Sometimes known as the new Holland Village or Dempsey where good cafes are aplenty, Sunset Way has remained a humble pie all these years. It’s better known for its quiet demeanour and (yet) uncommercialised flavour. From the quirky tram-like buses that ply the condo routes to its old school bakeries, the neighbourhood encompasses what many deem as Clementi’s best secondary road. With the new branding of Sunset Lane block hoping to shake things up, we drop in for a look.
BLK 106 (Clementi Street 12)
Who would have guessed that this unassuming block is home to over eight restaurants, now being commercially developed as Sunset Lane? The long stretch of food hunts include Rocky Pizza (#01-60), Thai Steamboat Happy Mookata (#01-46), Smokey’s BBQ (#01-54/56), Sticks ‘n Wings (#01-44), Megumi Japanese Restaurant (#01-44), local cuisine De’Beer Seafood Restaurant (#01-38/40/41) and newly opened The Tiny Roaster (#01-60) which serves amazing coffee–we caught a glimpse of their barista carefully hand-sifting their beans.
Carne & Caipirinha (#01-50)
All of Carne’s beef and chicken (including its cutleries, beers and soft drinks) are directly imported from Brazil. Premium-quality meats are slow roasted over charcoal fire to retain rich flavours while passadors carve out meat portions to diners’ plates. Its grilled pineapple is a must-try, a sweet and citrusy touch to a meaty meal. For $39.90 (adults) and $18 (children), you get a salad bar, abundance of meat and unlimited amount of mochilike cheesy balls. Mon-Sat 5.30-11pm, Sun & Public Holidays 5-11pm, Tel: 6464 0478
Buttercake N Cream (#01-52)
We had our lunch here and would recommend you the seafood aglio olio ($14.90) and homemade ice cream over the Paddle Pop Chocolate Bar Crunch ($4.50). Other filling dishes include beef burger ($14.90), cod fillet ($19) and warm chocolate pudding ($11). With eye-arresting decorations and a spacious kitchen open-concept, it has an irresistable charm that has drawn consumers to this pretty gem at Sunset Way. Daily 12-11pm. Tel: 6777 3477
BLK 105 (Clementi Street 12)
Home to Gelato Art (#01-16), there are a myriad of amenities here: from laundry services to foot reflexology for that extra pampering. We spotted a tinge of cultural arts as well at Famous Antiques and Collectibles (#01-22).
Balmoral Bakery (#01-08)
Shrouded in yellow-dimmed lights, Balmoral Bakery exudes tradition wrapped in pastry-goodness. Since 1965, its shelves have been laden with sugar donuts ($1) and crispy chicken pies ($1.60). They’ll proudly tell you about their iconic 3D cakes and a baker who has been with them for over five decades since their Holland Village days. The shop’s Lucinda Blackletter-ish font is a telltale sign of its bygone patronage by British and Australian armed forces. Daily 9am-8pm. Tel: 6779 2064
Chin Huat Live Seafood (#01-30)
Lip-smacking signature dishes (2.1kg Alaskan king crab beehoon, $351.80!), crispy Peking duck ($68), Golden Sauce prawns ($55) are a-calling. Fondly known as Ah Huat, the late Mr Low pioneered and established this place, the first local restaurant that allowed diners to pick live seafood direct from the glass tanks. Daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5-10.30pm. Tel: 6775 7348
CLEMENTI ARCADE (41 Sunset Way)
A short walk from the blocks and hidden beside private residences, the humble Clementi Arcade contains quality finds. It’s so quiet, you can literally hear crickets. Our first stop, Classic Cakes (#01-06) greeted us with a unique radish cake as we entered through the door. We couldn’t resist two slices of their famous apple mille crepe ($7.80) and matcha mille crepe ($8). The verdict: fresh apple chunks were generous and matcha was not too sweet. The Daily Scoop (#01-04) draws a consistent crowd at this original outlet as loyal patrons brave the heat to get their ice cream fix. Within one-minute’s walking distance, Freesia Woods’ residents enjoy the convenience of a Cold Storage supermarket and learning classes on the Arcade’s upper floor.
BLK 109 (Clementi Street 12)
It’s common to see four-legged furkids taking a stroll with their loving owners around this block. Looking a lot like Dalmatians 101 movie set, there are complete amenities for your pooches at home, including The Animal Clinic (#01-19) (related to The Cat Clinic, see below), Pawsitive Petcare (#01-08) and Polypet (#01-27/29). While pampering your furry bundle of joy, pop into Drips Baker’s Playground (#01-05) for a quick takeaway of teacakes and a cup of java for yourself.
The Cat Clinic (#01-33)
Singapore’s first ever cat clinic is a boon for its growing cat-lover population. Many furparents love Dr. Geetha and her staff’s professionalism and patience in handling their beloved felines (including our editor!) We spotted a few of the clinic’s resident furballs alongside the kitty-centric decor. Mon-Fri 11am-9.30pm, Sat & Sun 9am-2pm. Tel: 6873 0014
Swee Seng Aquarium and Florist (#01-23)
A Sunset Way fixture since 1985, located right at the start of the idyllic neighbourhood. Get your hands on small fishes from guppies to small koi(s) and tanks of all sizes. Come Lunar New Year, spot gorgeous potted plants in bloom that would fill up the cramped maze-like spaces. Even if you don’t rear fishes, just drop by for the novelty of it while waiting for Fido to be done with his grooming over at The Animal Clinic. Daily 9am-8pm. Tel: 6779 5072
BLK 108 (Clementi Street 11)
Newly renovated food court FoodPark offers the usual Chinese, Western, Muslim and Indian cuisines at kopitiam prices–it’s a go-to option for the older community. Conveniently next door is Xin De An Medical & Minimart (#01-02)–sporting a complete range of Chinese ointments your grandparents would approve of.
Grinderwald Supermarket (#01-108)
We didn’t expect a humble supermarket to be named after a dark wizard in Harry Potter, but the interior didn’t quite live up to its German-ish name. Apart from the normalcy of a grocery store, you can snag some Friskies for your pooches here. Tel: 6775 4947
Sunny Fresh mini-mart (#01-01)
No, they don’t just sell sunny fresh eggs here–you can get your favourite takeaway breakfast items like ondehondeh, fried kway teow and warmed up png kueh too. Guaranteed to bring back many fond childhood memories.