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With hawker centres getting hip, it is no wonder that foodcourts are following suit.

Think chic interiors sprayed with graffiti art, potted plants and terrariums displayed for that garden effect or stalls outfitted which includes a tiled roof facade for your old-school vibe.

Of course, cuisine is not missing in variety either. Usually do not expect the usual economic rice or yong tau foo stalls.

The recently expanded Malaysia Boleh foodcourt in Jurong Point offers everything from Penang-style fried carrot cake to kway teow kia from Johor Baru, whilst the two-week-old Platform M because of the Secretary of state for Food group at SingPost Centre offers numerous collagen ramen to Korean fried chicken.

Next month, another fancy foodcourt – the 7,000 square feet FOMO in Sultan Gate – will enter into the fray with offerings of chicken-based ramen and poke bowls.

The offerings are fancy, but prices remain reasonable and you simply need not pay extra for full restaurant service. The business enterprise owners’ technique to consider affordable food and a lot of options inside a casual, communal dining setting.

Mr Tan Kim Siong, 47, md from the Fei Siong group, which runs Malaysia Boleh, says: “Initially, I\’m concerned that diners will flock to the new section and the would change the business in the original stalls. Yet it is best to notice that diners are picking from either side.

“Running the company on our own helps us to operate the price and quality.”

Malaysia Boleh, which opened in Jurong Point five years ago, has greater than doubled its previous space to 14,000 square feet now seats 600 diners.

Such large food halls go through likes of PasarBella with the Grandstand and Suntec City; Picnic at Wisma Atria; Essen along at the Pinnacle @ Duxton in Cantonment Road; and food arena Savourworld in Science Park Drive.

Japanese-themed food street Shokutsu Ten in Jurong Point also carved out a brand new alley within its premises recently.

The new space offers Ginzushi (for sashimi and chirashi don), Tenfuku Tendon Specialty (for Japanese tendon), Idaten Udon (for udon dishes), Ichiban Bento (for bento sets) and Wadori (for yakitori).

There is a least another concept to look out for next week – a Japan-themed gourmet food hall called Sora by SG Retail, some pot venture between ANA Trading and Komars Group, which runs food and lifestyle brands.

It is located in Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 and definitely will feature several Japanese food and beverage brands, serving many techniques from fresh seafood bowls to okonomiyaki (Japanese savoury pancakes).

Marketing executive Fred Goh, 30, says: “Generally, I have discovered foodcourts to become quite old-fashioned, within the meal and interiors. Nevertheless these new food halls – just like Platform M – fill the space, however offer affordable food.

“We can easily pick from a multitude of choices inside a comfortable and spacious environment. SingPost Centre has a Kopitiam foodcourt, and we really don’t lack options.”

Housewife Carina Lim, 57, says: “I don’t mind dining at foodcourts as it is an advantageous option. However, the kids will be more able to dine in the fancy ones such as PasarBella. Providing food prices remain decent, I’m okay by using it.”

(Also read: 9 Unhealthy Hawker Foods You must never Order When Dining out)


Where:?38 Sultan Gate; open: with the middle of next month


With trendy foodcourt FOMO, slated to open up later, you won\’t suffer the fear of losing interesting food. The 7,000 sq . ft . space begins by three friends – Mr Lim Chin Chye, 29; Mr Wilmer Ang, 29; and Mr Amos Tan, 28 – who left their corporate jobs to strike in the foodstuff and beverage sector.

In the works for more than a year, FOMO aims to meet the needs of the “not enough big-scale food places from the area”, says Mr Ang. Initially, he says, it was actually difficult to discover a good combined food vendors.

FOMO shall be house to Western stall Chops Grill & Sides; poke bowl concept Poke Doke; Mr Wholly Seafood Company, which specialises in seafood buckets; The Don Pizza & Pasta; and Kanemochi, which sells mochi goodies. Owners may also run a Brew Counter selling drinks and alcohol.

Another brand you may anticipate is Zamza, a Muslim-friendly chicken-based ramen concept by Mr Sean McCully, 45, who owns Jimoto Ya ramen restaurant in Pickering Street. He considered opening a branch of Jimoto Ya at FOMO, but thought i would offer options without pork or lard instead, to appeal to the area in the region.

Zamza’s menu are able to offer chicken-based ramen in creamy tori paitan and clear Kobe-style soup, as well as rice bowls and yakitori.

