Feast in the malls

Feast in the malls

Malls are beefing up food & beverage (F&B) options to attract shoppers who want more than just a variety of shops. At least twomalls-313@somerset and Marina Square-have given their food zones an overhaul to appeal to Singaporeans' love of food.

313@somerset's general manager Cheryl Goh says that food is a very big part of the Singaporean lifestyle. "We have seen how the local food industry has boomed over the recent years and many Singaporeans have begun to acquire a taste for quality food. To cater to rising demand, we are channeling a part of our focus on the mall's food offerings to satisfy the cravings of Singaporeans."

The redesign of the 313@somerset basement evokes a neon-lit night street scene inspired by Blade Runner, an iconic 1980s sci-fi film. This is juxtaposed with the upper floors which are bathed in natural light.

Ms Goh says: "Through the movie's concept,we seek to recreate an electrifying 'underground' atmosphere that reflects the bustling vibe of downtown Tokyo and Hong Kong.

"Our purpose is to establish a strong identity as the shopping destination for trendsetters,with the use of unconventional and distinctive designs that encompass an element of youth and surprise."

She says the overhaul provides shoppers with a visually appealing environment and creates a better shopping experience.

In the Marina Bay area, Marina Square recently unveiled its new, 50,000 sq ft food wing The Dining Edition, which cost $15 million to build. Ms Chan Yien Mei, general manager, Marina Centre Holdings, says: "We felt that itwas relevant to start by creating a newgourmet dining zone- The Dining Edition-that would elevate our culinary offerings at Marina Square to a higher level."

The planning and refurbishment took about one-and-a-half years from conceptualisation to actual opening. She adds: "The Dining Edition is just Phase 1 of our more extensive plans,with the newretail wing targeted to open end of next year."

Consumers can expect a good selection of newbrands at The Dining Edition, she says. These include Lady M Confections, an established NewYork City cake boutique (first outlet out of the United States); Nuvo, a contemporary Italian restaurant; Supreme Tastes Jiang Nan Cuisine, a Chinese restaurant serving traditional Jiang Nan cuisine; Hamanoya, a Japanese charcoal BBQ concept; Menzo Butao, a Japanese homemade ramen concept; and Carnivore Appetite, a Brazilian churrascaria buffet concept.

At 313@somerset, new dining outlets include Singapore's only MK Restaurants, a popular restaurant chain that serves Thai-style steamboat; Sushi Express, a conveyor belt eatery which imports fresh ingredients from Norway, Thailand, Japan and the United States; Dong DaeMun, which sells Korean takeaway snacks such as bulgogi beef; and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, a halal fried chicken restaurant.

Aside from the basement, the mall has two other dining zones. The Discovery Walk, linked to the Orchard Road strip, offers a cluster of restaurants and drinking places. Outlets here include Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant, Marché Restaurant & Natural Bakery and JiBiru Japanese Craft Beer Bar. On Level 5 is the largest Food Republic outlet, with 21 stalls and five mini-restaurants.

Paragon Mall has also jazzed up its mix of F&B outlets. Newoutlets include cake store Chalk Farm, Toast, Cedele All Day Dining and Ya Kun Kaya Toast.

A Paragon spokesman says: "The wide choice of restaurants and cafés in Paragon arewell patronised by both locals and tourists. Basement 1 offers shoppers wide dining options-shoppers have a choice of Asian and international cuisine at restaurants such as Din Tai Fung, Grandma's, Shimbashi Soba and Tambuah Mas Indonesian Restaurant. Fine dining is available at Crystal Jade Golden Palace and Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant on Level 5."

Cafés are also strategically located at every level for shoppers' convenience.

The spokesman says: "Cafés are also very popular and always well patronised by shoppers who take a break to rest their feet."

These include Bakerzin, Café Manuka, Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie, Da Paolo Gastronomia, Dome Café, O'Coffee Club, Cedele All Day Dining, PS. Cafe, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Starbucks.

This article was published by the Special Projects Unit, Marketing Division, SPH.

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