a social club with a baking studio and gaming room. The innovative design is executed by long-established practice P+T Group while LaSalle College students produced artworks for the project.

Maison Ikkoku

A true original in the heart of Kampong Glam, this evergreen speakeasy recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Malaysian founder Ethan Leslie Leong, a veteran drinks-biz rock star, has continually refined his multi-awarded, industrial-chic bar over the years. It’s now also a distinguished Japanese fine-dining destination serving all-day seafood treats, as well as a 10-course omakase dinner selection. Booze and bonhomie make cosy bedfellows at Leong’s brainchild, where bespoke experimentation comes with select ingredients. Among the crowd-pleasers is his Journey of the West cocktail, which juxtaposes hojicha green tea with Bulleit Bourbon and Guinness reduction, and comes served with classy bar bites. Maison Ikkoku has multiple offshoots across the island-state including a specialist in Singapore Slings.

Mustafa Centre

In a city-state where shopping is king, one of Singapore’s best-loved retail institutions celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Mustafa’s first incarnation opened on Little India’s Campbell Lane, selling ready-made clothing. In 1973, Mustafa added electronics and foreign goods to its inventory before moving to the now-defunct Serangoon Plaza to accommodate surging custom. Finally, in 1995, it became so successful that owner Mustaq Ahmad relocated the superstore to a vacant row of shophouses on nearby Syed Alwi Road, where it has remained ever since. On weekends Mustafa has drawn cosmopolitan crowds of over 15,000, making it known as an affordable retail paradise. The 24-hour store now covers four floors, and employs 1,400 staff. A popular in-house rooftop restaurant, Kebabs ‘n’ Curries, serves Indian fusion fare.

Ginett Restaurant & Wine Bar

This bistro-style French restaurant and wine bar occupies the ground floor of Middle Road’s fashionable Hotel G and comes with culinary credibility and trendsetting prowess. The space skews towards Instagrammers with high ceilings, an open-plan design, and contemporary art on the walls. Culinary offerings are overseen by executive chef Sylvain Royer, winner of a coveted Maître Cuisinier de France award. An unapologetic party venue, Ginett’s clientele comprises large dining groups and casual Friday-night drinkers, with a wine list starting at $6 per glass and a semi-alfresco setup that helps separate more bibulous guests from the foodies. Its menu focuses on charcoal-grilled meats, imported cold cuts, and French cheese, plus high-grade seafood. In its fifth year, Ginett is a mainstay on lists of Singapore’s best French restaurants, which is no mean feat considering the competition on this gourmet-paradise island.

The original version of this article appeared in Issue No. 168 of PropertyGuru Property Report Magazine.
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