East-siders, get psyched for the return of Century Square today. No longer the dingy building it once was, the Tampines mall is making its comeback after a nine-month, S$60 million overhaul.
Let’s run through a few quick facts before we get to the good stuff. Century Square houses more than 130 stores, with more than half of its directory filled with new tenants and new-to-market concepts. Each level of the six-story mall features a different category of brands, from food takeaway kiosks in the basement to fashion/athletic wear on the first floor to entertainment on the top level.
When it comes to Singaporeans’ favorite pastime, there’ll be 45 F&B establishments, out of which more than a quarter are certified halal. For a quick meal, there’s Laura Cafe and its protein bowls, 300BC Bakery’s breads, and Kim Choo Kueh Chang’s Nyonya bites. Otherwise, shoppers can take a break from retail therapy at eateries like Saveur, PizzaExpress, Ichiban Boshi, The FoodMarket by Food Junction, and Nakhon Kitchen’s first outlet in a mall.
In the lifestyle realm, the line-up includes: 24-hour workout joint Gymmboxx, culinary retail haven ToTT, enrichment center The Learning Lab, and a digital service by the National Library Board (called eReads) for people to download and borrow e-books.
At the apparel section, some highlights include: Puma, Birkenstock, Shanghai streetwear brand Hotwing, and American sportswear retailer Foot Locker’s debut in Singapore. Local labels like The Underground, Moss Fashion, The Showcase, and PrettyFIT are here too. But don’t expect everything to be in full swing just yet — shops are rolling out on their own schedules, and openings will happen progressively until August.
Now that you’ve got an idea of what to expect at Century Square, check out these five highlights below.
Filmgarde Cineplexes’ latest cinema on the island features self-service ticketing machines and what’s hailed as “Asia’s first fully equipped immersive 3D Sound Cineplex.” If you’re not entirely sure what that means, then perhaps a trip to the theater to watch dinosaurs have a go at it in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will give you an accurate firsthand experience.
After its success at its Lavender location, Mahota’s second outlet brings a slightly different experience to Century Square. Here, the atas market is situated on the basement level, with groceries and a small sit-down corner for patrons to grab a quick bite. As for Mahota Kitchen on the first floor, the vibe is chill and the decor is pleasant, with a tiny retail area of kitchen and homewares.
Besides tapas plates ($6-10) like pesto white bait bruschetta, sesame seaweed truffle fries, and a cold cuts and cheese platter, signature dishes ($12-$19) include capellini with tiger prawns, red wine braised beef cheek, and garlic duck leg confit. But what’s new about the space is its Kombucha Bar, where the fermented tea drink is served on tap, and a rotating line-up of four to five tapas items ($5-$10) come by each table on a push cart.
In 2015, homegrown fashion label M)phosis surprised us all with its announcement that it was shuttering all its stores in Singapore. Apparently the once-successful brand, which launched in 1994 and rigorously expanded overseas, was suffering from a financial setback. But fast forward a couple of years and the tenacious retailer has rebounded and reopened its first outlet at Century Square.
The style mostly remains the same — clean cut, minimalistic apparel that OLs will appreciate — with a modern update, but M)phosis loyalists will be pleased to know that it’s also aiming to debut an e-commerce store soon.
Meat lovers, here’s a halal steakhouse set up by chef Benny Se Teo, the man behind Eighteen Chefs. Just like his previous venture, you’ll find a decently-priced selection of soups, salads, sides, and proteins on the menu, which is actually quite extensive. No matter what kind of “Western” food you’re in the mood for, it seems they’ve pretty much got all the basic bases covered.
Burgers ($14-$18) run the gamut of sandwich-able meats — beef and lamb patties, soft shell crab, or tiger prawns are all on offer. There are also rice bowls ($12-$16) served with meats like grilled salmon, veggie tempura, wagyu, and prawn tempura. Then there’s the range of pastas ($12-$18), where you can choose from pappardelle, linguini, penne, or spaghetti, paired with sauce options like aglio olio and meat ragout.
Lots of meat-only options here too. Steaks ($18-$48) come in everything from striploin and ribeye to tenderloin and filet mignon, and shareable selections like the porterhouse ($60/600g) or tomahawk ($12/100g). The rest of the menu features lamb, chicken, duck, and seafood offerings. Phew.
A Korean-Western fusion concept by the people behind Seoul Garden (just its name brings back memories from school), Two Hana is a pastel pretty cafe with cozy booths, high tables, and hanging lights that welcome you into its casual environment. There’s a prominent cake display up front to entice passerby, too.
For light bites, try the kimchi mac and cheese balls ($9), sweet and spicy cauliflower fritters ($8), or honey butter drumlets ($9), or go for mains like gochujang braised lamb shank ($24), honey soy beef bibimwrap ($13), and bulgogi chicken linguine ($12). On the drinks end, they’ve got flavored teas, coffees, matcha and hojicha lattes, spritzers, and floats.
If you’re up for more Korean-style grub, Seoul in a Sandwich at the basement serves breads stuffed with fillings like bulgogi cheese steak and army stew.
2 Tampines Central 5.