I made a snap decision to have a look around the new ION shopping mall on Orchard today. It is now being refered to as ION Orchard, so I'll try remember that. It was my first visit to ION Orchard and even though I had told myself NOT to venture there (watching the purse strings) my curiosity got the better of me.
At first I wandered around aimlessly, just like the few other people I saw. I must have been at the swanky end of the mall, because it was more or less empty. All the high end shops were there but also quite a few 'coming soon' shops.
As it's local school holidays this week it seemed that a lot of well dressed extended families had made the trip to Ion Orchard too. We all looked lost, and I would have liked a map of some sort by the escalators so I knew where I was going. There are actually eight levels of retail, four being below ground, so I'm sure I only saw a corner of it all.
Ion Orchard is extremely accessible for the commuter, built right above the Orchard MRT stop, so you walk out of the barriers and you're literally in amongst the shops. I would find it very hard to make my way to work everyday without having a peek at the shops first if I had to travel here every day.Ah, there's the food way down there
I wanted to find the food court, as I was certain it would be top-notch. I spied some tables in the basement and made a beeline down, down, down to Basement 4. Now, here at Ion Orchard it is not a food court, it is Food Opera with chandeliers, sculpture and posh seating. There is the usual fare; Malay, Thai, Indian, Dim Sum, Hokien chicken rice, which all looked delicious, but of course a little more expensive that nearby Wistma Atria (around $5+ for a dish). The Tea Loft looked like a great place to bring your granny and have a natter over a cuppa and a piece of cake.
I wandered around for ages trying to decide what to eat. So much choice! There are lots of small stalls outside the Food Opera area which have their own seating and weren't as crowded, but still the choice was dazzling.
I finally decided to try a collagen tofu burger at R-Burger which sounded rather healthy. This is a Japanese franchise and the first burger place in Singapore to put marine collagen in their buns. The buns are steamed rather than grilled like your usual hamburger buns, and tasted a little rubbery to me. But the burger was tasty, if a little small and I could have eaten another one quite happily! Apparently the collagen "helps to stimulate collagen production in the body and reduce the appearance of fine lines, encouraging skin rerenewal". I am all for that!
There were also interesting stalls not seem in the usual food courts and hawker centres. There was Modern Peking Duck selling suckling pig , Last Chocolate.com selling yummy looking chocolate drinks and coffee brewed in Japan, as well as Japanese doughnuts and lots more. It is definitely worth taking a look and tucking into some interesting food.