Food Court Culture in Singapore
Living in multi-racial and multi-religious Singapore, we have to constantly cater to our friends’ and partners’ dietary preferences. This is unfortunately true even when you're a foodie with insatiable cravings for different cuisines - with hawker centres being too warm and restaurants too niche to find food for everyone, food courts are the perfect middle ground for a gathering of friends.
I love a good food court - decently-priced local fare enjoyed in air conditioning was something I have enjoyed since secondary school. With consumers voting for Food Republic as a preferred Top Brand in a recent Influential Brands study by Brand Alliance, we decided to explore something most Food Republic customers realize but are unable to put their finger on - the themes behind the décor. See if you can guess where these themed Food Republic outlets are!
Bonus Fact: With special exhaust systems installed in all Food Republic outlets, you can eat all the wok-cooked food without any wok-hei on you!
The Different Food Republic Themes
1. 1900-1940s Asia
This outlet is modeled after 1900s to 1940s Asia when the political climate was one of uncertainty. Simpler things in life were more treasured then. Here, decorative details intricately craft a nostalgic atmosphere. Suspended bicycles add a quirky twist to the ambience without seeming too out of place.
Diners will eat in surroundings constructed with aged wooden beams, floor tiles and roof shingles, all imported from villages in China for an authentic feel.
Location: Vivocity (Level 3; next to the Sentosa Express Monorail)
Things to look out for: Chinese sedan chair, horse trough and old bird cages attached from the high ceilings.
2. The Coastal Getaway
Calling all surfers and beach-goers, this Mediterranean-designed Food Republic near East Coast Park offers a tranquil coastal getaway experience. The food atrium is filled with relaxing swashes of white & blue and sand grained walls.
Apart from that, food stalls are located on three distinctive “islands”: the relaxing beach resort island, the nautical themed island complete with anchors and sails, and the blue-and-white tiled Turkish seaside island.
Located: Parkway Parade (Basement 1)
What to look out for: The separately themed beach resort island, nautical island, and Turkish seaside island.
3. The Live Theater
If you love the theater, this Food Republic outlet will be your new favorite dining spot. The cavernous atrium exudes a surreal feel of being in the middle of a stage. Lush curtain drapes, vintage posters, and bright spotlights enhance the stage atmosphere.
There is a stage in the atrium with weekly live band performances and other adhoc events held within its premises. With free mealtime entertainment and good food, you simply have to make your way down!
Located: Westgate (Basement 1)
What to look out for: Lush stage-curtain drapes, vintage play posters, and staff in themed uniforms adorned with suspenders and paperboy caps.
4. New World Amusement Park (1920s-1960s)
With our parents’ generation mourning the loss of their past and our generation having zero recollection of it, this Food Republic outlet attempts to preserve a Singaporean icon now gone. Although not a replica, it depicts the iconic New World Amusement Park during its heyday, a time when hawkers were seen on the sideways of the vibrantly-coloured Peranakan shop houses.
It is little wonder my grandparents always asked my parents to bring them here.
Located: City Square Mall (Level 4)
What to look out for: The artful display of coffee and tea aluminium tins, vintage delivery bikes, and a featured wall mural of Nonyas in exquisite sarong kebayas.
5. Urban Renewal
This Food Republic spreads an environmentally friendly message, turning unused items into decorative props. In its own understated way, this outlet is an art exhibition for sustainable living. The expansive interior is dressed predominantly in hues of beige, brown and grey, featuring furniture and décor that are artfully upcycled using salvaged wooden pellets.
Minor details in this outlet such as the retro black, white, and grey flooring coupled with glazed bezel tiles are a subtle throwback to the good old days.
Located: Shaw House (Basement 1)
What to look out for: Large Jenga-inspired tower*, wheelbarrow fruit display, and an upcycled art installation
*check out the message on the signage to learn how Jenga fits into being green!
6. 1960s Singapore
For Singaporeans working around the clock every day, this outlet brings an old school comfort and familiarity to your dining experience in the city centre. Expect an extensive range of food and also look out for exhibits of various icons from 1960s Singapore.
Located: Wisma Atria (Level 4)
What to look out for: Analog Television, Vinyls bearing covers featuring famous 60's singers like Frances Yip and Carrie Ku Mei, and disco balls that heralded the coming of the 70s hippies.
Hidden in plain sites
We go to some places like the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay specially to see the scenery, but to corrupt an old saying, sometimes we see the forest but miss the trees along the way – there is beauty in the places you visit every day too. Take some time today to relax and admire what’s around us as we go on our everyday lives - especially at a Food Republic near you!
About Food Republic
Founded in 2005, Food Republic paved the way for a thematic dining experience, bringing the best local street food and restaurant fare together for your convenience. Food Republic encourages an appreciation of Singapore’s indigenous culture through the distinctive flavours of its food and the craftsmanship of its hawkers. Food Republic recognizes that your dining experience is a holistic one, engaging not only your palate but also your aesthetic sense with unique thematic dining concepts.
Food Republic’s dining concept has revolutionised food courts in Singapore, stamping its mark in many Asian countries, with a strong presence in regional markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. With a wide range of delicious food at affordable prices, Food Republic is go-to place for all food lovers.
About Influential Brands
Influential Brands is a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today. The study conducted by Influential Brands is purely consumer driven and the Top Brands are selected by consumers through their perception and preference, demonstrating the level of impact and influence of the brands in each consumer’s life.
Influential Brands seeks to identify consumer preferences, their behaviours, values and to understand how the ever-changing environment affects consumer experience in the purchase journey. The programme is tailored to enrich the brands’ relationship with their consumers through ongoing meaningful conversations and engagement.
For more information, like and follow Influential Brands on Facebook for more updates!
Read More Influential Brand Stories by TSL
This post is part of Influential Brands 2014, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore.