Monday, 27 June 2016

Chomp Chomp Food Centre at Serangoon Gardens

Lunch at Chomp Chomp.
Daniel Smith Watercolour on Fabriano Paper
In the 1960s, the stalls at Chomp Chomp were originally located where the bus stop and carpark now stands, opposite the present hawker centre. In 1972, the stalls were moved to its present location and adopted the name "Chomp Chomp". As the hawkers gained fame for their varied and tasty dishes, the name became an appropriate onomatopoeia, reflecting the sound of frenzied eating. Some stalls have adopted a similar-sounding name, such as Zhong Zhong Duck Rice.

On 1 April 1998, a roof was built for food centre. Plans for this had been discussed since September 1996 in conjunction with discussions of the ownership of stalls. Although simple in design, Chomp Chomp remains a key landmark in Serangoon Gardens because of its tasty food. It was revamped and reopened in November 2002 after nine months of renovations. The new food centre saw an expansion of space and new hawkers joining the established stallholders. These included 14 relocated stalls from the Taman Serasi Hawker Centre, which had been near the Botanic Gardens

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Serangoon Garden Village (PKA Paramount Theatre)

Old sketch of the old Serangoon Garden Village before it was demolished in 2009.

The Urban Sketchers (Singapore) made a trip down to Serangoon Gardens last weekend to sketch the place. I realised that the meeting spot has been replaced with a new retail mall.

The spot at the corner of Farleigh and Maju Avenues was home to the iconic Paramount Theatre in the 1960s. NTUC opened a FairPrice supermarket at the building in 1974. The cinema could not survive and had to close its doors in 1983 as Serangoon Gardens was much less densely populated then than it is now.

In the 1990s, many different retail stores and restaurants opened shop in Paramount building. Some of those in the earlier years are DBS Bank, Burger King, Party World, and Supercue snooker and arcade centre. Later on it was renamed “Serangoon Garden Village” as learning centres moved in. In addition, anchor tenants like Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Café Cartel made the place a popular hangout.

Ultimately, the paramount building was demolished in 2009 and MyVillage tookover the site where it once occupied.