'Sister flower' Lee Bee Wah brings us around her hood to eat lobster porridge and soak in Sembawang hot spring

'Sister flower' Lee Bee Wah brings us around her hood to eat lobster porridge and soak in Sembawang hot spring
Dr Lee Bee Wah at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park
PHOTO: AsiaOne/Seow Kai Lun

With all travel plans disrupted for 2020, even the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble now postponed to 2021, for those itching to get out, the best alternative would be looking within Singapore. 

Well yes, Singapore isn't big on land size, especially in comparison to our neighbours, but there are hidden gems to discover on our island, we believe. That is why we approached the recently retired politician, Dr Lee Bee Wah to share her list of recommended spots in the constituency she was overseeing, Nee Soon South.   

According to her, here's what you can do in a day up North in Singapore.

Breakfast at GHK 848

Start your morning at GHK 848 for breakfast. We're here on a Sunday morning and the lines for the fishball noodles and bak chor mee are endless, a testament to how popular they are among the residents in that area. 

It's also a great place to people watch. Located in the heart of Khatib where residents come to do their daily marketing, there's a lot of chatter and bustle going on and a resident might even strike up a random conversation with you. 

This also happens to be where Dr Lee's "office" used to be and she would be here faithfully, rain or shine, every Sunday, so she'd know for sure what the best food to have here is.

Address: Blk 848 Yishun Ring Road, #01-126, Singapore 760846

Go kayaking at Lower Seletar Reservoir Park

Staying fit has been a part of Dr Lee's regular routine, and this is why she strived to make the park accessible for as many residents as possible so they can come for an early morning or late evening stroll.

The structure that you'll find standing in the middle of the reservoir is a tribute to the area's fishing village heritage, with its kelong-inspired design, shares Dr Lee. 

"The most beautiful time is early morning, where you can see a beautiful sunrise," she recommends. 

The other activity to do here is to rent a kayak from the Lower Seletar Water Sports Centre. Rental starts from $12/person for two hours and you can get an instructor if you are not confident on the water. 


Dr Lee also shares that there are plans to build a boardwalk around the entire reservoir, one that extends to the nearby country clubs as well.

Address: Bounded by Yishun Ave 1 and Lentor Avenue

Lunch at Orchid Live Seafood

Whenever Dr Lee has guests, bringing them to Orchid Live Seafood is a must. Her family has been frequent patrons of the restaurant ever since she was appointed MP of the area. 

The must-have dish here is the lobster porridge, which the restaurant is said to be the inventors of the dish here in Singapore. The current owner Jason Chua shared that in the past, lobsters weren't very popular hence, they thought of creating a porridge dish, which soon became very popular. 

A two pax bowl costs $66 and comes with at least 600g of lobster meat. The best part of the dish is the light yet flavourful lobster broth that will keep you going back for more. 

The other dish that Dr Lee highly recommends is Steven Chicken, named after the restaurant's founder. The chicken is cut and fried before it's covered in a sweet and savoury sauce, reminiscent of those you find on Korean yangnyeom fried chicken.

The restaurant's newest outlet is conveniently located at HomeTeamNS and easily accessible by public transport compared to their previous locations.

Address: 2 Yishun Walk, #03-01, Singapore 767944 

Have a blast at HomeTeamNS Khatib

The newest landmark in Khatib promises fun for everyone in the family. For the little ones, they can slide down Singapore's iconic dragon slide and bounce to their hearts' content on the interactive trampoline in T-Play indoor playground. 

For the older 'kids', they can get their blood pumping at the Adventure HQ. There are over 10 kaleidoscopic installations here, with a ninja course, sensory adventure trails and Singapore's longest indoor slide. You can push yourself to the limit and conquer any fear of heights through the various obstacles. 

ALSO READ: I visited the new indoor adventure hub at HomeTeamNS in Khatib and my legs are still shaking from the experience

The clubhouse is also home to a large number of eateries if you are feeling hungry. But the most impressive feature, facilities aside, is the large wall housing the helmets of the all the units and groups that fall under Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force. 

The staff at HomeTeamNS Khatib share that Dr Lee had a role to play in where the clubhouse stands now, to which Dr Lee replies, "Anything to benefit my residents."

Address: 2 Yishun Walk, Singapore 767944

Soak your feet at Sembawang Hot Spring Park

It may be called Sembawang Hot Spring Park, but based on the electoral boundaries, it's part of Nee Soon South, says Dr Lee. 

It's not the most convenient place to get to as the nearest bus stop and car park are a distance away, but the park doesn't just have a hot spring. At the entrance, you'll be greeted with a floral walk that showcases various edible plants. 

Walk a little further and you'll reach the hot spring. Here you have the option of dipping your feet in the footbath while seated comfortably. Fair warning, the area's not sheltered so the afternoon sun, like when I visited, will be blazing down your back.

The alternative that many Singaporeans do, is to bring their own pails and utilise the hot spring water collection points. There are several sheltered areas on the premises, and you can enjoy a soak in your own personal tub. 

Says Dr Lee of the spot: "It's the only natural hot spring in Singapore, and recently refurbished to be more visitor-friendly. Feels like going overseas to Japan or Taiwan, especially when we all can't travel."

Address: Along Gambas Avenue

Dinner at Famous Kitchen

The other place to have a meal in Nee Soon South if you have limited time is Famous Kitchen, says Dr Lee. And if you wonder why you are driving into a private estate, don't worry, you are in the right place. 


"My favourite dishes are suan cai yu (fish soup with pickled mustard) and chilli see hum. The food has home-cooked goodness, [and] I've had many good memories there with residents," says Dr Lee. 

Address: 54 Sembawang Road, Hong Heng Mansions, Singapore 779085

Evening stroll at Springleaf Nature Park

"You can actually walk from Lower Seletar Reservoir Park to Springleaf Nature Park," Dr Lee informs me as the two are connected by a long park connector.

It's a favourite spot amongst those who like birdwatching as it is home to more than 80 species of resident and migratory birds. As the park borders the nearby private estates, it's a tranquil place to unwind at the end of the day. 

"It's a beautiful park, especially when you stroll along the river,' quips Dr Lee. 

Address: Nee Soon Road, Upper Thomson Road

ALSO READ: I am not a 'yes woman': Retired politician Dr Lee Bee Wah on defying the odds


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