Home is where the heart lands and we've scooped out the best hidden sections – including a dog park and a rooftop kopitaim – to check out at these malls in the suburbs.
Psh, Robertson Quay's for fancy schmucks. This mall next to Punggol Waterway is how you can hang out riverside. Get a takeaway meal from the many restaurants in the mall, then head to the outdoor plaza in Basement 1 to catch a breeze. Or, pick a spot near the windows facing the park when you dine at Cookhouse by Koufu (#02-20 West Wing). Whatever time of day, you're guaranteed a view – unless it's raining, that is.
Conceptualised to look like smaller boxes within a BIGBOX, this mall stocks everything from electronics, food, adult care and baby items. The main reason people travel from the east to this building in Jurong is for the wide range of furniture and homeware at stores like Living Box (#03-13) and Habitat (#02-15). Home decor here ranges from dirt-cheap aluminium chairs ($23) and mugs ($4) to unique, well-crafted pieces from brands like Ashley, Barang Barang and Tempur.
Beauty World Centre
The admittedly cobwebbed mall is a hodge-podge of reflexology spas, interior design firms, provision shops and, yup, a 24-hour McDonald’s. Take the row of escalators up and you’ll find one of the few hawker centres in Singapore that’s perched on a rooftop. The food is like a cuddle, with options including handmade mee hoon kway (from $3.50) and satay bee hoon (from $4). Hipster hawkers have also found their way up here, serving tonkotsu ramen ($6.90) at Buta Kin and affordable burgers at Hambaobao, cooked on the spot and served piping hot.
MyVillage @ Serangoon Gardens
Tucked away in Serangoon Gardens, myVillage is a cosy heartland mall that fills all our inner hipster’s lifestyle needs. At Allscript (#01-05) grab a copy of your favourite contemporary magazine such as Frankie and Kinfolk, then enjoy a cuppa at Little Wimbly Lu (#01-09/10). And if you’re into visual arts or good with a brush, then drop by the painting studio Boulevart (#01-03), for some leisure art-making. The mall also occasionally hosts gigs, outdoor yoga sessions and even movie screenings at its rooftop.
The Star Vista
We're always in awe of the futuristic ark-like exteriors of The Star Vista, but the innovative thinking of this Buona Vista-side mall extends into its bones. They claim to be Singapore's first naturally cooled mall – keep sweating at bay with the breeze as there's no air-conditioning coursing through its walkways. Other than a slew of dining and retail offerings, fill your schedule with the eco-friendly mall's host of events from free film screenings to Zumba and kickboxing sessions. On the upper floors is The Star Theatre, an auditorium with a 5,000-strong capacity for weekly church services, and occasionally, renowned international music acts including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Tame Impala.
A day out at nex is an affair for the whole family – and we mean that quite literally. While the children play at the SkyGarden’s Kidzplay water park, the furry kids can run loose at the dog K9 Park play area (L4R) just beside it. There are designated entrances, lifts and escalators for your pooch to access the rooftop play area. Pet supplies are just a few steps away at the Wild West-themed The Pet Safari (#04-03/71), where you can also add a new rabbit, hamster or fish to the brood.
Shopping is one of Singapore's national pastimes and we've all spent time walking from mall to mall (sometimes to escape the sweltering heat). But do you know which one's the best for camping gear or the best for entertaining your kids? Here we round up the best shopping centres and more, all for your retail therapy. Shop hard.