Everything old is new again in Singapore – including its oldest council estate. Built in the 1930s, this constellation of low-rise art deco flats, a short amble from Chinatown, started out as one of the island’s most exclusive addresses.
But when sky-scraping condominiums began to shoot up in the 1970s, Tiong Bahru lost its A-list appeal – until around 2010, when 40 Hands Coffee (40handscoffee.com) opened onYong Siak Street, and stimulated the neighborhood.
One of the first of a new wave of cafés to open in the city-state, 40 Hands lured local hipsters back to the playground of their youth. There are now more than a