Monday, 7 September 2009

Buys - 3 SimplyFab Reasons to ION Orchard

Have an hour to kill in the Orchard Road area before your next meeting or are you in between gym time and picking up the kids from tuition?

We give you 3 SimplyFab reasons to go to ION Orchard and once there, fully capitalise on your hard-fought (and won) parking space at this spanking new mecca of 'chi chi-dom' :


"Feed me"! your stomach shouts! Your pocket does not want to part with restaurant dollars, your body screams for the aircon fix and your ego says "I want to be seen somewhere beautiful"! Then GO to Food Opera on B4. It took me quite a long time to find the escalator to B4 though so if ION's Management reads this - folks, your signage sucks and needs a big facelift.

Nice touches are the repos (I am assuming they are reproductions) of Philiippe Starck's Louis Ghost chairs. Also love the chandeliers and art deco touches to the ceiling. 

You feel distracted enough by the decor and food so that you don't realise that you are paying  30% more for your Curry Rice or Kopi-O than what you can get from Food Republic at Wisma Atria near by! By the way, same owners folks!

Nice displays and culinary merchandising like this effort at 'Marvellous Cream', a delicious looking dessert store also help.
Also loved the 'Tea Loft' such a pleasant reprieve from anything vaguely "zi-cha". Can imagine self spending plenty money on coffee, tea, cake and many frivolous conversations here!

Just walk around and watch the drama and theatrics unfold around you. Talk about the ultimate roast and carving station. This is Modern Beijing selling Peking Duck and Suckling Pig - loud, brash, red and in your face! Besides these, there are many other local hawker centre bests that have found there way into this food court, reinvented with a new 21st century facelift to their uniforms, signage, crockery and cutlery. 

Look out for the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Curry Rice, Li Xin Chao Zhou Fishball Noodles, Fatty weng Fish Soup and Oyster Omelette, Balestier Teochew Bak Kut Teh, Mei Zhen Hakka Delights and SG Kueh (local desserts from Amoy Street. Your best gauge at what's good is to check out the queues - the longer the queue, the more famous the store.

Of course for the more chi chi folk, Marmalade Pantry, the Nautilus Project and the soon to open TWG Tea Salon await on the upper floors.

The tenant list here is chock full of brand names and there is a distinct try-hard effort to replicate the line up of offerings at Hong Kong's highly successful IFC and Elements Malls. No wonder, as ION marks the pairing of Capital Land and HK biggies SHK (Sun Hung Kai) Properties, HK's leading luxury property developer and landlord. 

Bold, efferverscent and colourful - satisfy your shoe fetish by poking head into Rubi Shoes. Love the SimplyFab statement that it boldly makes!

I found Zara's little sister Bershka here at ION, a little dissapointing. A+ for the Bershka merchandiser at HK's store. The SG store was a little blah-ly stocked, in comparison. 

Pretty promising is Promod, another Spanish label new to Singashoppers. 

Another store that the make-up junkie in me enjoys poking around in, as it carries mineral makeup brand 'Bare Essentials' is the ever-intriguing Sephora

The big girl brands are definitely all out in force - and new in Singapore (to me) at least are Burberry, Anteprima (now stocks handbags, a different feel from their Raffles Hotel store), Diane von Furstenburg, DSquared2, Steve Madden, Thomas Sabo, Vivienne Tam, XZQT, Rabeanco (recognise the HK list of brand names from IFC Mall?). Where is H&M and Sarah Jessica Parker's new label? Am a little peeved that we are always last on the foodchain to get the goodies.  

Blast from the past names have also made their re-entry as the new 'come back kids' - remember Chomel from your Lady Diana wanna-be glory days? the Casio watch gallery? Everbest Shoes from your happy neighbourhood malls and the English NEXT? Died and finally re-resurrected! Hallelujah!


Dean and Deluca and Hediard both find a well stocked home and prominent shelves at new gourmet supermarket 360 (spelt Three-Sixty). The selection is not nearly even half as wide as the 360 supermarkets at IFC and Elements Malls in Hong Kong but go be happy and push trolley around in the hope that some Martha Stewart-ness might rub off and inspire you to finally operate that shiny, sparkly Miele oven that you have just bought, installed and not yet used.

Enuf said, now go forth and explore!
- Elaine


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