I’m in love with these teal taffeta pants from ASOS…and I got them in purple too!
On earlier visits to Singapore I had breezed through ION Orchard as part of the Orchard Road experience. But something was missing. I was yet to experience the wonder that is Food Opera, the very upmarket hawker-style food court in the ION Orchard basement. Time to rectify that.
For those who haven’t been to Singapore, Orchard Road is THE premier district for shopping malls; mainly upmarket but with some budget-friendly, old school surprises lurking amongst the almost spage-age architectural statements.
ION Orchard is arguably the best of the best. 66,000 square metres in size, with 4 levels above ground and 4 levels below, ION offers over 300 retail, food & beverage and entertainment options.
The luxury brands are all there: Louis Vuitton, Dior, Prada, Miu Miu etc, as well as mid-range favourites like Topshop, Zara and Uniqlo. (Yes, I confess, i *may* have made some purchases here).
ION offers fine dining as well as food chain outlets, delis and confectioners, cafes and bars, mostly on the basement floors but also on the floors above.
It is the ION food hall on Basement level 4 that I gravitate towards, and the outlets here are outstanding. Old Chang Kee, Punggol Nasi Padang and the Wang San Yang Tea Pavilion nestle alongside Ginza Bairin and 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken!
Food Opera is the primary one, offering 22 stalls and 4 mini-restaurants in the hawker style. Aesthetically there is an immediately appealing sense of history and homeliness, as well as luxury and whimsy. Modern design trends, such as animal heads on the walls and large sculptures are everywhere, including animal sculptures such as deer, pigs, giraffe and even golden dragonflies and insects. Uber-glamorous chandeliers illuminate the space, throwing the beautiful gilt ceiling mouldings into sharp relief. Yep, you sure feel like you’re somewhere swanky!
But enough of me telling you about it; take a look for yourself:
Peacocks and stag/deer heads look down on Hainan Chicken Rice & BBQ Seafood outlets
A large golden dragonfly looks down from the Draft Beer stall; an ornate ceiling at Ah Wok restaurant makes looking up worthwhile
I tell you, I walked around for AAAGES trying to decide what to eat. As I am very fond of the flavours of Malay, Indonesian and Peranakan cuisine, it is no wonder that I finally decided upon Padang Padang for my lunchtime repast.
Padang Padang (so good they named it twice!)
Food Republic, which owns Food Opera, had this to say about Padang:
Padang cuisine is the traditional food of ‘Urang Minang’ (Minang people) who inhabit West Sumatera, Indonesia. The key to Padang cuisine’s rich flavour and mouth-watering aroma is the correct blend of spices. Padang Padang is owned by Mrs Wahyuningsilh and the recipes are inspired by her grandmother – a 3rd generation Peranakan in Indonesia. At Padang Padang, they are committed to using only natural ingredients and processing them traditionally to retain their original taste and health benefits.
Signature Dishes: Nasi Kuning Ayam Merah, Rendang Sapi (Beef Rendang), Ayam Goreng Bumbu (Padang Fried Chicken with Spices), Ikan Asam Pedras (Spicy & Sour Fish), Gado-Gado Padang (Padang Mixed Vegetables), Cabe Merah /Hijau Padang (Special Red/Green Padang Chilli)
Padang Padang was crowned one of the top 3 Hawker Kings at Food Republic.
As for me, I ordered the Nasi Kuning with Ayam Merah, which is yellow rice with chicken in a red gravy largely comprised of tomato, turmeric, garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli and soy. YUMMERS!!
The chicken was still still just a little crispy from having been fried first, and the sauce was extremely tasty without being burn-your-mouth-out hot. There was a beautiful balance of salty, sweet and chilli. I also could have chosen a multi-dish from their many meat and vegetable options (as you can see in the photo above). Next time I think I just might!
In need of some freshening up before I hit the street again, I encountered the splendour that is the ION Orchard ladies toilets! Honestly, how glamorous are these? And as I left the modern mall, I couldn’t help but laugh at these fantastic coloured sculptures of shoppers, seen at the front of ION Orchard:
So whether for the shopping or the food, ION Orchard is definitely worth perusing next time you’re in Singapore.
Have you already been? What are your fave shops or food outlets?
Food Opera @ ION Orchard
#B4-03/04 Ion Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Tel: +65 6509 9118
10am to 10pm
8am to 10pm Monday – Thursday
8am to 11pm Friday, Saturday, Eve of Public Holidays
10am to 10pm Sunday
So how was your New Years Eve? We just managed to catch the midnight fireworks then dashed back to Black Cherry Club, where we had fun hanging with friends…but failed to get any really good pics of our outfits :(
I was going to do a retrospective collage of last year…but failed to even get past January. Looking back at last January – boy, did I have an exciting time! (And boy, was MY hair RED!)
Starting off with my New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Sydney,
I high-tailed it to the airport on the morning of January 1 to fly to Tokyo. I wanted to be there for the January sales and fukubukuro bags, dontchaknow? I managed to do a lot of outfit posts on the blog (many in black, grey, leopard and fake fur)…quite a record for me.
I also caught up with a bunch of friends in Tokyo, hit a lot of stores including Marui One, Studio Alta, Shibuya 109 and Grimoire, took a few street snaps, and did a HEAP of shopping.
At the end of the month I celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary at the Big Day Out, with a cute hairdo with 2 top-knots.
And I headed out to a goth club in crimped 80′s style hair and danced for the first time in my spine-heeled d squared shoes, as well as my floral hair clip and jet beaded collar from Grimoire.
