Attention, Easties — in case you didn't know, there's a spanking new mall with over 200 shops located right beside Paya Lebar MRT station. Here's what to expect at the new Paya Lebar Quarter (PLQ) Mall by Lendlease.
While official opening celebrations are on Oct 24, PLQ Mall is currently already open to the public.
Besides the anchor tenants FairPrice Finest, KopiTime by Kopitiam and Shaw Theatres with IMAX, shoppers can also look forward to familiar names like Uniqlo, Tokyu Hands and Foot Locker. For food, there's Haidilao Hot Pot, Paradise Dynasty, Toastbox, Sushi Express and Starbucks Reserve.
But if you're looking to get first dibs on new restaurants and cafes that you can't find anywhere else on the island, here's some of the best joints to fuel up.
MOM'S TOUCH (#01-37)
With over 1,200 outlets in Korea, it's about time Mom's Touch opened an outlet in Singapore.
At Mom's Touch, launched by No Signboard Holdings, you'll be able to enjoy fried chicken and burgers prepared "with sincerity and warmth".
I tried out their offerings at a media tasting on Aug 30 and I can see why they're one of the most popular fast-food chains in Korea.
My personal favourites were the spicy sauce chicken ($3.80 a la carte) for its addictive sauce and the thigh burger ($5.70 a la carte) for the generous serving of fragrant and crispy meat. Look out for our review next week!
MORPHINE COFFEE (#01-P5)
Whether you're a coffee snob or simply craving an old school Kopi O, Morphine Coffee has something for everybody.
This local micro-roastery has a great selection of cold brews, freshly roasted coffee, as well as teas.
Try their cold-brewed iced coffee ($2.10) made from Java Robusta beans. Their specialty cold brew No. 18 ($5.50 black/ $6.30 white), made from Arabica beans, is also a great choice if you enjoy a stronger and more flavourful caffeine-fix.
FONG SHENG HAO (#B2-04)
Famous for their charcoal-grilled toast and milk tea, Fong Sheng Hao has chosen Singapore's sunny shores for their first outlet outside of Taiwan.
I particularly enjoyed their pork, egg and cheese toast ($6.30), which was nice and creamy with a slight sweetness. If you prefer something sweeter, they also have dessert toasts like chocolate and peanut ($4.80).
As for the drinks, their signature milk tea ($3.90) was sold out when I visited, but the cane-flavoured black tea ($3.20) was surprisingly good and paired well with my toast.
According to Fong Sheng Hao, the black tea leaves are from one of Taiwan's oldest tea shops, Lin Hua Tai Tea Co, and the tea is sweetened with sugarcane that has been boiled for 12 hours.
I only have one gripe - the cane-flavoured black tea was a touch too sweet for my liking. It would have been perfect if it were possible to customise the sweetness level.
Hayai specialises in onigirazu, a Japanese-style sandwich made with rice instead of bread. While bearing some similarity to onigiri, which are Japanese rice-balls, Hayai's onigirazu contain more fillings and less rice.
Their onigirazu also has no pork and no lard but comes in a variety of appetising flavours like chicken katsu, beef bulgogi and salmon.
These places might not be open yet but I have high hopes for them.
JIMMY MONKEY (#01-10)
I first visited their outlet in One-North a couple of years ago and was impressed by their great coffee and hearty Australian fare. Despite food that would satisfy the pickiest of taste buds and the fun, quirky ambience, I never went back simply because it was too out of the way. With their new outlet conveniently located at PLQ mall, I can't wait to go back for their Avocado toast and a cuppa or two.
HOKEY POKI (#B2-26)
Poke bowls consisting of raw fish over rice have been trending for some time now. But what makes Hokey Poki different is their Poke Soba bowls, which are perfect for those of you that prefer noodles to rice. They also have Japanese-style tacos with a seaweed shell.
Want some authentic European fare? You won't have to look much further than Wursthans, a casual eatery that will be serving up Swiss sausages, grilled chicken, soups, salads, tarts and desserts.
Paya Lebar Quarter Mall
10 Paya Lebar Rd, Singapore 409057