Jennifer Chen
August 17, 2011

Withits Art Deco style wet market and pre-War public housing, Singapore's Tiong Bahru neighborhood has beenluring thirtysomething artists, architects, and other creatives in recentyears, so it was only a matter of time that funky small businesses beganpopping up in the area.

Among the ’hood’s latest finds are 40 Hands, aneclectic Aussie-run café that is devoted to the perfect brew; White CanvasGallery, an industrial space focused on emerging regional artists; and Nostalgia Hotel, 50 petite roomsin a converted bungalow. Gentrification, however, hasn’t dislodged theold-timers, so travelers can still soak in authentic local flavor.

The onceseedy Chinatown district of Keong Saik Road has evolved into an attractiveculinary strip, with a crop of new, lauded restaurants. The latest is Donoma, a slick, slim space in the SaffHotel that’s focused on new American cuisine. Other neighborhood gems: BistroSoori, the latest venture of the city’s fusion die-hard Jimmy Chok, and theFrench-focused Taratata Bistrot. There’s also a charming café–cookbookshop–test kitchen.

Meanwhile,the remaking of Singapore’scityscape continues apace with the expected opening of the first phase of Gardensby the Bay, sprawling public gardens that will grace the waterfront. The firstphase includes conservatories and 50-yard-tall vertical gardens!

JenniferChen is Travel+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

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