Ms Esther Goh, 36, who owns Mr Wholly Seafood Company, chose to give FOMO a go because her stall’s lease at Satay from the Bay had be used up. “Yes, this can be a gamble to cooperate with first-timers within the scene, but we love to the earth and also inject some vibrancy on the area,” she says.

While the brand will stick to its speciality of Louisiana-style seafood, she\’s looking to introduce more types of crab and prawn, alongside more complementary sauces.

Her stall can even accommodate the lunch crowd – unlike at Satay by way of the Bay, where her stall opened only from 3pm – taking note of dispensing quick service which include, including, offering shelled prawns as “stuffed dirty hands during lunch”, she adds.

(Also read: 9 Salty Hawker Dishes That will be Shockingly High In Sugar)


Where:?02-138 SingPost Centre, 10 Eunos Road; open: 11am to 10pm daily and eight to 11am (breakfast at So Lucky)

Info:?Call 6747-3585 or go to?www.facebook.com/PlatformMbymof

The Ministry Of Food (MOF) group’s casual-dining restaurant empire now includes the two-week-old Platform M – a hip food hall comprising four existing brands beneath group and 6 brand new ones.

New brands curated for that 8,790 square centimeter space include Duck Master (specialising in Hong Kong roast duck); Kazu Kazu (Japanese rice bowls for instance katsudon and oyakodon); Yaki Ramen (collagen ramen); So Lucky (local fare which include laksa, mee siam, kopi and toast); Economi of Scale (Western cuisine); including a homegrown fruit juice stall.

Highlights over the menus include seafood yaki ramen ($9.80), grilled ribeye steak with pepper sauce ($16.90) and roast duck (from $22 for half a duck).

Familiar names include Ju Hao (for Northern Chinese fare and xiao long bao); Tensho (tempura rice bowls); Kaisen Tei (donburi topped with raw fish); and CafeMama (Korean street food).

Embracing technology, the flamboyant foodcourt is run on a cashless, self-ordering kiosk system.

Diners pay while using Platform M card, coming in at $20 ($17 in account, $3 for administration fee), which is often topped through to the premises.

On rolling out Platform M, an MOF spokesman says: “Diners have become more discerning and spoilt for choice. They expect value-for-money food together with quality and comfortable environments. Food halls offer a large selection for communal dining as well as chance of friends and relations to dine together.”


Where:?03-28 Jurong Point, 1 Jurong West Central 2; open: 10am to 10pm daily


Five years after it opened to much fanfare, the Malaysia Boleh foodcourt, which specialises in Malaysian hawker food, has expanded its offerings and seating to appeal to the daily crowds.

In addition for 17 existing stalls, you\’ll find 15 new ones to whet diners’ appetites. The expanded 14,000 square centimeter space – and that is endorsed with the Tourism Malaysia – can seat 600 diners.

The foodcourt operates from the Fei Siong brothers – group md Tan Kim Siong, 47, and executive director Tan Kim Leng, 40.

They took about six months time to curate selecting a popular Malaysian hawker fare, this includes highlights for example chilli pan mee ($4) from Damansara; kway teow kia (kway chap with thin flat noodles, from $4) from Johor Baru; Penang lor mee ($4) with intestines and pig skin; nasi lemak ($3.50) from Kuantan; and Penang fried carrot cake (from $3), which will come in thicker chunks and is also fried with beansprouts.

There also is a zi char stall called Seafood Restoran Gohtong Jaya from Genting Highlands. Its menu includes claypot fish head and belly with spring onion ($22); steamed crab with pumpkin and butter ($68 for a few crabs); and tempura eggplant with golden floss (from $10).

The original line-up of 17 stalls sells dishes for instance Klang bak kut teh, Kuala Lumpur Hokkien mee and Penang char kway teow.

The area is modelled after “beer gardens” in Malaysia, says the elder Mr Tan, who had the aid of the actual stallholders to usher in they.

“You need to have an account balance of seating and stalls. For any food, you can’t offer full meals from every stall. That’s why there’s with the multitude of items for example satay, rojak, oyster omelette and chendol. People want variety and so they won’t order from merely one stall,” he says.

A sort of this post appeared inside the print edition with the Sunday Times on October 29, 2017, while using the headline ‘Deck the halls with more than food’.

(Also read: 6 On the Saltiest Hawker Foods in Singapore)

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