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The hexagons of Tanglin Halt Food Centre

We had lunch at Tanglin Halt Food Centre in Tanglin Halt Estate. I took the chance to take photos of the place, because it was closing for good on 31 July, and moving to nearby Margaret Drive Hawker Centre.

The food centre was shutting down as part of the general winding down of Tanglin Halt, as most of the estate awaits the wrecking ball under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

Tanglin Halt Food Centre, also known as Commonwealth Drive Food Centre, is almost as old as Tanglin Halt itself, which was built in the 1960s. It is not to be confused with Tanglin Halt Market, which lies across Tanglin Halt Road.

Below is the 1978 street directory showing the market and the food centre in Tanglin Halt Estate.

What stands out for the food centre is its architecture - three hexagons joined like honeycomb cells of a beehive, hence the curious situation of the food centre possessing three addresses - Blocks 1A, 2A, and 3A. An allusion to Tanglin Halt residents being as hardworking as bees, perhaps? I jest.

The three hexagons of Tanglin Halt Food Centre. Tanglin Halt Market is to the left. Credit: Google Maps.

Depending on which stall you are at in the food centre, the address may vary.

After lunch, I walked around the food centre, taking in the architecture, the high ceiling, the shuttered stalls and empty tables and chairs, the background buzz common to community spaces, the laziness of a hot, dusty, early afternoon.

Some stalls, such as dessert and Hakka thunder tea rice, were still doing a brisk business.

The community plaza next to the food centre, just 12 years old and covered with a tasteful wooden deck, will go too. It was cordoned off pending demolition.

As for Tanglin Halt Market, it will be torn down in 2024.


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