Hopefully I’ll have just as action packed a January this year, even if I’m not heading to Tokyo any time soon. There are a lot of gigs lined up, from The Damned, to Soundgarden, to Voltaire, to Sisters of Mercy, to Bad Manners, to Arctic Monkeys, and to the awesomeness of Big Day Out and Soundwave soon.
I also have 29th Jan to 7th Feb off, and am contemplating going somewhere new and relatively close for a week..Indonesia? Hit a beach resort, or over-the-water lake retreat in Java a la Anthony Bourdain? Would love to head to Aceh with an armful of punk cd’s to distribute to the punk kids there who are being oppressed…but travelling on my own not perhaps the best idea. Or Bali – avoid Kuta and head to Ubud, where I’ve never been?
Or there’s always Malaysia, go somewhere I haven’t been before there…which leaves quite a lot. Anywhere in Asia would suit me fine. Hmm…any recommendations?
On this most recent Tokyo trip, I discovered a new gyaru store in Studio Alta on the 5th floor, called Fernopaa. How exciting!
It stood out to me immediately, amidst other retro/bland stores, on account of its rock/glam look – very much like tutuHa. There were lots of spikes and skulls, crosses, metallics, leopard print, stripes, black, splashes of red and fuschia, cool hats..all the things I love I really like that there are totally wearable items in there, alongside over-the-top, costumey, for clubs and parties type wear. For my money, there is more here for the average girl to wear than in tutuHa. But enough babbling, see the store:
This one is not my pic…it shows the store’s layout quite nicely.
The glamorous girls in the store looked familiar…and it turns out they’re ex-tutuHa themselves! Unlike some stores, the girls not only welcome photos, but they take pics of you for their microblog Fernopaasnaap! I went there in the first few days of my trip, and returned on my very last day to get some more goodies The day I last shopped, unfortunately I had no make-up, lenses or lashes on and looked disgusting, but agreed to pics (oh, I could DIE!). But it was so cool that they recognised me when I returned and made a big fuss. Anyway, here’s the link to when I was in the Fernopaa store on November 21st. And here are my photos:
Ami, Morimayu and Yanitan (??) The 2 on the left are so doll-like! The third is very streetwear rock. Ami always wears the pirate hat and Morimayu the tall marching band hat.
I bought some fab wristlets in the shape of spines, and a new eyeball ring (also just seen on the khaki-clad mannequin)…but I’ll show you these in an upcoming outfit post!
All in all, Fernopaa is a real addition to the gyaru fashion scene. If non-gyaru girls like me love it, I can only imagine that gals will flip! Hopefully a webstore will be coming soon…and maybe a shop in 109 one day? Who knows?
So I’ve been in Tokyo several days now, shopping like a demon (and eating like one too!) It’s about time I give a little rundown…both about where I’ve shopped, and things I’ve noticed.
Saturday – was really about sleeping after getting none on the plane. So, I kept close, getting as far as the Shinjuku Subnade, Topshop and Studio Alta.
Sunday – Lumine Est, and after a brief stop at Isetan, finally made it to Marui One to check out the gothic, lolita & punk stores. Yes, bought shoes, both at Yosuke USA and Black Peace Now, natch.
Monday - Hit the new Azul/R&E/Moussy store in Shinjuku, then Takashimaya – Issey Miyake for colourful threads, Tokyo Hands for novelty items
Tuesday – went to Shibuya. Visited Fake Tokyo (Candy/Sister), as well as 109 of course! BIG MONEY SPENT!! I admit I also visited Zara and Forever 21. Will have to save Grimoire and Grimoire Almadel for another day. Admittedly, I’ve spent more time in gal stores than other ones.
Things I’ve Seen Everywhere that I Like/Love
- Skulls (still!)
- Spikes on everything, including shoes, booties, even platform sneakers
- Sequins & metallic fabrics
- Maxi skirts, esp pleated, or in netting fabric like a long tutu
- Jumpers that have big holes/distressed look
- Platform shoes & booties
- Over-the-knee boots
- Fake fur hats/jackets/stoles/bags etc
- Big floppy felt hats
- Orange & coral
- Statement jewellery, big rings, punk studded cuffs etc
- and on the gyaru girls themselves, big lashes and circle lenses same as always
Things I’ve Seen Everywhere that I Hate:
- Ugg boots (not just in stores, but worn OUTSIDE by girls – sheesh!)
- Bland pastel pink and beige colours
- Baggy, oversized knits (maybe not hate…but they don’t seem flattering to me, and while I like stripes, the horizontal ones I see everywhere are a no-go for fatties like me)
And if I hear another bloody Gaga song in a store I’m gonna SCREAM!! Kinda wishin she was born some other way…
I’m still coming to terms with the amount of retro I’m seeing…all those demure peter pan, lace & beaded collars, preppy looks, fake string pearls, daggy knits and dowdy aunt type gear generally. I’m on the fence about all the shawls and ponchos..they remind me of the 70′s and seem a little daggy, but I can appreciate they’re new for under 30′s. The crosses on necklaces are still around, which I’m kinda over too.
Seeing less of:
- Gyaru girls in big glasses
- Aztec & tribal print
- Wide palazzo pants (as in, maybe none? Obviously it was just a summer thing)
So this isn’t text-only, here’s me about to head out, in long black netting skirt (can’t remember the store, somewhere in Studio Alta), black Cryx top with little silver studs, striped shoes from gothic brand Black Peace Now, striped jacket from Cue and striped bag from Serenade, Beverly Hills.
Yup, I really oughta check my hair before taking pics…so messy! The little bit of printed tight you can see is an original design from Sister.
More pics to come with other purchases..now that I have a hotel room that actually has a window and sunlight!