When Udders suddenly appeared along the Upper Thomson stretch not too long ago, I was caught by surprise. Renovations had been a very covert operation. Understandable, particularly since the outlet’s located right beside the hometown girl, Salted Caramel.
It’s not the most easily accessible area nor is it very car friendly either, but I do love the eclectic mix of the watering hole that is the Upper Thomson area. It reminds me of Holland Village before the subway construction began, where rents were still low, and there were always interesting places springing in and out of business. It was a tad western, but there was a certain spontaneity and hometown vibe that kept it accessible and comfortable. Today, Holland Village has become a victim of its own success. The metro’s had an exponential effect on rents, and the only entities that can afford the higher fares are banks and chain restaurants. Not helping the situation is the fact that unlike Shanghai’s Xintiandi development, there’s no combined effort by the government agencies to preserve these urban street-level lifestyle centres, which means that without any public pressure, they could disappear in favor of sleek and modern malls. It’s almost as if the nation’s leaders and planners live in an ivory tower, and have no attachment to things that could be. I struggle to understand how a developing world like China understands concepts like Japan’s “Small Office, Home Office (SOHO)” and placemaking projects like Xintiandi while first world Singapore still hasn’t grasped.
This morning, I woke up craving a waffle with ice cream lunch. Although there are many chains in the Upper Thomson stretch including Scoopz, Salted Caramel, Udders, Haato (Thomson Plaza) and Swensen’s (Thomson Plaza), I only considered Salted Caramel and Udders. In the end, I picked Udders for the same exact reason that I don’t like Udders – their ice cream tastes diluted because they don’t add eggs to their ice cream making (my parents had bought Han’s Fried Egg Sausage which consists of two sunny-side ups), so another egg would be pushing it.